This review is probably going to be a lot shorter than other years, simply because nothing too extraordinary happened and I also really haven't got much to complain about.
Yes, this was actually a good year for the Oscar's, show-wise. It seems to me that what they did this year was going back to the Annual Academy Awards shows of the past 10 years and simply looked at what worked and what didn't and also to the criticism of the viewing audiences from all over the world, from the past few years. This has as a result that the show featured some of the best elements of the past few years and also made some minor adjustments. For instance a thing they kept in was the award presenter directly talking to the best actor/actress in a leading role nominees and complimenting their work. All of the presenters in general also had their little say and moment, as opposed to other years when at times presenters were just walking on to the stage and immediately announcing the nominees and eventual winner. Also the cinematic opening is back, in which the hosts show up in scene's from the nominated movies and take a comical swing on it. They also adjusted the in memoriam section, so that all names could be read of the screen this time, while at other years lots of people were complaining that some names could not be seen because of the way the segment got filmed, with inserted close-ups of the singer or a musical instrument player.
But some of the changes were also less notable and more subtly inserted. One thing that I noticed was that this year it really only was about the nominated movies and the nominees in the audiences. There were no Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, Mickey Rooney or anyone like that present, at least not that we ever saw. The show and the camera's only ever focused on this years nominees and not on the usual and well known Hollywood names or stars from the past and previous well known winners.
Obviously all a part of the attempts to keep the show fresh and to also focus on a more younger audience. Something they also really tried hard last year but this year works out way better because it's all done in a less desperate and just less obvious way.
But speaking of young, how about that Kirk Douglas? That was perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening. The 95-year old former Hollywood star and pretty boy handing out an award for supporting actress, despite his age and his psychical difficulties, relating to a stroke he suffered from over a decade ago already. It was not only wonderful to see him on stage but he also truly was the best and genuinely most fun part of the evening. He was not the oldest person to appear on stage day. The exactly 367 days older Eli Wallach also showed up briefly, due to him receiving the special honorary award this year, among others.
I have to admit that this has been the only year of which I literally have not seen one of the nominated movies, in any of the categories. Needless to say that I also didn't had a favorite for the win but yet also none of the winners surprised me. The wins for Natalie Portman and Christian Bale were pretty much set and it was also no great surprise "The King's Speech" eventually won for best picture, as well as within the other big categories, considering that it had also already won at the previous big award ceremonies. All of the other 'less' important awards were pretty much divided among the other favorite movies ("The Social Network", "The Fighter"), as well as amongst the more technical and visual movies of this year ("Inception", "Alice in Wonderland").
I think that this year also really showed that it really doesn't matter too much who is the host or hosts in this case. Anne Hathaway and James Franco weren't anything too fun or specular but they weren't anything too shockingly horrible either, though Franco seemed to had taken one or two calming tablets too many, a few drinks too much and a couple of hours of sleep too few, since he looked pretty much zoned out on the stage. But like I said, it really doesn't matter too much who is hosting it on the stage. It's an award show, that should foremost be about its nominees and winners and the only job of the hosts is to talk between the different segments and categories and bring it all together. If he/she does this well and hopefully also somewhat funny, it only makes the evening a more pleasant one but it doesn't make or brake the actual award show. It's a long award show, that also features lots of not so interesting categories and winners, so calling this show slow or boring in my opinion actually has very little to do with the way the entire show gets done. There have been years with lots of spectacular dancing and sining numbers, plenty of montages concerning movies, comical routines from some of the movie stars, people honoring the stars from the past but people were still considering those years the show to be bad and boring as well.
In other words; people will always keep on complaining about these sort of award shows. I personally think they were taking the right approach this time. And at least this year didn't caused any upset with any of its winners as well, which can be seen as arguably a both a good and a bad thing though really.
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