Absolute theater-kid chaos was unleashed on the unwitting audience at the Oscars on Sunday night, with a musical medley relating to the year’s nominated film led by Janelle Monáe and Billy Porter that galvanized the crowd into singing along. Some of the attendees were all the way on board, and some were, well…less so.
It’s been a big year for musical theater in film, from Adam Driver’s Sondheim moment in Marriage Story to Renée Zellweger embodying Judy Garland in Judy, so it makes sense that the Oscars’ opening number would skew musical.
That said, there was something a little jarring about the performance, despite Monáe and Porter’s best efforts to rally the room. As actors either got on their feet and sang along (Brie Larson) or politely demurred (basically everyone else), one question became paramount: What side did Leonardo DiCaprio fall on?
Reactions were mixed among the Vogue staff; living writer Elise Taylor averred that DiCaprio didn’t sing, while senior culture editor Estelle Tang (and myself) were of the opinion that we definitely heard him sing “la-la-la-la” into a microphone when prompted by Monáe. Ultimately, we had no choice but to scour Twitter for evidence:
Ultimately, the collective opinion seemed to be that DiCaprio did sing, albeit with a distinct (and fairly charming) level of discomfort. He looked like a shy seventh-grade boy forced to participate in his class production of The Music Man, and we were 100% here for it. Let’s hope 2020 doesn’t end without giving us the Leonardo DiCaprio-led Damien Chazelle movie musical we deserve!