Oscars 2015: The Year of the Blunder

My Oscars 2015 rundown:

Blunder #1: Leaving Joan Rivers out of the In Memoriam list. Do you people not understand where your bread is buttered? She and her 20 years of snarky fashion commentary lavished so much attention on your event, and made the red carpet the thing we wanted to see, that you should be carrying roses to her grave every day.

She qualified, having had 38 acting credits in her 63 year career (according to People magazine, and they should know), not to mention being the subject of a documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.  In fact, in solidarity with Joan, we should probably all go out and get that movie today. If there’s anything to this afterlife idea, she was definitely watching and spitting fire at being left out.  I bet she’d appreciate our memoriam. I wonder if she liked Gwyneth Paltrow's dress.

Not to mention another tough old broad (I use that term only in respect and admiration) who was overlooked, Elaine Stritch.

Blunder #2: Letting John Travolta out of the cage he probably needs to be kept in given his grabby leering, face-handling, out-of-his-boundaries conduct. Whether he is just trying to counter gay rumors by impersonating a lecherous lady killer, or trying to embarrass his wife Kelly Preston, he came out altogether creepy. First, he accosted Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet, trying to enclose her in a hug, putting his hands on her tiny waist and zooming in for a kiss. She was a victim, not a participant in that encounter. Ick.

Then, in a bit with Idina Menzel (who maybe should be happy that he butchered her name last year because everyone else now does actually know her name, which is good because I saw her on Broadway last year in If/Then and she was amazing) onstage in front of everybody, while he was supposed to be good-naturedly accepting the ribbing, he decided it was a good idea to take control of her chin and position it so he could plant a juicy kiss. Double ick.

Seriously, both women could have justifiably given him a corrective maneuver of some sort. I don’t condone violence, but perhaps a good talking-to. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the limo taking Mr. and Mrs. home at the end. Or maybe I would have – that’s probably when the talking-to occurred. Anyway, next year they should keep him caged up. No third chances. And someone might want to look into his overall fitness for duty. He flies around big airplanes.

Blunder #3: Dakota Johnson and her mom Melanie Griffith going public with their mother-daughter conflict over the former’s racy role in 50 Shades of Gray in a red carpet moment. That must have been another awkward limo ride. Rule #1: Don’t swear at your mother, in public at least. Rule #2: Don’t go along with your daughter to the Oscars if you can’t keep your mouth shut about her choices. I’m sure she could have found a date, especially now.

Others will write about the wonderful moments. My favs: screenwriter Graham Moore’s encouragement to young people to hang on until their weirdness finds its expression in adulthood, Lady Gaga killing it in a Sound of Music tribute to Julie Andrews who loved it, J.K. Simmons reminding everyone with a parent around to call them.

Usually, I squirm for the songs to get done, but this year was different. Tim McGraw singing “I’m Not Going to Miss You,” the song Glen Campbell left behind on his descent into Alzheimer’s Disease, and of course, John Legend and Common’s “Glory” might have been my favorite moments of all. This year, the Oscars had heart.


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