Esta, Aaron, Jami, Mike, and Tarush from SpoilerFreeReviews individual takes on the Oscars. We each ranked the show and gave our thoughts on this year’s mixed-outing.

Wanna know the results of our pool? As a group, we got 15 out of 23 categories right. Individually, Esta took home the trophy this year by beating Tavish by 1! Not too far behind in 3rd place was Aaron. In 4th was a tie between Jami and Mike. And we won’t mention how many categories Tarush and Justin got wrong as they both took home this year’s Oscar Pool Razzie.

ESTA: I am going out on a limb this year and stating that I liked the Oscars presentation. It was not the same show that we are used to seeing every year. It had different introductions, no movie clips, no major stars singing the nominated songs, no stupid, inane comedy bits before announcing the nominations, and no big, over-the-top opening monologue. Instead, it was more intimate, more down-to-earth, more authentic, and powerful moments. How could the Oscars do the same old routine they always do? It would be impossible and wrong of us to expect it. I was happy we had movies to watch during our year of quarantine. I am grateful the Oscars were able to carry on during such a devasting year. I felt “normal” watching the red carpet and appreciated all the sparkle and glamor.

Some highlights:

  • I loved Angela Bassett’s big, poofy sleeves.
  • Regina king’s starlight blue, that futuristic dress was heavenly.
  • Laura Dern’s shoes were to die for and yes, even the ostrich feathers were amazing on her.
  • The twin, yellow and blue jackets worn by the creators of TWO DISTANT STRANGERS were sharp and heartbreaking. (The inside lining listed the names of people gone due to police violence.)
  • Reese Witherspoon was a hot vision in pink.
  • I loved Glenn Close surprising everyone and dancing her butt off and then seeing her as a regular person blushing profusely after.
  • Tyler Perry‘s words touched my soul. I will try to stand more in the middle of a room. I noticed Brad Pitt’s tears as he watched from the side of the stage.
  • I laughed at Daniel’s sex lesson and his Mom’s reaction.
  • Frances McDormand’s wolf howl was startling but seemed so like her. I was surprised she won and beat Viola and Carey.

I was so disappointed with Chadwick losing. It shocked me even though I adore Sir Anthony’s performance too. I think the producers thought Chadwick would win as well, and that’s why they chose to end with the Best Actor category instead of Best Picture. The closing moments were anticlimactic. Were the Oscars perfect? Of course not. They never are. There was change and that is tough for some. Some very slow acceptance speeches as usual, but overall, I was grateful for the moments of “normalcy.”

See you at the movies!

Overall Score: 😊

AARON: “Oscars 2021 should’ve been an email.”

This was the worst Oscars since the infamous 2011 James Franco and Anne Hathaway pairing. Why? The Steven Soderbergh nauseating camera ruined the fun and excitement. It was a tough year for movies since not as many people could see the nominees on the big screen. Rather than show clips of the best movies, the producers awkwardly decided to give us facts about the nominees. This change brought the energy of the ceremony to a complete standstill.

A quick recap of the limited highlights:

  • Tyler Perry saying “refuse hate”
  • Daniel Kaluuya thanking his “mum and dad for having sex”
  • Chloé Zhao’s tear-inducing comment, “people at birth are inherently good.”

Yet the lowlight was the producers taking a bet that Chadwick would win Best Actor. Instead, it went to Sir Anthony Hopkins. Don’t get me wrong, Hopkins was a revelation in THE FATHER. Yet this was an opportunity for the world to heal the loss of Chadwick and the Oscars blew it more awkwardly than Warren Beatty vs. LA LA LAND / MOONLIGHT.

Overall Score: 🤮

JAMI:  I didn’t watch the whole thing, but from what I saw I really loved the diversity on screen! I think this was the most diverse Oscars yet and that is a great thing! My favorite speech was from Yuh-Jung Youn, who won Best Supporting Actress for MINARI. Her speech was so sweet and pure and I always appreciate a genuinely humbled winner by their experience. I didn’t like Best Picture not being the last award of the night. It was just weird having it announced before the two main acting awards. I’m really disappointed that Chadwick didn’t win for MA RAINEY. Or any of the younger nominees – Riz or Steven would have been great too. Nothing against Sir Anthony Hopkins, but he’s got awards for days. Was nice to see TENET pick up an award, although overall 2020 was a year without a lot of great “effects” films. I didn’t see any of the red carpet but the fashion I did catch inside was great!

Overall I liked the no-host format and the general chill vibe of the night but not having clips from films nominated made it a bit slow and boring.

Overall Score: 😊

MIKE: The only redeeming quality about this boring trainwreck of BS was seeing Glenn Close shake her ass and Yuh-Jung Youn give a terrific and hilarious speech. Apart from that, the intros to every nominee went on WAY too long and there was a severe lack of humor and wit throughout the entire ceremony.

However the most egregious, terrible decision during this show and perhaps Oscar history was to have the show end on a Best Actor award that went to an actor who didn’t even attend, that already has an Oscar for playing a more memorable performance from a more memorable film, while completely snubbing another iconic actor who will never have another shot at winning one as long as he lives, the very year he died. You have GOT to be kidding me!

Also Laura Dern looked like an ostrich. At this juncture, I have no further plans to watch any future Oscar ceremonies after how insanely stupid it was executed overall, and given Academy voters will never seem to change their tired, archaic, ridiculous ways. Thank you and good night!

Overall Score: 🤮

TARUSH: The three worst parts of the Oscars:

  1. The show was clearly planned around a (well-deserved) posthumous award for Chadwick Boseman which didn’t happen, leading to the most awkward and anticlimactic ending to an award’s show I’ve seen.
  2. By getting rid of clips in favor of completely forgettable fun facts about the nominees, the ceremony didn’t really seem like it was about the movies, more the celebrity.
  3. This was the perfect year to have a host. Without one, this already unfamiliar format felt so disjointed and different.

The 3 best parts:

  1. The trending moments: Glenn Close being a walking Wikipedia article about Da Butt and Yuh-Jung Youn’s Oscar speech (and just her whole being).
  2. The venue was incredible. Union Station is such a beautiful, historic location, and although I did miss the familiarity of the Dolby Theater, this location felt right for the gravity of a ceremony like this. It just felt glamorous.
  3. The presenters (except for that guy who did the Best Actor one) were fun and inserted the liveliness and humor the show needed.

Overall Score: 😊

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

Aaron "Dobler" Goldstein

Aaron Goldstein is a Product Manager by day, ludicrous speed content consumer by night. He’s a LA Film School Alumni and TV Academy / Producers Guild of America member. Aaron is a proud parent and dad joke enthusiast.

Jami Losurdo

When not writing film and tv reviews, Jami is expanding her collection of colorful sunglasses, lifting weights, and working her day job as a Digital Advertising Director. An alumnus of NYU Tisch for Film/TV, Jami made Los Angeles her home in the early 2000s and continues her quest to find the very BEST tacos of all time.

Mike Manalo

Born a Slytherin. Baptized into Marvel. Bitten by a Radioactive DC fan. And raised a Jedi, Mike Manalo is a silent guardian, a watchful protector… a Dark Nerd!

Tarush Mohanti

Tarush Mohant is a playlist curator and music explorer, the creator of illussongs (illustrations of songs), and has a fitness plan motivated by action movies (running, climbing, swimming, hiking).

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