514 went to the Oscars, but the show sucked

Congrats to the Montrealers who won last night, and even those who didn’t but were lucky enough to attend. Actually, what am I saying? That show was kinda shit.

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Most of Arcade Fire on the red carpet last night

Apart from the nauseating sight of 81-year-old Kim “Why So Serious?” Novak and the borderline offensive Bette Midler performance that followed the In Memoriam segment (that awful song should be cremated along with all those corpses), it was a fairly dull, lacklustre, mediocre Academy Awards show. But that’s the norm, isn’t it?

The Oscars are only fun or even interesting when they bring in an unusual host that alienates most of the crowd, like David Letterman, Jon Stewart or the more recent cluster-fuck of James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Typically, it’s a boring-ass procession of stiffs, awkward banter and desperate grasping for relevance and credibility in the eyes of a younger crowd that probably isn’t watching. That most of the big awards went to the winners of the Golden Globes (an awards show that’s almost invariably more entertaining) made this show all the more boring.

Middle America’s favourite lesbian, Ellen Degeneres, was the host for the second time, and her selfie snap, pizza delivery and harsh jab at Liza Minnelli were highlights of a “meh” job. Far worse were the pointless tributes that dotted the show and helped to make it unbearably long, like the random montage of movie heroes and the anniversary nod to The Wizard of Oz. (Luckily they didn’t do the same for gaudy Civil War melodrama Gone With the Wind, which came out the same year. Would’ve been awkward seeing Mammy up there during a show that feted 12 Years a Slave, no?)

So they had Pink singing “Over the Rainbow” in a ruby dress. Or was that Val Desjardins? Then there were the performances of best song nominees: Pharrell’s “Happy” was fun (but why that hat, again?!) and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig did a sweet rendition of the minimal, cutesy “Moon Song” from Her. Bono & co.’s blah Mandela-movie tune barely deserves mention. But seriously, on what planet would anyone stand to applaud Idina Menzel’s awful performance of “Let It Go” from Frozen? Well, this one, apparently. And the worst song of the lot actually won, too.


Kieran Crilly (right), from Facebook
Kieran Crilly (right), from Facebook

On another note, congratulations to the Montrealers who scored Oscars last night, namely director Malcolm Clarke and producer/cinematographer Kieran Crilly for their documentary short The Lady in Number 6 — you may know Crilly from his work on local productions Who Is KK Downey?, The Fruit Hunters and the recently released Three Night Stand.

Honourable mention goes to Framestore, the U.K. visual effects company (with an outpost right here in Mile End) that got a couple of shout-outs during the show for its work on Gravity, which won six awards last night. The team behind Gravity included Montrealer Chris Lawrence.

Speaking of Gravity, the only non-tech award it received was for Best Score, beating our boys Will Butler and Owen Pallett, who were nominated for their (really Arcade Fire’s) work on Her. About two thirds of the band attended the ceremony, so there’s that.

And for all the love that Dallas Buyers Club received, when its two primary actors were once again awarded for their heroic weight loss, and they mentioned local director Jean-Marc Vallée, he was nowhere to be seen. He was in the room, of course (he was even nominated for editing, under the strange anglicized name John Mac McMurphy, which he chose for himself), but was never shown. I guess the cameras were too busy focusing on the A-list eating pizza. Local actor Marc-André Grondin, who of course starred in Vallée’s breakthrough Quebec film C.R.A.Z.Y., tweeted this photo, replacing every celebrity face in Ellen’s selfie with Vallée’s:


See the winners of our alternative categories in our second annual Academy Rewards survey, here

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