The 94th Annual Academy Awards

This will be a live blog. I will be updating all night.

Red Carpet

So, I can’t quit the Oscars and this was breaking the Interwebs so I tuned in slightly early.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: Timothée Chalamet attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images)

Many of the Awards the Academy deemed unfit for broacast went to Dune. My rant on that can be found here and a running list can be found here.

The Show

There are five nominated songs, and one extra musical performance. All will be introduced. This is time the produers will gladly use up and not truncate.

Yes, DJ Khaled randomly walking on stage to introduce the hosts is a great time-saver.

Samuel L. Jackson has a Lifetime Achievement from the Oscars and the BAMs (shameless plug).

No massive opener with a produced video lampooning the year in film is kind of missed.

18 minutes and we’re starting a category, so that’s a positive.

Ariana DeBose is a very deserving winner.

The Regina Hall COVID is very good.

Wow, this pre-corded shit isn’t awkward at all.

Greig Fraser winning is no surprise and well deserved. I agree with this choice as evidenced here.

So Best Documentary Short Subject doesn’t even get a presenter on stage introducing the film. Fun. This is an asinine decision.

I’m getting the feeling Dune will win everything except Best Director and Best Picture.

All these measures to cut time and you still play off the award winning VFX team.

I had completely forgotten about the stupid fan votes.

Yes, let’s have an unadverstised appearance by a K-Pop band. That’ll increase viewership and decrease running time.

Yay, more dumb ass fan moments.

One of the most unimpressive Bond songs ever for your listening pleasure.

All these cuts and its still going to aroud 11 or 11:15. Great job.

So did Will Smith actually hit Chris Rock or was that staged?

OK, P. Diddy answered that question.

So now there’s a Pulp Fiction reunion coming up. This is the 80th anniversary of Citizen Kane anyone alive from that still and up for a reunion?

The Oscar voters really know that they they’re standing in the way of Lin Manuel Miranda’s EGOT, jeez.

Will Smith apologized, as expected. I’m not here to be an arbiter of apologies. As a show it’s been frustrating, yet again, to not see any real surprises.

Also of note: all those cuts to the ceremony and here we are at 3h20 minutes with Best Actress and Best Picture to come and yet another commercial break underway.

The drama of the pre-recorded awards sucks anyway, but cutting to Jessica Chastain kind of gave it away.

Seat-fillers got mentioned. Cue Kramer GIF.

An Oscar for Jessica Chastain feels so overdue.

Whoa, there’s a surprise. Finally!

3h41m – so it wasn’t so much about shortening the show as getting “things no one cares about” less time.

Peace out and fix all this shit for next year Oscars.

2021 BAM Award Honorees

Best Picture

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Best Director

Jason Reitman Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Editing

Peter Sciberras The Power of the Dog

Most Overlooked Picture

Psycho Goreman

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Woody Norman C’mon c’mon

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

McKenna Grace Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Logan Kim Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

McKenna Grace Malignant

Best Youth Ensemble

Kevin Vechiatto, Gabriel Moreira, Laura Roseo, and Giulia Benite Turma da Mônica Laços

Best Actor

Nicolas Cage Pig

Best Actress

Peri Baumeister Blood Red Sky

Best Supporting Actor

Kodi Smit-McPhee The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress

Dianne Wiest I Care a Lot.

Best Cast

Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee The Power of the Dog

Best Song

“White Woman’s Instagram” Bo Burnham Bo Burnham: Inside

Best Soundstrack

Best Score

Dascha Dauenhauer Blood Red Sky

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Best Cinematography

Greig Fraser Dune

Best Costume Design

Turma da Mônica Laços

Best Art Direction

Turma da Mônica Laços

Best Hair and Makeup

Malignant

Best Visual Effects

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

The Ingmar Bergman Lifetime Achievement Award

Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin

Neutron Star Award

Lotte Reiniger and Vittorio de Seta

Robert Downey, Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year

Bo Burnham

Special Jury Award

Best Documentary

The Village Detective: A Song Cycle

A Word on the Oscars and the BAMs….

When I first began the BAM Awards as a rebellious fifteen-year-old I was reacting to the lack of consideration and inclusion of films I connected with in the awards without fully understanding the machinations of Awards Season and Hollywood in general. While there would be some way-off-the-beaten-path selections in my nominations over the years, there’d be some and some Academy-friendly films too. 

The BAM Awards have not changed much in that regard, pandemic not withstanding. However, the valley between the general public and the Academy grows larger every year. Part of this is attributable to the increased fragmentation of the moviegoing public. Despite all the blockbusters not many films are cultural touchstones anymore. Most modest studio films, arthouse films, and streaming service premiers fall by the wayside. The touchstones now are agreeable popcorn-films, some better than others, few and far between meet mass critical appeal—and so many fall within the oversaturated realm of the superhero film that any chance of the Academy including them in serious award categories is slim to none (and Slim is usually out riding an atomic bomb).

What the Academy, and the public at large are faced with, is an unsolvable conundrum, one that’s been inevitable since the Awards’ inception: the Oscars were created by the Academy as a marketing tool. That marketing pull is still there and their choices have aligned with the commercial/mass appeal on occasion, but far less so since the end of the Studio System. With the fall of the Studio System fragmentation began and the virtually unknown award darlings came to be.

More viewing options and films exacerbate that divide and have left the Academy flailing for ways to make the telecast more appealing and drive up the almighty ratings. One of those attempts has led to the further consternation of the public. The expansion of Best Picture to up to 10 films, was a fine idea in theory. It was that way for many years. One problem became that the expansion came with a changed voting system that allows divisive films to springboard into Best Picture because first-place votes weigh heavily. This allowed Don’t Look Up to be a Best Picture nominee this year despite it’s 53% Rotten Tomatoes and 49% Metacritic scores; as many people loving it as loathing it vaulted it into a nomination. The ranked Best Picture voting has also led to some wonderful surprised like Parasite getting nominated and winning, and Drive My Car this year. This is something that pleases film people more than the general public though.

For the general public the Academy decided to ditch hosts then bring them back, and not just one but three, which I’m sure won’t waste any time.

And what else, oh yeah, there will also be a live performance of a song that’s not even nominated! If we didn’t nominate “We don’t talk about Bruno,” how about we not sing his song?

The bit that got me the most furious that got me writing this and to conduct my own little counterprotest. The Oscars, after dumping lifetime achievement awards from the live broadcasts years ago, decided to present certain awards an hour early and splice in a soundbite in from the winner in the live (read “real”) broadcast. Among these categories is Best Editing, one of the most important things in film and an indicator of who will likely win Best Picture.

So, in that spirit when I post the BAM winners later today (tomorrow?) and, in the interest of time only the winner. If you happen to be curious about why certain decisions were made, I’ll respond with a soundbite. Enjoy!

31 Days of Oscar – 2022

It’s late to be getting this post up, but I have been getting some Oscar nominated, so here’s the rundown. I will keep it update throughout the month. One my aims annually is to see 31 films and 100 nominations I had yet to see.

Most of the viewings so far have animated shorts on The Criterion Channel, they total four nominations (naturally) and one win. The win was Neighbours and very well deserved.

Windy Day (1968)

Hunger (1974)

Neighbours (1952)

The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1959)

The feature viewing so far was

West Side Story (2021) and it’s absolutely spectacular from start to finish.

Nominations: 7

Wins: ?

Total nominations: 11

Total wins: 1

More to follow.