Monday, February 28, 2011

Notes on the 83rd Oscars

I often rant about the Academy Awards, which is why I'm doing so now. Don't get me wrong, it's my favorite awards show and the only one I try to watch every year (of any art industry awards). On to the show...

The opening number was lame. Alec Baldwin and Morgan Freeman were the highlights. Hell, they should've hosted the show. Which brings me to...

Anne Hathaway is an excellent actress. Excellent. She is complete shit as a hostess. Tried way too hard.

James Franco is an excellent actor. Excellent. Was it just me, or did he seem totally bored?

As you can tell, I am screaming for Billy Crystal to return. At least give Hugh Jackman another shot. Or, wait, Alec Baldwin and Morgan Freeman.

Kirk Douglas was a delight to see, not much fun to watch. It was a little sad and more than a bit awkward to see such a prominent Hollywood icon in that state of health. That stated, he was infinitely funnier than either host.

Melissa Leo's speech, the first acceptance speech of the evening, started off great (it's about time we get the f-bomb on the show!) but ended stupidly. Please don't preach. It's the Academy Awards, not a political forum.

The Academy's bordering on disrespectful with their "In Memoriam" sequences lately. This year was no exception. You telling me they can't give another five minutes (at least one extra minute) for their dead friends and colleagues? Really?

I love the new Governor's Awards format. Seriously. More honorees and on a separate night, at that. Good call, Academy (for once).

The ten movies for Best Motion Picture is now officially a sham. Here's what I wrote last year: "Experimenting with a return to ten Best Picture nominations was both a success and a failure. It was a success in that it undoubtedly provided much-needed exposure to films that would not have otherwise garnered that exposure (and allowed Up to be nominated!), but it was a failure in that it provided nothing to help the telecast's ratings. Sure, you'll point out the overnights, but wait a few years. Ratings will drop. Again."

Now here's what I'm saying this year: given the complete lack of airtime devoted to the Best Motion Picture nominees in general, the proclaimed goal of "increasing interest" in the Academy Awards is bunk. They blew right through them. It's just a marketing gimmick for studio DVD covers. Lame.

I do like how they combined most of the "lesser categories" (I use quotations to reflect the public's perception, not my own) into groups of two. Made for a more efficient broadcast, even though it still ran over three hours.

Not sure how I feel about Best Director not being the penultimate award given. I guess I don't really care, but it seemed odd. Especially concerning my feelings that the award should be eliminated and combined with Best Motion Picture.

Love Natalie Portman's subtle dig at spoiled Hollywood starlets. Right on. Hated all of the pro-union props (ostensibly in support of Wisconsin). I'm not necessarily anti-union, but see my above comment about Melissa Leo's speech. Loved James Franco's rip of Charlie Sheen.

I'm with Randy Newman: prepared lists are lame. As are prepared speeches. Next time I see an award-winner pull out a 3x5, I'm taking a bathroom break.

What else was lame? Oh, yeah, the finale. I'm not against public school choirs by any means... but it's not Hollywood. And there's nothing worse than Hollywood pretending it's "just like everyone else." It's not just like everyone else. It's a world apart. That's why it's so friggin' popular.

Other than that, not the worst show I've seen. Definitely not the best. Might have been the worst hosts, though.


  1. Believe it or not, I am so out of touch sometimes that I have no idea who won any of the awards. I'll have to go check as soon as I leave here. For some weird reason, I have missed your rants and raves (how strange is that?).

  2. did not watch beyond the first few minutes...i had a sudden realization i could just see the list in the morning and not put myself through it...

  3. I only saw until it was too painful to watch an longer. I find most the film/only stars (sans the live theater mix performers) out of their element in front of an audience. And I am feel sorry for them. Oh brother. I may need to look at that...
    JF, not one of my favs, looked like a drug hangover.

  4. I'm with Brian. Easier to read the results the next day. Besides, it helps preserve the fantasy that actors actually have the dimension they portray in their roles.

  5. All a bit of a yawn really or perhaps it was just the couch of soporific splendour. I agree with you about Kirk Douglas though. Such a shame to see him struggle but I guess it has that heart string tug that people seem to like. Happy with the winners though . .well except for Toy Story. Pixar can do no wrong it seems. Oh and you know how I feel about actors being duffers on stage. Hello! You're a friggin actor - ACT

  6. actually, charlie sheen should have hosted

  7. Baino, your comment "You're a friggin actor - ACT!" made me think of Ronald Reagan. He was an actor who never forgot how to do it. He actually pulled off playing the role of President of the US, even while suffering from Alzheimer's.

  8. Don't think I have ever watched them in my life. I doubt if I would watch the barman of the year competition so I can't see any reason for watching the actor of the year or whatever they are. Good to see you are "not back" Keep on being "not back" cause I for one have missed you.