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The Headless Oscars

A funny thing happened on the way to this year's Oscars being a disaster -- they were... fine? Despit
First Draught
The Headless Oscars
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #155 • View online
A funny thing happened on the way to this year’s Oscars being a disaster – they were… fine? Despite the fact that there was no actual host of the event, the awards almost seemed to flow better than if there were one! I can’t tell if this is because most hosts suck, or because they’re entirely superfluous. I think it’s the latter. And, in fact, having no host just allowed Hollywood to showcase more talent for the various interludes, which seems like a win/win and kept things moving. Might there never be another host?!
And guess what? Ratings were up! Well, from last year. Which was historically bad. This year was still pretty awful from that perspective, but this is likely just the new norm. Maybe some years get spikes when massive movies are up from a large number of awards – think: Titanic – but award shows are increasingly a silly vestige of years gone by. Sure, in some ways, they’re better with Twitter and the like augmenting the viewing experience, but that’s for a smaller subset of the audience that used to watch.
Anyway, a few other quick thoughts on the show:
  • People are upset about the Green Book win, but it was probably always inevitable. There was no real front-runner this year. Green Book felt like it won by default.
  • Yes, it’s sort of felt like the year Crash won, but come on, Crash was so much worse than every other movie nominated that year – Green Book isn’t in that class.
  • It seems pretty clear that Roma should have won this year, but many voters obviously had apprehension about voting for a Netflix movie, as some view it as sealing their fate.
  • The fact that Roma was a foreign language film gave voters an easy out – it could and did win that category.
  • Beyond Roma, Black Panther and A Star is Born seemed like clear 1a and 1b choices. But the former undoubtedly got dinged for being a superhero movie – albeit a great one! – and the Academy already backtracked on the “Popular Film” category. The latter was not just a remake, but a remake of a remake.
  • Yes, Bohemian Rhapsody won the Golden Globe, but come on, the movie is not Best Picture material at the Oscars. It’s fine (though some people hate it!). Far from great.
  • Speaking of, I am glad that John Ottman won for best editing of that film – the director was famously fired mid-way through and they still made a coherent end product that was nominated for many awards! That’s quite the achievement.
  • Rami Malek’s acceptance speech was great in how clear and polished it was. You normally don’t see that.
  • More usual is Olivia Colman’s type of speech – which was also great; genuine surprise and excitement. (Poor Glenn Close.)
  • Spike Lee’s speech was also in the latter camp, but more zany, and fun to see – especially since Samuel L. Jackson got to hand him the award.
  • I don’t know how many Oscars Mahershala Ali will go on to win (this was 2 in 3 years), but I’d be shocked if he doesn’t win at least two more, and at least one in the Best Actor category, before he’s done. Side note: how awesome was it that he resurrected True Detective this year? What a year!
  • I can’t believe they didn’t utilize Lin-Manuel Miranda during the Mary Poppins song – even if just to dance around as the chimney sweep while Bette Midler sang! I still think he would have made for a great host.
  • Speaking of, while again, I’m on board for no host going forward, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey could certainly sway me. That was a great moment. We’re not worthy.
  • The Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga performance was indeed amazing. Great touch to have them walk out of their seats in the front row to take the stage and go right into it. A meme is born!
  • Back to Roma, this stat is just incredible: Mexican directors have won 5 of the last 6 Best Director Oscars – Alfonso Cuarón twice and Alejandro González Iñárritu twice – and for six very different types of movies.
  • I’m glad they let Cinematography continue to get an award on stage. Lol.
  • So many great GIFs.
Drinking: a Mikkeller Paradise Pils 🍻

Nintendo Whiplash
I have a few Nintendo-related links I’ve been saving up over the past couple of months, so I thought I’d group them together here. The health/future of the company is always one of the most divisive topics (second perhaps only to Apple), and I enjoy the debates, but the whiplash over good news/bad news continues unabated.
How Reggie Became A Nintendo Legend
Nintendo Working on a Mini Switch
Nintendo Switch Will Pass the N64 in Sales
Why Nintendo Abandoned Its Health Plans
Apple’s Next Big Move? It Should Buy Nintendo
500ish Words
All Your Subscriber Base Belong To Us
The Apple Bank
A Giphy To Go
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M.G. Siegler

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