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The Farr Side: Oscar observations

David T. Farr
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Daily Comet

The 92nd Academy Awards featured some outstanding musical performances, some notable acceptance speeches and good humor.

A few takeaways.

Regina King, Renee Zellweger and Jane Fonda all looked stunning. Fonda embraced the gray hair for the first time in 82 years. It boggles my mind to know she is that old.

I would like Tom Hanks even if he sold vacuums door-to-door. He’s an all-around nice guy.

Janelle Monáe and Billy Porter opened the show. I found their creative dance sequences and upbeat lyrical number entertaining. Judging from the audience members’ reaction, they enjoyed it, too.

“Joker” was the heavily favored movie to beat. The film went into the Oscars with 11 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor. Several films had multiple nominations, as well: “Bombshell,” “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story,” “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” and “Parasite.”

Laura Dern picked up her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “Marriage Story” and Brad Pitt nabbed his second statuette for Best Supporting Actor in “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.” Each gave a wonderful acceptance speech poignant to the moment.

Renee Zellweger has long been a favorite actress of mine. I was thrilled to see her Best Actress win for her uncanny portrayal of Judy Garland in the biopic “Judy.” This movie was awesome. I love to see true stories played out, especially when the actor/actress can capture the essence of the person they are portraying. She became Judy.

Joaquin Phoenix is an interesting man. His incredible performance in “Joker” made him a shoo-in for Best Actor. His acceptance speech was one of the most interesting speeches I’ve encountered. He sounded like he was just babbling at first, then it started to make some crazy kind of sense. He made you have to think, which only helps me to understand a little more how his mind operates - kind of like The Joker.

While the awards were being divided up among all the big nominated Hollywood films,“Parasite” seemed to come out of nowhere and throw a wrench into the show. It won four major awards, including Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film (South Korea), Best Director for Bong Joon-ho and the night’s biggest honor for Best Picture. “Parasite” rewrote the history book; A foreign film had not won Best Picture prior to this.

The 45-second rule was not enough time for many in the audience when the telecast producers started turning down the lights to bring the show to a close, as cast and crew were saying their thank-you’s. Tom Hanks and Charlize Theron began shouting “turn the lights back on” while waving their arms for the curtain to go back up. When someone like Hanks tells you to do something, well, you just do it.

I wasn’t sure how I’d like the Oscars without a host, but I did. Memorable hosts through the years include Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. I’ve always enjoyed them, too. But, it almost seems that in recent years its taken away from the show or it came with a recurring theme. Martin and Rock did appear but for a brief comedic stint that drew a few laughs.

David T. Farr can be reached at farrboy@hotmail.com.