Well, we made it through another marathon Oscar telecast full of stilted presentations, dancing, and head-scratching acceptance speeches. And, of course, little golden statuettes. And we loved it all.
Congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow for a richly deserved directing Oscar. Her work on The Hurt Locker was amazing and, as she noted, winning was “the moment of a lifetime.” I remember walking out of that movie last summer thinking I had just seen a slam-dunk best picture nominee, and that Bigelow would garner a nod as well. I am elated that both she and the film were victorious. Kudos also to Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock for the top acting awards. His Bad Blake was sublime in Crazy Heart, and my Netflix wait for The Blind Side will seem even longer. Christoph Waltz, Mo’nique and Avatar’s special-effects team walked away with the other locks of the night.
But how was the show itself, which ran just a tick under 30 minutes longer than usual? Surprisingly, it did not really feel like it dragged to me. I enjoyed Steve Martin’s erudite solo stint back in 2001, and liked him well enough this year with Alec Baldwin. In my opinion, he save the best line for last when he noted that the kudofest ran so long that “Avatar now takes place in the past.”
What did I not like? The most egregious problem was the snubbing of the late Farrah Fawcett during the memorial passage. That was inexcusable, especially in light of the inclusion of Michael Jackson — The Wiz cannot hold a candle to her work in The Apostle.
And, while I am a fan of Neil Patrick Harris, and strongly urge everyone to buy Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog on DVD, but Oscar’s opening number was painfully bad. He gave it a good ol’ college try, but the material just was not there. (In contrast, NPH is terrific in Dr. Horrible in inverse proportion to his weakness at the Oscars.) This was not the Tonys.
The interpretive dance segment during the best score presentation was completely awful. I say this because there was no difference in what the performers were doing to “interpret” different music. Every single piece was accompanied by the same running in circles and waving of arms. I kept thinking, “This has got to be another subversive performance art piece by Spike Jonze (a la the 1999 MTV Video Awards), right?” Sadly, the dancers were actually serious.
So, how did I do with my predictions? Well, I nailed best picture, director, actor, actress, both supporting categories, visual effects, animated feature and documentary feature, while…er, getting robbed in the screenplay and cinematography races. I said “The Weary Kind” should win the original song contest, but formally selected something else, so in my book that’s only a moral victory. How did I do on the rest of my ballot? Well, let’s just say I won the contest at the Oscar party I attended.
How did you do? What did you think of the Oscars?