Saturday Night Live has already taken its shots at Oscar movies on Weekend Update, pointing out a common theme with many of the Best Picture nominees. But on the eve of the 2020 Oscars the show’s news program had one last segment about the Oscars that made one cast member very uncomfortable.
The excellent featured player Chloe Fineman appeared on Weekend Update on Saturday and did some impressions of Academy Award nominated women from some Oscar movies this year, including one that hit a little too close to home for one SNL cast member.
“I love the Oscars, it’s my favorite holiday. I’m such a huge fan of all the actresses nominated this year,” Fineman said. “And I have learned so much from studying their performances.”
She then goes into what she calls “steering wheel acting,” where many Oscar-worthy performances boil down to a woman having a breakdown while driving, or at least while in the passenger seat of a car.
“It’s when a broken woman is finally alone in her car and lets it all go,” Fineman says, having a breakdown during the line. Weekend Update host Colin Jost asked if the actress was laughing or crying, to which she responded “neither, she’s acting!”
Fineman keeps rattling off stereotypical acting moments, but her best work was breaking down Little Women. Seriously, the quick-fire impressions of Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep are inspired. You’ll never hear the name “Florence Pugh” the same in your head ever again.
Perhaps the best moment of the segment, however, was when Fineman did an impression of Jost’s wife, Scarlett Johansson, and what she called “teacup acting.” She immediately deepened her voice and echoed a line from Marriage Story, then turned to Jost and made him noticeably uncomfortable.
“Do you feel like you’re at home, Colin?” Fineman asked, drawing big laughs from the audience and an uncomfortable response from Jost while both SNL cast members smiled. It was a great showcase of Fineman’s impression work and it was punctuated by a fun joke at Jost’s expense, though he called it “pretty good” and seemed to take it fairly well. The sketch also gave a shoutout to Laura Dern, who got some shine on multiple TV channels on Saturday night.