Oscar XYZ: thanks but no thanks


Now matter how many times I wanted to turn off the Oscars last night and default to a lovely and brief text account of the evening’s ceremony, I knew I had to write my own text account. So, I persevered and was sorely punished for it. My thoughts, and a round-up of all the A-Z entries for 2010 after the break!

Everything started out well enough — the Best Picture montage was satisfactory, and the typical insert-host-into-movie skit was alright. However, when you’re already sitting at ‘okay’ from the outset, there’s a good chance it’s not getting any better. Living up to this standard, the show descended into awkward and tired performances from pretty much every angle. James Franco is always enjoyable, because of his awkwardness, but he didn’t really show up in a host capacity–at times, you see him recognizing the absurdity of the whole thing mid-sentence. His greenroom 127 Hours spoof on The Daily Show was better comedy than all of the host material combined. Anne Hathaway is stunning, but when it comes to her hosting abilities, this may be the first time that I ever say that a girl should have just sat there and looked pretty. She sounded like a cheer captain with her megaphone on max. And the razzle dazzle didn’t end there. The hideous, bedazzled stage was louder than Hathaway’s rendition of “Give me a Broadway Show.”

I know you’re all probably thanking me for this — girl…shake…mmm — but it’s supposed to prove a point:

The 83rd Academy Awards were just as intent on looking back over its own history as every single ceremony before it. The movies honoured intermittently throughout the event seemed like they were pulled out of hat and thrown together as last-minute filler. If the useless retrospectives weren’t meant to be filler, I can’t see why the Academy continues to saturate it’s precious 3 hour runtime with nostalgic masturbation. Give some of that time to the speeches if you think we have so much of it to waste. Although, please, continue to cut Aaron Sorkin off as you please. He’s so funny when he’s angry. On the same token, we can still celebrate yesterday’s brightest stars, today’s elderly without asking them to give awards — the result is never heartwarming, always heartwrenching. Just stop. Then again, Melissa Leo’s speech sounded about as senile as Kirk Douglas’s. Clearly trying to fit in every demographic, the children’s choir conclusion was cute for a few seconds but ultimately, painfully corny and poorly organized — were they lip syncing? The looks on many of the winners’s faces, who were relegated to the back of the swarm, said it all. 

As for the winners, there weren’t many surprises, although I half expected my pick for Best Picture (The King’s Speech) to be ousted by The Social Network. I was also rooting for Tom Hooper and knew he had a good chance of winning the Best Director trophy after his Director’s Guild award, but the popular Facebook movie and Fincher could never be counted out.

Gwenyth Paltrow shouldn’t sing. Randy Newman shouldn’t be nominated for writing the same song.

Personally speaking, a nice surprise was seeing Luke Matheny win the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short for his film God of Love, because it’s the only one I saw and I interviewed him 😀

The underdogs in this scenario were the indie films, which, though they received a lot of attention and nominations, were largely marked for failure from the beginning because of the certainty surrounding most of the major categories. Thank goodness for the Spirit Awards. They pretty much confirmed our suspicions of who would have won without The Social Network and The King’s Speech dominating the big categories, and The Fighter, the supporting acting categories. The Spirit Awards made way for Aronofsky to win the Best Director prize, Black Swan to win Best Picture, James Franco to win Best Actor, and Winter’s Bone to receive some well-deserved recognition, with the supporting acting trophies going to John Hawkes and Dale Dickey. Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg took home the award for Best Screenplay, which honours the element of The Kids are Alright that I think most deserved it.

(Hathaway gif courtesy of Stephenell’s tumblr.)

Your complete A-Z! Well, A-W:

A for Aronofsky

B for Biutiful

C for Catfish

D for Duvall

E for Eisenberg

F for The Fighter

G for Gerwig

Dualling Hs

I for I Am Love

J for Jackass 3-D

K for The King’s Speech

L for Lawrence

M for Michod

N for Nolan

O for 127 Hours

P for Portman

Q for queer themes

  • The Kids are Alright
  • Black Swan
  • I Am Love
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

R for Runner-up

S for The Social Network

T for True Grit

U for underdog

  • 127 hours
  • The Kids are Alright
  • Darren Aronofsky
  • Hailee Steinfeld
  • John Hawkes

V for villain

  • Mal (Inception)
  • Mark Zuckerburg (The Social Network)
  • Wallace Simpson (The King’s Speech)
  • Lotso (Toy Story 3)
  • Black Nina (Black Swan)

W for Willams