The evening flowed better than most. Still, if I were in charge, I'd make some radical improvements. This Sunday evening quarterbacking is my sport; forgive me for carping. Completely predictable awards. Mostly. More than usual. I'm usually ridiculously accurate in predicting, but only a few (two) categories surprised me this year. Foreign film and adapted screenplay. Man, I should get myself into a betting pool. Not that I would ever do anything so illegal as wagering.
So, Adam "So You Think You Can Direct The Academy Awards" Shankman. I guess that's what you get hiring a choreographer and dance-minded director to do an awards show. Dancing. Completely irrelevant, indulgent dancing and lots of it. Loved the idea of cutting out all those excruciating song performances, but that dance number featuring big hunks of score…maybe it worked like a charm in the room, but not so much at my house. How about yours? Can you say, "Bathroom Break"?
Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were funny, their two-man opening especially so. I laughed out loud. A lot. Kudos to them. The clip packages for most awards were much better than usual too. The salute to horror was a big yawn and the unfunny video of Martin and Baldwin in bed an even bigger yawn. The John Hughes salute was touching if over-long. The "I-See-Dead-People" segment seemed a little truncated and awkward. They've done it better in the past…
A few of the acceptance speeches touched greatness, but I'm not sure I'll remember any of them by tomorrow. Hate those laundry lists of agents and managers and whoever. Loved the speech by score winner Michael Giacchino encouraging creativity and expression in young people. Sandra Bullock was gracious and specific and sweet. Hated the pushy broad who interrupted the short documentary director. WTF.
Year Two of the Big Experiment…What We Have Learned So Far: The whole introducing-the-lead-acting-nominees-with-personal speeches only really works when the casting's exactly right. Stanley Tucci did a lovely job with his La Streep roast-y toast, and Oprah hit the spot for Gabourey Sidibe, but some were decidedly less effective. And that sort of disappointment on the nominee's face when they're shorted somehow…ouch.
Glad that all the "Hurt Locker" controversy didn't ultimately cost them any hardware. Would have liked an upset or two…perhaps an "Up In The Air" set to be precise. Alas. Not this year.
All the women looked great and all the men looked handsome. Frankly, I liked the Oscar telecast a little better before all the stylists took over and homogenized things. Remember when Helen Mirren wore hats and Geena Davis designed her own? Ah, memories.
And so it goes. And goes. And goes.
I'm so relieved this endless awards season has reached an end at long long last.