bill and brent look at the oscars…trust us, this will be our last oscar blog til next year
Last night’s Oscar telecast was an odd blend of suspense and predictability.
As Cablevision and ABC sparred throughout the day over contract rights, the cable company’s subscribers awaited anxiously to see if the channel would lift its programming block in time for the 8:30 p.m. show. People rushed out to buy antennae to watch the Oscars over the free airwaves. Bill and I were among them. We ran out to the Wal-Mart [Editors Note: Brent did not run, he sprinted faster than I have ever seen him do before in his life] near Bill’s apartment — only to find the store had run out of antennae by showtime.
But Cablevision called ABC’s bluff, and the channel finally did restore programming — 15 minutes into the show.
After that? Most of the winners were expected: Waltz, Mo’Nique, Bridges, Bullock, Bigelow — and yes, the backlash against The Hurt Locker didn’t stop it from getting Best Picture.
There was one big surprise that shocked me: Geoffrey Fletcher scored a Best Adapted Screenplay statuette for Precious. I had thought this the category where the Academy was going to reward Up In The Air, a film that went from Best Picture frontrunner to one that won zero awards.
Of course, Fletcher’s screenplay is solid — harrowing, touching, probing. And his acceptance speech — humble, grateful, emotional — was the nights best. But to me, Precious is more a showcase for acting than writing. Up In The Air is an acting showcase, too — but it also boasts a moving, topical story that Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner wove into an incredibly economical, witty script that teems with life.
I was mostly happy with the night’s winners. The Hurt Locker is an incredible film that gets better the longer it sticks in your mind. I’m glad Christoph Waltz cruised to victory for Best Supporting Actor — meaning voters didn’t misstep and give this race to a surprise winner, which often happens in that category. And kudos to the other three acting winners — even Bridges and Bullock deserved the recognition, if many thought their awards were either career notices or a nod to how well-liked they are in Hollywood.
But Up In The Air deserved better. It deserved at least that one statue. That was really my only disappointment of the night.
The 82nd annual Academy Awards have come and gone and it was quite an enjoyable experience.
When it came to the awards the winners, for the most part, they were very predictable. However, I had no problem with this. The big winners were longtime Hollywood vets (Bridges, Bullock, Bigelow) who finally got their due. Some people would disagree as these three have made some real clunkers; I even read a Facebook status update about how Bullock’s win ruined the lineage of the Best Actress award.
I saw malarkey to that. Every actor has made a clunker, some even a slew of clunkers. But all it takes is one performance to win the hearts and minds of the Academy.
It was amazing to watch Kathryn Bigelow become the first woman to ever win the award for Best Director. And kudos to the Academy for getting her Point Break star, Keanu Reeves to introduce the clips for the Hurt Locker.
In fact, the Academy’s new introduction process for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress nominees were my favorite part of the show.
Watching co-stars and friends wax poetic about the nominees (e.g. Stanley Tucci on Meryl Streep, Colin Farrell on Jeremy Renner) throwing out inside jokes, loving digs and true statements of love helped lift the stuffy “same old, same old” atmosphere that previous Oscars have had.
I loved the Best Picture nominee highlights introduced by stars from the director’s previous films. Kathy Bates introducing Avatar (she was in Titanic), Keanu with The Hurt Locker, John Travolta introducing Inglorious Basterds — all brought an “oh wow” factor. It seemed as though the Academy wanted to show off their film buff side.
It was evident that the Academy wants to pass the torch to young Hollywood (or at least they wanted to bring in a younger audience by showcasing younger stars). Carey Mulligan, Chris Pine, Zoey Saldana and Sam Worthington were all solid presenters. Of course, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart completely bombed — but you knew that was coming.
The worst part of the show? Dancers popping it and locking it to the score of Up and The Hurt Locker. I know you’re trying to be hip, but that was ridiculous.
So when all was said and done, the 82nd Annual Oscars were a predictable, yet fun and groundbreaking show. I look forward to next year to see if they will keep the status quo or continue to innovate.