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I love it when I can hash out a big awards show with the divine Maureen Langan on KGO radio. This week, it was the mother of all awards shows, the Academy Awards. It was one of the best Oscar™ broadcasts I’ve seen, with Neil Patrick Harris fearlessly riffing on the nominated film, including an interlude in only black socks and white undies in tribute to that magical sequence in BIRDMAN in which Michael Keaton braved Times Square in similar accoutrement. It would probably have taken a conversation as long as the 4 1/2 hour broadcast to cover all the high points, but Mo and I stuck with the moving speeches made by the winners during their acceptance speeches. There was Patricia Arquette’s rousing call for pay equality for women that made fellow Best Supporting Actress nominee Meryl Streep beam as though she had won the statuette herself. Graham Moore blended pathos and wonder as he marveled at being on stage accepting an award for his THE IMITATION GAME screenplay, shared his despair at 16 when he felt like a weird misfit for being gay, and then called on youths everywhere to stop despairing and stay weird. John Legend and Common may have delivered the same speech for wining Best Song at the Golden Globes, but the message was still important.
We also talked Sean Penn knowing how to create the right suspense when announcing a winner, and the gross oversight by the Academy in not including Joan Rivers in the annual In Memoriam tribute. She woman shared a scene with Burt Lancaster for crying out loud. Plus award upsets, sure things, and what was going on with John Travolta.