If you watched Sunday night’s 87th Academy Awards broadcast, you could not have missed – amid all the back-patting and self-love – a clear contempt for superhero movies, from host Neil Patrick Harris — y’know, the guy from the Harold & Kumar movies — to Jack Black‘s routine, there was a clear vibe that superhero movies are not art and not welcome.
Bigelow\’s big win
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.”