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If the Oscars wanted to avoid drama and chaos, they certainly succeeded on Sunday night with the 95th Academy Awards. For all of Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes about last year’s slapping incident and the so-called crisis team created in its wake, there was little mess to manage.
Yes, there were slap jokes, as part of a funny and mostly conventional monologue. There were “Cocaine Bear” jokes. The show resurrected Jenny from “The Banshees of Inisherin” (no, not the actual donkey from the movie). There was a David Byrne with hot dog fingers from Talking Hands, er, Heads.
Nobody, thank God, got into the Speed Force, except, one could argue, the dancers in the “RRR” performance. Aside from the insistent QR codes, streaming the Oscars was mostly limited to your usual devices.
As for the awards themselves, there was a sense of inevitability about the proceedings, as if we had traveled to this part of the multiverse before.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” dominated the major categories, with best picture and six other trophies, as expected. For Oscar forecasters, this was pretty much deadlock after “Everything Everywhere” scooped the precursor awards handed out by Hollywood guilds, even though Netflix’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” won big at the BAFTAs. .
From the moment Jamie Lee Curtis beat out Angela Bassett (from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) in the supporting actress category, it was pretty clear that this was going to be the night for directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. There were a number of wins for “All Quiet” in the craft and international feature categories, but the march for “Everything Everywhere” started again with the kung fu moves from the quirky sci-fi family drama’s awards season toppling Oscar after Oscar before the grand finale
And yet the film’s success is remarkable, despite its predictability, coming roughly a year after its South by Southwest festival debut in 2022. It may be a reflection of a changing, more international academy. , younger and in contact with contemporary culture. Whether that’s enough to keep the show relevant is an open question.
- Emotional moments outweigh chaos. Who wasn’t moved by Ke Huy Quan yelling at his mom from the Dolby stage, while clutching her golden statuette? Or “RRR” composer MM Keeravaani (winning original song for “Naatu Naatu,” shared with lyricist Chandrabose) declaring his love for the Carpenters before breaking into song? Letting the winners speak and being real with their feelings has always been what creates the best Oscars moments.
- Politics fortunately absent. A joke by Rep. George Santos was the product of small-time, perhaps even bipartisan. But the political moments felt mostly unforced. “Navalny” director Daniel Roher dedicated his documentary feature Oscar to political prisoners around the world and condemned authoritarianism “wherever it rears its head”. The wife of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny delivered a heartfelt speech. This was a natural way to bring up the topic of Russia and Putin, rather than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaking.
- Speaking of ‘Navalny’. It’s a bit ironic that CNN Films, the unit behind the winning documentary, was one of the businesses that Warner Bros. Discovery reduced last year during your search for cash flow and cost savings.
- Great night A24. A New York-based indie studio, just over a decade old, it dominated in unusual ways, winning nine Oscars in all (seven for “Everything Everywhere,” two for “The Whale”). It’s the first studio to win best picture, director, and all four acting categories in one year, which is a remarkable achievement, especially for an independent actor.
- Don’t feel bad for the streamers. Netflix’s six Oscars (four for “All Quiet”) represent a solid showing, especially considering that Edward Berger’s World War I epic seemed to be hiding in the trenches until just before its nine nominations were announced. However, Netflix still doesn’t have its best movie yet.
- Props to the theaters? There were multiple citations of thanks to movie theaters during the ceremony, in a year in which best picture nominees did better than usual at the box office. “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” were box office hits. “Elvis” did serious business. Winner “Everything Everywhere” grossed over $100 million, which is a hit, if not one the size of “Titanic.” Can we really blame the nominees if the ratings continue to suck?
- Having said that… It wouldn’t have hurt audience interest to give Tom Cruise a lead actor nomination, just as thanks for, at least According to Steven Spielberg, basically saving the movie business. Cruise did not attend.
- part of your world The most blatant act of corporate synergy during this ABC telecast was heavy promotion for parent company Disney’s remake of “The Little Mermaid,” though the vocal chops displayed by Halle Bailey, the new Ariel, helped offset the stripped-back commercialism. . And then there was that Warner Bros.
- The Gaga show. Someone in my Oscars pool group chat called Lady Gaga’s stripped-down performance of “Hold My Hand” her “MTV Unplugged” phase. Correct.
- The Oscars is a 3.5 hour show. And we just have to deal with that fact, apparently. Sunday’s broadcast lasted about three hours and 40 minutes, like last year. It’s hard to get someone, especially a young audience, to sit down for almost four hours to watch a live broadcast. But this is the letter that the academy has dealt itself.
All about the Oscars
— The best picture at the Oscars may seem radical. But it’s as traditional as it gets. Times film critic Justin Chang’s take: For all its iconic achievements, the sentimental, self-important “Everything Everywhere All at Once” isn’t as bold a choice as it sounds.
— Was this the ‘comeback year’ at the Oscars? Mark Olsen: This awards season gave special attention to veteran artists Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Fraser and Michelle Yeoh.
— Backstage at the Oscars 2023: Exclusive behind-the-scenes photos. The stars were out.
— Gaga and Rihanna! Oh my! (a donkey and a bear too): The must-see moments of the Oscars 2023. Slap references, some course corrections and other must-see moments, including animal attractions, from the 95th Academy Awards.
Things that are not from the Oscars
— At SXSW, an unexpected banking crisis interrupts a tradition in the tech world. Amid the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, the annual South by Southwest technology and culture summit in Austin, Texas, has taken on a decidedly somber tone.
— Bob Iger admits that Disney’s theme park pricing moves were “too aggressive.” Iger also acknowledged that the initial $6.99 monthly fee for the Disney+ streaming service was too low. Now the company is looking to reduce its transmission losses.
— Fox News host Maria Bartiromo is front and center in Dominion’s defamation lawsuit. The “Sunday Morning Futures” host and Fox Business Network morning host is prominent in Dominion’s claims that the network lied about voter fraud.
— Spotify charts the future of podcasting after controversies, challenges, and changes. Spotify announced a handful of new podcast partnerships, production tools, and a Batman spin-off starring Hasan Minhaj as the Riddler.
— ICYMI. WGA members almost unanimously approved the bargaining demands. The ‘SNL’ crew threatens to go on strike. Former Fox executive convicted in soccer rights bribery case
The US movie theater business lost more than 2,000 movie screens during the pandemic, according to a report issued last week by the Cinema Foundation—surprisingly few, considering the damage the COVID-19 crisis has wreaked on the nation. industry.
The American theater scene lost 5.3% of the 44,283 screens it had in 2019. By 2022 there are 42,063. There may be more losses to come as Regal works its way through bankruptcy proceedings and AMC struggles with its debt.
To avoid additional closures, theaters need more movies. The US and Canadian box office hit $7.53 billion in 2022, down 34% from 2019 levels. Not coincidentally, there were 36% fewer wide releases last year than the year before the coronavirus outbreak. coronavirus.
Theaters anticipate 40% more wide releases in 2023 than last year. That should help, big time.
The best of the web
— Vinyl sold more units than CDs in 2022 for the first time in decades, according to the RIAA. (Rolling Stone)
— I missed this one: Did you know that there are “reality trainers”? Casting consultants are helping regular people. Participate in your favorite shows. (Wall Street Journal)
— Anthony Pellicano gets the documentary treatment torn from the headlines. (Daily Beast)
—GQ asks why so many guys they are obsessed with “Master and Commander”.
— The way Americans view local sports teams is about to change. (WSJ)
—The Tucker Carlson schtick melts (Political)
Brain fried after the Oscars, I watched the first two episodes of “World History Part II” on Hulu. Guess what? It is funny!