7 memorable Oscars moments

By , on February 29, 2016


Chris Rock, host of the 88th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo courtesy of The Oscar)
Chris Rock, host of the 88th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo courtesy of The Oscar)

A little help from dad:

Host Chris Rock gave his daughters a boost with their Girl Scout Cookie sales by dispatching a team of Los Angeles-area Girl Scouts through the Dolby Theatre selling cookies to the gathered glitterati. An unfair advantage bestowed by a famous father? Sure, but you’d do the same for your kid if you could. And those enterprising girls collected a quick $65,243.00 for a good cause.

A different group of film fans:

It’s useful to recall that every moviegoer doesn’t glom onto—or even pay attention to—the films recognized by the Academy. To demonstrate that simple truth, Rock, in a pre-taped feature, visited a movie house in Compton, California, where black moviegoers seemed mostly oblivious to the films nominated for this year’s Oscars. Among their own favourites: a film conspicuously overlooked by the Academy, “Straight Outta Compton.”

There must have been a point, but what?:

Many viewers had to be puzzled by a fleeting appearance by actress and conservative Fox News personality Stacey Dash, who was jokingly introduced by Rock as director of the Oscar’s minority outreach program. Dash strode onstage to say, “I cannot wait to help my people out. Happy Black History Month!” Suggested assignment: Discuss among yourselves the intended point of the joke, which laid an egg with the audience.

He would not be thwarted:

Alejandro G. Inarritu had an important point to make about inclusiveness (“to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and this tribal thinking”), and he meant to make it during his acceptance remarks as best director for the survival epic “The Revenant.” Boldly he pushed through the rude hurry-up music, with its intimating chosen tune: Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”

A standing o and a plea to save the planet:

After four past nominations, Leonardo DiCaprio finally scored an Oscar as best actor for his performance in “The Revenant.” He was hailed with a standing ovation, after which he made an impassioned plea for everyone to take action against climate change during possibly the night’s most stirring acceptance speech.

Well-intentioned, but wrong:

Sam Smith received his best-song Oscar for “Writing’s on the Wall” (from “Spectre”) by citing an article he said claimed that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar before him. He was mistaken about that, but it didn’t undermine his call for everyone to “stand together as equals one day.”

That’s what Google is for:

Jared Leto’s tossed-off mention of the term “merkin” (with a sidelong glance at Margot Robbie, his fellow presenter for best production design) may have drawn a blank with many viewers. Those among them who flocked to search engines (or even a dictionary) swiftly learned that a merkin is, um, a pubic wig. The next step for many of those curious souls: un-learning what a merkin is.