Landing on the In Memoriam montage is difficult when wonderful performers, technical artists, and film-adjacent professionals pass away every year. And I try not to second-guess the decisions made by the anonymous committee with the thankless task of withstanding lobbying from friends and family of the dead for placement in the segment.
But still, Joan Rivers, who died in September, should have been on there. She directed one terrible movie (1978’s Rabbit Test); she played the incomparable Dot Matrix in Spaceballs; she was the subject of one of the best documentaries of the last five years. But most importantly, she was one of the reasons that many of us even CARE about the Oscars—because we watched what happened after she disemboweled hapless celebrities on the red carpet.
Joan Rivers may have had a minor movie career, but she had a major Oscar career, and she should’ve been in that montage. But right now, somewhere, she’s writing a mean, bitter, hilarious joke about yet another club she wasn’t let into.