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Monday, February 28, 2011

Thoughts on the 83rd Academy Awards

The 83rd Academy Awards have come and gone. I love the Oscars, so this was a little tough for me. I rewatched the show again earlier today and it wasn't very good. It's finally time to share some thoughts on what happened on Sunday.

THE PARTY

I did had a fun time having some people over my apartment. There were 20 people in my cramped apartment. A little more than I wanted. Really wanted to have about 15 people over, but had a few unexpected guests. It happens. Managed to drink 18 bottles of wine, so I think that is a hell of an accomplishment.

MY OSCAR BALLOT

I went 18 out of 24, which isn't too bad. I've managed to get at least 18 correct picks in 5 out of the last 7 years. So I usually consider 18 to be the key number on Oscar night.

Last night was just another reminder of how special it was when I went 22 out of 24 in 2009. That very well may never be topped by me.

No one beat my Oscar record in the my annual Oscar contest. Again, just another reminder of how hard it is to get 22 picks.

I had a weird night with my picks as I actually went 0 for 2 to start the night off and 1-3 in the first four categories. Then, I proceeded to go 17-3 over the next 20 categories to finish with 18 picks. After my 1-3 start, I actually thought I was going to have a real bad night. Luckily, I rebounded.

I actually picked Best Documentary - Short Subject right for the first time since 2008. I usually consider that to be my worst category, so it felt nice.

I'm glad I didn't change my Supporting Actress pick. I stuck with Leo and it paid off. I never fully bought into the idea that Hailee Steinfeld would pull it off.

I'm mad at myself for not changing 3 categories I should have got right (Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design). I really overestimated the Academy's love for The King's Speech. I went with that film in all three of these categories even though I was a little worried. The worst part is my alternate in all three of these categories was the actual winner. Part of me just didn't think Alice in Wonderland would win 2 Oscars. Still find it hard to believe, but oh well...

The other 3 categories I got wrong, I would have never changed. I had to stick with True Grit for Best Cinematography. The other 2 were shorts, which is always a crapshoot anyway.

I'm really happy I stuck with Tom Hooper. When predicting the Oscars, you can't play favorites and need to pick the person or film you think has the best shot to win. The way the race was going, it just felt like Hooper was the best choice. I was shocked how many people went with Fincher. Was the guy robbed? Yes, he was, but let's be honest, the Oscars make a lot of poor choices. Just ask Martin Scorsese.

THE SHOW

In the week leading up the Oscars, I had a feeling James Franco and Anne Hathaway would be bad Oscar hosts. Unfortunately, I was correct. They just lacked the X factor that makes someone a great Oscar host. The Oscars are always the hardest hosting gig, so it shouldn't be too surprising they were going to run into trouble.

The show just lacked a lot in general. It has been universally panned. I hope Anne and James rebound as I think they are both really talented.

Franco is taking even more heat than Hathaway. Some people said he was stoned. I disagree. It felt like to me that he just didn't really care that much.

I still think Hugh Jackman was the best host in the last five years. In looking for a host or hosts for next year, they need to look for someone in the similar mold. I actually hope they go back to a single host. I just think it works better. Part of the problem with Franco and Hathaway is that they lacked chemistry. I found it a bit surprising too since I thought they would work well together. Not sure what happened.

Kirk Douglas is a legend, but watching him was painful. The guy is 94 years old. It was funny at first, but soon became just awkward.

The speeches in general I thought were okay. Nothing really special was said. Maybe the most memorable part was when Melissa Leo dropped the f bomb. I thought David Seidler's speech was great. It was probably my favorite of the night.

It was funny and awkward when Spielberg talked about all these great films that didn't win Best Picture. The statement was true, but it was weird to hear it on the Oscars. It was almost discrediting the award.

THE RESULTS

Really surprised The King's Speech only won 4 Oscars. It even failed to win one technical award. It was surprising to me.

Inception winning 4 Oscars was also surprising. Best Cinematography was probably the surprise the night.

Before Best Director was announced, I honestly thought The Social Network may win Best Picture. The King's Speech was underperforming, so it left the door open. Then, Tom Hooper won and it was all over.

Some people have horrible luck with the Academy. Last night, Fincher, Deakins, and Bening all lost again. A lot of people thought this would be the year for Fincher and Deakins. I hope they get their Oscar one day, but it will probably be for not their best work. Then again, that happens to a lot of people. As for Bening, she just can't get a role strong enough to get her over the top. She's lost twice to Hilary Swank and now to Natalie Portman. It's not like she is losing to horrible actresses.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Overall the Oscars this year were okay for me. The party was great. My ballot was great. The show sucked. It happens. Not every Oscars can be like the 81st Academy Awards, which is still "The Greatest Oscars Ever".

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