The production of the 95th Academy Awards went… well. There were no bumps, fumbles, mistaken awards or assaults. It went smoothly.
Which – of course it did. After last year, and the correct calling-out of the Academy for doing effectively nothing about a live televised assault (it’s a word, okay? Don’t call me Judd Apatow), there were absolutely going to be checks on top of checks to make sure nobody did anything untoward, or made any mistakes – and as far as I can tell, everything was pronounced correctly, attributed to the correct people, and only 33 minutes over its proposed run time.
Maybe we’re a bit out of practice – I know we all still bear the scars of that horrid train station travesty in 2021 – but the show seemed smooth. Good pace, not too much painful banter. Jimmy Kimmel did the time honoured hosting maneuver of showing up a lot in the first half, a little once it started to get interesting, and then not at all …and history will say he was fine! Good! Totally competent. (I did wonder if the references to ‘Jiggy’ and ‘Hitch’ were his own inclusions, since they seemed to fall away suddenly.)
And the show was good. The categories were in an unpredictable order (and bore little resemblance to an image of the programs I saw online that had the ‘run of show’), the packages were effective without trying to tell the whole story of the movie in one sentence, and can I just have a minute for these images of the lighting design on the seats? It was dynamic and interesting, and it was both for us, the viewers, and the people in theatre. Nicely executed, and also reminiscent of a roller rink. It was beautifully done.
for those of us who care about the oscars as a TV product, this is about as good as you can do it. the sweeping lights on the seats for each beat pic nomination is a great flourish.— Alex Lawson (@AlexxLawson) March 13, 2023
That clip barely shows how lovely it was, but someone is winning an Emmy for production design next September. It was a reminder that the show was… you know, back. Fine. Unsullied.
As was this:
Maybe it was because of this smoothness – and the momentum of goodwill in the room? – that the introduction that would have been ripped to shreds any other year actually went over rather well.
I’m talking, of course, about Elizabeth Banks and Cocaine Bear.
Look, maybe I’m up too late, but I thought it largely went over well in the room – once people realized the bit was exactly as stupid as they thought it was going to be, they felt freer to enjoy it?
I’m telling you, this was a gentler Oscars this year. Although maybe not for Elizabeth Banks. She was definitely hoarse and/or fighting something off, but on top of that, I missed this:
BREAKING: Elizabeth Banks becomes the second Hunger Games actress to trip on the Oscars Stage https://t.co/WsEepWmjxw— lucy mee (@lemonflavlucy) March 13, 2023
She was *really* hustling to get out there even before she tripped, and then pulled off a four-minute comedy routine with a silent partner in a bear suit. Last night was either the worst night of her life, or one of the best.