So, I didn't get this written before the Academy Awards last night but I'm doing it now.
When I first started this blog, way back when, one of my first entries ever was a detailed analysis (yes, seriously, detailed) of that year's Oscar nominees. I went though and made my picks and explained why one would win over the other four. I did this because I was once in love with the Academy Awards.
So in love with them, in fact, that I watched them so intently that, apart from Big and the Gator Girl, no one would dare sit in the same room as I while the telecast was on. I loved the silliness (and much of that show is silliness), the occasional funny joke, moving acceptance speeches, funny acceptance speeches and the opening monologue, which, some years were quite funny.
That said, I think I might be starting to outgrow that phase of my life now because, for the last couple of telecasts, I haven't really cared all that much.
But I was impassioned enough this year to spring upon my unsuspecting brother and sister-in-law a surprise rant on how The Hurt Locker should totally beat that best picture impostor Avatar because one is a glorious piece of film making that gets beneath your skin and stays there for a long time afterward and the other is a popcorn flick (You forget it when the popcorn runs out) cross between a Smurf movie (said with all respect in the world...I love Smurfs.) and Dances With Wolves.
So I wasn't even sure I was even going to watch the Academy Awards this year. But, my love of The Hurt Locker drove me to tune in.
The Red Carpet portion is annoying. Everyone is annoying and they ask annoying questions, least among them "Who are you wearing?" They don't listen to anything the stars have to say and then fumble their way through a response. Whatever. It makes for some goofy moments that Joel McHale will be able to use on The Soup so I guess that's good.
The opening number included Neil Patrick Harris (whom I adore) doing a song and dance number like he did at the Emmys. It was a surprise because I hadn't read anything about him being there and as I love Neil Patrick Harris, I was thrilled with the whole thing. Too bad he couldn't stay because then we were subjected to
Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.
They are funny guys. I just don't think they were particularly funny together. (Bring back Jon Stewart!) They had their moments, sure, but I think more of their jokes fell flat. And what's wrong with George Clooney? Man, did he seem grumpy. I know he must be getting tired of being an also-ran, but if he didn't want to show at the event, he didn't have to show.
The John Hughes memorial was nice but...what about everyone else who died? Seriously, seemed a little rude. Speaking of the In Memorial section, I swear Karl Malden is in that every damn year.
Ben Stiller= not funny. At least not in this bit.
Kristen Stewart= Grumpier than George Clooney.
Taylor Lautner= super cute. Every time the camera showed him, I would either shout "take your shirt off" or "pour some water on him!" The second one made Joe look at me in confusion. Then, after I explained the Rolling Stone cover of him in a wet tee shirt, the one that made me go a little weak at the knees, Joe's look changed from confusion to something akin to annoyance.
Oh, Gabourey Sidibe is the most adorable thing ever to walk the red carpet. Love her to pieces. In that opening bit, when they had the best acting nominees walk out on stage (hey, real subtle way to say no one really cares about the other awards, producers!), she was the one who was showing a little sass.
I hate the thing they seem to be doing now when they get to the best acting awards and have five people come out to talk about the five nominees. Want to know why this show always runs so damn long? Stuff like this. I did get a chuckle out of Tim Robbins's story about Morgan Freeman and the deep, lasting friendship the two developed on the set of The Shawshank Redemption (one of the all time greatest films ever, by the way). Tim said something like this:
"The last day of shooting, Morgan said to me, "Friendship is one guy getting another a cup of coffee. Do you think you could do that for me, Ted?"
Speaking of funny, Meryl Steep has a great sense of humor...that, or she's such a great actress that we at least think she has a great sense of humor. She took her fair share of ribbing at the telecast from everybody. Loved Stanley Tucci's tribute and Sandra Bullock's "my lover Meryl" at the end of her speech.
Kathryn Bigelow (who also directed one of my all time faves Point Break) won the award for Best Director. It's the first time a woman has ever won this award. I was very. very about this. Yes, it's about time that a woman has won this award. It's great that she won this award for making a war movie but really, I think the best part of it for me was that James Cameron didn't win. Very sad, however, that we didn't get to see James Cameron's reaction to his ex-wife's win.
And then The Hurt Locker went and won for Best Picture. Again, we didn't get to see James Cameron's reaction. I was very happy for that group and that movie. And again, the best part was that Avatar and James Cameron with his gloss cover gloss entertainment (Bonus points anyone? It's a very obscure reference so I won't be hurt if no one knows) had to sit this one out.
So yes. Apart from that whole "let's nominate ten films for best picture" bullshit, I think the Academy got it right this year. Well, as much as I like Sandra Bullock, I would have given the award to anyone else in that group. I really would have like to have given it to Gabourey Sidibe because her acceptance speech would have been the stuff of Oscar Legend.
Until next year, Oscar...