Oscar day is my own personal holiday. For the past 10 years or so, I have written down my sister and my predictions for what we think the Academy will honor. (In addition to our predictions for Golden Globes ceremonies, etc…) So far I have never lost between the two of us… though this year I was cutting it close. I only out-predicted her by one category (Thank you, Best Editing). My gray notebook only has 3 pages left in it, so this time next year, I will have to start up a new notebook. But my old gray notebook that I have dragged around from state to state (I’ve moved 6 times in the past 10 years…) will forever be close at hand, as it truly holds the beginnings of my epic love for all things Oscars.
I will probably just do a quick-ish post tonight and expand on my thoughts of tonight’s ceremony a bit more in depth a little later this week.
However, I will say that while I was not overly impressed with this year’s telecast, it wasn’t the worst one I’ve ever seen either. I was really looking forward to James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting. Hathaway seemed to really embrace her job and kept a super happy/really into it attitude the whole night. She seemed excited to be introducing the people throughout the night, and I thought it was super cute of her to high-5 those PS22 kids at the end 🙂
Franco turned in a very Franco performance. He cracked some jokes, seemed a bit aloof at points, and gave some awkward line readings. But I dig his humor, and for the amount of stuff this guy is involved in, I think he did a pretty all right job with what little time he probably had to prepare. I think James Franco is a hoot, but I also totally respect him as an actor. For ever General Hospital or Pineapple Express performance (which j’adore…), he gives a serious turn in Milk, Howl and 127 Hours (which I still need to see, but it’s in my Netflix queue). He’s really talented, and probably a lot smarter than people give him credit for.
Things I disliked about the show:
– Kirk Douglas’s introduction of Best Supporting Actress. I totally respect Kirk Douglas and am well aware of his cinematic legacy and the roles he played back in the day. But it is super hard to understand him, and even though he was cracking some decent jokes, they came at an epically slow pace (not the best way to spend time in the early hours of the show).
– Melissa Leo – Granted, her performance in The Fighter was amazing. But I really lost a lot of respect for her with those ads she put out for her nomination. And then she totally dropped the F word. And I’m sure it’s really shocking to win an Oscar, but pull yourself together woman. It’s your time to shine, but standing up there and gawking and rambling is less than classy. Especially when you probably knew you were going to win anyway… geez.
– Misuse of the set – I loved how they were using the back of the set to display scenes and moments from old films. But, after the first half hour or so, they didn’t do that anymore. I don’t even really like Gone with the Wind, but I was in awe of how they were using the set to show the fire scene… that was just gorgeous. But then after the Shrek bit, they didn’t use that backdrop to its full potential. Sadness 😦
– People with lists. Yes, I’m talkin’ about you, Colleen Atwood. I love your costume designs for Alice in Wonderland, but your speech was so robotic and boring because of your list. Boo.
What I did like:
– The opening bit. I’m a sucker for when people comedically insert themselves into films. And I was a big fan of James and Anne getting into the Delorean… punch that shit into 88 mph!!! (Back to the Future is one of my all time favorite movies… totally in my Top 20 favorite movies I could watch over and over again, for sure. Plus that score/theme is AMAZING.)
– The Best Score/Best Song presentations – I am also a sucker for ridiculously moving scores. So, before they introduced this year’s nominees for Best Score, I was all over that little medley of past Best Score winners. The theme from Star Wars will always have a special place in my heart (I love Star Wars like you don’t even know… and was totally obsessed with it in middle school. And even now I still love it… I wear a Yoda Hat.) And then the theme from Lawrence of Arabia… be still my heart! That is one of the most gorgeous pieces of film music EVER. If ever there were a score that could make your ears pregnant, it’s definitely the theme music from Lawrence of Arabia. I dare you to not fall in love with it. I need to rewatch that movie… for the music (and Peter O’Toole) are to die for. And even though I HATE E.T., the music is pretty pimp. And how about those Best Songs? I wasn’t really familiar with any of them, but I dug them all. Randy Newman is always great. And I love Mandy Moore, but I had NO IDEA that Zachary Levi could sing like that! I don’t watch Chuck, and yet now I am a little bit in love with Zachary Levi just because he can sing… And I like that lady from Florence and the Machine, so that song was pretty cool. And, even though I’m not a huge country music fan, I like Gwenyth Paltrow and appreciate that she actually sings pretty well live. Yay music.
– The “movie musicals” bit. I laughed so hard I was almost in tears at this auto-tuned mess of songs from HP7, Toy Story 3, The Social Network and Eclipse.
– 4 wins for Inception AND The King’s Speech – They were my two favorite movies of the year, so I was thrilled that they both walked away with some serious hardware. This probably sounds snobby, but I like that movies that I thought were good were recognized as the “best” in their respective categories by the Academy. It kinda reinforces, for me, that my taste in movies doesn’t suck 🙂 I mean, I see and love crappy movies too, but when I am really into a movie that also happens to be critically acclaimed, it makes me feel like I kinda know what I’m doing when it comes to understanding why a film is good. I mean, I can read a critic’s review and know of other people’s opinions and whatnot of a film, but when I go see a film and formulate my own thoughts before reading anything from critics and it turns out what I thought of the film is similar/the same as what the critics said, then I feel good about my abilities to understand the grammar of film. While I may not be the best when it comes to the grammar of the English language, I take pride in my quest to further understand the grammar of film. My Film Theory and Criticism class in grad school helped immensely when it comes to this, but since high school I have been reading up on and doing some independent study in this area. I know I’m a dork, but I do think of film as a language and am very much interested in continuing to learn how the various components of filmmaking are used as audio and visual forms of communication.
– There were some pretty solid acceptance speeches. Randy Newman never disappoints. I was moved by Christian Bale and Natalie Portman’s speeches, as well as the writer of The King’s Speech and Tom Hooper.
Well, I’m tuckered, so I’m going to head to bed… I’ll write more about the Oscars tomorrow or Tuesday.
Have a good one