Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's a wonderful night for an Oscar! Oscar Oscar! Who will win?

For those who still care about the Academy Awards -- and I'm not sure I count myself among that number anymore(*) -- I'm setting this up as an open thread through the weekend to discuss the Oscar-cast. I'll bump it up to the top sometime on Sunday. Only one ground rule: No spoilers about any of the nominated films. But if you'd rather talk about the movies themselves than Hugh Jackman's prospects as host, or the fact that this is the 20th anniversary of the most embarrassing moment in Oscar history, feel free. Open season on the Oscars.

(*) Even if I had seen more of the nominated films -- or if movies like "Dark Knight" and "Wall*E" had gotten more significant nominations -- I still doubt I would have much interest in the Oscars anymore. The problem is this long lead-in of other awards shows that suck all the life and suspense out of the main event. By now, we know more or less who's going to win and what they're going to say when they do. Jackman's song-and-dance skills aren't going to be enough to make me want to watch this on anything but a long delay with plenty of buffer in the DVR so I can liberally fast-forward.

104 comments:

dez said...

It's more fun if you play a drinking game while you watch :-)

I finally saw "Slumdog Millionaire" and it's as good as it's been hyped to be. Sort of took the edge off my anger/disappointment at the lack of significant noms for TDK and WALL*E--unless it doesn't win, in which case, I'll go back to being irrationally p.o.'d about the stupid damn Oscars :-)

Dan said...

I'm with you dez. I saw Slumdog last weekend and absolutely loved it. I was hesitant to see it before because I didn't think the storyline would interest me.

But wow, it was a heck of a story and fantastic acting by the young actors.

lady t said...

Thanks for linking the infamous Rob Lowe/Snow White opening;I remember watching that live on TV and being stunned beyond belief. The most surrealist moment to me is Merv Griffin singing "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts"-totally "What The What?!"

I do wish that The Wrestler was up for Best Picture(really hope that Mickey Rourke wins,just for the acceptance speech madness alone)and keeping my fingers crossed for Dustin Lance Black to get Best Screenplay for Milk.

Is it just me or is Peter Gabriel's "protest" about the Best Song nominees getting only 65 seconds of performance time a crock?

He's all offended by not having more time to sing,so he would rather sit in the audience and have his backup gospel choir do all of the work instead while he waits around to see if he won?

Seems to me that if he really was artistically upset,Petey wouldn't be there(it's not like M.I.A.'s possible reason for not performing-he can't claim to have just given birth recently!)Correct me if I'm wrong but when Sacheen Little Feather accepted the Oscar for Brando back in the day,he wasn't watching from his seat in the audience. Protest right or not at all,I say:)

lady t said...

Oh,and another thing-what is up with not giving any actor/actress noms to the cast from Slumdog Millionaire? If the movie is good enough to be considered for Best Director,Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture,wouldn't some of the reason for that be due to the actors in the film?

Hal Incandenza said...

Dez: the wife and I were going to play a drinking game on Sunday (usually we save it for the Spelling Bee). Any rules we should be aware of?

maura said...

Hugh Jackman is the main reason I'll be watching. The Oscars aren't fun anymore. No one's done anything crazy in years. And I just don't understand why people who perform for a living can't get in front of a microphone and deliver their lines properly.

Word verification: Tallboot. I love them.

Lizbeth said...

Thanks Alan for linking to that torturous Rob Lowe/Snow White clip. Only 10 minutes in length, yet it felt a lot longer.

That was truly horrendous on so many levels -- the bad singing, the screechy Snow White voice, the parade of Hollywood geezers, er, legends as if we were at the wax museum.

I'll probably watch the Oscars, but award shows in general just bore me. I always think it's ironic that the Oscar's collects all these amazingly-talented people in one room and yet can't come up with anything mildly entertaining for the audience.

And I can't imagine Hugh Jackman will pull it off. He doesn't seem witty or interesting enough.

My vote -- Robert Downey Jr. should host.

JD said...

That kind of looks like Nicolette Sheridan in the background as the trophy girl, at least she's getting work after leaving Desperate Housewives...kidding, kidding.

LA said...

I finally saw The Visitor a couple days ago and really loved it. Richard Jenkins brings his A-game to everything he does, and hopefully he'll get more roles like this so he can turn down crap like Rumor Has It.

As for the Academy Awards, I wish they'd adapt a Golden Globes/SAG format. Read the nominations, announce the winner, acceptance speech, next... So much more interesting than whatever "entertainment" the Oscars have planned.

Andrew said...

Unless I feel really passionately about a person or film earning an award, which is normally not the case, I usually just cheer for results that'll piss off the most people. Righteous indignation can be quite fun to observe. Case in point, I'd kind of like to see someone besides Heath Ledger take supporting actor award just to watch everyone freak out afterwards. That's not gonna happen, though. Pity.

Anonymous said...

Does the Oscar deserve our time and attention?

These are the facts:

http://www.film.com/features/story/dark-knight-snub-unforgivable-because/25665649

Andrew said...

These are the facts:

http://www.film.com/features/story/dark-knight-snub-unforgivable-because/25665649


See! Righteous indignation is great fun!

The Rush Blog said...

Someone said that the Oscars are no longer fun.

The Oscars have never been fun.

Adam said...

They're rarely fun intentionally -- it's about having friends with whom to mock it. Do join in, if you can, over at ALOTT5MA (Throwing Things as we live-blog this mofo through the magic of CoverItLive.

And if the Academy doesn't let us hear the audience applause levels during the Necrology, you can type your own applause when appropriate.

DolphinFan said...

Slumdog Millionaire should win Best Picture, Best Director for Danny Boyle, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Simon Beaufoy. I saw it in early January when the hype about it had started to rise, and came out of the theatre saying it was 4 stars out of 4, 10/10, an absolutely superb movie that was as good as the advance notice said.
Best Actor SHOULD go to Frank Langella for FROST/NIXON, and failing that Mickey Rourke, but politics are in play so Sean Penn will get the award for Most Left-Wing Nominee, um, well that's what it'll mean. The only choice that'd be worse than that would be Brad Pitt; he gives a good performance and BENJAMIN BUTTON is a good film, neither of them are great.
Best Actress will go to Kate Winslet.
The supporting awards will go to Viola Davis and of course Heath Ledger.
And Best Original Screenplay will probably go to DL Black for MILK.
I will DVR the ceremony, but the days when the Oscar ceremony really meant a lot to me are over. The broadcast wants to combine comedy, homage, speeches, music, and some notice of the types of films involved, and is always going to run for a long LONG time.
Go Slumdog Millionaire!

J said...

I sort of curious what Bill Condon will do with the show, but don't have any emotional stake in the winners this year, not even to get angry.

Maybe that's because I haven't seen The Reader. I would have been angry had Dark Knight been nominated. But it's not like the best movie I saw last year, Wendy and Lucy was going to be up for anything.

It would be nice to see Rourke and M.I.A. pull down some bling. Maybe WALL*E could win a special award for "Best First 30 Minutes?"

Tosy And Cosh said...

I just wish Thomas Newman would win for his enchanting WALL-E score, but it appears the Slumdog juggurnaut will take that as well

Nicole said...

There is an alleged list of winners out there on the interwebs. I will be cross-referencing to see if it is accurate. But really the only shock for me would be if Heath Ledger doesn't win Best Supporting Actor.

I would like to see Mickey Rourke win if only because he carries that film, and this is probably his only chance.

Hugh Jackman has hosted the Tonys and was pretty good, but that show is severely pared down so that only the actors, writers and plays/ musicals end up in the network telecast.

Jen G. said...

Wow. Having "met" Rob Lowe via the West Wing, I'm kind of blown away by that clip. Sam? What in the world are you doing up there, Sam?

But -- it really does make the more recent shows seem incredibly hip and entertaining by comparison, no?

I'm just hoping Winslet gets here -- she's deserved it so long. And she was most entertaining at the Globes. "Gather!!"

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

I hope “Slumdog Millionaire” wins everything it can. I just love that movie. I know it’s improbable and way too coincidental, but that doesn’t make any difference in the way I feel about it. And the fact that it was actually filmed in Mumbai, with lots of local people and not much CGI, makes it that much better for me. Also, I’ve been watching “Skins” for some time now, and I can’t believe that Dev Patel is the same really gawky kid he was in the first season of that series, when he was only about 16 or so. I’ve seen him on a couple of talk shows now that the movie came out, and I sure hope he doesn’t lose his charm with all the attention. He seems truly unaffected and excited about the attention the movie is getting—a real natural. I thought “Milk” was equally good, but “The Reader” was not up to those standards. Kate Winslet was terrific, but the movie itself wasn’t as good as the performances. I could go with either Sean Penn or Mickey Rourke as best actor, Winslet deserves best actress in a so-so movie, and Danny Boyle, “Slumdog,” and the music from that movie should pick up everything else. I have no opinion on Supporting Actor or Actress.

The Oscar show itself is usually way too long and the music is usually, but not always, performed by people other than who made the songs big. I still have to watch every year, although, as with the Emmys, I’m almost always disappointed. Now the fun show to watch is the Independent Spirit Awards on IFC this afternoon—much looser and always entertaining. The people look like they’re actually having a good time, and the clothes are everything from soup to nuts. (Even the BAFTAs have better organization than the Oscars.) Makes you wonder how much time some of those same people spent in hair and makeup—not to mention botox—for tomorrow night’s “event.”

Helene H. said...

Watching the Independent Spirit Awards is tons more fun than the Oscars. Mickey Rourke's speech managed to be both scary and hilarious - give this man an Oscar already!

dez said...

Dez: the wife and I were going to play a drinking game on Sunday (usually we save it for the Spelling Bee). Any rules we should be aware of?

It's a matter of what you find the most fun to look for. For example, you can take a shot every time someone says something like, "I have so many people to thank that I can't mention them all," and then proceeds to name everyone they've ever known in their entire lives (Warning: You will get drunk. Fast).

On a radio program I listen to, the jocks had listeners call in with their drinking game ideas. One was take a shot whenever the winners try to figure out what to do with their Oscar/mention how it's heavier than they expected/comment on its design. Another was take a shot whenever the winner walks off the wrong way and has to get retrieved by the escorts.

K J Gillenwater said...

When the Internet came into play, I no longer watched the Oscars. I can log on intermittently and see who won without sitting through the crap. Plus, I just have a problem with this awards show being so over the top with the glitter and glam, when they are, in essence, just throwing themselves a huge expensive party.

All I really look to the Oscars for now is possibly watching some movies I may have missed last year.

Paris Nicholls said...

I thought crash winning was the most embarrassing moment in Oscar history?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Nice opening number by Hugh -- with a huge assist from Anne Hathaway.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Five bucks says those monologues about the five nominees in each category keep getting whittled down as the evening goes along, or there's no way they come in even close to on time.

Jeff said...

At the last minute I decided to watch this live instead of delayed. I think the producers are trying to kill me with the monologues, though. Also, one of the benefits of showing clips of the performances is that it might make people decided to check out the movie, but I guess that's a bad thing apparently.

Anonymous said...

I was doing laundry in the basement of my apartment building while Hugh Jackman's kick-off was running its course!!!

Alan: What made the opening number kick ass or fall flat on its face?


-rb

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hugh pulled Anne Hathaway out of the audience for a musical recreation of Frost/Nixon -- with Hathaway as Nixon. (And she sang in a Nixon impression!)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Steve and Tina Fey were much funnier together here than they were in his episode of 30 Rock.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You know, I always like it when winners quote Styx in their speeches.

Anonymous said...

Anne Hathaway as Singing Nixon? She can do no wrong!

I'll have to find the opening on YouTube...

The acceptance speech for "La Maison en Petits Cubes"... I nominate it as one of the best ones delivered at an awards show.

-rb

M.A.Peel said...

Bravo to Jennifer Aniston. It can't be easy to stand there with Brangelina sitting in the front row. She was great. Go Team Aniston!

Nancy said...

Bravo to Jennifer also for having to babysit Jack Black!

Number Five said...

The opening number was Sweded! (has anyone else seen Be Kind Rewind?) Well done.

Ah, they've already gotten the writers out of the way. But Steve Martin and Tina Fey were very funny and a great choice. This year, I liked all the Original Screenplay nominees more than any of the Adapted nominees.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Someone wanna remind me again why Wall*E wasn't nominated for Best Picture?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Number Five, I saw Be Kind Rewind, and you're right -- that was a very Sweded opening.

Nancy said...

Natalie should have made a Letterman joke.

Jeff said...

Hellboy II had some of the best makeup I've ever seen. I don't think enough of the Academy saw it.

Ryan said...

Couldn't help but think Ben Stiller's routine went over the heads of many in the audience if the reaction shots were any indication.

Lulubee said...

Exactly, why wasn't Wall*E nominated for best picture? It was totally in the wrong company with the other animated films.

Alan Sepinwall said...

So far, it seems like they're going to let people ramble on. The only person to get played off was when there were two guys who each wanted to deliver a speech.

Nancy said...

Too many commercials!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Marisa Tomei clearly got the Stiller/Phoenix joke. I thought it was kinda funny, but wound up upstaging the whole "Here's why cinematographers are awesome" dealie.

Nicole said...

I had to explain the Joaquin Phoenix joke to my parents... so it doesn't surprise me that a lot of the audience didn't get the joke.

I think this is going to be another 12:30 ender because of the dumb montages.. Romance 2008? really? because it's different from 2007?

Number Five said...

It's always the second winner who gets screwed.

Yeah, in a year where the two of the best movies also made huge gobs of money, it's a huge miss to not nominate WALL*E or The Dark Knight.

Right - the key to keeping the ceremony on time is to limit the material the award presenters have. You can have lots of thank yous and other features if you do that.

M.A.Peel said...

Baz Lurhrmann is the musical's worst nightmare. He chops up songs horribly. He did that in Moulin Rouge, and here, he reduced many songs to one line. He is no musician--

Nicole said...

I liked Moulin Rouge... this not so much. Also, why is Beyonce there? I still have overload from when she sang almost all the songs a few years ago. It's not the Grammys... she doesn't belong there.

Jeff said...

Nice dance number. Amanda Seyfried looks awesome, as usual. I have to admit, Alan, watching 'Wolverine' dance around on stage is really making me want to turn off the tv and dive into the large shipment of early 80's Claremont X-Men issues that arrived on my door yesterday, instead of watching the show, though.

polkadotoes said...

RIP Heath, you deserved it

smitre said...

What is the record for longest Oscar telecast?

Nicole said...

I want Philippe Petit to host next year... he can do magic tricks and stunts instead of lame jokes.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I also think Leonard Bernstein was probably turning over in his grave at the music from "West Side Story" being put on equal footing with a song from "High School Musical 3."

Alan Sepinwall said...

Did Will Smith really make a "Boom goes the dynamite!" reference?

Number Five said...

I loved the Rogen/Franco/Kaminski watching movies clip.

Will Smith with a "boom goes the dynamite" reference?!? Yes!

How could WALL*E not win either sound award?

Wikipedia says the 2002 Oscars set the record at 4 hours 23 minutes. The other two 4 hours plus shows in recent years were 1999 and 2000. If they started at 8 instead of 8:30 this wouldn't as big a problem.

Anonymous said...

How does WALL*E get shut-out in the sound editing and sound mixing categories?

More importantly, how did Slumdog win one of those?

-rb

paul said...

Just when I thought this ceremony couldn't be any worse come the words "Coming up, a tribute to Jerry Lewis!"

Anonymous said...

Too much frakkin Benjamin Button. Even though it's only winning primarily in technical categories...how can it be beating TDK in those categories?

As for Slumdog...I absolutely loved the first 3/4, and hated the last 1/4. I liked the dirty, gritty story of Mumbai slums, but when it went all Who Wants to Win Some Rupies and Bollywood, I got terribly annoyed.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Hollywood blacklisted Eddie Murphy yet?

-rb

Cinnette said...

no movie spoilers!! not all of us have seen Slumdog yet, you dog.

BigTed said...

Didn't they used to give a lot more time for speeches from the "special" award winners? Not that I'm complaining -- a little Jerry Lewis goes a long way.

Though he's looking pretty good these days -- sort of like he's doing an impression of Gilbert Gottfreid doing an impression of him.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Jerry Lewis was at least mercifully brief.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Michael Giacchino? I love Michael Giacchino!

Steve said...

The Oscars should hand out an award to the best stuntman/stunt team. It might be the most under-appreciated segment in movie-making.

So many action movies create their appeal by the innovative and death-defying stunts. It's about time that the Academy recognizes it.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Peter Gabriel decided to protest the Oscars tonight... the live performance of "Down to Earth" sounded completely flat and passionless without him.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm not the only one who's incredibly bored, am I?

Sam Hobart said...

If not for the fact that we have at least two more five presenter awards to go, there's an outside shot of this being done more than a few minutes before midnight.

Theresa said...

I was more excited by the commercial for Brothers and Sisters since I spotted Kima. After an exciting opener, this has been a snoozefest. Let's just hope Mickey Rourke wins so he livens things up.

Nancy said...

This is deadly...bring back the musical number, anything to liven it up. They may finish in time, and it will still feel like a 4 1/2 hour show.

Tom E said...

Boo on the "In Memoriam" segment. Too many long shots of Queen Latifah. Just put up a full screen of the clip-show.

Number Five said...

Along the lines of Steve's stuntman award idea, the Times had a tribute to credit sequences on the back page of the Week in Review section today, along with a suggestion to have a category for them. It was pretty cool. Saul Bass-style title sequences are no more, but there have been a lot of inventive end credit sequences, as their suggested nominees for this year show: WALL*E, Tropic Thunder, Slumdog Millionaire, Iron Man, and Mamma Mia!

Anonymous said...

There have been more commercial breaks than entertaining moments tonight!

-rb

M.A.Peel said...

Ending the In Memoriam tribute on Paul Newman was just right.

BigTed said...

The ads are kind of interesting.... I wonder how much they paid "Top Chef"'s Tom Colicchio to put down the whole idea of fine dining in order to tout Diet Coke?

And will anyone actually buy the new "designer" clothes from J.C. Penney after seeing them worn by gorgeous women who ordinarily wouldn't be caught dead in them?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Again, there are so many pre-Oscars awards shows that there are no surprises left, and therefore no fun. Even if Mickey Rourke beats Sean Penn, it won't be that big of an upset, though at least there's the possibility of him saying something weird.

Steve said...

good point Alan.

Also, the problem with this telecast is that they put the awards that people are excited to see in the vey beginning and the very end.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Looks like I spoke too soon about them cutting back on the monologuing towards the end of the show.

Anonymous said...

How easy is it to make Anne Hathaway cry? It seems that every time she's shown on camera (other than the opening) there are tears welling up in her eyes.


-rb

Tom E said...

Shorter Adrien Brody: "I did my research my Google."

Steve said...

Hopkins looks great.. unless he's sick

Number Five said...

"You sly dog! You caught me monologuing!"

I don't know what would help more, more variety/exciting sequences or more interesting/competitive races?

Steve said...

Wanted Rourke to win... but Penn was so incredible as Milk that I cannot be disappointed

M.A.Peel said...

Being a close friend of De Niro's does mean something in LaLa Land . . .

Alan Sepinwall said...

And thus ends an incredibly predictable night.

Lulubee said...

I enjoyed it. Penn's speech was cute.

Number Five said...

Predictable win...but the montage was really neat, with all the thematically similar clips juxtaposed with each nominee.

Not a terrible show, but not particularly exciting either. Ah well.

Good night all!

Anonymous said...

At least it was mostly on-time...30 minutes over...not bad. Annoyed by the Benjamin Buttons wins (even if it was based on a story by my second favorite author). I really would have liked Mickey Rourke to win, but I still would question who is the bigger douche...him or Penn. Either way, they both gave great performances and not-winning shouldn't hurt Rourke's chances for getting more work. If I had won a technical award, however, I would have spoke up for TDK in a larger sense.

Steve said...

Rourke was awesome in the Wrestler... I was convinced that he himself was a washed up, juicing wrestler. However, I think some of the hype was due to his Phoenix-like comeback.

Penn, I thought, displayed more range emotionally in his role as Harvey Milk. It was one of those years where I would not have minded a tie.

However, the biggest snub of the night was a lack of a nomination for Wall-E for Best Picture.

scott said...

why wasn't carlin in the people that died sequence? he was in a dozen or so movies right?

Question Mark said...

Am I the only one that loved the idea of five past winners introducing each nominee personally? I thought it went spectacularly well...you could see that the nominees were genuinely touched to be honoured by their friends and colleagues, relative unknowns like Shannon, Leo and Jenkins got their moment in the sun rather than just being an anonymous name and a film clip, and I liked the 'welcome to the club' image of the past winners greeting the latest Oscar champion.

I thought the broadcast was fantastic overall. Having just one presenter do 2-3 awards at a time really sped things up. They could probably do without the 'genre 2008' montages next year, but overall this was the best Oscar telecast I've seen in years.

Pamela Jaye said...

i gave up whe Jay left. what happened after 11:10?

Matthew L said...

Personally, I enjoy the Oscars. They're the only awards I watch (well, and the Emmys), and I tend to try even to avoid hearing about who wins in other awards, so I tend to come to the Oscars fresh. They're often really rather bad, but I can't imagine not watching, because sometimes they can be fun.

Someone wanna remind me again why Wall*E wasn't nominated for Best Picture?

Because Beauty and Beast was nominated for Best Picture, so they created a special category to prevent kids films from intruding on the proper films ever again.
I agree, it was an absolute injustice that Wall-E wasn't nominated (especially when The Reader was nominated), and it should have won Best Picture (although I agree with not nominating Dark Knight - really really loved that film, but it wasn't at that level).

The opening song-and-dance was all rather disappointing. Jackman did a technically good performance job, but (once you get past the joke of a recession-era low-budget number) the material was just weak and unfunny.

I wasn't happy how they did the Actor awards. I already hate how people focus just on the actors at the Oscars anyway (I remember one year watching with a friend, she went off to do something and told me to call her when the big awards were given - and then got annoyed that I called her in for the screenplay awards, because they weren't the important ones), so creating this excessive self-indulgent mess for just the actors (not even the directors!) that just took up so much time was annoying and just reinforced this idea.
(And the really annoying thing was, they could easily have fit in full performances of all the nominated songs - actual entertainment! - if they had just presented those awards same as every other.)

Tina Fey and Steve Martin were seriously great. I don't think I can say much else.

I hated hated hated what Ben Stiller did. If what Joaquin Phoenix is currently doing is genuine, then he was making fun of an actor who seems to be going through a lot of problems at the moment, and was basically cruel. And if it really is faked by Phoenix, then Stiller comes across as making jokes about a joke (which never really works), or completely missing the point. In any case, the worst thing was that it meant the crowd was laughing when the cinematography nominations were read out, which is the absolute last thing you want to have happen.
(For "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" ­-- ha ha ha -- cinematography by Claudio Miranda -- HA HA --)

I also think Leonard Bernstein was probably turning over in his grave at the music from "West Side Story" being put on equal footing with a song from "High School Musical 3."


There were many things I was annoyed by about this Oscars. But this (and Ben Stiller) were the only things I hated.

Just when I thought this ceremony couldn't be any worse come the words "Coming up, a tribute to Jerry Lewis!"

To be fair, acknowledging his work for Muscular Dystrophy is appropriate. He has done a lot in that area.

The Pineapple Express guys looking at the comedies was great - confused The Love Guru for Slumdog? The hysterical reactions to The Reader? Or James Franco as they watched Milk. And then they threw in Kaminski, just because it was something to do. That was funny.

The Oscars should hand out an award to the best stuntman/stunt team. It might be the most under-appreciated segment in movie-making.
So many action movies create their appeal by the innovative and death-defying stunts. It's about time that the Academy recognizes it.


Absolutely agree with you on that point. Unfortunately the Academy have refused to create the category, which is shameful.

Boo on the "In Memoriam" segment. Too many long shots of Queen Latifah. Just put up a full screen of the clip-show.

The "In Memorium" is the wrong part of the show to try to be impressive and stylised. It needs to be calm, sober, contemplative, just for a moment. The worst part of it was the fact that, because of the way it was filmed, a lot of the names were actually hard to read (and I'm a 30-year-old with good eyesight watching on a 46 inch screen). How many people would have found those names impossible to read?

I know a lot of people disliked Charlton Heston's politics, but I would have hoped there would be a bit of applause for his memorium, but the crowd just stayed silent.

I did like the moment when Kate Winslet got her father to whistle so she could find him him - a nice real moment.

"You commie homo-loving sons of guns." Best quote of the night.

All in all, it wasn't a great show. Watchable, there were some good bits, more bad bits, and nothing that will be replayed in 20 years as an Oscar highlight.

Matthew L said...

Am I the only one that loved the idea of five past winners introducing each nominee personally? I thought it went spectacularly well...you could see that the nominees were genuinely touched to be honoured by their friends and colleagues, relative unknowns like Shannon, Leo and Jenkins got their moment in the sun rather than just being an anonymous name and a film clip, and I liked the 'welcome to the club' image of the past winners greeting the latest Oscar champion.


As a concept, yes, it is a nice idea.
In practice, however, it meant that the "stars" get special treatment that the behind-the-scenes people (even the directors) didn't get, and it really slowed the show down since you had five speeches instead of one. Like I said in my post, they were worried about time so they cut down on things like the musical performances, which are actually entertaining, and replaced it with more speeches, some seemingly made up on the spot.

Tracey said...

Um... is there a sync error on that YouTube clip (it happens sometimes) or is she the recipient of the Academy Award for Worst Lip-Synching?

(FYI: my word verification was walizin, which made me hear in my head "WALL*E's In", but I never could bring myself to watch WALL*E -- reminds me too much of Number 5 from the movie Short Circuit)

Lizbeth said...

I was surprisingly not bored this year - perhaps because I expected the worse.

I liked Hugh Jackman giving a stripped down opening number due to the recession -- however, the joke didn't work well when you looked at the stage and realized they spent an excessive amount of money on all of it. Too me, all of it should have been stripped down.

I loved Tina Fey and Steve Martin here (much better than on 30 Rock).

And I agreed with the complaints about the "in Memoriam" -- I could barely read the names. We didn't need 500 TVs up there - just one big screen would have worked better.

erin said...

I thought it was great (although too long, but then the Oscars are ALWAYS too long). I'm always amused when people say how boring the Oscars are (or the emmys, or the grammys, etc.) They're awards shows. They're never THAT exciting. The complaints are the same every year. Keep your expectations low, your love for fashion high, and bring a book for all the commercials!

I thought Hugh Jackman's opener was terrific, and very funny, so I guess it's just a matter of personal taste whether you liked it or not. I've cringed through some crappy comedian bits from prior hosts, and I didn't think he made a wrong step. Really wished Rourke would've won, as it felt like I was watching a documentary about a wrestler, and also Milk was such a two-dimensional character--Saint Harvey, if you will, no flaws--but I will agree that Penn did a fantastic job with him. I would've supported a best actor tie as well if it'd gone that way.

Loved Slumdog, and thought it lived up to the hype. And hooray for Kate! She looked beautiful, and she deserved it. Good show, good show!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Oscar post-mortem column is up here now.

Pandyora said...

Generally a yawn but a couple of quick thoughts:

- I am with Tom E and others. Unless Queen Latifah has died, she should not be singing over the "in memorial" tribute.

- I liked the BSG "final five"-style introductions for acting categories. Having recognizable faces introduce the current nominees personalized the whole process, making it seem less like one giant three-hour advertisement.

- The Stiller Joaquin Phoenix bit was tasteless and unfunny. Phoenix is either a drug addict, seriously mentally ill, or both. Mocking him with a cheap impression that got zero laughs doesn't make you an edgy comedian, it makes you an insensitive ass.

todmod said...

Wow, Pandyora - you do realize that Joaquin Phoenix is doing a bit right? He has a fake mockumentary coming out later detailing his also fake career change to rap. Absurd yes, serious issue - no.

Bryan said...

Overall they were just blah - Ditto on previous posts though about 2 VERY annoying segments.

Ben Stiller's "impersonation"-first of all it was not funny and to do it during a presentation was very classless. Have more respect for your peers bozo. (fortunately I could focus on Natalie Portman - yowza)

The in memorial was terrible. Latifah should definitely not have been singing but the worst part is I couldn't see half the people because damn cameras kept moving. I'm really tired of these directors assuming everyone has big screens and hd - I don't.

One other thing that was very irritating -and maybe it was just my sound system- but the background jazz during the makeup/costume etc awards was so loud it was very distracting (I also didn't understand the reason for it)

Oh- one more thing- thank God Peter Gabriel had the sense to back out of performing. The Indian songs were very good and very well done - but to throw his song in the middle of those two was ridiculous.

Mark B said...

Having "met" Rob Lowe via the West Wing, I'm kind of blown away by that clip. Sam? What in the world are you doing up there, Sam?

Well when we first met Sam, one of the "finest minds of his generation," he was sleeping with a call girl he'd just met!

Pandyora said...

@ todmod: I've heard the theories that the Phoenix Letterman appearance is all one big publicity stunt. If so, then Stiller shouldn't have played along. Either way, the bit was painfully unfunny, not unlike most of Ben Stiller's movies.

Pamela Jaye said...

i was going to skip it, but Jay wants to watch it.

i could offer him the golen globes or SAGs instead. neither of those got watched this year (DVR has 4 hard drives and the last one is a terabyte)

btw, i really loved Grey's this week

Pamela Jaye said...

that post had been sitting on my nokia since sunday night