Monday, March 8, 2010

Final Thoughts

After live-blogging the ceremony all night, I'm a little worn out. But I promised some extended thoughts on the festivities, and I'm a man of my word.

The Hurt Locker won 6 awards, Avatar took home 3, and Precious won 2. The Hurt Locker truly became the little movie that could, becoming the lowest grossing Best Picture winner of all time. I for one could not be more excited. It was the best film of the year, and my favorite film of 2009 (the last time my favorite movie won Best Picture was The Return of the King in 2004) and deserved it. Kathryn Bigelow, as expected, became the first woman to win Best Director. I can only hope she is the first of many. The film took home Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. Clearly, a last minute shitstorm of bad press, ugly campaigning, and dumbass moments from Nick Chartier couldn't stop the film from winning. Bravo

Avatar took Visual Effects, Cinematography, and Art Direction, which was richly deserved for creating what is, in this writer's opinion, the most beautiful and visually stunning film of all time. To me, the film itself is the reward. What Cameron did in this film is beyond words. It's a historic achievement just for getting made.

Precious expectedly won Mo'Nique a most deserving Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and an unexpected upset victory for Adapted Screenplay, causing Up in the Air to go home empty handed. Not sure I agree with it winning Adapted Screenplay, but the little trivia consolation prize is that Geoffery Fletcher is the first African American screen-writer to win an oscar.

Other highlights were the speeches from all the actors. Jeff Bridges finally has an Oscar. That had to be one of the coolest moments of the night. Between the standing ovations for him and Kathryn Bigelow, I admittedly got a little emotional. And say what you will about Sandra Bullock's win, but she delivered one of the finest oscar speeches ever. Seeing Christoph Waltz and Mo'nique get emotional was too great for words. Especially Christoph Waltz. His metaphor-laden speech was perfect, but you could see how overwhelmed he was, his hands were shaking. But when he said "Wow, Oscar and Penelope Cruz, thats and Uber-Bingo!", he was just too great. Mo'Nique about damn near broke my heart. She has given the most emotional and humble speeches. I loved that she basically stuck it to the Oscars when she said, "thank you for making it about the performance, not the politics."

That being said, the show was a disaster. I don't even know how to describe how terrible it was. From the American Idol lineup of the lead actors and actresses at the beginning, I knew it was going to be a rough ride. And boy, was it bad or what.

Neil Patrick Harris' dance number at the beginning was forced and contrived. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin just weren't funny together. A couple of the jokes worked, but the less they were on stage, the more relaxed and enjoyable the evening was. The awkward opening monologue was one of the most uncomfortable thing I've ever seen, which, unfortunately, set the tone for the whole show.

The lack of performances of the Original Song nominees was only made dumber by the interpretive dance performance of the Original Score nominees. Congratulations idiots, you actually managed to make the badass score for The Hurt Locker look gay. In fact, it was just downright painful to watch most of the ceremony. And the speeches themselves would normally have saved the crapfest, but the idiots that produced the show kept playing everyone off the stage like the trigger-happy morons I knew they were going to be. Seriously, someone needs to be fired for this train wreck. For god's sake, you idiots played off The Dude, but you couldn't escort that idiot woman off the stage for her Kanye moment? Things just went from bad to worse.

And to top it all off, the Best Actor and Actress presentations were like codeine in verbal form. How could you seriously fuck that one up more than last year? Well you sure fucked up big time.

Anyways, I'm very pleased with the winners, despite it being a personal low for me in my predictions, only getting 17/24 right this year, as opposed to my personal best last year at 21/24.

Full List of winners

Best Picture - The Hurt Locker
Best Director - Kathryn Bigelow
Best Actor - Jeff Bridges
Best Actress - Sandra Bullock
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress - Mo'Nique
Best Adapted Screenplay - Precious
Best Original Screenplay - The Hurt Locker
Best Art Direction - Avatar
Best Cinematography - Avatar
Best Costume Design - The Young Victoria
Best Editing - The Hurt Locker
Best Makeup - Star Trek
Best Original Score - Up
Best Original Song - Crazy Heart
Best Sound Editing - The Hurt Locker
Best Sound Mixing - The Hurt Locker
Best Visual Effects - Avatar
Best Animated Film - Up
Best Documentary Film - The Cove
Best Foreign Language Film - The Secret in Their Eyes
Best Documentary Short - Music By Prudence
Best Live Action Short - The New Tenants
Best Animated Short - Logorama

Final tally

The Hurt Locker - 6
Avatar - 3
Precious - 2
Up - 2
Crazy Heart - 2


elizagolightly said...

I'm telling you, they should have kept the musical numbers like last year and had Hugh Jackman host again. Or co-host with Neil Patrick Harris. They tried TOO hard to make it mainstream and they compromised what they show is really about and it turned out badly for them.

The Oscars, in make-up, is just NOT mainstream. They need to stop trying to make it something it's not and just go with what it is. You can't water it down and dumb it up. You just have to let it be what it is.

Overall, I enjoyed it because I love ANYTHING having to do with the Oscars. So I was fine, but I get what you're saying. It wasn't anything as great as last year. At least it wasn't as bad as the year John Stewart hosted.

Kevin K. said...

What really pissed me off was that it seemed like they took everything that was so great about last year's tight-as-a-drum ceremony and actually made it suck. How is it that last year they cut less out of the show and managed to clock in at under 3 hrs, yet this year, they cut a lot out of it, and were trigger happy with the orchestra play-offs, and went over time to 3 1/2 hours? Seriously, Shankman's producing skills work for So You Think You Can Dance, but not for The Oscars.

Jackman was the first person offered the gig to host this year, and he said he would do it again, but not twice in a row, as he didn't want to get stuck with it. I can't help get the feelign the dual-hosting thing by Martin and Baldwin was really just one big way of advertising "It's Complicated".

I love Steve Martin. I love Alec Baldwin. But together, they just fell flat on their asses. The jokes just didn't work.

Part of the reason this year's ceremony wasn't as enjoyable to me was that not only am I exhausted from doing my first full year of Oscar Coverage, but as I pointed out a few days ago, some of the fun was sucked out of this season because this year, there was this bitter taint to the proceedings because of all the vitriol and bitterness. No one other than the actors really seemed happy to be there. I get the feeling everyone was just tired and a little worse for wear this year due to the extended season (damn Olympics) that normally would have been over nearly a month ago any other year.

I don't know. The big night just wasn't as fun as it used to be this year. And that feels odd to say considering how my favorite film swept, Jeff Bridges finally won, and the results themselves were all great. I can't understand how they managed to suck the fun out of one of the most unpredictable seasons in recent memory, yet last year, one of the most boring and painfully predictable seasons (after the TDK snub anyways) managed to still be a heck of a lot more fun.

Who knows. Maybe this coming year will be better.

elizagolightly said...

Maybe it will be better next year because Leo will be there. ;)

But I understand what you mean. That's why I tried to keep my nose out of all the controversy because I didn't want it to ruin how I felt about the awards themselves. AND I was exhausted from the longest, but greatest, wedding weekend of my life, so I wasn't full of the usual energy either. Next year may be better. There's a chance Leo will be there and Keira will at least have an opportunity to attend seeing as how she'll ACTUALLY have a movie come out this year. :)

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