Dr. J. typically walks in lock step with GorT on most issues, especially the mocking of self-important left wing celebrities who support causes that either offend the sensibilities of (e.g. Planned Parenthood), or by effect keep the regular folk down (anything environmentalist), or both (Obama).
So Dr. J. was foisted into watching the Oscars last night with Mrs. Dr. J. and the Lil Resident. The Lil Medstudent had the good sense to watch The Amazing World of Gumball and Teen Titans Go! before bedtime.
Dr. J. was drawn in surprisingly with Ellen’s opening monologue, and despite the lugubrious pace of the Oscars, which should be shortened by AT LEAST an hour, he found himself pleased overall with the night.
|I’m the good witch, y’all!|
- Ellen lead off the night informing the audience of two possible outcomes, 12 Years As A Slave will win Best Picture, or the audience (more pointedly, voting members of the Academy) is racist. After suffering the slings and arrows of being accused of racism for supporting rational immigration policies back in 10th grade, long before being labeled a racist was fashionable, the power of Ellen acting, knowingly or not, as King Lear(jet)’s fool resonated with Dr. J. and told him that last night might be worth remaining tuned in for. After all, if there is inequality in Hollywood, it is because of Hollywood, and should not be blamed on fly-over country. If fly-over country didn’t go and see 12 Years As a Slave, it’s because there were no elves or photon torpedoes, not because of teh raysizm! Furthermore, Dr. J. couldn’t tell who was more the butt of the joke, those who call folk racist for every perceived microaggression on the planet, or the self-important Hollywood types who might actually be racist but wouldn’t know it.
- Dr. J. didn’t see any of the nominated films, largely because he has two children who tend to pick the movies. He would have liked to see Gravity but didn’t get around to it. Dr. J. now has plans to check out Nebraska, as he loved A Straight Story back in the day, and the clips reminded him of that.
- Speaking of racism, did anyone else think that Sidney Poitier seemed a little chaffed that Alfonso Cúaron got best director over Steve McQueen? He couldn’t get himself to announce the winner once he saw it, and Dr. J. may have blinked but didn’t see him congratulating the Mr. Cúaron. Microaggression stuff, nothing to see here…
- Some (too much of) the humor was PG-13 bordering on R for sexual content. Given the Lil Resident and millions of other tween age girls were staying up passed their bedtime, glued to the TV waiting for Let It Go, they should have had a PG rated show. Just saying…
|Kevin Spacey brought his mom long before it was cool to do so!|
- Jared Leto’s speech blew Dr. J. away. He was expecting a thank you to everyone and perhaps a maudlin statement about HIV/AIDS, homophobia or if he was going to stretch things, a smack down of the FDA. Mr. Leto gave a shout out to his mother and brother in the audience, about his humble beginnings and how hard work can lead to great success. Also his words of support to the people of the Ukraine and Venezuela were stronger than anything to come out of the White House or Foggy Bottom. I’m sure his speech went over the head of most of the lefties, but it wasn’t missed in Middle ‘Murrica.
|McConaughey in a shirt with his two favorite ladies…|
- Matthew McConaughey’s speech was equally impressive. Dr. J. was expecting the cool semi-stoner dude from the Peace Corps ads. The audience clearly did not know what to do with is gratitude to God, eventually they caught on and applauded. He also came from humble roots, but with strong parents to guide him to ‘respect himself’ from which he learned to respect others.’ Also his comments about him 10 years from now being his hero showed a certain sense of humility and wisdom, after all, we all should want to be like the person we wish to be in 10 years. Bravo, Matt!
- Gravity vs. 12 Years A Slave – Dr. J. saw neither, so he is loath to opine, but here is his take. Gravity brought home all of the hardware for technical aspects of film making (cinematography, visual effects, film editing, original score, sound mixing, sound editing). The movie looks like a tough one to make, and it sounds like Cúaron pulled it off as he was the mortar for all of those bricks. That being said his movie is, ‘bad shit happens in space.’ He almost certainly deserves best director for getting all of those technical aspects of the movie spot on (for which each technical aspect that won, deserved it). 12 Years A Slave may have been a better story with better acting (one best supporting actress nod, best adapted screenplay), and while a movie is an awesome experience, sometimes the better story wins over the best technically put together movie. Or, it could be a repeat of Annie Hall over Star Wars. Dr. J. still isn’t over that one yet.
- The 2014 Memorial and still no Abe Vigoda. God bless Abe!
- Dallas Buyer’s Club – Dr. J. is not an HIV doctor. That being said, the science has since been settled. AZT, being first in class, has the most molecule-specific side effects, but it served and serves a critical need in treatment in specific populations (e.g. pregnant women) and based on what little he saw about the movie in the awards, it got a bad rap. Peptide T was good for symptomatic relief, but was not life extending in the general population. ddC, was a drug in the same class with a better side effect profile. Also at the time the movie took place, AZT was rushed to market and we were still trying to figure it out at the time the movie too place.
- Let It Go – Definitely best song. We were not as in awe of Idina Menzel’s performance as the audience was, but then again, neither was she. There may have built up expectations, on Dr. J.’s part. There were some tempo issues at the beginning (probably related to delays from the orchestra being off site). The orchestra was a little too loud initially given her pianissimo beginning. She also seemed a little nervous, and focused on performing the vocal rather than performing on stage for an audience. Maybe John Travolta introducing her as someone else distracted her. Her voice ‘acted out the song’ better for the movie. Once she got out of the first verse, however she took control of the song such that Dr. J. felt like the guy in the Memorex ads. Lastly, with regard to the big note at the end, her volume just barely exceeded her ability to control it, resulting in little raspyness. Perhaps she had a touch of the crud? Very few individuals on this planet have pipes like hers, so for Dr. J. to be critical, takes some stones, especially given that it was the best performance by far of the night, better than U2, better than Pink, way better than Bette Midler, and still deserved at least 9.9 out of 10. Only she’s done it better herself, and perhaps with a multiple takes. He only brings it up because he felt her facial expressions and body language demonstrated that she wasn’t happy with the performance either.
- Indeed, the Lil Resident, our resident vocalist felt the same, and didn’t like the change up at the end. She also felt that Let It Go should only be done by a few people, such as Ms. Menzel, who have the pipes for it, sorry Demi Lovato. The Czar would ban it from all 11 year olds if he had his way. Her school choir is doing it for the spring concert (Frozen, Spring Concert?) and she feels it’s going to be an utter train-wreck. She could sing it solo if she wanted, and could pull it off, but when in choir, she has about two or three brakes placed on her vocal cords, as it is, after all, choral music. Unfortunately, half of the choir, including her vocal arch-nemesis feel the need to try to turn it into a solo and sound like a bunch of drunken sorority girls at a karaoke bar at Mardi Gras. The Bene Gesserit choral director hasn’t reined them in yet, though the Lil Resident wants the offending classmates placed in a pain amplifier until they get it right. She’s pretty unsympathetic to technically unsound singers.
- Considering Dr. J. only saw three movies nominated for best Animated Feature, and one for best animated short, he found the Oscars fairly entertaining this time around, especially given the subversively entertaining speeches and humor peppered throughout the show. Perhaps Hollywood is beginning to recover a little from the Kool-Aid?
- Not much…just a little…