Joanna Hunkin is the Head of Entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Ceremony not so much #oscarssowhite as it was #oscarssobeige

But not even Rock could distract from what was otherwise just another tedious awards show. Photo / Getty Images
But not even Rock could distract from what was otherwise just another tedious awards show. Photo / Getty Images

For all the drama and controversy that plagued the lead-up to this year's Oscars, 2016 will be remembered for, well, not a lot.

It was one of the blandest nights on record, with only two real stand-out moments: Leo winning and Sly losing.

That and some rather exuberant Aussies, who stormed the stage howling: "F***ing Mad Max, yeah!" Classic Straya.

Mark Rylance's win for Best Supporting Actor will go down in history as one of Oscar's great upsets. For weeks, critics and commentators had assured the public Sylvester Stallone would win.

If there was one dead cert of the night, they said, it was this. Oops. The wide-eyed look on Patricia Arquette's face when she didn't announce Stallone's name had gone viral before the final credits rolled.

Likewise, Leonardo DiCaprio's delight as he bounded up the stage to finally claim an Oscar of his own will live on for years to come.

After thanking too many people, he used the moment to repeat his stand on climate change (it's bad) and to remind us to save the world. It was an eloquent, rehearsed piece and one of the few to make a political point.

Those were left for Chris Rock to address, which he did throughout the night. Tackling the race issue in the opening minute, Rock needled the crowd gently, bringing in a supporting line up of black actors to reinforce his point.

Anyone who has seen the comedian's live stand-up will know it was hardly his most biting. But compared with the usual all-singing, all-dancing spectacle, it was The Oscars at its most contemporary.

But not even Rock could distract from what was otherwise just another tedious awards show. Producers' attempts to improve speeches by introducing an onscreen ticker of thanks did little to enliven proceedings. Not a single hysterical tear was shed.

Ultimately, it wasn't so much a case of #oscarssowhite as it was #oscarssobeige.

- NZ Herald

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