Monday, March 8, 2010

And the Oscar Went To...

The Oscars are over. So what did I think of the Oscars? They were okay. Some things worked, some didn't. There was a lack of drama except for one interrupted acceptance speech for best short documentary. That said, I just wanted to share a couple of random observations I made throughout the night.
  • Steven Martin and Alec Baldwin are funny guys. Hopefully though, if there is ever a pair of hosts again they can have dialogue that sounds more like a routine and not an improv at Second City. The picture of them backstage in a couple's Snuggie was a huge laugh though, as was Martin's comments about writing Geoffrey Fletcher's speech.
  • Not only was Neil Patrick Harris' opening song completely unglamourous and mostly unfunny, but what was with the lighting in the audience? The camera was cutting to people in the darkness as he was singing about them.
  • Robert Downey Jr. could make a funeral funny. Best presenter of the night.
  • Sean Penn managed to go the whole night without kicking or punching anyone but still couldn't manage a coherent introduction to the Best Actress nominees. *Update* I haven't even published this post and I'm eating my own words.
  • Jeff Bridges is a rare kind of star: he dedicated his Best Actor award to his late parents; he's been in a marriage for over 30 years; his acting has never been undermined, to my knowledge, by any personal drama; and he's a heck of a great actor on top of it. Did his speech ramble on? Sure it did, but he deserved the moment.
  • Tyler Perry: "I'm on stage at the Oscars. I better make the most of it because it probably won't happen again." My thoughts exactly.
  • I don't know what's worse, a pointless montage paying homage to horror films or the fact that it included scenes from Twilight. And to think, this is why no original songs were performed.
  • Although it was an impressive display of physical acrobatics, Mad Hatter said it: if I wanted to watch America's Next Dance Crew, I could have changed the channel to it. I think it's safe to say we can thank Adam Shankman for that number.
  • Precious won Best Adapted Screenplay. I picked Up in the Air to win. I guess I learned a valuable lesson: don't pick the better film to win because it probably won't.
  • Mo'Nique's acceptance speech was one of the best and most heartfelt. She thanked Hatti McDaniel, the first black actress to win an award for Gone With the Wind, for going through when she had to go through so she wouldn't have to. Back then awards were given out during dinner and McDaniel was forced to sit at a table by herself.
  • I don't know if she deserved to win or not, but Sandra Bullock's speech was good too.
  • Thinking about Best Actress, Oprah almost had me sold on Gabby Sidibe and then I realized that she probably won't have much of a career after Precious because she can't really play anything other than fat black girls.
  • Did you see that moment before she read the winner when Barbara Streisand said "It's finally happened," giving Lee Daniels just one second of hope?
  • Kathryn Bigelow is 58 and still looks better than most of the young stars in attendance. Good for her. Also nice to see her take home the big awards as she hasn't exactly been the kind of filmmaker you'd expect to make award winning films in the past.
  • I was strangely unmoved by the John Hughes tribute. The montage of his work was weak and, outside of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and The Breakfast Club I've never found his work to be anything more than simply entertaining. This tribute didn't do anything to change my mind about him, or his deserving a separate honour all to himself
  • Speaking of honouring late celebrities: where the hell was Farah Fawcett in the montage?
  • Ben Stiller bounced back this year after his tasteless parody of Joaquin Phoenix last year. He played the Avatar get-up perfectly, as a man who looked like a jackass and knew it. That said, where was all the other big comic talent like Will Farrell and Jack Black? Did Shankman sacrifice them for Taylor Lautner and Kristien Stewart?
  • Next year, how about going back to five Best Picture nominations? That's all anyone really needs.
  • Why is Pedro Almodovar introducing a category that he clearly deserved to be nominated in?
  • Speaking of Best Foreign Film: do voters just pull names out of a hat for this category? Remember a few years ago when Pan's Labyrinth won every award it was nominated for except Best Foreign Film? I think Almodovar got the shaft that year too.
  • While we are on this topic: why does Quintin Tarantino feel the need to start yelling into the mic at every awards show? He did it at the Grammys and now he has done it here too.
  • I long for a year when Jason Reitman will actually be the frontrunner. He really deserves some wins.
  • I got three of my predictions wrong. Not bad.
  • With that said, I noticed a big Celebrity Connections last night. Check 'em out: Could T-Bone Burnett really just be James Cameron in disguise? You Decide.


  1. Here's the really big hitch with Best Foreign Film -

    It's a category that's completely fucked from the top down. For starters, there's the rule that countries have to decide which one film they want to submit. to that, I say "Malarky!". If Mexican cinema is having a boon, allow them to take two or even three nominations if they can muscle the support.

    The next problem is the way they take the glut of submissions, one pre country, and then start whittling it down according to the judgements of a pre-nomination panel.

    last but not least, is the fact that much like the short films, in order to cast a vote for Best Foreign Film, you have to sign an affidavit declaring that you have seen all five nominated films. Who has time to see five obscure foreign screenings? Only the oldest Academy members who aren't working all that much - thus, the more groundbreaking work gets ignored.

    This decade has brought us some of the best foreign cinema in decades. The sad part is, where Oscar is concerned, too much of it wasn't even in play.

  2. Thanks for the info Hatter, very insightful. You'd think that after the whole Hoop Dreams scandal with the documentary category they would do something to try to fix the foreign film category as well. Then again, winning an Oscar means about as much as having you name picked out of a hat at random so it really doesn't matter either way.

  3. My solution for the best Oscar Broadcast ever: Let Robert Downey Jr. handle everything...let him host, let him present every award, sing every nominated song and finally let him take home a long deserved statue. It would be one of the great nights in television history.

  4. That would be so good you could almost forget about even handing out the awards.