Please enjoy this, shall we say, sideways look at the 2019 Academy Awards

Ali Gray

25th February 2019

I didn't watch the Oscars. Might as well admit that now, right off the bat. I have kids and I'm just coming off the back of an exhausting weekend in Peppa Pig World, so staying up all night to watch Bohemian Rhapsody win the award for Best Editing wasn't particularly high on my agenda if I'm being honest, nor would it have been if I was lucid. Come to think of it, I've never stayed up to watch the Oscars. Is that weird? I just really value my sleep. Besides, I have Twitter. I have the internet. I get it. I've seen the pictures. I'm familiar with the big talking points so I'm qualified to discuss them and cast a 'wry eye' over the night's proceedings, like Alan Coren or Doonesbury or some shit.

Rami Malek fell off the Oscars stage AND THERE IS NO FOOTAGE

I find this to be quite unbelievable and perfectly unacceptable. A man - no, not just a man, the winner of Best Actor, and arguably one of the world's most famous men at this point in time - took a step off the world's biggest stage and absolutely ate shit and there is no video coverage of it at all. How has this happened?

Every year something, for want of a better word, 'viral' happens at the Academy Awards. An endearing faux pas. A facial expression. A popular Hollywood star showcasing a hitherto unseen vulnerability. You know the kind. A few years ago Jennifer Lawrence sort of fell a little bit up some stairs on the way to collect her Oscar and it was the funniest thing the world had ever seen, an actual proper hilarity, people were doing big belly laughs and forwarding gifs to their grandma, and she didn't even fall over properly, she just tripped up a step. Rami Malek FELL OFF THE ENTIRE DAMN STAGE. He basically vanished. He ceased to be. He Bryan Singered himself out of the picture.

The Oscars are televised. The entire world basically grinds to a halt when they're on TV, and the show is syndicated around the globe. Attendees include the most beloved actors, actresses, celebrities and musicians in their respective fields. Coverage is near total, spanning film, music, fashion, technology and culture. Yet a man – famous actor Rami Malek, star of a hugely popular and controversial movie that grossed $800 million last year – chose this occasion to futz right off the stage there. Imagine the gifs that decent video coverage could have provided. The best reaction gifs. The best you've ever seen, in pin-sharp HD visuals. You could have seen the sweat pouring down Malek's forehead before he even hit the ground. I weep for what could have been. This is the sort of stuff that kept Denis Norden in work for decades.

The only footage that was captured was two seconds of cameraphone video from some rando on-stage. I'll admit, even in this form, the fall is extremely hilarious, almost as hilarious as the fact that Rami Malek fell off the stage so hard he had to be attended to and checked for concussion by EMTs WHILE THE OSCARS WERE STILL HAPPENING.

I have watched this clip 950 times already today.
Green Book won Best Picture and people are Green SHOOK

Yeah, don't have much to say on this other than that, no, obviously I haven't seen Green Book yet, so I am unable to offer much in the way of commentary. I will say that it seemed obvious to me that Academy voters would absolutely embrace a movie that 'tackles' racism with all the force of an erotic tickle, because there's nothing the 96% of white Academy members like more than congratulating themselves for a job well done.

You know what you're getting with a movie like Green Book – Aragorn learns that black people don't actually like being treated as inferior to whites, and the black piano guy in the back of the car learns that he needs to eat more fried chicken and play more 'urban' music to be accepted by his community. Everybody wins, but especially the director of Dumb & Dumber!

Besides, Green Book's biggest rival was Roma, which was in black and white AND was in a foreign language. Who's got time for that sort of commitment?
Jason Momoa wore a pink velvet suit and I have questions

I quite like looking through galleries of Oscars fashion the day after, a bit like how dogs quite enjoy being shown card tricks - I have absolutely no idea what's happening or what fashion is or what constitutes a "lewk" but I'm just happy to be here, wagging my tail.

One particular ensemble jumped off the page: Jason Momoa, often known as 'The Aqua Man', wore a baby pink velvet suit, and looked amazing. Only very attractive men can get away with wearing velvet suits without conjuring images of Austin Powers, but Momoa managed it, possibly helped by the fact that Austin Powers couldn't summon an army of crabs if his life depended on it.

Question: How does one wear a pink velvet suit, much less to the most high profile evening in the entertainment calendar, without getting it stained? Because believe me, if I am wearing a baby pink velvet suit, that suit has stains on it from minute one, before I'm even in the limousine, before I've even got the trousers on. Sure, I hear you: 'Don't eat anything while you're wearing it'. The Oscars are like four hours long, dude. That's not happening. I can picture myself at the ceremony, sneaking a couple of Heatwave Chilli Doritos during the technical awards, and finding myself trapped in a nightmare scenario whereby I have Dorito dust on my fingers and nowhere to wipe it.

Anyway, if it's not food causing the stains, it's toothpaste, or shoe polish, or the gunk that accumulates around the corners of my kids mouths, or bird shit, or just random grime that's brushed off from some surface or another, or an innocuous dribble of piss - not a big one, not one that'd be visible from the stage, or even one that'd be picked up by cameras, but a piss-stain noticeable enough in person, like I'd bump into Richard E. Grant and he'd take a selfie with me and profess his love for my work and would admire my suit, then I'd see his eyes linger on my crotch, and I'd just know: Richard E. Grant has seen my secret piss stain, and things will be awkward between us for a very long time.

I guess this is why I'm not invited to the Oscars.
The Oscars didn't have a host for the first time ever but I guess everything was fine and nothing matters?

All of the pre-Oscar talk was about how the Academy fucked UPPP by hiring Kevin Hart to host without checking whether or not he held any questionable views re: homosexuality (spoiler: he did). Not having a host was a huge deal. The Oscars had never had no host before. Would the Oscars even work without a host? Was Whoopi Goldberg hosting? Is Billy Crystal also cancelled because he wore blackface that one time when he pretended to be Sammy Davis Jr for reasons that presumably made sense at the time? Host or no host. This is huge.

Then the night came and went. Famous people entered the stage, and some of them left holding awards. Jokes were told. Songs were performed. Names were read. Tears were shed. Everything continued to exist and nothing much really happened at all (except for my aforementioned point about Rami Malek FALLING OFF THE STAGE). What gives?

I'll tell you what this is. This is your office, where you work, when someone in a senior position hands their notice in, and everyone goes 'Oh it's just not going to be the same' and then their leaving do rolls around and everyone goes 'How are we going to cope without you?' and then the first week without that person comes and goes and they don't get replaced and you realise that, actually, they didn't really do all that much, and everyone just kind of gets on with their job, and after a few weeks, it's like that person never existed, in fact, if someone suggested filling that role now, it'd feel weird, pointless, almost wrong, like everything is working fine the way it is, so why spoil it? Also the person that left would rather his kids didn't grow up gay, so fuck that person in retrospect.
Queen? Really? Queen?

Don't get me wrong, I like Queen. Maybe you could even say I love Queen. They are a Very Good Band. Big fan of Greatest Hits, I, II and III. I guess I'm just confused as to why there is a sudden clamour to book Queen for gigs and to talk about Queen's "incredible legacy" and to make everything, all the time, about Queen and only Queen. Surely it can't only be because the guy who made X-Men did a movie about them?

I don't want to be the anti-populist guy who's all like, Urrr, where's the biopic of the lead singer from Neutral Milk Hotel, urrrr, but I feel like a body as purportedly progressive and forward-looking as the Academy should probably have bigger designs than securing 66.6% of the surviving members of the most kickass band of 1982. I caught a glimpse of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprising their Wayne's World shtick and, fuck man, it was just embarrassing, like, that was the best movie-related Queen tribute there is?

It's going to be Elton John next year, isn't it. No one is going to like Rocketman but everyone's going to go three stars and everyone's going to Rami Malek all over Taron Egerton for his "brave" performance playing a gay bald man who occasionally gets so high he falls fully clothed into swimming pools, and we're all going to have to pretend that seeing Taron and Elton perform his admittedly excellent songs together at next year's Oscars is totally epic even though it feels like Elton John has been doing a three-year victory lap on every available screen in the UK and honestly you can't even wipe your arse these days without hearing an Elton John song on the Andrex advert.

In conclusion then: Queen are a good band but the film about them is bad, more on this as it develops.
Breaking news: the awful shit teleprompter bits between the awards are still awful and shit

Again, not to sound like the guy who's all, Urrr, nobody values the screenwriter, urrr so I guess NOBODY wrote this movie, urrrr, but who writes this shit? The straight to camera presenting bits, the awards pre-amble bits, the intros. Godawful, each and every single one of them. Is it one guy? This is a genuine question. Tell me: who writes the dumb little 'fun' intro pieces in the Oscars? I want to know.

Okay, I liked the Tina Fey/Maya Rudolph/Amy Poehler trifecta, because that was quote-unquote humourous and funny and felt like, well, it was written by them. That's why it worked. Because half of the humour of a joke comes from the delivery of that joke and the context of the person who is delivering it. For example, it would not be as funny if, say, Chadwick Boseman told those jokes.

Why, then, on what I am increasingly referring to as The Biggest Night In The Entertainment Calendar, with capitals for emphasis, am I forced to tolerate such first-draft-ass lazy scripting? These are Hollywood stars: show some respect! Example: Emilia Clarke, her from Game of Thrones, introducing a song about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

"A woman who has spent her career at the forefront of the fight against gender discrimination. Khaleesi has nothing on her... If you want to borrow the dragons, ring me!"
What? Sorry, fucking what? Seriously, who is responsible for this shit? I literally cannot begin with how heinous this kind of waffle is, I've been staring at my keyboard for several minutes now trying to put into words why this sort of non-humour is so offensive to me, but I bet that's still more time than the person who wrote these gags spent on it. If it was up to me, this sort of shit would be outlawed from awards ceremonies and punishable by death.
Chris Evans helped Regina King to the stage and I REMAIN SHOOKETH

The bar is so low for men these days. So low. In case you missed this EPIC and OVARY-EXPLODING MEGA-INCIDENT, Oscar-winner Regina King stumbled on her dress slightly on her way to the stage (unlike Rami Malek, who fully fell off the stage, in front of everyone, in case you missed that too) and Chris Evans - whose name I accidentally just typed as 'Christ Evans' and it didn't even feel wrong - swooped in to lend her a stable arm for support, walking her up the steps. NOTHING BUT RESPECT FOR MY PRESIDENT etc.

I'm all for a Chris Evans love-in, a general Chris off, fun with the Chrises, a Chrissical Mass, if you will. It's fun to be objective about men for a change, right lads! But good Christ, we hold our Chrises to a much lower standard than everyone else. Chris Evans held out his arm for a lady to balance herself on, a public display of chivalry that is probably on page 1 of The Big Book Of Being A Gentleman. For example, I offered my seat on the Tube to a pregnant lady last week, but you don't see me being broadcast to tens of million viewers worldwide.

Let's be honest with ourselves: it's just because he's really, really, ridiculously good-looking and popular, isn't it? It's because he's Actual Captain America, isn't it? What about if Hugo Weaving, who played screaming Nazi the Red Skull in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, held a door open for you. That still get you hot? You wouldn't have got anywhere near the same reaction if the movie star doing the chivalry was, say, Mel Gibson, or John C Reilly with his shirt off, would you? No, then it would be a different story, wouldn't it? Admit it, you pig.
Olivia Colman won Best Actress and all is well with the world

You didn't think I'd get through an entire article about the Oscars without mentioning my close and personal friend Olivia Colman, did you? For all of its racial wrong-headedness and Queen worship and Chris fetishising, Oscars 2019 redressed the balance by giving the best actress the Best Actress award, and it helps that the best/Best actress/Actress in this case is Olivia Colman, the official nicest person in the world.

Still, bit miffed she didn't do the rap she told me she'd do, and she didn't shout-out my web address like she said she would either. Bit unprofessional tbh. Fuming tbh.

More:  Oscars
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