It’s too early to see the ratings for last night’s Oscars, but I suspect that they will be up from last year, at least in the first hour, when everyone tuned in to see what Chris Rock had to say. I hoped that Chris Rock would burn the house down with his opening monologue, but I tried to moderate my expectations. When he finally came out, everything felt… tense. I think Chris was genuinely nervous and honestly, I felt sorry for him – he was never going to make everyone happy, and who says that should have been his goal? He seemed to warm up as he went on, but the first few minutes were BRUTAL. Like, he basically said that in the 1960s, people had “real” problems so they didn’t care about not being represented at all. It’s an unfair comparison – people can have real problems AND still want the Oscars to represent more diversity. You can care about #BlackLivesMatter AND #OscarsSoWhite, I’m just sayin’. Then that conversation morphed into Chris Rock basically telling everyone that yes, of course Hollywood is racist.
— Complex (@ComplexMag) February 29, 2016
Here are some highlights from the 88th Oscars, in no particular order and no, this is not comprehensive, these are just some random thoughts and moments I found interesting. You can see the full list of 2016 Oscar winners here.
The Stacey Dash moment. Stacey Dash was actually there! And it was AWKWARD. Like, was the joke that she doesn’t think there should be a Black History Month and the Academy voters agree with her? Is the joke that she’s too stupid to understand that Chris Rock was making fun of her? Was it a meta moment? Dash posted on her blog about her appearance and I still don’t really get it. Go here to read.
The black-casting spoof. It was AMAZING. Whoopi trying out for Joy was great, but the best moment was Tracy Morgan doing The Danish Girl. That was like… Tracy Morgan just owning the fact that he’s a national treasure. Leslie Jones attacking Leo in The Revenant? Awesome. Chris Rock as the black astronaut that no one wanted to save? Perfect!
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 29, 2016
Mad Max’s technical sweep. Considering how visually thrilling Mad Max was, all of the awards were completely justified.
The Girl Scouts bit. Chris Rock was trying to do some kind of Ellen DeGeneres-esque viral moment, but it sort of worked. Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies (THIN MINTS) and yes, why not sell Girl Scout cookies at the Oscars? The Girls Scouts of America is a great, inclusive and positive organization.
— celebitchy (@celebitchy) February 29, 2016
The Weeknd. He performed his nominated song “Earned It” and he seemed nervous (understandably) at first, but then he warmed up when the Fifty Shades boudoir dancers started gyrating and, like, rolling around spread-eagle. The sh-t?
Jacob Tremblay. The best part of his night was seeing C3PO, R2D2 and BB-8.
— Yahoo Movies (@YahooMovies) February 29, 2016
Mark Rylance’s surprise win. Most people thought Sylvester Stallone had this locked up because of nostalgia, etc. But people underestimated Rylance and he won. He’s considered one of the finest actors across the pond, and I don’t think most people are “upset” about the win, you know?
Chris Rock goes to Compton. I took it as “this is what moviegoers actually talk about” and less about some kind of hardcore racial thing. It was really funny!
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 29, 2016
Joe Biden & Lady Gaga. The Vice President got a standing ovation when he came out to present Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens To You.” As for Gaga’s performance… seriously, I’ve been saying this for months now, but she just seems and sounds so different. I think Gaga has been replaced. A lot of people thought her performance was very powerful.
SAM SMITH WON! Love it. Love everything about it. Love that Gaga lost. Love that Sam Smith dedicated his award to LGBT people around the world. Love that he name-checked Ian McKellen.
Brie Larson & Leo DiCaprio. Everyone knew that they would win, so it was sort of predictable, but I enjoyed seeing both of them unclench a bit and finally enjoy the night at the tail end. Leo came across as rather smug, and Brie came across as somewhat twee, but at that point in the evening, I was genuinely happy for both of them.
The Spotlight/Revenant split. I don’t know why it surprised me but it did – I didn’t think the Academy would give Alejandro Innaritu yet another Oscar (for Directing) and give Spotlight the much-deserved Best Picture. Oh well… I’m happy!
Nice shot huh? pic.twitter.com/9QglfE5KcX
— Liev Schreiber (@LievSchreiber) February 29, 2016
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 29, 2016
Photos courtesy of Chris Rock’s Twitter, Getty.