Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Thoughts

The Oscars for films released during the year 2010 was probably one of the more WTF?! broadcasts in the history of the Academy Awards. It was a blatant attempt to appeal to the MTV Movie Awards viewership while employing writers and producers who may be too old and/or out of touch to pander to this demographic. Okay so we got James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts. Other than the youthful, eye-candy aspects motivating this decision, why else on earth would anybody with half to no creative brain whatsoever think this would be a good idea? All the jokes landed flat. Irrelevant, nonsensical “skits” only worsened the experience (the rap-musical takes on some of last year’s releases?! If ANYONE thought this was funny, those people here and now deserve to not only sit through last night’s broadcast several times in a row, but will have to endure multiple viewings of Hugh Jackman’s “THE MUSICAL IS BACK!” debacle of two years past. And speaking of Jackman… WTF was with that musical bit performed by Hathaway? What the hell did THAT have do with ANYTHING?!).

Look, I am all for the hate slammed at The Golden Globes. I agree: the Globes are a huge fraud somehow successfully perpetuated by the Emperor’s New Clothes known as The Foreign Press Association. The scandals following the history of those awards are world renown and inexcusable. However, there’s something far more successfully entertaining about that show (and, yes, I will defend Ricky Gervais’ performance as host of last year’s show. The kind of wickedness and courage the Oscars sorely need). And usually you can cite one or two moments from an Oscar telecast that could be construed as “memorable” or “funny.” But with last night’s show… it never seemed to let up in the utter incomprehensibility of WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?! Morgan Freeman appears as Alec Baldwin’s inner voice? Okay… but why wasn’t that funny?! Hell, why wasn’t Baldwin funny? Franco in a dress…. Not funny! Hathaway, Hathaway, Hathaway… very cute but WTF?! Kept forcing that which was not funny to begin with into something far more awkward and even less funny. Boring set. The song nominees were headache inducing. And there is not one person I’d like to punch in the face more than Celine Dion. Well, her and Sean Hannity. And the guy who dresses like Jesus who hangs out in Union Square. And when they announced they were bringing out those students from Staten Island I immediately exclaimed “you mean the show isn’t over yet?!”

Now… what…. Was that Flo The Machine thing a Gregorian chant? I mean WTF?! And isn’t that the dude who plays CHUCK? So he sings?! But he plays the goofy CHUCK! And Randy Newman performing the same fucking song he writes every fucking year. I guess he’s brainwashed the academy into giving him a yearly nomination. Kind of like how the war vets of The Manchurian Candidate keep saying “he is the warmest, kindest, bravest, most wonderful human being I have ever known in my life” even though they knew that wasn’t true. And, I’m sorry, I did not think Kirk Douglas’ appearance was at all touching. I did not laugh because there is something endearing about a dirty old man routine. The dude was pathetic to look at. Really creepy to watch. And wanted him off that stage pronto. But I liked the Afro dude who won the best short film award.

If there is one thing I can accept about this year’s Oscars, I was totally okay with all the films nominated for best picture. Which usually never happens from my POV. All films nominated this year pretty much deserved it, although there were other flicks released I thought were just as good. It also seemed that there was no unanimous pick among film nerds. You know what I mean, there’s the film everyone knows will win and then there’s the film everyone THINKS should win. Now, not everyone thought THE KING’S SPEECH should have won, granted. However, no one seemed to come to a general consensus on what should’ve won. Looking at updates on Twitter and Facebook, some people were announcing how TRUE GRIT was robbed or how David Fincher was robbed or how if it were a better world, INCEPTION would’ve received the highest honor and then some (like, what? A knighthood? The Nobel Peace prize? Seriously? Is Libya overthrown yet?). If I had my dithers, WINTER’S BONE would’ve cleaned up as for me this was the only film of last year that absolutely blew me away and took me by surprise. Jennifer Lawrence probably deserved the award. But John Hawkes OWNED that movie and really, really should’ve won.

I was also glad to see INSIDE JOB win although I preferred EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (only GIFT SHOP, WINTER’S BONE, TRUE GRIT, Chris Morris’ criminally underseen FOUR LIONS and to a certain extent SCOTT PILGRIM really wowed me in 2010). But everything else was pretty unsurprising. Downey Jr. and Jude Law were kinda’ funny. Colin Firth delivered a witty, classy speech. Sorkin’s speech was cool (as it should be) but noted he did NOT thank Mark Zuckerberg. And so it goes.

Anyway, those were my thoughts on last night’s Academy Awards. Feel free to disagree. Personally, I’m one of those guys who actually LOVED Dave Letterman’s hosting attempt and would LOVE to see Gervais with all of his acid tongue in place hosting as well. But that’s me.

1 comment:

  1. I found Douglas funny to an extent, and certainly more enjoyable than any of the other scripted "jokes". Though I was wondering who came up with the idea for him to present the award. If they'd just had him introduce the category, that might have been fine.

    I did like how after Melissa Leo dropped the F-bomb, people kept referencing it in their speeches, particularly the guy who wrote King's Speech, considering Weinstein is releasing a PG-13 version with all the fucks cut out.

    The show seemed to run smoother than usual, but was extraordinarily flat. Bring Chris Rock back, even!

    Yes, that's Zachary Levi from CHUCK singing. Did you not see Tangled?? I agree, Randy Newman's song was a sound-alike to most of his other stuff (though he was right, why weren't there 5 nominees?). It's the weakest of all his Toy Story songs and didn't deserve the win.

    Timberlake's "I am Banksy" SHOULD have been funny, but they didn't do anything with it. Mila Kunis seemed terribly uncomfortable. She should have replied with "No, I'm Banksy!" and then Nicholson stands up and says "I'm Banksy!" and then another, and another, and cut to Kirk Douglas backstage saying "I am Banksy!" but no, it just sat there flat. Even that Charlie Sheen shot seemed out of place. I did like Downey Jr. though. Didn't like fake Bob Hope voice introducing the next segment.

    Where was Scott Pilgrim's nomination for sound mixing?? That was the densest and most interesting film sonically I saw all year. And for that matter, not one of the original songs from Pilgrim or Get Him to the Greek was even considered for Original Song, but Gwyneth Paltrow gets to sing?

    I'd agree though the majority of the best picture nominees were good. I thought Kids Are All Right was unfocused, and Social Network actually made me really angry, but on the whole pretty good. Surprised they didn't do the usual bit of showcasing them throughout the show.