I wanted to be annoyed.
Melissa McCarthy was the long-shot nominee for a fantastic performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me, and even though I knew, and you knew, and she knew, that it was never going to happen, I wanted more people to treat it like it was a possibility.
She was wearing a really incredible… ‘ensemble’ is the only word, because it wasn’t a dress, and calling it a jumpsuit neglects the incredible cape that fit perfectly over her shoulders and looked rich. Not just expensive, although that too, but like it would be heavy and luxurious and almost moisturizing on your hands. If I’d been near her, I would have had a hard time keeping my hands to myself.
And then Richard E. Grant didn’t win, but he was such a delightfully cheerful presence, living by my awards show rule, “Look like you’re having fun!” (We actually just cracked up because apparently he’s known for taking selfies that are, um, not of ideal quality – here is exhibit A:
And here is his face when he saw Barbra first come out onstage. I mean, look at him! Richard E Grant doesn’t need me to be sad for him, he is doing just fine.
So I couldn’t get all that grumpy about that. And Can You Ever Forgive Me didn’t win for Best Adapted Screenplay, and I wanted to be mad about that (especially since The Favourite had also lost, and thereby there was no chance a female screenwriter – there were only two in a pool of twenty in the two screenwriting categories – would win), but how can you be mad about Spike Lee FINALLY getting a W?
Still, I was acting a bit like Jack Black in High Fidelity, all “See? See!?! People make movies about interesting people and complex women and nobody even cares! Nobody even understands that movie enough to make jokes about it! Jokes are, like, the kisses of words, okay?!” Mostly in my own head, for about an hour, but it was an insufferable hour to be me.
Then, this happened:
I know you saw it, because everyone saw it. Everyone loved it. This is probably the best example of the benefits of no host – because all the presenters had played it amusing-but-straight so far, when Brian Tyree Henry and Melissa McCarthy came out in… those, it was a genuine, gut-busting shock.
Henry and McCarthy were so clearly having a straight-up party up there – fully committing to the bit, which it took me far too long to realize was not just an homage to The Favourite but included iconic items from many of the nominated films this year -- that I had to get over my suck attack about what didn’t get recognized and just go ahead and say they had fun, so I had fun, so therefore it’s an honour just to be nominated. This time.
If you need further proof that she’s not sweating the way the night went down – and yes, I saw the word choice there and I’m tired so I’m going to let it look like a pun instead of an accident – at Vanity Fair, she and husband Ben Falcone, who always seems to be up for doing whatever Melissa’s doing and going wherever she’s going, showed up in matching Adidas track suits:
I’m taking these as a personal shoutout/reassurance to me – they know how to have the best possible time in any circumstance. I am taking notes.