Oscar Show 2016: Standing Ovations for Joe Biden, Lady Gaga, Leonardo DiCaprio

Strangely enough, the first standing ovation of the 88th annual Oscar show night went not to an actor or singer, but to a politician, Vice-President Joe Biden.

Biden introduced Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground.”  The off-kilter camera angle that were seen at home meant that the opening lines of her song were shot through a hole in a wall, which was knocked down so the crowd could see her behind a white piano.

Gaga’s vocals were electrifying in person, though not as powerful as her “Sound of Music” tribute at last year’s Oscars show.

The crowd gave her the second enthusiastic standing ovation. Gaga’s loss a few minutes later to Sam Smith, for a mediocre song in the Bond picture, Spectre, was one of the most puzzling moments, and further derailed the momentum inside the Dolby Theater.

There were two more standing ovations: for Ennio Morricone, who finally won an Oscar on his sixth try for The Hateful Eight score, and for Leonardo DiCaprio’s best actor win in The Revenant, which drew the loudest applause.

As the night came to a close, there was a sense of confusion at what movie would claim the best picture Oscar.  At the bar, the guesses ranged from The Revenant to an upset for Mad Max: Fury Road to The Big Short.

And when Spotlight emerged as the underdog champion, it seemed like a compromise, or anti-climax for a telecast that never found its center or real joy.