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Final Musings on the 95th Academy Awards

After a bumpy couple of years – COVID, Slapgate – this year’s Academy Awards were a smooth, safe affair. As I predicted, Everything Everywhere All at Once swept, taking home more above-the-line Oscars than any other film…ever. It was a crowd-pleasing affair, for sure.

Some other musings:

  • A24 has proven its dominance, winning nine awards overall and sweeping all four acting categories for Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Whale. Maybe it’s time to stop viewing them as a little indie outfit now?
  • Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick did the impossible. They’re two-long awaited sequels who not only have become two of the top-grossing movies of all time, they saved the industry and received Best Picture nominations, virtually unheard of for sequels and for genre films. Why the mean-spirited riffs on James Cameron and Tom Cruise, neither of whom attended? However they are behind closed doors, those public jabs were unnecessary.
  • Nonagenarians James Hong and John Williams got their flowers in the audience.
  • Some choices were risky. Having Halle Berry join Jessica Chastain to present the two leading actor categories could have backfired, a cynical gambit to bridge two historical racial milestones, if Michelle Yeoh had not win Best Actress. Luckily, she did.
  • There were too many omitted figures during what seemed like a shorter “In Memoriam” segment than in recent years – Charlbi Dean, Melinda Dillon, Anne Heche, Tony Sirico, Tom Sizemore, Paul Sorvino, Jean-Louis Trintignant, to name a few. Maybe the committee needs to rethink their process.
  • Sadly, Glenn Close couldn’t join Air Force One co-star Harrison Ford to present the big award, Best Picture – she tested positive for COVID. Sigourney Weaver was there to present another award – but how great would it have been if she could have joined Ford instead and we all got a Working Girl reunion?!

Maybe, next year, Glenn. After all, if there’s one thing this year taught us, it’s never say never.