THE OSCAR POOL:
Wanna know the results of our pool?
Aaron took home the prize this year, and he had every category right except for Best Original Song. And yes, he plans to use the Billie Eilish theme song that won as a sleep aid for his soon-to-be newborn. In second place, #SpoilerFreeReviews kept it in the family, with Aaron’s mom, Esta, only missing four categories. In third, fourth, and fifth were Tarush, Eli, and Jami respectively. And shockingly, Tavish went from nearly taking home the Oscar Pool trophy last year, to falling to last place to win this year’s Razzie award.
Here are our thoughts organized in order of Oscar pool results.
AARON – Finally, the Oscars are worth watching again!
I’m trying my best not to make a “power of Will” joke in my recap, but it’s so hard not to “hit” it off the stage. In all seriousness, the world needs more love, and regardless of how bad Chris Rock’s joke was about Will Smith’s wife, there’s never an excuse for violence. Why? Because we learned this in 2021’s real best picture, TICK, TICK… BOOM! “Actions speak louder than words.”
So with that blemish out of the way, this show was almost the award show we needed. It worked on several levels until the slap instance. Here’s a quick list of my top three moments of the night:
- CODA – It didn’t just win every category it was nominated in. It deserved it.
- POWER OF THE DOG and DUNE – I loved that DUNE only won in technical categories, and POWER OF THE DOG only won Best Director.
- Amy Schumer’s hilarious comeback – Every time Schumer was on the screen, she impressed with her comedy. She helped make this year’s Oscars worth watching when compared to last year’s “Trainwreck.”
Overall Score: 😊
ESTA – “ART IMITATES LIFE”
The Oscars showed how far we have come and how much farther we have yet to go. We have been bottled and masked for a long time. We are living in a divisive world where tempers flare too quickly. Our brains are currently programmed “to protect.” It seems like we can’t take much more. This was evident with Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock. Will was wrong and should be held accountable for his actions. Physical violence is not the correct response, AND Chris Rock was wrong as well. He learned a valuable lesson about the power of words. They matter and can strike the innocent just as painfully as a slap. We must use this moment as a life lesson. Everyone makes mistakes and fumbles. Some do it in front of millions. How will we, as a people, perceive, accept, and grow forward? This is the golden question of the Oscars.
Whew… with that said, I thought the Oscars made a remarkable comeback. I liked the three hosts. They were sharp and hilarious. Thank you for not interrupting the flow with too many inane skits. I loved the beauty and elegance of the clothes. Bravo for CODA! Well-deserved. I was mesmerized by Kevin Costner’s speech on film and directors. Yes, “film changes lives.” I was enthralled with seeing Sir Anthony Hopkins reiterate how much we need “to love one other.” I saw kindness and grace when Lady Gaga gently whispered to Liza Minnelli, “I got you.” All of us can learn from these three simple words.
Overall Score: 😊
ELI – *Stands on soapbox*
I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was twelve. I’ve endured many Oscar ceremonies were African-American representation was at a bare minimum, if not flat out nonexistent. It’s important to point out that this was a ceremony that opened with Beyonce performing in Compton, had Megan Thee Stallion’s great moment during the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” performance, gave tribute to Sam Jackson for winning the Governor’s award, had Venus and Serena in the audience, gave a shout out to Sidney Poitier in the in memoriam section, and had two vastly underappreciated black women co-hosting the event (and doing a fantastic job of doing so).
This year’s Oscars would have been a celebratory night for those reasons. But now, ALL OF THAT is a COMPLETE non-factor. And it’s because WILL F****** SMITH OF ALL PEOPLE!
Overall Score: 🤮🤮🤮
JAMI – “We could use a bit more love in the world”
I got a massive migraine last night just as the Oscars started and didn’t watch them until this morning. Unfortunately, that meant not checking the news or social media to see what the winners were. So first things first, let’s get “that moment” out of the way. Will Smith walked out with a well-deserved Oscar, and Chris Rock walked out looking like an ass. It’s too bad we can’t time-travel to years past, as I’m sure there were plenty of moments that Ricky Gervais deserved to be slapped over.
I enjoyed Wanda, Amy, and Regina as the hosts, even though the hosts’ job is always so awkward and still was this year. It’s a shame that FLEE didn’t win in any of the nominated categories. SUMMER OF SOUL was great and probably more of a crowd-pleaser than FLEE, but I thought this might be the one place FLEE would win. That said, Questlove’s acceptance speech brought me to tears.
I loved all the CODA wins; I had a feeling it would take Best Picture but was surprised it grabbed Best Adapted Screenplay away from THE POWER OF THE DOG. I thought the latter would take Best Cinematography, but DUNE snuck in there and grabbed that and the technical nods.
Billie Eilish denied Lin-Manuel the EGOT but damn, they nominated the wrong song from ENCANTO. The awards that weren’t televised came off so strange as they cut to folks in the audience clapping and cheering. Knowing that some of the A-List nominated celebrities don’t even take their seats until right before the televised portion, I couldn’t help but wonder if some of them were actually in the audience or just edited that in later. Just present ALL of them, please. At three hours, a few minutes doesn’t matter. At least the show ended positively, and I can’t help but praise the kindness and grace that Lady Gaga showed Liza Minnelli. It choked me up for a second, remembering my mom in her wheelchair in the months before she passed.
If there’s anything we learned from this year’s Oscars, comedians need to stop punching down, and we could all use a bit more LOVE in the world.
Overall Score: 😊
TAVISH – Can we please get back to the movies?
The Oscar Award ceremonies are a moment to recognize and highlight beautiful filmmaking, yet many of the ceremonies in recent years have been about everything but movies. From the MOONLIGHT-LA LA LAND mixup to this year’s “Will Smith” snafu, there seems to be a good reason for the Award’s plummeting ratings.
With that said, this year’s ceremony was entertaining in its own way, sprinkled with its fair share of historic and jaw-dropping moments. Bringing back hosts for the show was a great call; Wanda Sykes rocked every time she was on-screen. Megan Thee Stallion joining in during the performance of “ENCANTO” was a welcome surprise.
And finally, Ariana DeBose’s win in the Best Supporting Actress category, becoming the first queer woman of color to win an Oscar, was a monumental moment for film that made the rest of the messy, three-hour long debacle worth it.
Overall Score: 😊