Monday, March 8, 2010

Burning Questions From the Academy Awards

It's officially over as the book is now closed on another year of movies. As a victim of the highly publicized war between ABC and Cablevision, I missed the first hour of the show last night. That didn't bother me too much considering it's usually about 15 hours too long anyway, I'm not big on musical numbers and the categories given out early (supporting actor, animated feature, best original song) were pretty much locks. But I was really interested in seeing the John Hughes tribute so I guess I'll have to catch up with that online. As far as my predictions, I went 16 for 24, and while that's far from embarrassing, it isn't anything to brag about and easily my worst showing in years. Missing the two screenplay categories killed me and the rest I bombed out on were the usual picks everyone misses in their office pools because they're just wild guesses (i.e. animated short).

The good news is that the ratings for the telecast were the highest in five years. Attribute that to two factors: Avatar and Sandra Bullock. Say what you want about them but the public clearly loves both and that's why they tuned in. It was all people talked about the next morning so despite The Hurt Locker racking up most of the awards it'll likely be joining the ranks of other forgotten Best Picture winners. It was a very predictable show but not an awful one and, as usual, there were many head scratching moments.

Even though I didn't see it yet, isn't it great that they actually paid tribute to John Hughes instead of just throwing him in the death montage?

And shouldn't they try to do that more often?

Shouldn't they have done it for Patrick Swayze also?

Is it some kind of cruel karma that my ABC feed came back just as Miley Cyrus was presenting an Oscar?

Did I just type the words Miley Cyrus and Oscar in the same sentence?

Can you believe Precious beat Up in the Air for Adapted Screenplay?

And didn't that completely throw a wrench in everyone's predictions?

With Jack Nicholson absent has George Clooney become the new go-to guy for reaction shots?

Has Nicholson given up attending the Oscars?

Can you blame him?

What was up with Clooney anyway?

Was he drunk?

Weren't Martin and Baldwin the two most absent hosts they've ever had for the telecast?

Was anyone clocking their screen time for the night?

How silly is it that they replaced "And the Oscar goes to..." with "And the winner is...?"

Did we really need this to be viewed as EVEN MORE of a competition?

Wasn't Mo'Nique dead-on in her speech about rewarding the performance not the politics?

And wouldn't it be nice if the Academy did that for more than just the two supporting categories?

When I heard the stars of Twilight would be appearing on the show was it wrong of me to hope they were referring to Gene Hackman and Susan Sarandon?

Did I actually see a clip from Twilight (the 2009 one) in the horror movie montage?

Is that montage the closest horror will ever get to an Academy Award?

Even after Morgan Freeman explained it, did you still have no idea what the difference is between sound mixing and sound editing?

Isn't it nice that they finally singled out The Dark Knight... for something...a year too late?

When Avatar lost both sound awards didn't you just know it wouldn't win Best Picture?

Is it a little unsettling for anyone that movie that's all CGI and green screen won Best Cinematography?

Is Elizabeth Banks thrilled that she now joins the elite company of Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel as the latest hottie selected to host the technical awards banquet?

For a change, wasn't James Taylor a great choice to perform during the In Memoriam section of the show?

How could they possibly exclude Farrah Fawcet and Bea Arthur?

After what seems like years in seclusion have you noticed that Jennifer Lopez has been showing up all over the place lately?

Was that interpretative dance tribute to the Best Original score nominees dumb or what?

How much sense does it make to include that on the show but leave out performances of Best Original Song?

Not really a question but....OSCAR WINNER FISHER STEVENS!

How many people watching actually got the connection between Keanu Reeves and The Hurt Locker?

How many people watching have even seen The Hurt Locker?

Does having these long, personal introductions for each nominee in the Actor and Actress category eat up enough time?

But isn't it worth the wait just to see Jeff Bridges FINALLY get what he deserves?

Wait a second...Jeremy Renner was in S.W.A.T.?

Doesn't Bridges' Oscar really tie the room together?

Is it okay if I pretend he won this for The Big Lebowski?

Could his turn as The Dude be the greatest un-nominated performance of all-time?

Is this the first career make-up Oscar we can actually cheer?

Couldn't they do a little better than having some of the nominees' co-stars from the performances they're nominated for THIS YEAR introduce them?

Wasn't Oprah's intro for Gaby Sidibe actually somewhat moving?

Didn't you kind of want her to pull the upset after that?

How much did that audience love Precious?

Even though The Hurt Locker and Avatar won more, didn't it feel like that movie came out as the big winner of the night?

How unfair is it that the Oscar season ends just as I finally learn how to pronounce Gabourey Sidibe's name correctly?

How much must Forest Whitaker love Sandra Bullock to publicly confess to directing Hope Floats?

Was it wrong of me for just a second to assume the connection between Whitaker and Bullock was that Whitaker starred in Hurricane Season?

Since Whitaker directed her in First Daughter, do you think Katie Holmes could be busy preparing her Oscar acceptance speech?

And after Bullock winning is that really so far-fetched?

Is ANYONE winning an Oscar really so far-fetched anymore?

How hard must it have been to go through Bullock's filmography and not find a co-star or director involved in an embarrassing project with her?

Wouldn't it have made much more sense to have Keanu introduce Bullock instead?

Is it okay if I pretend she won this for Speed?

How great a sport is she for accepting her Razzie Award for Worst Actress in person the night before?

How tacky was it for them to tell us to stay tuned to see if an "African-American or a woman wins an Oscar?"

How cringe-worthy and annoying was Barbra Streisand's presentation of the Best Director Oscar?

Was it almost as annoying as her actual "announcement" of the winner?

Does it even top Julia Roberts' legendarily awful presentation of the Best Actor Oscar to Denzel Washington in 2002?

Did you notice "Babs" still couldn't stop babbling even after Kathryn Bigelow took the stage to accept the award?

By the way, have you heard that Bigelow is the first woman to win the Best Director Oscar?

Is it wrong that a small part of me was pulling for The Blind Side to win Best Picture just to make the night more exciting and see audience members pass out?

If history is any indication, does The Hurt Locker's victory safely secure the shelf life of Avatar and Inglourious Basterds?

Can you believe that at well over 3 hours this was the SHORTEST Oscar telecast in history?


Ben K said...

Up In The Air should have gotten Adapted Screenplay, not Precious.

They included Brittany Murphy, but they never included Brad Renfro from a few years ago. They always leave people out for the dumbest reasons.

Mo'Nique was dead on.

Martin and Baldwin had their moments, but they have been so much better than this.

Shortest Oscar ceremony ever? It felt like 5 hours instead of 3 and a half.

Jeff Bridges finally wins, and he still looks like the Dude. The Academy abides!

I find it ironic that Barbara Streisand keeps presenting Best Director despite the fact that she got snubbed so many times in that category.

Twilight is not a horror movie!

The horror tribute was long overdue. But Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner presenting it?! Why not Wes Craven or John Carpenter among others?

Jeremy Renner was in S.W.A.T., and its a bit better than Collin Farrell suggsted.

The Hurt Locker deserved Best Picture.

Kathryn Bigelow deserved the Best Director Oscar, and they didn't give it to her just because she's a woman.

Great thoughts on a very boring Oscar ceremony.

JD said...

For most of my life I never drank the Kool Aid about the Oscars because at the end of the day I really don't care.
I love your commentary about them.
Who cares about these awards or these shows?
Looked like they were having more fun at the Indie Spirit Awards.
Excellent points by you!!!

Basterds will outlive all of these films.