The 2020 Oscars From An OWG Perspective

The 2020 Oscars offered something for everyone. Since you can’t please all the people all the time, my radio mind wondered what age audience the producers were trying to reach. There was rap music, which everyone in the theatre seemed to enjoy except Director Martin Scorcese, who looked confused like me. There was humor, but it wasn’t over the top. There were touching moments, like the tribute to Kobe Bryant and Kirk Douglas. I actually thought the Academy could have done more than have Tom Hanks yell, “I’m Spartacus” at the end of his presentation, although the annual “In Memorium” segment was tastefully done with an acoustic performance of “Yesterday.” And for once, the Academy didn’t rush the acceptance speeches this year.

There were many flaws in the telecast though. I know why, but I don’t know why the actors are allowed to turn their stage time into a political platform. You never know what Joaquin Phoenix is going to say. He lost me when he started talking about milk being taken from cows for our cereal and coffee when their calves often starve to death. I’m going to have to see the stats on that one.

I also thought Joaquin, who won the Oscar for Best Actor in his role as the Joker, was going to set a new record for rambling on stage. It turns out his time of four minutes, eleven seconds was twelve seconds shy of the longest acceptance speech in the history of the Oscars, set by Greer Garson when she won the Best Actress award in 2002.

Another flaw happened when Randy Newman started playing the piano with no introduction and no graphics on the screen. I thought it was Randy, but I hadn’t seen him in twenty years and so I needed confirmation.

Elton John wasn’t introduced either but everyone should know him. He and Bernie Taupin won an Oscar for writing the music to the movie, “Rocketman.” I guess I need to see “Parasite”, it won four Academy Awards, including “Best Motion Picture of the year”. And Bong Joon Ho picked up an Oscar for “Director Achievement.”

The length of the telecast was three hours and thirty-two minutes, so they went thirty-two minutes long. I’ll give this year’s Oscars a grade of B. Take out the politics and give credit where credit is due (Kirk Douglas) and we’re talking A. I might even watch next year.