February 23, 2009

Oscar recap

Let’s just get a few things out of the way about the Oscars last night. Most of the coverage I’ve seen so far has been negative – hating on the musical numbers, thinking Hugh Jackman was blasé – but I thought the show was close to perfect. It mixed it up from previous years, and made it feel personal.
  • I loved the new presenting format, where past winners in the acting categories spoke about the nominees, instead of just showing clips from their films. It was personal and relevant. That being said, I found it hilarious to watch Nicole Kidman present to Angelina Jolie – two of the most cardboard women in the world, seemingly in a contest to see who can smile with their eyebrows raised the highest and lips closed the most.

  • I teared up quite a bit throughout the show, but I think the biggest waterworks came for Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter of ‘Milk,’ who thanked his mom for loving him even when there was “pressure not to” and who then talked to gay kids out there: “If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.” Political in all the right ways, succinct and touching. Love it.
  • The children from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ were my favorite part of the movie, and my favorite part of the red carpet. Seriously. Just look at them:
  • I love musicals, and I loved the musical numbers with Hugh Jackman (especially the crack about “Your Craigslist dancers” in the econo-version of the opening act). However, I think that declaring “The musical is back!” was a little revisionist (even though I support anything that involves musical mashups and Beyonce). I mean, “Chicago’ won the Best Picture Oscar SIX years ago. It’s BEEN back, y’all.
  • Presenters that were awesome: Queen Latifah (What a lovely idea to have a live performance during the Remembrances. And, it was a nice reminder when she said that to us they were images, but to the people in that room they were friends.). Natalie Portman (loved the purple, Natalie) and Ben Stiller (as Joaquin Phoenix). Tina Fey & Steve Martin (To borrow a page from Randy Jackson, these two could read the phone book and I would fall out of my chair laughing). Jack Black & Jennifer Aniston. Hell yeah I’ll give her credit just for standing up there on stage 10 feet in front of Brangelina.
  • Presenters that need some work: Alicia Keys & Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried & Robert Pattison (I had no idea he was British?). Bill Maher. Boring.
  • I wish all the Montage 2008s had been Romance ones.
  • By my count, that final montage of upcoming films (which got much less buildup than I was anticipating and wound up running over the credits since the show ran long) previewed 24 coming out this year. Interesting, since this year, not counting short, documentary or foreign language films, 26 films were nominated for an Academy Award.
That’s all for now!