Those expecting a rejection of propriety, decorum and minimum standards of human decency from the Hollywood elites during the 89th Academy Awards last night were not disappointed.
Have you no decency, sirs? May God have mercy on our souls.
IT IS OK TO LAUGH
Beyond the white jacket travesty, the show was disappointingly short on perversion. Oh, sure, if one looks for offense, one can always find it. And the internet, of course, looks for it.
I saw outrage over host Jimmy Kimmel’s joke that Dr. Strange had been nominated for both Best Visual Effects and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. That’s tame stuff. It’s hardly outrage worthy. I mean, seriously, how much outrage must one have in reserve to tap it for a benign joke like that? Methinks some people could lighten up a tad.
SHADES OF SACHEEN LITTLEFEATHER
Nothwithstanding a few none-too-oblique jabs at Trump, the only overt political statement was on behalf of Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of “The Salesman.” Farhadi boycotted the ceremony, and when his movie won Best Foreign Language Film, a female surrogate accepted the award and read a statement on Farhadi’s behalf:
“I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations [sic] who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants into the U.S. (Massive applause from the audience). Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories, creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries that have themselves been victims of aggression.”
The most embarrassing aspect of the speech was the ridiculous cheering at the false assertion that immigrants have been banned from the U.S. My criticism of Trump has not been subtle, but blatant misrepresentations should not be ignored. Trump has not banned immigrants. Those cheering that absurd statement should be ashamed of themselves.
But, hey, they are in the movie industry. Shame does not come easily to them.
RANDOM LOW AND HIGHLIGHTS
* From Kimmel’s monologue:
- “I’d like to thank President Trump. Remember last year when the Oscars seemed racist?”
- “Hollywood doesn’t discriminate on you based on where you are from. We discriminate based on your age and weight.”
- Addressing Meryl Streep in the front row: “Nice dress, is that an Ivanka?”
- “If you are with the NY Times, CNN… please leave. We have no tolerance for fake news. Fake tans we love. Just not fake news.” (This was actually pretty meta. He wasn’t making fun of the Times or CNN. He was making fun of Trump for making fun of them. And he was making fun of fake tans.)
* When “Suicide Squad” won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, three gentlemen came to the stage and received trophies. One of them was clearly a native of Italy. He said, “I’m an immigrant. This is for the immigrants!”
Yeah, no one is really against Italian makeup artists entering the country.
* Throughout the evening there was lots of love for the real life subjects of “Hidden Figures.” None of whom, however, majored in women’s studies. They studied, like, math.
* When Kimmel introduced Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he said: “Something very rare these days, a President who believes in both arts and sciences.” Yeah, it’s a joke, but it’s premise is wrong on as many levels as the age difference between Mel Gibson and his new 26 year old girlfriend.
* Kimmel: “’Hacksaw Ridge’ is a story about a conscientious objector who decides to work with Mel Gibson anyway.”
The camera cut to Mel, who, unlike Trump, was able to laugh at both the joke and himself.
* “Zootopia” won for Best Animated Feature.
One of the best gags in that movie is that sloths run the DMV. Yet, Hollywood loves the government. You’d think they might be able to connect the dots. But, alas, they have not.
* Casey Affleck won Best Actor for his role in “Manchester by the Sea.” He is now the only Affleck brother with an Oscar for acting. Ben won his for writing the screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” with Matt Damon.
During his acceptance speech, Casey lamented, “Man, I wish I had something more important to say.” Actually, Casey, we are glad you didn’t. You kept it to acting. We appreciate that.
* Leo DiCaprio, who I find to be a self-righteous politically ignorant hypocrite, but a great actor, presented the award for Best Actress.
Many were hoping for a Meryl Streep win, so we could mock her again. But Emma Stone got the win for her role in “La La Land.” Alas, we were saved from the preaching of a rich white woman about the evils of inequality. Thanks, Emma. You gave me another reason to love you.
THE BOTCHED ENDING
By now, you have heard about how Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope and announced “La La Land” as winner for Best Picture when the award actually went to “Moonlight.” It is too easy to make fun of that mistake.
I was just pleased Beatty was not wearing white.