The 95th Oscars recap through tweets …

Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s because this is the first time since Moonlight that my favorite film of the year won Best Picture. Maybe it’s just the continued devolution of rhetoric and tribalistic community on for-profit social media sites. I don’t know. But this year was the first year that I’ve been scrolling through tweets to compile an Oscars recap where I wasn’t laughing. Because the jokes weren’t funny. They weren’t even mean. They were gatekeep-y. They were told with the premise that the teller knew what good cinema was and anyone who disagreed didn’t. That they were stupid. That they didn’t understand what real cinema was. And whether my thinking this fact is a result of them shifting towards that mindset or me shifting away from it—the night proved very disappointing as a result.

Not that the production did too much to change my mind. Between Jimmy Kimmel having a horrible batting average on laughs (even before the misguided Q&A with the audience) and all the close-ups that made me wonder if there was even a stage when a Best Song nominee wasn’t being performed, it was all quite staid. Built to be non-confrontational. Built to sell advertisements: yes, Disney, who owns ABC, shoehorned in presenters to deliver a trailer for The Little Mermaid that they didn’t let the Dolby Theatre watch. I used to work for a magazine. We had to post disclaimers on all pages that looked like editorial but weren’t to not get sued. Disney just gets to do what they want. Thankfully they at least let every category be televised live. Because, Jimmy, those shorts aren’t making the show any longer than Best Director or Lead Actor or any other award despite your callous joke. They’re just as deserving of their allotted time as the rest and never should have been removed to begin with.

Everything Everywhere All At Once was the big winner as everyone everywhere expected. All Quiet on the Western Front did give us a scare, though, once it started picking up steam during the middle portion of the program. But it didn’t seem to matter to Film Twitter since they seemed pissed about both. Sorry, but if you’re hate-watching the show and still getting mad when the two films that were expected to win big do (All Quiet getting all those nominations as a foreign film showed it was going to do well), maybe you’re the problem? Be angry about a fatphobic movie like The Whale winning for being fatphobic (The Academy does love a fat suit). Don’t be so mad the artists you disparage as “mid” won what everyone assumed they would win and start making things personal by attacking the fans of those artists rather than the art itself.

It ended up a night of comebacks with Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Fraser winning. Michelle Yeoh finally got recognized. Jamie Lee Curtis was by far the weakest in her category, but how can you be mad at her for winning? And while Sarah Polley was my favorite in Adapted Screenplay, I’m still shocked The Academy agreed. Especially when you had the first orchestra mic cut of the night happen when a woman was about to thank people after her male co-winner finished only to subsequently have multiple male pairs be given time for both to speak.

Congrats to Ruth E. Carter for making history as the first Black woman to ever win a second Oscar. (95 years and she’s the first. Think about that.) Congrats to heartwarming moments like the An Irish Goodbye team spending their time singing Happy Birthday to James Martin. We need more of that. More spontaneity in general. If that means getting off broadcast TV, so be it. Go to a streamer that’s willing to take chances because those who want to watch will follow. Sticking to ABC isn’t winning new Oscar fans. Neither is producing boring/safe shows.

Let Oscar winners The Daniels direct next time. Have Jennifer Coolidge host—since their last collaboration was so much fun. Make it a celebration instead of a tired roast. Pretend like you actually like cinema being that you’re the institution that makes cinema and maybe the film personalities I follow on Twitter will start acting as though they like it again too. Until then, I think I’m going to retire this exercise. Might just watch the Oscars next year. Novel, I know.

Artistic Goodness

Opening Monologue

Best Animated Feature

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Documentary Feature

Best Live Action Short

Best Cinematography

David Byrne and Stephanie Hsu sing “This Is a Life”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Best Costume Design

Best International Feature

Best Documentary & Animated Shorts

Lady Gaga sings “Hold My Hand”

Best Production Design

Best Score

Best Visual Effects

Audience Q&A

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Sound

Best Song

In Memorium

Best Editing

Best Director

Best Lead Actor

Best Lead Actress

Best Picture

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