There were well-deserved wins for people of color.
There were ho-hum wins for films that... well, maybe shouldn't have won. (Looking at you, Pixar).
The combination of "Sound Editing" and "Sound Mixing" into "Best Sound" is a welcome change for those of us who fill out ballots.
I get the reasoning, but "International Feature" sounds weird after years of saying "Foreign Film".
There were a few, great, moving speeches by grateful winners.
There were far too many rambling, too-long acceptance speeches from most of the technical community.
The decision to not cut off any of the winners was bold, and something that allowed beautiful things to happen, and added to the rambling from some.
Perhaps some categories should still be clocked?
There were two honorary Oscars handed out, and both were beautiful moments.
I have a newfound respect for Tyler Perry.
My respect for Harrison Ford not having any fucks to give has grown even more.
Was Harrison's nose broken?
I've lamented the earlier start time for years. February is not Oscar season. March or April is Oscar season. And yet this year it felt SOOOO out of place to be doing it this late. I guess you finally got me, Academy. Go back to February.
With the expanded timeline of eligibility this year, the nominations were pulled from a much larger playing field. Were certain films at a disadvantage?
If we return to a normal time frame next year, does that mean films are better positioned to be nominated, coming from a smaller pool of eligibility?
The pacing was rushed, the show felt like it was sprinting through forgone conclusions to the finish line. The lack of musical numbers, hosts, jokes, montages, and celebrations of years past left a sterile, clinical taste to the whole thing.
What the hell was up with the In Memorium editing? Disrespectful.
Obviously, the change-up in category order was done to end the evening with a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman, posthumously winning Best Actor. But he didn't win. Instead, the award went to Anthony Hopkins, who wasn't even there. So the whole evening ended on a whimper.
The train station locale was... weird. It's a beautiful room, and they shot it interestingly from a number of different angles, but not quite enough to make it compelling. Part of the problem was the loss of scale. The Kodak Theater is HUGE. It's imposing. It feeds into the overstuffed night of glamour and excess the Oscars SHOULD be.
This pared-down economic affair lacked all of the glitz and pomp and circumstance that normally comes with Oscar night, and consequently, genuinely felt like it had lost its heart. This was not the self-obsessed pageantry and celebration of FILM, but yet another awards ceremony in a long line of them. It was, with a handful of exceptions, kinda boring.
And yet, as always, I look forward to next year.