|I'm acknowledging Nagisa Oshima who inexplicably was left out of the In Memoriam segment|
I realize that yes it's a day late, so sue me. Unlike previous years I happen to work a job with soul crushingly awful hours which makes typing a fresh reaction blog to the Oscars impossible. Oh speaking of which did you notice the telecast was called "The Oscars"? I did, and as far as I can tell this is the first time it was officially called this. In nearly every year I can remember it was still referred to as it's classic name with many more syllables The Academy Awards. Now you know, anyways on to the good and bad of it all.
I'll keep this brief because there wasn't much. Quentin Tarantino won another best original screenplay Oscar, I'm happy for him, really considering this was my favorite movie of the year. I will also say bravo to Michael Haneke for winning at least the foreign language award even if his film didn't stand a chance against his Hollywood produced competition.
I mentioned that I was pulling for Jessica Chastain for best actress but had no problem with Jennifer Lawrence winning. She had a pretty good year, and well it's all downhill from here so enjoy it. She was pretty damn good in Silver Linings and I'm happy for her. Good for Anne Hathaway as well.
I was legitimately surprised Christoph Waltz won again, that man should probably never make another movie not directed by Tarantino. I was convinced Tommy Lee Jones would snag one for Lincoln but I was obviously wrong. Based on audience reaction it seemed like no one in the theater was rooting for Lincoln to win anything. Every time the film was announced I heard only the mildest of applause. When Daniel Day Lewis won his anti-climatic third Oscar people just seemed to say "Yeah big surprise can we get to the best picture already?"
For some reason Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild seemed to get the most applause throughout the night. Beasts is the type of film that makes me angry when people like it. If I have to hear one more thing about how brave and courageous the actors in that film are I'll probably puke. Stop liking movies about poor black people to prove to the world that you're not racist Hollywood.
Oh good heavens where do I start? I'd say Seth Macfarlane did a decent job as a host so I won't get on him too much. I realize that many, many people go into writing the show so if the jokes were terrible it's not always the host. I will say this I have never been more conscious of an Oscar telecast catering to gay audiences more in my life. Even Macfarlane cracked a joke about it.
So I did research like a good blogger and found that this year's show was produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Ever hear of them? Me neither but you guessed it they're both openly gay. So this would explain why we had a powerfully unnecessary tribute to musicals of the last decade. I mean, really? The last decade, if you wanted to salute Warner Bros. musicals from the 30s and have people perform "42nd Street" or something that would have been cool in a flaming gay sort of way. However suffering through Chicago, Dreamgirls, and Les Miserables I just felt like saying "too soon". Come on they didn't want Daniel Day to come out and sing a number from Nine?
Oh there was also that Shirley Bassey performance of "Goldfinger", and there's a few things about this. First of all I wonder if the team of Zadan and Meron thought they had to butch up the show a bit so that it wouldn't alienate all the non-gay people who were watching, so they figured Bond was the manliest thing they could put on the show so we got a slightly pointless tribute to celebrate the franchise's 50th year. They dropped the ball big time with including Bassey because to be honest I don't care about seeing ancient singers who were never that good to begin with sing bad songs (hint hint this also includes Barbara Streisand in what was easily the worst produced "In Memoriam" segment I've seen). Long story short the song from "Goldfinger" sucks, like really bad, almost as bad as "Diamonds are Forever" and who sang that? Oh that's right Dame Bassey strikes again.
Now if I was producing this and say I was told a Bond tribute had to be included and a musical number was part of it I'd do one of two things. First I'd say let's get Paul McCartney who clearly recorded the best Bond song ever for "Live and Let Die". This might seem like a stretch, but Christ they got the first lady to hand out an award, why not a Beatle? If this didn't work I'd say let's just have Adele sing her song from Skyfall because she's going to sing it anyways and it would tie in nicely with the tribute. Instead we had to suffer through that, and then suffer through Adele who gave a very uncomfortable and awkward looking rendition. The song isn't terrible and congrats to her for winning an Oscar but man that girl has no rhythm.
As for the rest of the show, too fucking long again. It was worse this year because I had to wake up to go to work at 2am so every agonizing segment was just more time I wouldn't be sleeping.
Me and several other people were actively rooting for Joaquin Phoenix to win best actor if for nothing else because he probably would have walked up stage told everyone to go fuck themselves and then politely walking off, making it easily the best acceptance speech ever. The Master didn't surprise me by getting shut out repeatedly, oh well time will probably be a lot kinder to this film.
Life of Pi looks like a crappy video game. The tiger in the boat looks less realistic than the repulsor rays coming from Iron Man's suit. How this won a best visual effects Oscar blows my mind, especially when a film like The Avengers didn't even get nominated. I mean this is special effects were talking about here, this is the one category where it's perfectly acceptable for a summer blockbuster to win, but well the Academy still hates comic book movies.
Speaking of Pi, I'm hungry. On another note Ang Lee won another best director Oscar for a film that wasn't nearly as good as people seem to think it is. Granted Brokeback Mountain was a much better film than this, I was a little surprised to see Lee being a two time winner without directing a best picture winner. Now John Ford's first two best director Oscars were for films that didn't win best picture but let's hope Ang Lee doesn't have a third in store, because he is not that great.
Argo did defy the odds, and you can tell people you know it's the first best picture winner since Driving Miss Daisy that wasn't nominated for a best director Oscar, bravo. Truthfully though I feel like this is one of those "could have been worse" best picture winners. I don't think in twenty years anyone anywhere will think it was the best film of the year (does anyone think it was the best film of the year now?). However I don't think it will invoke the same kind of passionate hatred some other best picture winners have and most likely will generate.
Speaking of more useless trivia it features John Goodman. You know what else Goodman was in? The Artist. So he joins a small group of actors; Clark Gable (1934-35), Christopher Walken (1977-78),Meryl Streep (1978-79), and Russell Crowe (2000-01) to appear in consecutive best picture winners. There might be some more out there but I'm drawing a blank, feel free to let me know if you think of any.
There's probably more about the show I hated but I wouldn't mind getting some sleep now so good night world, more blogging to come.