Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 Oscars - My Comments

OK, below are my reactions to the Oscars last night. I acknowledge that there were many other awards than the ones I've highlighted with my opinion, but I'm just hittin' the highlights.

I'd give it about a B+. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were funny at times, but the overall show was a bit boring. Not embarrassing or super lame, but just kinda boring. I mean, what the heck was that 10 minute interpretive dance interlude in the middle of the program anyway? And, then there was a slew of technical awards that took up what seemed like a lot of time. I know that's part of Hollywood too, but who wins costume, makeup, technical effects and adapted screenplay is...well...boring. At least to me. Oh, and despite saying up front that they'd clipped out live musical performances for song awards, the show still ran more than 30 min. over.

Perhaps the two best moments from the entire show were:
  1. When the woman who won the award for best makeup got to the podium and said, "Well, I already have two of these, so..." That come across as pretty arrogant.
  2. The woman in the pair of winners for one of the documentary categories "Kanye West-ed" her collaborator and took over the microphone to ramble out her say while depriving the guy of any words to the audience.

I am glad "The Hurt Locker" won. It is a serious movie, about a serious issue that's all too real and of our times, and features serious performances by very good actors. There is drama, action, personal conflict and the story moves you to perhaps think about and understand the situation in Iraq and - more importantly - how the men and women fighting there experience it. There is no "honk your horn if you support the troops," "these colors don't run" bumper sticker mentality here. Nope. Despite being a fictional tale, this is much more real that those shallow demonstrations of "patriotism."

I would also say that in my opinion there were only a couple other movies that could have possibly won best picture - "Precious" and "A Serious Man." That's not to say that I did not really enjoy, say, "Inglorious Basterds" or "Up in the Air"'s just that I don't think those were the very best movies of the year.

The Dude abides. And last night he won an Oscar. Yes, Jeff Bridges...known for many great roles over his career, including as "The Dude" in the movie The Big Lebowski...finally scored a statue for his performance as down and out, over the hill and hittin' the bottle country singing legend Bad Blake in the movie "Crazy Heart." Oh, and he also sang all the songs that his character performed in the movie. Great movie, great performance, great music...easy choice for best actor.

Sandra Bullock? Really? OK, I have not seen "The Blind Side." And, I give big props for movies based on real stories. But was Sandra Bullock really better than Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious" or Meryl Streep as Julia Child in "Julie & Julia?" Was she really? I had to scratch my head and take another sip of Oscar Party wine when they announced this one.

Katheryn Bigelow winning for "The Hurt Locker" was good in my opinion. See my comments on the movie above. She's a big reason it all came together. I actually thought Tarantino might sneak in there this year with "Inglorious Basterds" as that was a directing tour de force in my book, but no issues with Bigelow winning at all.

I am glad Avatar did not win big awards, and that the awards it did win were for categories appropriate for a special effects show. I'll put it this way: If I want to play a video game, I'll play a video game. If I want to watch a movie, I want to watch a movie...not a video game dressed up as a thin, weak movie. The technology in Avatar may be cool, and everybody may well be buying 3D TVs, tuners, glasses and such in coming years, but that does not mean Avatar is a movie on par with, say, Precious, Hurt Locker and the other nominated films for Best Picture.

Also, one of our Oscar Party attendees mentioned that she thought there should be a Best Comedy category. I agree. Think about some of the really funny movies that came out in 2009 that were nowhere to be seen last night: The Hangover, The Informant, Bruno, Extract, The Invention of Lying and others.

OK, done. Next year, I'm sure I'll be commenting on the glorious victory for Best Picture for "Hot Tub Time Machine," but until then...

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