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Monday, March 8, 2010

Thoughts on the Oscars

Here we are a day after the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Thinking about the show as a whole, I still think it was average. Felt way too long and I drank a little over a bottle of wine. I can only imagine how it felt to someone sober. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were okay. They had a few good laughs, but they were definitely no Hugh Jackman. In general, the whole show was almost as good as last's year, but never felt like it got to that level.

The Neil Patrick Harris song and dance was a failure in my opinion. Watching the Best Acting categories was too drawn out. Last year with the five nominees was a brilliant idea. This year with a nominee's friend introducing them just lacked the same punch. I feel like Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic had good intentions, but it just didn't deliver as well as hoped.

Still, I had a fun time last night. Had roughly ten people over and we drank some wine and ate some popcorn. Predictions wise I didn't do as well as I had hoped. I only got 16/24, which for me is considered bad. I still haven't finished correcting all the Oscar contest ballots, but as of right now there's a four way tie with 18 picks a piece. It definitely looks like my 22 picks is safe and the Fandango Bucks will not be given. Maybe next year?

Here are a few thoughts on the actual award...

Avatar losing both sound categories reminds me of when Transformers lost both sound categories to The Bourne Ultimatum. Everyone had Transformers and it lost both. I didn't think that would happen to Avatar simply because it was a much better film. Yet, the Academy chose to go more realistic and that was a huge surprise to me. Once it lost both, I knew the chances of it winning Picture were pretty much done. Before the show, it seemed like a conservative strategy to go Avatar on both sound categories just to ensure at least one win. It backfired completely.

Then, oddly enough Avatar comes back and wins cinematography. The Academy didn't make a lot of sense last night. If anything, I figured The Hurt Locker would edge Avatar in Cinematography and get swept in the sound categories. It happened the other way and I have no idea why. Maybe, all three categories were really close and they just fell that way.

The short categories just screwed everyone last night. Everyone that covers the awards knows those categories can be toss ups, but even the films that won no one talked about. For example, in Best Doc - Short Subject it was either going to be Last Truck or China. It was Music for Prudence. I heard a little about this film, but it definitely seemed like it was firmly the third choice. I had a feeling Nick Park may lose Best Short - Animated, but I had to stick with him. I mean the guy has a great track record with the Academy. The New Tenants winning Best Short - Live Action was also a surprise as the two most talked about films were The Door and Kavi. This is the first year where I have completely been shut out of the shorts and that definitely hurt my score.

The biggest surprise of the night though had to be Precious winning Best Adapted Screenplay. Everyone had Up in the Air winning. I mean it was winning all the screenplay awards and I was shocked it lost. At least some people said The Hurt Locker could win the sound categories. Few people thought Precious had a chance to win this. After that win, I thought there was an outside chance that Gabourey Sidibe could upset in Best Actress. It didn't happen, but it was still a good night for Precious.

As much as people didn't want Sandra Bullock to win Best Actress I have to say she gave one of the best speeches of the night. She also pulled off the rare feat of winning an Oscar and Razzie in the same year.

The Hurt Locker winning Best Picture just seemed rushed. Tom Hanks tweeted after that it was planned that way, but I find that hard to believe. No one in my apartment even knew they announced the winner. It happened so fast. I still think it was the wrong choice, but it wasn't a horrible one. It is a damn good film and I think it's the best film about Iraq so far. I just felt like Avatar was a more important film and should have been recognized.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts later. I just wanted to post something before I head to class. Hopefully the Oscar contest results will be up by tomorrow night.

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