This past Sunday the award season closed out as it always does with the most visible event, The Oscars. Not just any Oscar’s – the 90th annual Oscar’s, meaning it took 90 years to nominate lady crew members, wth? With that, Jimmy Kimmel did it again, not really again, he did better this year than last – presenting the right amount of offense and taking the right risks. Highlighting the unnecessary opulence in the Swarovski crystals lining the stage. Taking a second to playing on the….incident of last year’s Best Picture. Then making us chuckle through the night giving incentives to those with short speeches. Shout out to Helen Mirren for the Vanna White portrayal.
Kimmel took jabs at men at all times and big upped Black Panther – Good on you Kimmel, you played it risky/safe making the night enjoyable and just a little uncomfortable. Kinda like you’ve been sitting in a relatively comfortable chair for a while and then hours in your butt starts to hurt – that level of necessary discomfort.
I fell in love with the moviegoers at the TCL Chinese theater who were surprised by uber famous, uber rich celebs while attending a sneak peek of A Wrinkle in Time. Kimmel felt it right to personally provide a gesture of thanks to the actual people who pay their salaries… With all the problematicness of it, I have increasingly loved these random acts more and more. He thanks the moviegoers, that’s me! They rope me in with these moments, maybe its cuz I’m a dreamer, or an empath, or I just easily fall for the hype. I feel so excited when these imaginary class walls are breached, even if it’s a display of privilege and fame at work, that is what this night is about! And ummm – if Mark Hamill handed me a pack of gummy bears at the movies, I’d literally blue ghost. That said, here are some other highlights of the night that had me rolling, excited, and just proud.
5. Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph get the Oscar for best presenters
First off, this duo comes to the stage and I’m like oh – kind of an unlikely pair, but why did I not think of this? Then they proceed to give me what I need. Playing back and forth off each other in their distinct ways, but it works so well. Holding white fragility in the grit of their teeth. “When we walked out here, I know what you are thinking – are the Oscars too Black now?” Playing up a satire I love so much. Then reassuring the audience, “don’t worry, there are so many more white people to come tonight.” So true! They talk about the white people backstage running the show, the white people on headsets and with clipboards.
I just needed these moments in a night where it almost felt like all the POC radiant beauty was present on the red carpet but not on the ballot. The best part was they were presenting one of the most serious and impactful categories I had ever seen. When they showed the clips of the nominees, I felt my heartstrings twang and tears well up. How dare they cut to Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish Nene-ing! But I get it, levity at these times can be right. If we don’t see a Haddish/Rudolph movie after this, it will be a missed opportunity.
4. Black People Showing Up and Showing Out on the Red Carpet
The Oscars may feel good about itself for not being TOTALLY white – I’m not the one to celebrate mediocrity, like I said, most the melanin was on the red carpet and presenting awards than getting them. BUT I ain’t mad at the way we stunt. Mary J celebrated Mary J in a regal white gown that was like “yea I’m nominated for 2 Oscars in 2 different categories.” Get Out star, Betty Gabriel looking like a shooting star descending from above that neckline plunge yes! Lupita, Danai, and Winston Duke roll up looking like Shuri makes vibranium red carpet wear. Atlanta and Get Out star Lakeith Stanfield looking dapper as always – plus his personality just makes him attractive to me. And Daniel Kaluuya dressing like, I don’t need Oscar, Oscar needs me.
3. The MVP of the Night was Groundbreaking Ladies and Mexico, Mexico, Mexico, – viva Mexico!
Emma Stone pulled a Natalie Portman introducing the best Director category as, “ These four men and Greta Gerwig.” I feel like that sub had layers, five dolla foot long layers – saying these men ain’t ish and – really first time? 90 years?? For a nomination?! And then she ain’t win it… I guess doors were cracked open and we got to peep in – so next time let’s take it off the hinges.
Shape of Water sweeping the night, Guillermo grinning like a kid in a candy store. I won’t lie he was the cutest and pretty inspiring. People always say follow your dreams at these things but…I truly believe him. Congrats Guillermo! Then Coco! If you haven’t seen Coco get on it! It’s a beautiful story, expertly animated, and not whitewashed. Sad we gotta celebrate when our movies haven’t been colonized… I take a quote from Kumail Nanjiani who said something along the lines of – you can handle celebrating a story from another culture, I do it every day. Viva Mexico for real.
2. Frances McDormand – Taking the Gold and Demanding Inclusion Riders
Frances did it again! Beating out Streep, that alone is like an Oscar and a half. You know I love Streep, who doesn’t – even if you didn’t, you gotta honor the skill – the mastery of craft! Anyways Frances got up there and gave a speech only she can give, intense and unique. Sometimes when she talks I feel like there’s an inside joke that She didn’t actually laugh at but keeps bringing up without cracking a smile. And I’m like what happened, was it a joke or….something else?
What I do know is she did the damn thang in Three Billboards, I can’t deny. And the Oscars working on their progressiveness switching the best actress in a leading role announcement to go after the leading male (for those who don’t know this is a good shift, more anticipation for the audience sort of saving the best for last kinda thing.) In her glorious moment Mcdermott says “inclusion rider” asking that actors add clauses within their contracts that require a certain level of diversity within the cast and crew for them to be involved. I am about this, It’s already in my rider lol!
1. Jordan Peele Shaping History
When I first saw a trailer for this film, I was innocently scrolling through Facebook, it was a random ad that popped up on my feed. I clicked it and swear tears ran out my eyes for no reason, I was like wth is this? And then it said Jordan Peele and I was like oh it’s a comedy. This man has outdone himself, the biggest come up ever. Making the most off of a debut film ever, getting nominations for a horror film, disrupting the Oscars in the best way possible with f*#@in Talent.
They didn’t even know how to categorize it but knew it needed to be there. His speech was everything, speaking about the pressures that we put on ourselves because its an industry we don’t believe will ever accept us and thanking the people who innovate outside of that and say yes to these films. Congratulations on Best Original Screenplay win! After all of the talk – we didn’t expect that the Oscars would actually give Get Out/em> what it deserves and I was so pleasantly surprised. Of course we want more, we will have more, but I gave a warm-hearted slow clap for this achievement.
In the end, what is diversity and inclusion? Don’t know if the Academy has a company development department, but an all staff training may be in order. I am proud of those I see making pathways and cuz of them – we’ll get there, we will.