I didn’t think the show last night felt long. Don’t get me wrong, it was—but because of last night’s tight races and unpredictability, the time seemed to go by quickly, unlike other years where it’s just an eventuality for a win.
That made Viola Davis the exception this year. Right from the start of awards season, her Oscar was an all-but-foregone conclusion, since her closest competitors just weren’t, performance-wise. Debate about whether she was in the wrong category on your own time, but everyone, but everyone, knew this was Viola’s, full stop.
So she knew, and she probably also knew there’d be a lot of attention on her speech. She’s given these very, very strong, memorable speeches a few times that have become part of her awards show character.
And so the surprise for me was how vulnerable and even a bit scattered she was. I don’t think it’s a bad thing—she reminded me of the way a 25-year-old actress sometimes is, gulping and gasping to get the words out, however inelegantly… and I totally agree the speech went on a while and it wasn’t as incisive as some of her others, but how charmed was I that a first-time Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner can be as ‘new’ and unpolished at it regardless of how many wins and how many speeches before? Even the bit about ‘the only profession that celebrates life’, which didn’t come out right, kind of wound up charming me because she’s always shown so much poise, but this win overwhelmed her. Is getting in touch with that young stuff not exactly why she’s such a good actress?
On the surface side, I liked her dress well enough, but it wasn’t the best of her season—nothing was going to top that yellow Michael Kors from the Golden Globes. What WAS the best of the season was her hair—I LOVE that thick heavy forelock/deep bang look. It was killer with the suit she wore to Vanity Fair, too. I know I work in the least formal industry known to man, but could we please bring back the suit already? I could really get down with occasions to wear a suit like this.