The Oscars and Their Movies

Wow. Did anyone watch this years’ Oscars on Sunday night? A very different awards show. Diverse. Intimate. And DJ’ing by Questlove! ❤️

#Questlove #susanstrasser #susanstrasserblog #amwriting

Every year, in January, we start to center most of our date nights around seeing Oscar-nominated films. We’ve seen some great ones over recent years, too… The Shape of Water, Parasite, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood…

This year was different because we streamed everything from home. Well, one via Spring Break at the vacation house, too: The Trial of the Chicago 7. Then there was Sound of Metal. A few weeks ago, it was Hillbilly Elegy (Ben wouldn’t watch that one with me, but thankfully several friends did!). That one was my favorite. Next, it was Nomadland. It was okay, but incredibly understated.

The other night I finally watched Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Chadwick Boseman’s performance haunted me more a day or two later as its psychological layers of demented anger sank in. (and yes, I believe he was robbed, even posthumously, of an Oscar!)

Then, I watched Minari. I would’ve enjoyed that one more if I hadn’t watched the trailer. Yuh-Jung Youn truly earned her Best Supporting Oscar.

Anyway, having seen about half the movies, we tuned into the the annual Sunday night Oscars awards show. It’s like the Super Bowl in our house, and it was the best ceremony in years. Was it because they cut it to 3 hours versus 4; or because the televised audience of movie stars was a fraction of its normal size with COVID restrictions: there were 200 people in the whole theatre versus 2000?

Or was it that the different impromptu hosts— a recent nominee or one from that every night!— were asked to share about their first movie memories or what inspired them to be a part of movie production which made it more personal?

Or was it that the ceremony was drastically different than years’ past where nonwhites were in equal attendance in the audience, versus the usual look of a few brown faces sprinkled throughout the crowd, or the fresh and surprising DJ’ing by DJ Questlove?

Questlove cracked my husband and I up by playing “We Built This City” by Starship from the 80s after Nomadland won for Best Picture as the large group of stars, directors, and producers exited the stage.

It was so refreshing to have a DJ and not that damn pit of an orchestra that has been doing the music my entire life for this ceremony. It made it fun and lighthearted. I don’t know if restrictions lift, that they would consider doing this type of ceremony next year, but we really enjoyed it.

If only Husavik had won for Best Original Song…


  1. I was intrigued by your take on the ceremony. Let me first say, no I didn’t watch it. I lost interest in all things that celebrate stardom many years ago. Partially because of the lack of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire “class”. The last one I watched over a decade ago had people showing up on stage in torn jeans and t-shirts.

    I am so very happy you enjoyed and I’m planning on adding this “Questlove” movie you mentioned. I LOVED Starship 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool! Yes, the panache was back, as well as refreshing new production. Highly suggest watching it all in its entirety if you can, not just the highlights. This ceremony format and content is really onto something unique, and I hope they repeat it on some level next year!


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