Monday, February 25, 2019

EP112: Ken’s Annual Bitchy Snarky Oscar Review

Once again, comedy writer Ken Levine watches the 2019 Academy Awards so you don’t have to, and files his opinionated, hopefully insightful, hopefully funny review. See if you agree with anything he says.

Listen to the Hollywood & Levine podcast!


therealshell said...

Great line: "ambulance siren of a song" ! The awards were pretty tiresome, and self-important. I am heartily sick of the piss and moan brigade. Get over yourselves !

Ted said...

Before I listen, let me give you the score from Twitter of the people who were pissed and then see if you were pissed too.

1. Gay people on Carol Channing not being included in the "In Memoriam" segment:

2. Glenn Close fans went to Wikipedia and typed "ROBBED" as soon as she lost.

3. African Americans were the most pissed at Spike Lee not winning. Me too, I mean Alfonso the guy who made craps like Gravity and Roma wins and not Spike. Alfonso who signed the Harvey Weinstein sponsored petition asking that convicted Rapist Roman Polanski not be arrested, is now being rewarded instead of Spike Lee?!!!!

Chris said...

I'm sorry the awards were so dreadful, but it sure made for an entertaining podcast. The Maya Rudolph, Spike Lee, and Diane Warren barbs were especially good.

Mark Evanier said...

Randy Thomas did get her name in the closing credits. It would have been nice if they'd mentioned it during the show but that's true of every award show she's announced...which is just about all of them.

Mike Barer said...

I missed the Oscars this year, so I couldn't this with what I had seen as in previous years. I wish you could host the Oscars. I think it would be fun, as a viewer to watch with a lot of witty repartee.

tavm said...

Yeah, Stanley Donen should have been included. Also, Aretha Franklin, Dick Miller, Sondra Locke, and Carol Channing, among others not in the "In Memoriam" segment...

Ted said...

Just finished listening.

Brie Larson? You like her? She refused to applaud after giving an award to Casey. If you hate him so much, why were you presenting in the first place? Ho! That's right she needs her airtime to be "seen" but will behave as a lout at someone's moment of victory.

Poor Charlize!!! Brad dumped her for Jennifer. She looked off color to me.

That was Mike Myers? Looked like Seth MacFarlane without make-up.

Worst Pompous Speech : Rami Malek. Calling his mom "lady"? Behaved as if he found a cure to cancer. But I loved the fact that it was him rather than the insufferable Christian Bale.

Worst Interview :

Most overhyped moment : Chris Evans helping Regina King. Really? This creep always ogles at cleavages at every red carpet event and laughs it off when asked by reporters and now he is being praised for his "chivalry".

blinky said...

Your Maya Rudolph comment was right on. I have never understood why she is assumed to be funny.. I guess if you are pals with Tina Fey thats all the cred you need. She is like Linda McCartney in Wings. Or Will Smiths son. Or Don Jr.

Justin Coleman said...

Didn't watch any of the Oscars and haven't since the "diversity" flap. What we have now is "forced diversity". Since the Academy got bad press that year they are now over nominating minorities just to show that they have "diversity". They're ignoring quality of product or popularity of product and instead nominating based on race, sex or sexual orientation. This makes a major award which had very little relevance even before the "diversity" flap now completely irrelevant and bordering on a joke.

And from what I hear they got what they deserved when Spike Lee who will do anything for publicity won against a field of much more deserving candidates and proceeded to turn the awards ceremony into a cursing rap song. Later he pulled a Kanye when he tried to direct attention away from the biggest award of the night and direct it to him. Way to go Academy.

Dhruv said...

Thank you Ken!

Looks like I didn't miss anything.

I had to use Google search as you kept mentioning the presenters names.

Regarding the payment - They pay $15,000 for hosting. I remember this after Jimmy Kimmel mentioned it somewhere.

Now I am very disappointed about Glenn Close losing.

From my years of following Oscars, I know that they give awards as a compensation for past losses to those they feel wont win anymore.

3 Examples:

1. After many nominations but no wins in the 70s for Al Pacino, finally they decided this is it for his career and gave for 'Scent of a Woman'. But that year it was Denzel who should have won for 'Malcolm X'.

2. Now again later Denzel won for 'Training Day' instead of Russell Crowe whose performance was better than Denzel's. Russell had won the previous year and Denzel had been overlooked despite great performances in the past. So finally they gave Denzel one.

3. Martin Scorsese simply didn't deserve for 'The Departed'. Alejandro G. Iñárritu perhaps. 'The Departed' was just a decent movie with a heavy cast who carried a remade movie.

Seeing the above 3 examples, I was sure that this year they would give Glenn Close her well deserved Oscar - like a final compensation award. Sadly that didn't happen.

People commented online that someone powerful must hate her. Lot of nasty comments too ridiculing her looks and age and calling her an old evil witch who deserved to lose, but then they are just idiotic kids who can't differentiate between a movie role and real life.

In his autobiography Joe Eszterhas says that Glenn never cared for the powerful producers and just concentrated on her work. He gives the example of her fight with Martin Ransohoff.

Maybe she has rubbed one too many producers the wrong way. Not sure if she will get one more chance.

Clara said...

I take it you don't like Bob Iger. May we know why?

Dhruv said...

I just finished hearing the previous podcast too. Nice one! I never knew the Billy Wilder story.

2 sisters nominated for the same category happened one more time when the Redgrave sisters were nominated in 1966. Here they are

Tom Cruise losing to Michael Caine was the worst. His chance is gone. I don't see the new politically correct voters voting for Tom, who is hated for his Scientology, in the future.

It is good that Amy lost. If she had won, the curse of Oscars would be on her. So many actresses' career plummets after winning.

Lisa said...

Spike Lee tried to exit when Green Book won as per these guys

Mike said...

I watched Green Book and it certainly didn't deserve the best picture. So basically no more movies made with a full white cast will win anymore. You need to have gay characters or African Americans to please the PC mob. Merit be damned.

Thankfully some papers agree.

brian t said...

I just saw some pictures from the Vanity Fair party ... some of the ladies looked fabulous (Selma Blair, Charlize Theron), but some of the others ... oh dear. Emma Stone was dressed in some humongous snake's shedded skin.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I actually thought it would be a lot worse. You're right about Randy Thomas -- she can be the unseen host every year and maybe even get screen credit one day. She puts in the work learning to pronounce every name, so no John Travolta/Idina Menzel embarrassments. Not surprisingly, she has a radio background.

Scorsese couldn't make it but he sent his commercial.

Except for Spike Lee, it seems the men made an effort to return to the black-tie glamour of the past. I wish the women would stop dressing in funeral black.

Despite the National Emergency, Trump apparently managed to watch the whole thing and respond to every perceived slur. I was hoping Colin Kaepernick would be among the non-movie-related presenters. But as you observed, ABC must have had the last word.

blinky said...

I would have to say I did not miss having a host. I thought the presenters were forced to be creative, like the sound editing for example and that was pretty cool. The real issue was I had not seem any of the movies. I never even heard of the Green Door.
Was Spike Lee dressed like the Joker in the Batman TV show?

Harold Dickson said...

Did you notice that male Caucasian presenters were almost as rare as male Caucasians in the NBA?

Unknown said...

Mark beat me to my first comment: Randy Thomas was in the closing credits, but in the part after they were limited to the bottom of the screen. At least she got a screen to herself, so if you were looking for her name, it wasn't hard to spot.

But as to my second comment, what's Helen Mirren, chopped liver? Sorry, but I think she's every bit as much of a star as the other A-listers you named.

Greg Ehrbar said...

Yes, I listened and listened proudly!

Because instead of watching, I reflecting on the best scenes in "Heidi."

Isn't the star-studdded, big money Match Game with Alec Baldwin usually on ABC when the Oscars are broadcast? Maybe that's why you missed all the luminaries.

Always ready to point out that seven Oscars were WON by Tom and Jerry. Back when they really mattered.

In one of their acceptance speeches, Jerry quipped "We Are The Only Profession That Celebrates What It Means To Get Hit with an Ironing Board.'

Unknown said...

We need more award shows

RMK said...

Ken, is this Sunset location the one you visited and found scripts? Sorry to see this place close.

MikeKPa. said...

You pretty much hit most of what I was thinking. Even though I saw more than half of the nominated movies, being on the East Coast, I closed it down at 9 p.m. I know the rule, nothing good happens in the next 90 minutes. There are just two many awards shows (Golden Gloves, SAG) leading up to the Oscars, that it's become anti-climatic, even though there were surprises like ROMA not winning best picture.

This year's awards reminded me of participation trophies in a youth rec league. Every movie was recognized at some level. If an Oscar was the baby Solomon threatened to split, it would have looked like an artichoke.

Hollywood churns out superhero and animated films 10 months of the year and then expects the people who went to see them, tune in to watch an awards show about movies no one has seen. Lack of star power on stage and in the seats was disheartening and indicative of the the new Hollywood.

It seemed strange watching the ABC network news at 5 p.m., so that the network could do a 2 1/2 hour red carpet show.

Based on your review, I'm guessing you're not pitching any pilots at ABC any time soon.

thomas tucker said...

I liked Bette Midler and think the lyrics of that song from Mary Poppins are very good. I'm actually glad to see good acting awarded instead of "stardom." This was the first one I've watched in years, and enjoyed it.

Gary said...

Hilarious that Spike Lee called for "love versus hate," and the buffoon-in-chief took that as personal criticism. Shouldn't that be a pretty easy thing for a president to agree with?

Peter said...

Looking forward to listening.

My initial reaction to the awards.

Green Book winning best original screenplay and best picture is a joke. I've seen it. It's ok but nowhere near best picture worthy. It's the Big Mac and fries of movies about racism and civil rights.

That said, I'm disappointed Spike Lee apparently tried to leave the theater when Green Book won and later told reporters that the "ref made a bad call". That's really bad form. You don't do that on the night of the awards. It's being a sore loser to try and walk out and then trash the winner to the press. It's especially disappointing given Lee made such a good speech when he won for adapted screenplay and succeeded in pissing off the orange manbaby.

Olivia Colman is fantastic but I was really hoping Glenn Close would win.

The most excruciating moment was the speech by the three winners for makeup. It's nice that they wanted each other to get equal time speaking, but taking turns to read off ONE piece of paper made for a really awkward, halting speech. Why didn't they just each have a note to read out? By the end, I wished the Academy HAD stuck it in the commercial break.

The other excruciating speech was the Production Design winner who read out multiple paragraphs that began "I am a better woman because". Jeez, lady, you designed a movie, not cured Alzheimer's. Get over yourself.

Coram_Loci said...

Years ago: "See the stars come out to shine"

Nowadays: Go to Twitter and read celebrities whine.

The Academy Awards lost event status because celebrities are not necessarily stars, and because celebrities are overexposed. They are inescapable. We can see them shine, flicker, and burnout every day on social media.

Mike Barer said...

I left out the word "compare" in the comment that I made above. That's why it made no sense.

sueK2001 said...

I enjoyed your podcast and I somewhat enjoyed the Oscars. I didn't get the wave of self-importance this year that other years have had. No one lectured me on any issues except voting in 2020 which is a good thing to encourage.

I will admit that I voted for Jennifer Hudson when she was on American Idol..and loved her for awhile but she got locked into a screech-style that seems to be the only way she can now, I mute the TV when she's on but forgot to last night...and yep "ambulance siren" was spot on.

You are right big stars this year...maybe they only show up when they are in something nominated?

As for Best Picture, I didn't see Green Book but the promos turned me off. I noticed about ten Hollywood tropes in the preview that turned me off...haven't seen Black Kklansmen but I do want to. As a white chick from the Midwest, Inside Man is my favorite Spike Lee film(that's because I love heist films-if they are done well). Spike wore Purple last night in tribute to I can live with that..but not a word about Jason Mamoa's tux? I have a crush on him so I loved it...and Aquaman...

Ken, you are right...The Mr Rogers doc wasn't nominated...that and Three Identical Strangers was snubbed..that made me angry at the outset. Both movies were better than anything I had seen in years.

As for Bohemian Rhapsody,that was a theatre experience for sure. I'mt a music junkie so that pic worked for me...

Mitchell Hundred said...

So I didn't watch the ceremony myself. That said, I did just watch the acceptance speeches given by Mahershala Ali and Spike Lee, and your claim that they made the same kind of statement in different ways is bizarre. Ali's speech struck me as a very standard, milquetoast "thank you to my family and the people who made this movie" sort of thing, that didn't make any references to broader social issues (which Lee's speech very explicitly did). If you prefer bland acceptance speeches, that's fine, but don't act like they're saying something that they're not.

Kosmo13 said...

>>>It is good that Amy lost. If she had won, the curse of Oscars would be on her. So many actresses' career plummets after winning<<<

I'm told Rami Malek literally did plummet right after winning his Oscar.

MikeN said...

After 'Oscars so white', the Academy added lots of black members. It looks like they are acting out Chris Rock's 'If the country were 55% black, there's be tons of black presidents. Flava Flav would be President!'

SteveJayCanada said...

Thanks, Ken, for the terrific Oscars review. It was witty, snarky, and very funny. These are all the things I look for in the podcasts I listen to while walking the dog.

I wonder why you didn't mention the lustful Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga duet that seemed to melt many a heart? For a minute there, I thought the broadcast might have to jump to commercial in order to avoid an R rating.


Anonymous said...

Interesting interview with Randy Thomas.

Pam, St. Louis

estiv said...

I remember when Lauren Bacall was nominated in the nineties and it seemed like, as with Don Ameche, Jack Palance, et al., she would be rewarded for a long career. She lost, apparently because she had stepped on so many toes in the industry over the years that her legendary status didn't matter. Glenn Close may have suffered the same fate. On the other hand, Clint Eastwood has twice as many directing Oscars as Martin Scorsese, which says something about the schmoozeability factor for each of them.
There was a time in the seventies when quality really seemed to be the point of the Oscars (Glenda Jackson, for example) but it didn't last. There are bigger things wrong in the world, but it's a shame.

Rich said...

The only movie that I hoped would win an Oscar was Free Solo, which was just extraordinary. And what happened? The movie won for Best Documentary, and the female director gave a blathering speech, referring to women and people of color making everything better. Then she praised the climber’s girlfriend for being so important to the film, and having her own mountain to climb. Only at the last minute, once the music started playing, did she thank Alex Honnold, the man standing right there who freakin’ climbed El Capitan without ropes! It was infuriating, and ruined what should have been a wonderful moment.

I’m glad they won the Oscar, because their film-making really deserved it. But diversity rhetoric is becoming increasingly nauseating. We get it already. Diversity is our strength. But can you please shut up about it from time to time? Because the center of your movie was a white male climber who accomplished a great victory completely on his own. Why not start by thanking him? Or better yet, let him say something?

PS Are there any exceptions to "diversity is our strength"? How about the Native Americans welcoming the Europeans?

Coram_Loci said...

Rich, if you want exceptions to “diversity is our strength” or if our just want to think about it from a different angle, then try Jonathan Haidt's book: The Righteous Mind.

Diversity comes at a price. Learning and trusting people who are unlike you is not a cost-free exercise. People tend to treat members of their in-group better then members of the outgroup. No surprise there. But the quantity or quality of that better treatment might be superior to how the diverse group treats its members. In-group fraternity doesn’t breed just xenophobia and fear, it habituated or primes the pump for do-goodery that can later spill over to the outgroup.

Professor Haidt explains it better.