Monday, February 27, 2012

She Did it!!! And Other Oscar News

Is this not the coolest Oscar picture you've ever seen?

The 1983 telecast (for 82's films) was the first I can remember really paying attention to and preparing for ahead of time. It was, coincidentally, the last time Streep won Best Actress.

Needless to say, her win last night was the highlight of my evening.

Despite it's criticisms for being one of the worst Oscar show ever (people have short memories...), I actually found there was a lot the producers had managed to "iron out" in terms of pacing. Whoever thought of giving each presenter at least two awards to give out deserves their own award. Cut heaps of time and allowed the winners a bit more time (nothing is more disheartening is to see two people given an award for, say, sound design and after the first person speaks, the orchestra sounds and the mike is cut off.)

Secondly, they cut out lots of fat. The Irving Thalberg Award is long gone (no offense to the recipients, but it always came near the end of the night with a full-on tribute and long acceptance speech). Even the achievement award Oprah received was kept to a nice recap. Very classy.

The cliched "movie quote" montage added nothing, although the interviews with the stars talking about their experiences was occasionally amusing and sweet (and well produced). But honestly, we get it already, everyone in the movie industry as well very everyone watching from home loves the movies! From way back when they were kids!

As far a Billy Crystal, he did a good job although the obvious plastic surgery and shoe polish hair really did break my heart. And the stuff he's good at was fun, but also kinda sad because what was once fresh felt very outdated. It's like the producers swing back and forth each year trying to be "hip" or "old-school classy". All I've come to realize from all of this is that the hosting gig really must be harder than it looks. But someone will come along and figure it out and we'll be on another streak.

My own personal highlights of the night
  • Crystal's shout-out to Carl, a charming gentlemen in a powder blue tux who's been a seat filler for like 50 years.
  • Once again, the "unkowns" gave the best speeches (I think my favorite was the man who introduced his daughter as the film's producer and said, "Now I don't have to wait for a wedding to tell everyone how proud I am.")
  • Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter won for Best Editing for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Unlike favored winners who get up on stage and say, "I didn't think I would get this," which incites eye rolling, this win seemed very unlikely because Fincher's movie (which was awesome, by the way) wasn't nominated for much else besides this category. Their inability to put their minds around the win was genuine and charming (plus, I have an enormous crush on Wall from the Social Network DVD extras...)
  • Will Ferrell and Zack Galifanakis in white tuxes, playing cymbals and climbing out of the pit and playing the comedy very straight. Hilarious.
  • Emma Stone was terrific in her pairing with Ben Stiller. There were a 100 ways for that banter to have fallen flat and she nailed it.
  • Of course no 2012 Oscar telecast recap would be complete without commenting on Angelina Jolie's "strike a pose" moment. It was as though the woman had never worn a dress with a slit before. At first I kinda felt bad because the argument could be made that she made a bad spur of the moment choice. But then I kept seeing pictures of her in the same extreme pose on the red carpet. It was inevitable she'd return to her alien behavior. She wasn't going to be able to pull of the suburban mom routine forever (not when you've already been on the red carpet wearing a vial of your husband's blood around your neck one year and nearly making out with your brother another.)
  • As for the Best/Worst Dressed, I don't think there was anyone who stuck out as nightmareish. The dresses were very muted this year, lots of pinks and whites and cremes. I think Stacy Keebler had the best dress. Michelle Williams was adorable. There was a lot of good hair too - Glenn Close, Kristen Wiig, Melissa Leo. And more than a few short hair bobs. Must be the new hairstyle coming our way in three or four years. Cameron Diaz really looked great with it (of course she can manage to pull of anything...) The men looked especially handsome as well (Clooney of course, but Tom Hanks looked really good. Poor Nick Nolte, who's looked bad for years, now officially resembles Santa Claus...

So I think that about covers it. Thanks for everyone who indulged my obsession for yet another year. Let's hope the producers just keep at it, keep trying to make it better...

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