Monday, February 28, 2011
Final word on the Oscars: highs and lows
First of all, I think venting out my frustrations over The King's Speech winning best picture was therapeutic enough for me. I'm over it. Honestly, while it was nowhere near the best film of the year, it's also nowhere near the worst best picture of the last decade. Oh god no. Besides, the Oscars had a four year streak of actually picking a great film for best picture (yes, Slumdog was great). So, really, what can you do? Plus, given the fact that The Social Network, Black Swan, Inception, and 127 Hours had as many vocal detractors as well as supporters, I think NOT winning the Oscars will only make those films look better when the years go by. So, let The King's Speech have the glory. It's not as bad as Crash, Chicago, or A Beautiful Mind winning Best Picture. Or, Driving Miss Daisy. It's a very good film topped with an amazing performance by Colin Firth. To me, King's Speech winning was not an Oscar low. It was just in the middle somewhere.
Tom Hooper winning Best Director is just ridiculous to me. Not only were each of the other four director nominees more deserving, there were two even more deserving snubs waiting in the wings.
James Franco was really off his mark throughout the whole show. I really thought he did a bad job. I still think he's a cool character and I can easily forgive him, but you have to wonder why he'd even accept the offer in the first place. He half-assed it the entire way.
I know you have to pay your respects and allow the best original song to be performed. But two in a row? God that was painful. Spread it out more.
Half-assed tributes. What was up with the half-assed tribute to Gone With the Wind? What was that? Really? And the whole Tom Hanks presentation... "you know, only a certain number of films have won best art direction and cinematography and then went on to win best picture." What exactly is that insinuating even? The awards were then given out to two different films so that point was immediately made irrelevant. Just that whole thing was awkward.
In fact, the whole first half hour was incredibly awkward. Melissa Leo's f-bomb, Kirk Douglas being old and talking up a storm for forever.
Celine Dion singing the memorial tribute. Why don't you kill me too while you're at it?
Ok, so let me get this straight. Anne Hathaway introduces Hilary Swank so that Hilary can introduce Kathryn Bigelow so that Kathryn Bigelow can present the best director Oscar? What the hell? Could that have been any more redundant?
The kids coming out and singing at the end? Uh... just forget it, why even go there?
Yes, there were some highs. First of all, Anne Hathaway did a great job picking up James Franco's slack. I'd actually like to see her host again one day. She had great energy and she's really easy on the eyes, too.
The NYU student accepting best live-action short... that was pretty cool. He seemed down-to-earth and real which actually seemed out of place at a ceremony such as the Oscars. Refreshing.
Randy Newman, Aaron Sorkin, David Seidler, and Natalie Portman all gave very charming, fun, personable acceptance speeches.
The tribute to Bob Hope was kinda strange, didn't seem to make much sense, but I appreciated it all the same.
Billy Crystal's little stand-up bit was great and makes me miss when he used to host the Oscars. Everybody always has something bad to say about every Oscar host, but Billy Crystal has the unique ability of being able to work the crowd at the Oscars as well as on the tv audience. They really need to bring him back, nobody can replace him. The ones who could have are dead (Johnny Carson, Bob Hope).
Inception cleaning up all the technical awards was great and well-deserved.
Christian Bale winning best supporting actor and Trent Reznor winning best original score was probably my ultimate favorite moments of the night.
So that was the Oscars in a nutshell. Some good moments in there, but mostly, it was a pretty bad show. Got my hopes up with the fact that The King's Speech wasn't sweeping the Oscars, but ultimately, it won out when it mattered. But hey, it's alright. It'll be particularly interesting if the Oscars go back to the recent trend of awarding films that truly are artistic achievements or will they continue to go the path of awarding more Oscar friendly affair. We'll have stuff on both sides for next year. Filmmakers like Terrence Malick, Alexander Payne, Steven Soderbergh, and David Cronenberg up against heavy hitters like Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood. Then you got guys like Jason Reitman and George Clooney (as a director) coming out with films this year as well who are kinda in the middle of it all. Of course, there'll always be films like Winter's Bone and Kids Are All Right that will come out of nowhere and surprise everyone. So far, haven't heard of any films like that this year except maybe the Sundance favorite "Like Crazy." But I don't think that'll become a heavy hitter anytime soon. Who knows, though. We'll see!