Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” performance

Eminem performed his 2002 smash hit “Lose Yourself” at the Oscars Sunday night and I didn’t know why. I thought that maybe I had missed something crucial, like an introduction or any sort of rationale for what was happening. But I got none. And it took reading a CNN article days later to find some semblance of an explanation. 

Ever since the Academy made the decision to rid itself of a lead host, I’ve felt that something was missing. But it took me until this Eminem performance to figure out what that was. What’s missing is the cringe factor, something to laugh at that makes the ceremony more than a dreary procession of award-giving by hosts we see too little of to invest ourselves in. The absurdity of bringing “Lose Yourself” into 2020, let alone into the actual Academy Awards, along with the brilliant reactions from Billie Eilish, Idina Menzel and Martin Scorcese, reminds me of how seriously the Oscars has begun to take itself. And this performance, one that happens to be quite good in spite of how perplexing it is, is an exciting and welcome departure from this. 

Elise Godfryd, Senior Arts Editor

Timmy and his tracksuit

Timothée Chalamet wore a tracksuit to the Oscars. A Prada tracksuit, true, but a tracksuit nonetheless. Though not as radical a choice as that of Billy Porter, Chalamet still stood out among the traditional, therefore boring, tuxedos that other men in the industry tend to gravitate toward. With his athleisure red carpet fit, Chalamet delivered a look that received equal amounts of roasting and swooning on the internet. But, whatever you have to say about the look, it can’t be argued that it wasn’t sustainable — according to GQ, the Prada tracksuit was made of the fashion house’s Re-nylon material (a fabric made out of various recycled plastics and other ocean litter). The brooch was a borrowed, vintage Cartier accessory. So, regardless of the tracksuit’s popped collar as he presented an award, Chalamet was still photobombing Margot Robbie’s Oscars red carpet moment and, honestly, that’s the only thing that matters. 

Emma Chang, Daily Arts Writer

“Joker” wins best score

Despite the fact that I never saw “Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir’s winning Best Original Score was one of my favorite moments of the Oscars this year. Not only did she beat some incredibly talented and heavily-awarded nominees like John Williams and Randy Newman, but she was also only the fourth woman to ever win in this category. Her speech was probably my favorite of the entire night; it was short and sweet to the relief of many, I’m sure. But even more importantly, it was genuine and inspiring. As a teenage girl watching her, I couldn’t help but feel empowered. She left a message with the girls and women watching her, telling them to “speak up” because people need to “hear [their] voices.” Hearing those words was one of the only moments of the Oscars when I felt moved. 

Sabriya Imami, Daily Arts Writer

The Dernaissance

Laura Dern has been in the acting business for decades. While Dern reached national fame as the fiercely courageous Dr. Ellie Sattler in 1993’s “Jurassic Park,” she became more of a character actor in the decades afterward, known for taking obscure or supporting roles. 

Today, though, Laura Dern is one of the busiest, most visible actors around. The “Dernaissance” began in 2017, when she was the highlight of the Twin Peaks reboot, “Big Little Lies” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” While vastly different, these projects show Dern is one of the most discerning, reliable actors around.

In 2019, she returned for a second season of “Big Little Lies” and was the mother everyone wants in “Little Women.” To kick off 2020, she finally won an Oscar, recognizing her decades of stellar cinematic achievement. 

Now that she has that statuette, don’t expect her to slow down (rumor has it she’ll be in Jurassic World 3…). The Dernissance is upon us, and every film she graces with her presence is all the better for it. 

Andrew Warrick, Daily Arts Writer

Bong and Scorsese

Bong Joon Ho, the inarguable winner of the night, gave several of the event’s best speeches. But the moment that resonates with me the most is his humble ode to Martin Scorsese during his Best Director speech. Scorsese’s sheepish and equally warm reaction was a treat. But the standing ovation that followed for Bong’s masterclass work on “Parasite” was what made the Oscars feel truly historic. 

It seems as though no one can get over the permanent smiling shock of Bong’s expression on Oscars night. I’ve replayed his speech more times than I can count and seen that wholesome photo of Bong making two of his awards kiss after the show.

No one loves to hate the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences more than I do. It’s not just that the body makes short-sighted decisions, or that Oscars night itself is unimaginably slow, but something more. The Oscars are the most culturally significant accolades films receive. As a result of the Academy’s typical missteps, Bong’s win for best director felt all the more impactful.

Anish Tamhaney, Daily Film Writer

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