|BEST MOMENTS2020 OSCARSOSCAR|
Even though the latest 007 movie has been pushed to a release date in the fall, James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, still hosted last night’s “Saturday Night Live.” It's actually been eight years since Craig last hosted “SNL,” and you know what? After this second time, while he may not be playing James Bond anymore, he can host any time he wants.Host: Daniel Craig
If there's one thing Daniel Craig makes clear in his opening monologue, it's this: “I'm not a nerd. You're a nerd.” Fine, while he may not be a nerd, he's certainly not afraid to go all-in on a joke or, even better, be the butt of one. That is the key to this episode, and it's really amazing to realize while watching that this man's only hosted twice, despite how good he is at it.
It's always nice to see an “SNL” monologue step outside the box, and this one does, featuring pre-tape “footage” from the upcoming James Bond movie. It seems like it takes the live audience a moment to realize what's going on, as the first “SNL” cast member to show up in the sketch is Chloe Fineman, who still kind of blends in, as good as she is. Craig's “favorite scene” in the movie is apparently the one where Bond ends up becoming a craps guy and it's filled to the brim with the most un-Bondlike characters ever, on top of Fineman's progressively frustrated Bond girl. You've got Heidi Gardner and Beck Bennett as messy gamblers, old lady gambler Kate McKinnon, bachelor party boy Kenan Thompson “THIS GUY! HIM!”, and Mikey Day as the craps dealer-turned-villain.
It's simply a fun sketch to open things up with, with Bond getting way too into craps and becoming “Simba,” as he's the “king of the jungle.” In fact, Craig singing the opening music from “The Lion King” is arguably the best thing any James Bond movie has ever given us, even tangentially. Thompson showing up to do the “HIM!” bit in both the Bond entrance and live on stage then brings it all together. “SNL” also knows how good it is, as it’s provided a version of the scene without the monologue.
You can't go wrong with a pre-tape rap or otherwise from both Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd, and the live audience — who are pretty good this episode, other than the moment in the cold open with the “WOO!” for white chocolate — realizes that before it even really gets going. It's worrying at first that this is a hacky sketch about ending up “on the couch,” but it thankfully takes its first interesting turn when The Weeknd comes in. “We make dinner like lovers do / I pour wine / And I'm sleeping on the couch tonight.” That's...
The 2006 Oscars will forever be remembered as the infamous ceremony where “Crash” beat “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture. Ang Lee’s groundbreaking gay romance was the critical favorite and it won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for that year: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. Headlining actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both earned Oscar nominations for their performances. The actors were asked to present during the 2007 Oscars telecast, but Gyllenhaal revealed in a recent interview with Another Man magazine via NME that Ledger turned down the opportunity because it would mean making jokes at the expense of the gay “Brokeback” love story.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” Gyllenhaal said. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, 'Oh, okay... whatever.' I'm always like, ‘It's all in good fun.’ And Heath said, 'It's not a joke to me — I don't want to make any jokes about it.’”
Gyllenhaal, “That's the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, 'No. This is about love. Like, that's it, man. Like, no.'”
Ledger was nominated in the Best Actor category but lost to “Capote” star Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gyllenhaal lost to George Clooney in “Syriana” for Best Supporting Actor. “Brokeback Mountain” marked the first Oscar nominations for both actors. Ledger would go on to be nominated and win his Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor race for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Ledger received the Academy Award posthumously. “Brokeback” remains Gyllenhaal’s sole Oscar nomination to date.
Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about Ledger’s disdain for “Brokeback Mountain” jokes, but this is the first time the actor has revealed his late co-star turned down the Oscars. Gyllenhaal told “Today” in July 2019 that “Brokeback” marked a pivotal moment in his career. “It opened tons of doors,” he said. “It was crazy. It was amazing. It's defined my career in different ways. [But the film] is bigger than me...It has become not ours anymore. It's the world's.”
Read Gyllenhaal’s latest interview in its entirety on the Another Man website.