|Index||10 reviews in total|
For the first time in a long time, the Academy Awards have actually
been funny, interesting, and unpredictable. From surprise Best Picture
winner "Crash" to Ben Stiller in a green skin tight suit presenting the
Best Visual Effects Oscar, this year was truly entertaining. The entire
evening the Academy kept it interesting with film montages, funny
jokes, shorter acceptance speeches, and fewer commercial breaks (it was
a half an hour before the first commercial break). The funny thing is,
is that I hadn't seen any of the Best Picture nominees so I was
expecting to be bored, but I wasn't. Here are some memorable moments
from Hollywood's biggest night.
-The opening number which consisted of previous Oscar hosts turning down the spot of emcee for the evening, was extremely hilarious. You missed out if you didn't see it.
-Pre-taped segments that poked fun at everything from the Best Actress nominee's names, to accusing Keira Knightley of "acting while beautiful". This was one of the reasons the evening was so fun.
-Ben Stiller in a green bodysuit insisting that no one could see him and stating, ''For the first time in Oscar history, an Academy Award will be presented by no one," while dancing around the stage with a "floating envelope".
-Will Farrell and Steve Carrell presenting the Best Make-Up award while wearing ridiculous make-up that looked like they put it on themselves. And Steve Carrell's fake eyelashes were something I won't soon forget.
It wasn't a perfect Academy Awards show though. One thing I hated was how the orchestra played music throughout everyone's acceptance speech, which was kind of like reminding them to "hurry it up". And while I liked the fact that the acceptance speeches were shorter, many people were cut off or didn't get to talk at all. Once there was two people on stage accepting an award, and after the first guy finished, the second guy stepped up to say a few words, but immediately the orchestra started up and the lights went down on the poor guy. This is their big moment, and the Academy kept cutting them short and making them go fast. It was not very courteous of them. And an upset for me was the group 3 Six Mafia winning Best Song for the film "Hustle and Flow". A song called "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp" won Best Song? Get real! And then the groups acceptance speech consisted of incomprehensible street jargon and a swear word that was bleeped out. Plus, they totally ignored the evenings black-tie dress code, with the group wearing huge coats, sunglasses, hats, and (gasp!) jeans.
Overall though, the night played out great, and the movies that I wanted to win, won. I think the Academy Awards have finally made their comeback from previous, boring telecasts. I applaud you Oscar! For a complete list of nominees and winners, go to Oscar.com.
Brian Ledtke,16, lives in Thomas Township.
This year was better then last year. Chris Rock, last year's host, was boring. Jon Stewart, this year's, was better. He wasn't hysterical, but he was funny and kept a serious face on whenever he gave his lines. The awards were well handed out I think, except for Reese Witherspoon, who made a complete fool of herself while she gave her acceptance speech. I liked that Dolly Parton came back with another good song to sing. Plus, it was cool to watch Three 6 Mafia sing the winning song "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" from Hustle and Flow. The dancers that performed during that song number did a good job on their queues also. All and all, this was a better year then the recent.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yes, this happened over a year ago but I feel like commenting on the 78th Annual Academy Awards. To be honest, this is probably one of the best Academy Award shows ever. Jon Stewart made a pretty good host, and a lot of things that deserved to win did win. I knew as a fact that George Clooney was going to win Best Supporting Actor for Syriana, but probably the most controversial moment was when Crash beat Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture. Everyone was expecting Brokeback, being as it won pretty much every other reward, but then Crash won. I could care less of what movie won but I too was a bit shocked that Crash won. I guess it deserved it, though.
Like all the Academy Awards shows, here is the basis. There is a host, this year Jon Stewart, the host or a famous actor or actress or a filmmaker or a producer or a write present an award. I am not going to go over every single award like I did for my comment for 79th Annual Academy Awards but you get the point. Anyway, the show if supposed to be three hours long, but it always runs an hour longer. In the end somebody announces the greatest film of the year, or Best Picture, which went to, like I said before, Crash.
Overall, this is actually a nice year for the Academy Awards. I agreed with most of the choices for the winners, (which is rare, trust me), but some I was not quite certain about, like Crash. A lot of things happened in this Awards show that did not happen in a while. For example, all six important categories went to a different film, and the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress awards all went to someone that was not nominated before, but I know all of you know that. Anyway, this is a fun Academy Awards show.
Recommended Shows: The 79th Annual Oscars.
It's not often that I give the Academy Awards 10/10; after all, what is
it except self-congratulation? But Jon Stewart was the perfect host. He
was exactly right in his question to Steven Spielberg when referring to
"Schindler's List" and "Munich": what will happen to us Jews next?
The only problem this year was the final award: "Brokeback Mountain" was something new, while "Crash" was a little too safe. But other than that, I liked "The 78th Annual Academy Awards". Back in the days when only big, overblown, pompous musicals could receive nominations for Best Original Song, who would have guessed that there would be a winner called "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"? But, as Jon Stewart noted, it just got a lot easier for a pimp!
Anyway, I agreed with most of the winners, even if there were some predictable ones (but don't get me wrong: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Reese Witherspoon both did very well in their performances). And I laud George Clooney for encouraging Hollywood to make more movies about what's going on in the world, such as "Syriana". Knowing what a great host Jon Stewart was, I would like to see Stephen Colbert host the Oscars one year; in his persona, he could rant against Hollywood for hating America (let's face it: how many movies has Hollywood made saying anything good about the US of A?).
All in all, a great ceremony, especially with Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin overlapping their dialogue to award Robert Altman (RIP) his Honorary Oscar.
Another year comes round and we find ourselves facing down the barrel
of a long night of clapping and awards. However with Sky yet again
buying the rights and sticking it on a subscription only channel, all I
had was a two hour highlights show which I suppose is not too bad as it
is long enough to get it all in but not so long that there will be
loads of dead time to content with. After some time "interviewing" the
stars on the red carpet we get into the opening sequence that, despite
being a bit obvious was quite funny. From here on in we got into the
awards, which I will get back to in a bit.
As a host Stewart did an OK job but I didn't think his style of humour suited that type of event; at times he did seem to struggle and he lacked the presence of, say, Billy Crystal. His material wasn't always the strongest but I like him enough to forgive him. The structure of the ceremony went well although I didn't like the fact that Nick Park and others looked like they were stuck on the very back row. The Sky highlights show did a good job of editing the ceremony together so that it moved forward well, although I know they cut a lot of Jon Stewart.
The winners were mostly worthy enough. Clooney deserved something even if Syriana wasn't anywhere near as good as his work in Good Luck, and Good Night; his acceptance speech was great and he marked himself out as a real gent. Hoffman gave a nice speech and given that he dominated Capote he deserved it (although I did think Howard was better). Crash was a surprise but then I had no problem with it or Brokeback winning. Wallace & Gromit was always going to win and rightly so. Other than Crash in fact there were no massive surprises and no one film dominated, which was good although the lack of shocks meant that at times it was a bit dull. The songs were a bit overdone and stagy and "hard out here for a pimp" was a surprise win (at least I thought so). Witherspoon continued the fine tradition of actresses giving overly emotional and rambling speeches and I did nearly laugh out loud when she said she was just trying to matter and make work that meant something.
The Sky presentation is as average as usual. I didn't see how they coped with all the breaks but judging by how they did the pre-recorded bits in the highlights show I can only assume they did a bad job. The links were filmed outside an after-show party and the sound quality was poor as a result. Jamie Theakston was poor on the red carpet and he was bland in the links. However he looks like a pro compared to the personality void that was Amanda Byram. I know the role requires her to look pretty and not much else but I was surprised by how poor she was her red carpet chat with Clooney was just embarrassing and even the great charmer himself was showing signs of strain in talking to her.
Overall though a solid show with nothing much to really talk about. Bits were funny but I can't see Stewart coming back for a second shot on the strength of this. The awards were mostly deserved and, with no one film dominating the spread was good and the nominations provided interest in the "outsider" nominees. Not a great show but interesting enough but I hope to God that Sky do something worthwhile with it or let another channel have a go (I mean, don't they have Barry Norman under contract for goodness sake?).
Jon Stewart, I suppose gave a good well done performance this year as
MC of the 78th Academy Awards show. He's been known to be a lot
funnier, but was a joy instead of seeing the usual regular hosts that
normally include Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg. His
funny remarks to the 'gay' films this year were funny though.
This year, the top prize of Best Picture was awarded to the independent feature 'Crash' starring Matt Dillion who also was nominated for Best Actor, but instead lost the award to the rather underrated character actor Phillip Seymore Hoffman for his role as the title character in 'Capote'. By far, I had actually expected that Joaquin Phoenix would win Best Actor for his performance as another title character this last year as legendary singer Johnny Cash in 'Walk the Line'. Nonetheless, his leading lady Reese Witherspoon gave a wonderful performance as June Cash in the film, which resulted her in a very much deserved Best Actress honor. For the supporting roles, Rachel Weiz got Supporting Actress, and George Clooney got Supporting Actor. Other films that got Academy Award notice included the gay romance film of two cowboys, "Brokeback Mountain" starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhall, both were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively; Steven Spielberg's 'Munich' got Best Picture nod and one film that was particularly overlooked was the summer's blockbuster remake of 'King Kong' which got more of less of Special Visual Effects recongization.
The winner of Best Song was very very shocking, 'Hard Out there for a Pimp' was awarded to Three Hit Mafia and in turn it was quite an uproar as well.
The other annual events that are shown at Oscar included the honorary segment, this year awarded to director Robert Altman; legendary actress Lauren Bacall presented a tribute to film-noir movies from the 40's and 50's; as a tribute to the much controversial gay films done this year, the Academy showed clips of western films with funny gay themes just for laughs anyway, and then there was usual touching In Memoriam tribute paying respects to film industry members that passed away in the previous year which included: Teresa Wright, Pat Morita, director Robert Newmyer, Dan O'Herhily, Vincent Schivelli, director Robert Wise, Chris Penn, John Mills, Sandra Dee, Anthony Franciosa, Barbara Bel Geddes, producers Debra Hill, Ismail Merchant, Moustapha Akkad, Eddie Albert, Shelley Winters, Anne Bancroft and Richard Pryor, just to name a few.
Not only was this is a good show to watch, also most of the winners
were surprising. No movie swept away the awards and the 'big' Oscars
were evenly handed among the favorite movies of the evening. It made it
a very unpredictable evening and because of that it also was fun to
watch. It's never fun to see one movie just win all of the 'big'
Oscars, especially when the movie is not deserving enough of it. So,
for the more neutral and unbiased viewer, like myself, this was a great
awards show in which the Adademy Awards, for me, regained some of its
credibility and respect.
The show was fast paced and there weren't any slow or distracting moments. All of the presenters were good and didn't try to be forced funny all the time, like often in the past was the case. As for Jon Stewart, he surprised me. I never really had been a fan of him but he was a great presenter of the evening. Unlike the other presenters from the past, he stood there as a presenter that told some fun jokes in between and not as a comedian who tried to make the audience laugh with basically every single sentence. Stewart never overdid things and because of that he was a great presenter that also was fun to listen to.
A bit disappointing however were the montages. I normally always enjoy the montages during the Oscars but the montages used this year contained some weird and unimpressive movie choices at times. It also got a bit tiresome after a while when they kept repeating to the viewers that they should watch movies in theater's rather than home on DVD or on portable-DVD. It felt like one big, unpaid for, advert that in my opinion also was just totally pointless.
As for the winners...Like I said before, it was a great evening for the neutral movie-viewer. It was a mostly unpredictable evening, with some great and also some surprising winners. The Oscars were handed out extremely even and fair this year. "King Kong" took home 3 Oscar, as well as "Memoirs of a Geisha", "Crash" and "Brokeback Mountain". "King Kong" won the most important technical awards, "Memoirs of a Geisha" the most important visual awards and both "Crash" and "Brokeback Mountain" won the 'big' important awards. So, it was a very balanced evening for most movies.
Not all of the awards were a surprise though of course. Most movie buffs already knew that it was simply bound to happen once, that Philip Seymour Hoffman would win an Oscar for best actor and it really was no surprise to anyone that he won this year for his role in "Capote". It also was fairly determined that Reese Witherspoon would receive the Oscar for best actress, which she also did. Judi Dench already had received enough nominations and credit, plus she already won an Oscar once, Charlize Theron already one won recently, Keira Knightley will almost certainly still win an Oscar later within about 5 or maybe 10 years, the way her career progresses at the moment. She's young, talented and beautiful, so she'll get there. And Felicity Huffman...yeah right, like she even had a chance. So no, also Reese Witherspoon was surely no surprise, also because she already had won many other big awards this year for her role in "Walk the Line". Also no real surprises were; "La Marche de l'empereur" for best documentary feature, "Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" for best animated feature film and George Clooney for his supporting role in the movie "Syriana". Clooney was nominated two more times, first best screenplay and directing for "Good Night, and Good Luck.". Three nominations, so he was almost bound to receive one. For best screenplay and best directing would had been too controversial, so giving him one for his acting seemed like a fair and predictable move. Clooney himself also knew that he wouldn't receive the Oscar for best screenplay or directing after he had one the best supporting actor award.
Of course biggest surprise of the evening was "Crash" winning the best picture award, especially after Ang Lee already had won the best director award during the evening. Everyone basically assumed that "Brokeback Mountain" would win best picture and most of the other important awards of the evening, with maybe "Good Night, and Good Luck." as the most important underdog. Yeah sure "Crash" had 6 nominations this evening but honestly, who would had ever expected it to win so many and important awards. The movie almost didn't seem to make a chance to win against "Brokeback Mountain" and any of the other movies nominated. But yet it won, which is good for the unpredictability, surprise and credibility level of this year's award ceremony.
All in all, "The 78th Annual Academy Awards" was an unpredictable and fun evening with a good presented- and fast show set around it. 2005 was a great and competitive year for the Oscar's. No one will totally agree with the Oscar's handed out this year but for the neutral viewer there was plenty to enjoy.
I was surprised to find Don Knotts left out of the Memoriam section during this years awards. He's one of the most beloved comics of his generation. His films made a fortune? GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN. THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPETT. Classics. I know Barney Fife was a TV character, but still, he's one of the most influential comedians of the post-War years. And he didn't even get a mention in the Memorial section? Let's not go into the fact that the composer of the GODZILLA theme was left out. That might be consider an obscure credit for an American awards show. But Don Knotts? Who's more classic that Don Knotts? What's up with that?
At the closing of the Academy Awards, I really enjoyed the music the
orchestra was playing and I'm trying to find out what it was.
They actually played two songs, one while Jon Stewart was saying goodbye and then transitioned to another while the credits were rolling.
It's the second song that I'm interested in.
I've already gone to Oscar.com and the Academy Awards websites, but can't find anything there or where else to go look.
John Conti was the orchestra conductor.
All I have to say after watching the 78th Academy Awards is: Good for
you Oscar! After all of the overwhelming media attention received by
certain movies, let's say Brokeback Mountain for example, the Academy
proved itself better and didn't follow what everyone said was
inevitable. After many years of having to admit some disappointment
with the Oscar's I had decided that if it turned out the way everyone
said it would I would have to give up on Hollywood. This was their
final chance, and all signs pointed to them giving in to the pressure
and handing out all the awards to Brokeback and TransAmerica.
But they were better!!! They went against what all the critics and all the press said and Brokeback was denied almost every award it was nominated for. Apart from giving just a great show, the Academy has proved that maybe, just maybe they have some goodness left in them. Was it the correct choice? It doesn't really matter, cuz it was the right thing to do. And that's something Hollywood has rarely been brave enough to attempt.
So way to go Academy! You've restored my faith in you at least a little longer, and you've shown that there may yet be some hope for Hollywood- maybe not much, but there is some still left.
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