The Oscars: Sink or Swim?

Best Picture Winner - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Picture Winner - Slumdog Millionaire

I enjoyed the 81st Annual Oscars.  You know, for the most part.

—I thought Hugh Jackman and the dance routines were funny, theatrical, and a nice change from the often-tiresome comedians who are usually not funny.  I won't name names.  Okay, Jon Stewart.


—I thought Viola Davis trying to hold back the tears as her Doubt performance was being praised was touching.  It was a pure example of an artist who's in the game to make art and remain humble. The industry needs more like her.

—I was secretly wishing for Mickey Rourke to win Best Actor.  But Bruh should have pulled off the shades.

—Robert Downey's Jr portrayal of an Australian actor playing a black man [in blackface] remains a tricky subject for many, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around why Cuba Gooding Jr was asked by the Oscar folks to "play" the angry black actor who questions the use of blackface.

—Queen Latifah's voice was surprisingly comforting during the In Memoriam segment of the show.  I know she can sing [in fact, I'm a fan], but I was surprised she held it down without falter.  Queen had me choked up there for a moment.  I thought of Ella Fitzgerald.  Not her voice necessarily, but her presence.

—Why wasn't Eartha Kitt mentioned during the In Memoriam segment?

—Oh, I was shocked when the guy next to me at the Oscar Party I attended asked, "Who is Earth Kitt?"  I then asked: "What country are you from?" He said, America.  My head is still spinning over that one.


—Penelope Cruz's statement about the preservation and celebration of art shaped the entire night for me.

—What was up with the Obama-Reagan-Robert Downey Jr. joke?  You know, the one where a clip of Downey in black face was shown and "someone"  asked if the black face was Obama or Reagan.


—Slumdog Millionaire won 8 awards, including Best Picture!!!  I'm a sucker for stories about underdog comeuppance!!!

What's your thoughts about last night's Oscars?

Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.