Monday, March 8, 2010

The Bright Side.

When all is said and done the 2009 Oscars will be remembered because the best nominated movie won.
"The Hurt Locker" might not be the most popular movie ever made but popularity isn't always the best way to appraise art and Kathryn Bigelow's historic win contributed to make a night whose winners we might remember, but the ceremony already stands as one of the dullest.
Most of the winners were set in stone despite their lacking quality and the "suspenseful" race between "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" was over before it even began.
Apparently Adam Shankman's tactics which aimed to make the Oscar more tween friendly paid off in terms of viewers (41.3 million tuned in, compared to 39 the year before) but the show lacked coherence and respect for what might be Hollywood's most irrelevant honor but also the most respected.
When Shankman insisted on bringing out the "Twilight" kids, Miley Cyrus and that sweet natured but very random tribute to John Hughes (He gets a special tribute and Eric Rohmer barely got applauds during the In Memoriam?) it was obvious that this wasn't an Oscar ceremony meant for grownups.
Shankman might have meant well but his talents are more appropriate for a Nickelodeon awards show not the Oscars.
It all was even funnier-in a bad way-when the acting winners amounted to being one of the oldest set of winners all decade long and the youngsters- like Martin and Baldwin quipped about two young presenters-probably didn't even know who they were.

The show overall proved to be a step down from the elegant ceremony Hugh Jackman hosted a year ago. The fact that they even went back to saying "and the winner is" resulted in one of the tackiest twists the Shankman posse could've mustered, especially when some of these winners resulted so meh.

It was a year of experiments at the Oscars and with the song performances and honorary awards removed from the telecast one would've expected them to be refreshed for the best. What we got instead was an awkward ceremony filled with odd details (that sudden Tom Hanks announcement sucked! No drumrolls even?) all for the sake of rewarding more films.
Who knows if the whole ten slot thing worked? Sure it got Pixar finally nominated for Best Picture but it also got Sandra Bullock an Oscar (she won the second "The Blind Side" was nominated) so the effects might still not be win-win.
And seriously they have got to give up that "The Dark Knight" guilt, the use of it to explain the difference between the sound categories (which they seem to have to do every single year) was preposterous and more obnoxious than all the white guilt in "Precious", "District 9" and "The Blind Side".

No One Wants to Do It alone Award
Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin did a great job as hosts (if only because of how much they made the glorious Meryl Streep laugh). It's obvious that Alec was mostly there to counter Steve's zaniness (he had never been funnier!) And together they had amazing chemistry that was perfectly encompassed by Neil Patrick Harris who called them "the biggest pair since Dolly Parton".

Best Speech(es)
Mo'Nique showed them it can be achieved without the media circus and it "can be about the performance and not the politics" as she collected her Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
While Best Costume Design winner Sandy Powell dedicated her win to "the costume designers that don't do movies about dead monarchs or glittery musicals" reminding AMPAS that she already had two statuettes back home and they really should start widening their limited views.
Both smug girls showed them how it's done!

Kathryn Bigelow
It was delightful to see her so surprised even when she was the favorite for the win since January.
Babs presenting the award pretty much sealed the deal and honestly it was "the moment of a lifetime indeed".

Most WTF Best Picture Presentation
To have Chris Pine introduce "District 9" when his own "Star Trek" was viciously passed over was truly uncomfortable.

Best Revenge from the Audience
When they reminded them that the honorary awards had been given last year (done to save telecast time...) and introduced recipients Lauren Bacall and Roger Corman in the audience, Eywa herself couldn't have prevented the roaring standing ovation they both got, giving us a moment Oscar almost stole from us.

Geekiest Aww Moment
When a winning art director from "Avatar" told James Cameron "this Oscar sees you".

Best Introduction
Steve Martin faked a teleprompter error but correctly introduced Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker as "two world renowned clothes whores".

Least Use of Subtlety
Demi Moore was introduced with "Unchained Melody" to introduce the In Memoriam section.
Eeesh for a minute or two I thought Shankman would have zombies perform "Thriller" as well.

Best Reminder of What the Oscars Used to Be
Quentin Tarantino and Pedro Almodóvar present Best Foreign Language Film accompanied by Nino Rota's score from "Amarcord". It was an exquisite touch in a rather cheap night.

Best Sight for Sore Eyes

The So You Think We Care About Dancing Award
Really Shankman?
Remove the Best Original Song presentations (and rob us of the opportunity to watch Marion Cotillard) but by all means bring back interpretative dancing to present Original Score.
What was up with the choreography to "The Hurt Locker"?

The "Didn't Find it Funny the First Time, Find It Sad Now" Award
When Sandra Bullock won Best Actress as expected (in what's sure to become one of the worst wins in the category's 82 years) she once ahead brought up her feud with Meryl Streep.
And really I know Streep is above all a good sport who knows she's way better than all these women who keep winning her awards but am I the only one who finds she's been losing some class with the whole making out with SaBu shtick?
I felt bad for Bullock, because even she knew she was robbing all the other nominees and in the end her speech was more of the "you really like me" variety than a great Oscar moment.

Best Use of Meryl Streep
Steve Martin referring to her record setting nominations as "most losses" was hilarious and sadly very true. When he said this I hoped every person in that theater felt guilty for not voting for her!
Also when he asked "what's up with all that Hitler memorabilia?" [Meryl supposedly collects] I thought I was going to die from laughing so hard.

For a complete list of winners go here.


Luke said...

Ugh... yeah, the dancing thing was probably my least favorite part - especially considering the performers that could've been on stage singing the song nominees... But I have to disagree with the overall feeling about the show. Yes, the tweeniness was annoying, but they more than made up for it with the cool lead acting category introductions. I thought last year's ceremony was a silly snooze.

Simon said...

I actually liked Sandra Bullock...not her win, of course, but at least she seems a bit aware of how silly the whole debacle was.

I wanted to see Take It All. It's not downloadable yet, and I haven't heard it in entirety since forever ago, and I miss it. Fuck you, interpretive dance.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

As much as I love MoNique - and I really do - I hated her speech. It amounted to her saying if she didn't win it was because of Oscar politics. Sheesh. Time and place, hello? But spot on about Sandy. When she finished I said to myself "No one will top that": and they didn't. And Michelle...sigh...she got her revenge by showing up and looking better than all the nominated women (even P, Vera and Carey). Why is she so lovely? Still. I hated the show. I hated the results and the show was a bust. Why the F are the ratings up? I should probably write by knee jerk reactions, but I don't think I care that much.

At least Up in the Air went home empty handed...YAY.

Castor said...

I thought the Oscars were no better, no worse than in past years, which means it was pretty damn bland and boring. I can't believe people are actually paid to screw that up...

The whole dancing choreography was OK but to take away the best original song presentation was complete utter BS!

Jose said...

Luke: it's odd how much I loved last year's ceremony but hated the "Slumdog" sweep. This year the ceremony almost put me in a coma but I loved the "Locker" wins.

Simon: I agree about the dance lol.
This "Take It All" business do you miss the song? If you do I'd be more than happy to send it to you.

Andrew: Michelle looked like a goddess. I liked Mo'Nique because it's about time someone told Oscar how ridiculous he is during his own party.
I was also half expecting Sean Penn to punch someone if he had to read Bullock's name, but he was all class.

Castor: yes that's actually the usual result of every Oscar ceremony I think. Some people always find them awful while others enjoy them a lot. I wish I knew how to quit them though but I'm a total Oscar junkie sadly.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I am willing to bet good money that Sean Penn was stoned. The producers probably loaded him up like a mule (or drunk) to prevent any altercation.

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