Monday, February 28, 2011

The 83rd Academy Awards: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

As expected, The King's Speech took home the gold at last night's Oscars (though not as many as expected, considering those 12 nominations). And, with only a few exceptions, most of the winners weren't surprises, although there was more genuine suspense in some categories than in recent years. I won't list the winners, since that's already been covered just about everywhere (though you can see them HERE). So, here's a look at the highs (and very low lows) of Hollywood's big night.

The Good:
  • The opening and closing montages (video to be posted if the Oscar youtube account uploads them), which did a brilliant job of highlighting the 10 Best Picture nominees...even if the one at the end did pretty much scream that The King's Speech was winning.
  • The constantly changing stage looked great, although I miss the slightly more intimate look it had two years ago (and sort of did last year).

  • Best Red Carpet Couple:

  • Best Dressed: Winter's Bone's Jennifer Lawrence. Extremely simple, but amazing.
  • Best Acceptance Speech: David Seidler, who wishes that the age record for winners in his category (Original Screenplay) will be "broken often."
  • They actually gave nice, full performances of the Best Original Score nominees, which was made even better when The Social Network won. How strange was it to see the front man for the Nine Inch Nails accepting an Oscar? And so gracefully, too.

  • Cate Blanchett goes "That's gross" after The Wolfman's clip for Best Make Up.
  • They brought back clips from the nominated performances! It's been too long; and they picked great scenes too.
  • Natalie Portman rambles, but she doesn't pretend to be surprised, and graciously thanks the cast and crew of Black Swan.

  • Anne Hathaway's 8 costume changes. At least she looked like she was having fun. Unlike someone...
  • Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law's banter before presenting Original and Adapted Screenplay.

  • This:

The In-Between:
  • Anne Hathway's tongue-in-cheek musical jab at Hugh Jackman for not duetting again with her (after the opening to the 81st Oscars).
  • Christian Bale forgets his wife's name during his speech. Although it was probably just because he was choking up, but still, that pause was a little too long.

  • None of the best Original Song nominees are even remotely memorable. Not terrible, but just...meh.

  • I have nothing against Wally Pfister's cinematography for Inception, even if he's not in my top five, but really AMPAS, we're going to keep Roger Deakins waiting for another year?? Enough already.
The Ugly:
  • I'm not sure why Sharon Stone is there, but the bigger question is what is she wearing?

  • Why did Hillary Swank have to be trotted out (and introduced by the hosts), only to introduce Kathryn Bigelow? Bigelow won here last year, so I don't think she needs a double introduction.
  • James Franco. Was he just so focused on whatever he was doing on Twitter, or was he just bored? Regardless, he was a black hole of charisma.

  • Tom Hooper wins best director. In a year of such daring directorial accomplishments, why on earth did they go so safe with this pick? The King's Speech is a charming, sweet, warm film, but its direction is not deserving of an Oscar, especially over the likes of David Fincher and Darren Aronofsky.

  • Oh, shut up Melissa Leo.

  • Closing the night with...a bunch of elementary school kids singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I don't understand.

  • And the absolute worst of the night: Kirk Douglas. Words can't even describe how painful that was.

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