Tina Fey and pals brilliantly open Oscars — but don’t call them hosts!
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Hmmmm, maybe the Oscars don’t really need a host after all.
For the first time in 30 years, the Academy Awards were without a host, and what do you know, the whole handing-out-trophies thing works just as well with a Disembodied Voice introducing the presenters.
Now, if they could just drop the tradition of showing trailer snippet clips from all of the nominated films. If you don’t know what “A Star Is Born” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” is about by now, you’re probably not watching the Oscars.
My favorite moments from the telecast included Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry outfitted in ludicrously over-the-top costumes while presenting the best costume award. They should win an award for their costumes.
I also loved the entrance by Keegan-Michael Key, who descended from the rafters into the audience with a slow twirl while holding an umbrella, before he introduced Bette Midler singing “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns.” (The Divine Miss M was, well, divine.) The entrance was pulled off with such sly style it almost seemed to take the crowd by surprise.
Another highlight: Chicago’s own Jennifer Hudson delivering a powerful and moving performance of “I’ll Fight,” from the documentary “RGB.”
And kudos to the Academy for honoring the costumes and the production design from “Black Panther.” Well-deserved wins.
And for not being hosts, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph sure did a fantastic job of giving us a glimpse of how great they would have been if they had hosted the 91st Annual Academy Awards.
The opening moments also featured a Queen (Latifah) digging Queen. And also, best supporting actress!
Yes, the opening moments were a little bit confusing, a little bit inspiring, a little bit political — and more than a little bit funny, thanks to the jokes from Rudolph, Poehler and Fey.
“We are not the hosts … and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” cracked Rudolph, giving us the first but most probably not the last political commentary of the evening.
Fey: “Hey, everybody look under your seats, you’re all getting one of those cheese sandwiches from the Fyre Festival!”
LOVED those three. Let’s sign ‘em up for the 92nd Annual Academy Awards!
Before the trio of comedic stars took the stage, we got a “cold open” featuring the Adam Lambert-fronted Queen performing “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” which appeared to be a big hit with Queen Latifah, Lady Gaga and even Glenn Close, judging from the cutaway shots of the star-studded crowd.
But by the time we got to the “Champions” segment of the truncated anthem, just about everyone in the audience had taken their seats.
Hey. It’s not easy to stand in those shiny dress shoes. And it’s even tougher on the women, ba-dum-bum.
Sandwiched between Queen and Fey/Poehler/Rudolph, we were shown a montage of characters from various 2018 films reciting inspirational lines of dialogue.
It all worked pretty well — as did the decision to present best supporting actress and best documentary before the first commercial break.
It’s still doubtful the Oscars will clock in at less than three hours, but at the halftime mark (12 out of 24 awards presented), things were moving along at a relatively well-paced clip.
And for the most part, the Academy was getting things right.
For the most part.