Oscar host Kimmel, in tux, flanked by Ryan Gosling (left) and Kate McKinnon and America Ferrera (right). Disney/Eric McCandless

Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel, who, in his fourth turn as Oscar host, brought the show in on time and — just before it ended — managed to roast one of his harshest critics.

Kimmel was smooth and confident throughout, keeping things fun as well as moving. Suggesting the show was running short towards the end, Kimmel — whose “Mean Tweets” is a staple of his late night show — read the following off his phone:

“Has their EVER been a WORST HOST at the Oscars than Jimmy Kimmel?” it began. “Replace him with another washed up, but cheap, ABC ‘talent.'” it went on, managling the name of George Stephanopoulos.

When it ended with “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” the audience at home and in the Dolby Center in Hollywood realized that Kimmel was skewering none other than Donald Trump with his own words.

Robert Downey, Jr., is selfied by past Best Supporting Oscar winners Christoph Waltz, Sam Rockwell, Ke Huy Quan, Tim Robbins and Mahershala Ali. Disney/Greg Williams

This came almost at the very end of a very entertaining and at time emotionally uplifting 94th Annual Oscar Awards. Trump’s mean-spirited, petty remarks seemed so out of place after a spirited celebration of talent that, at times, shed light on matters of consequence all over the world.

Chernow accepting for “20 Days in Mariupol”. Disney/Frank Micelotta

The first win ever by Ukranian filmmakers led to an emotional, powerful speech by director Mstyclav Chernow, accepting for Best Documentary “20 Days in Mariupol.” He wished he could exchange the Oscar for Russia never occupying Ukraine.


The evening had many stylish high points as well. Canadian-born Ryan Gosling sang and danced through a showstopping performance of “I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie.” The number also featured another Canadian, Simu Liu, plus Slash.

Ryan Gosling (left) and Slash during the rousing “I’m Just Ken” production number. Disney/Frank Micelotta

The recent trend to invite past Oscar acting winners on stage to sing the praises of that year’s nominees was very effective Sunday night, particularly in the Best Supporting Actor category, where Robert Downey Jr. won his first Oscar for “Oppenheimer.” The remarks all seemed heartfelt and personal, giving all five of the nominated actors to feel like a winner.

Remembering, uh, Bill… somebody or other during the In Memoriam segment. Disney/Stewart Cook

One part of the annual show that fell short, on television at least, was Sunday’s In Memoriam segment. It was perhaps too ambitious, with the father-son opera duo of Andrea and Matteo Boccelli singing in front of musicians who were in front of large and small projected images of the deceased. To add a further distraction, a ballet was also underway. Much of this busy stage show was captured in long shots, rendering many of the names on screen unreadable to those of us still clinginh to our 50-inch or under flatscreens.

Emma Stone is congratulated on her second Best Actress win by Sally Field, jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Yeoh, Charliza Theron and Jessica Lang. Disney/Frank Micelotta

Still, the pluses outweighed the minuses. It was fun to see “Twins” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito reunited — 36 years after that movie — as presenters. THey joked about both being killed off in movies by Batman, then started hassling Michael “I’m Batman” Keaton sitting in the front row. “You’ve got some nerve showing your face around here,” said Arnold. Keaton later presented himself, this time with his former “Beatlejuice co-star, Catherine O’Hara.

Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger flank “Oppenheimer” editor Jennifer Lame backstage. Disney/Greg Williams

And what was with octogenarian baby maker Al Pacino tearing open the envolope and blurting, “My eyes see ‘Oppenheimer,” instead of naming the four other Best Picture contenders? Somebody in the audience should have shouted out, “Attica!!”

One other note: these Oscars started earlier than usual, which may have caught viewers who had just jumped their clocks ahead a hour — even ex-presidents — by surprise.


  1. Gary Pearson Reply

    Yes it was a good night overall. Gosling’s Ken number a highlight and Kimmel’s line to Trump, “aren’t you up past your jail time?” was for me the topper of the night.

  2. Bill Brioux Reply

    Both for me as well Gary. What can’t Gosling do?

Write A Comment