What, no slap?

By Henry Shorr

Another year, another Oscars ceremony. I tuned in, patiently waiting for another scandal and to my surprise, the biggest controversy seemed to be the change in the color of the carpet.

Yes, for some reason the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences decided to change the ubiquitous red carpet to a “champagne” carpet. Apparently, the change was made so that the orange tent set up for potential weather changes didn’t clash with the red carpet. 

I just wish someone had told the nominees’ stylists.

So many people wore beige, cream, saffron and champagne-colored outfits; it was like watching heads and arms float to interviewers. Stars including Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Yeoh, Florence Pugh and many others seemed to, unfortunately, blend into their surroundings. Jamie Lee Curtis had the best tweet of the night about the situation.

Once the ceremony began, the evening seemed to run a bit smoother. Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue heavily touched on the antics of the previous year’s event. 

“If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and permitted to give a 19-minute-long speech,” Kimmel said.

Honestly, it was a great monologue. He was reverent and cutting in the best ways.

Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Frasier, two actors from a classic movie from my childhood, “Encino Man,” both won Oscars. That is a sentence I never thought I would get to write.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” was the big winner of the night. The movie won 7 awards, including Best Actress, Best Directing and Best Picture. 

It also swept the Best Supporting Actor/Actress categories, in which Jamie Lee Curtis FINALLY won a statue (even if Stephanie Hsu carried EVERY scene she was in for that movie). 

I saw some people online upset about Kimmel, asking Malala Yousafzai if she thought Harry Styles really spit on Chris Pine, but come on. She’s at the Oscars, what did she expect out of someone like Kimmel in that situation? Her answer was perfect, though. Yousafzai said, “I only talk about peace.” Which, in a cheeky way, may have actually been an answer to Kimmel’s question.

My biggest gripe of the night is my perennial gripe: Why don’t women, and women of color more specifically, get nods for anything besides acting? The biggest non-protected category win for a woman was Sarah Polley (who also directed the movie) for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing “Women Talking.” 

There were so many great movies directed by women last year — my two favorites being “The Woman King” and “Till.” For none to get a Best Director nod, and the fact that this is a perennial issue, will continue to be a soapbox I stand on.

The biggest issue with this, to me, is while the Oscars may just seem to the outsider like a night where Hollywood pats itself on the back (which it is), it has serious career implications for those involved. 

Industry members who are nominated and win get huge boosts to their standings in the movie business, and the fact that the academy continues to prop up men can only be seen by me as a way to keep the cycle of men in power in the movie business.

All in all, the presenters did a great job, the speeches were not too long, and even still the show ran for three and a half hours. I think the world is happier when there is less drama at the Oscars.