I’m not sure there’s anything to be said about last night’s Oscars that can’t be said by this picture of Joan Crawford asleep with her Oscar, which is to say: Zzzz.
It wasn’t that the Oscars were terrible. Patricia Arquette won, and she spoke about how to make the world a more just place. Julianne Moore won, and the world became a more just place. Neil Patrick Harris dutifully tried to keep some awfully regrettable material afloat. At least it wasn’t James Franco, part don’t. Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music melody was really great, even if it wasn’t performed in a bratwurst dirndl. And then there was John Travolta, who was killing it last night…possibly literally. Seriously, if John Travolta asks you to help him move some furniture into a van, just tell him you’ve got a hunky masseuse appointment to attend and run, girl, run! He’ll totally understand.
That said, it’s awfully rich that the Academy Awards trotted out Ben Affleck to quote Frank Capra:
There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.
If dullness is the cardinal sin, the Oscars might want to consider an act of contrition.
Added to that, last night’s broadcast felt haunted by the accusations of racism lobbed at the Academy, so I guess Crash‘s 2006 Best Picture win didn’t eracism after all. And then there’s the conundrum of Graham Moore, winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game and a newly Notable Not Gay.
I am, of course, all for inclusiveness in the LGBTQ community and its allies, and I’m not interested in speculating about Mr. Moore’s sexuality. For the sake of this argument, he is as he identifies. Nevertheless, it’s a bummer to watch someone interject themselves into the tragic narrative of queer teen suicide onstage, only to backpedal into heterosexuality in the press room. It’s a bummer because amidst such a touching and earnest sentiment comes the reminder that our stories and histories aren’t necessarily ours to tell.
It’s a small slight, for sure, but maybe it’s fitting. If the Oscars reminded us of one thing this year, it’s just how much progress in equality we still need.