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I have looked forward to the Academy Awards telecast every year for as
long as I can remember and I am 57. The best part of this particular
year was replaying Bob Hope EmCeeing ("Master of Ceremonies"), and
being introduced by one of the very best more recent EmCee's, Billy
Crystal. However, showing those two, merely made the point that this
year was a disaster.
It was not the fault of Anne Hathaway and James Franco, I don't believe. It was the writing behind it all. Hathaway and Franco tried so hard. And a good EmCee should never have to do that. By comparison to the telecasts of the Golden Globes, SAGs, and BAFTA Award shows of this year, the "Oscars" were pretty pitiful. The writers took away so many of the awards formerly given at the big night, and put them in special, separate ceremonies. One would think that this would shorten the length of the "Oscar Night" show, yet it did not. I found it an especially *bad* decision that they separated out the "Lifetime Achievement Award" and the "Irving Thalberg Award" from that special night. It was a disgrace.
I also found it irritating that Halle Berry got to give a special "In memoriam" to her idol, Lena Horne, yet there was nothing special for that absolutely, spectacularly special movie musician, John Barry. Jane Seymour was a personal friend. She could have been asked to give a special tribute to him. The BAFTA show had one of his award winning pieces behind their montage of those who passed away. I know Barry was English, but he won four Oscars, and countless other music, film, and television music awards here in the USA.
Here is a thought for next year...Tina Fey. Or Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin (both have been in movies). Or Tina Fey and Steve Carell (both have been in movies). Or Tina Fey and *anybody else*!!!. Those people are naturally funny, can wing it like Crystal used to, they can write their own stuff, or make someone else's funny, and they all know how to behave as Master (or Mistress) of Ceremonies!!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After sitting through over 4 hours (including commercial breaks) of
some of the worst banter I've ever seen, the 83rd Academy Awards
Ceremony didn't exactly win me over. Admittedly, it had its moments -
most of those moments scattered throughout acceptance speeches. I
thought instead of a long rant it would be easier for me to just list
my likes and dislikes of the ceremony. So, without further ado...
Things I liked about this year's Academy Awards: Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law (the duo made for, in my opinion, the funniest moment of the night); Mila Kunis' dress; Kirk Douglas; James Franco's dress (I chortled); Melissa Leo's reaction to her F-bomb; Mila Kunis' cleavage; Luke Matheny's hair; Mila Kunis.
(I'm not biased towards Mila Kunis, or even any part of Mila Kunis... it's just that, well, there wasn't really anything else worth focusing on.) Which brings me to...
Things I didn't like about this year's Academy Awards: James Franco and Anne Hathaway - could you get any more bland? Or awkward? Or (insert adjective here which aptly describes their slowly decreasing entertainment factor as the night progressed); Gwyneth Paltrow singing; The children's choir (cute, but not overly good. I'm sure their mums will be proud); Auto tuned movie scenes (honestly, what were they thinking? What happened to good old-fashioned live entertainment?); Whoever was in charge of Randy Newman's microphone (his instantly recognisable voice failed to come through in the mix); Colin Firth didn't stutter in his acceptance speech (come on, you were thinking it too); Anne Hathaway's solo (is that the best they can come up with?); The 2 minute (if that) medley of movie themes; and... pretty much everything else.
The whole tone of the ceremony was fairly flat, and compared to previous years - in particular (my favourite), the 81st hosted by Hugh Jackman featuring plenty of live entertainment, massive musical numbers and just general liveliness - this one was nothing short of sh*t.
If the plan is to make next year's Academy Awards ceremony as dull as this year's turned out to be, at least give Mila Kunis the job of hosting - if only to give me a reason to sit through the slow, unbearable torture that Hollywood seems to think we enjoy.
I shouldn't say this is the worst Oscars telecast ever simply because I
have not seen them all, but I can definitely say beyond the shadow of a
doubt that this is probably the single worst Oscars telecast that I
The main problem was co-host James Franco. His co-host was left to try to clean up after him and make the best of an awful show without any help from his whatsoever. The opening number was kind of okay but after that it seemed like he was a bored and incredibly boring, drunk and-or high idiot who didn't have a clue what he was doing and didn't care how bad he did or how bad the show got.
I hope they never have him back. I think he was easily worse than the worst Whoopi Goldberg hosting job and I would have thought that would be impossible.
The only times I tune into the Oscars is to find out who wins the
acting awards and who made and who didn't make the In Memoriam tribute.
I suppose the reason why some acting luminaries are omitted is that too much emphasis is laid on to the deceased, who because of their occupations (screen writers, hairdressers, wardrobe, cinematography, and so forth) must be considered relevant, even though their screen time (aside from the credits at the beginning and/or ending of the film)are, to me, at least, unimportant. For example, I have barely heard of Theoni V. Aldredge, aside from the fact he created the costumes for the "Ghostbusters" movies.
The Oscars are all about the movie industry - the actors, the composers, the directors, that is all I care about. John Barry, Blake Edwards and the other featured in the directing/music category deserve to be remembered.
Then we come to the stars themselves: the overlooked:
Peter Graves - Leslie Nielsen (a co-star of his in the Airplane movies) was remembered, yet he was not. Betty Garrett Corey Haim Lisa Blount Kenneth Mars Janet MacLachlan Rue McClanahan George DiCenzo James Gammon Michele Nicastro and others supposedly too nondescript to rate an honour.
There may be others, lost and eventually forgotten, but the contributions of most of these stars of the stage, the screen and TV are, perhaps, of more importance than those whose connections to the movie-making medium are, tangential, to say the least.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
_The Worst : (James Franco). Following the news in detail : OH MY GOD !
He's mightily a bore. Bad choice. Got nothing to do with comedy. The
worst sidekick. His delivering is shockingly weak. How merciful that
the funny opening speech didn't go longer ! With nervous smile that was
about tearing her face, the cute (Anne Hathaway) could keep it away
from being a complete disaster. By the way, what's wrong with
(Franco)'s eyesight ? He was reading everything so hardly from very
faraway boards I suppose ! Fair question; why they didn't hire (Kevin
Spacey) instead, he could have done it brilliantly and all by himself !
The Most Scary : Sure while (Kirk Douglas) was presenting the supporting actress award. Firstly he played his self as the old and senile (Kirk Douglas); that scared me a bit (since he might take it to the next level and die !). He went on and on with endless chatter, I though he's not playing a character there. Then I came to a point where I thought that some of the nominee actresses would have shot him just to stop the unbroken "You Know.." stuff. Thank god it went well eventually !
_The Most False : The spontaneous way the winner of the best supporting actress (Melissa Leo) said the F word in her speech !
_The Most Rude : The way the music breaks into the winners' speeches, sorry.. the no famous winners' speeches ! It doesn't need concentration to notice that the music editors have no patience for hearing poor people like the winners of the best (Costume Design, Documentary Feature, Sound Mixing), while having all the time in the world for celebrities like (Christian Bale), (Natalie Portman), and (Colin Firth) narrating their life stories and thanking the movie industry's men and women, rather the American citizens, ONE BY ONE. This treatment is rude from the Academy's side, as if those whoever work behind the camera aren't stars, even though won the Oscar !
_The Most Horrible : (Cate Blanchett)'s Dress. It looked exactly like a very big bib with various frozen vomit around it Yuck ! And she said that the shots from (The Wolfman) are gross ?! Honey, look at your dress first, then dare to speak !
_The Most Incomprehensible : The ugly phenomenon this year to be SO THIN ??!! Some of the stars were getting determinedly outrageously thin like (Scarlett Johansson), (Jennifer Hudson), and (Gwyneth Paltrow); who I had trouble seeing her in the first place ! Is it the new fashion these days; Go Invisible ??!!
_The Most Silly : (Franco) in a (Marilyn Monroe)'s dress. Unpredictable ? Yes. Funny ? NOOO !
_The Most Weird : Why, during the whole time, director (David Fincher) doesn't laugh, smile, or react to anything around him ?!! I think 1) He was going to blow up the theater along with himself by a bombed belt he wears. 2) He was expecting a phone call from someone kidnapped all of his family. 3) He was hypnotized. 4) That's not (David Fincher), that's a statue of him !
_The Most Unnecessary : The stage's sudden Chinese set near the end ?? That was bizarre. It isn't any way related to any of the 10 nominated movies for the best picture !!
_The Most Surprising : When I got to hear (Gwyneth Paltrow) singing the nominated song. WAW. The girl has a lovely voice and performance !
_The Best : OK, the worst about the Oscars is being usual and un-wacky. Many previous Oscars were. But this time it was almost saved by creative moments like : The intro with the 2 hosts leaping from a nominated movie to another; simple yet perfect. Making funny songs from ordinary dialogs. The (Bob Hope) part; being a homage to him, the old Oscars and TV, a nostalgic moment, a smart way to present even new stars; how they got the late Hope to say the names of (Jude Law) and (Robert Downey Jr.) I don't really know! The somehow different finale with kids singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"; it's where the Oscars met Opera's show productively. And finally (Steven Spielberg)'s unique word, which I myself had said for countless times before, about how the Oscar doesn't immortalize a movie. It's just the award of some people that has no business depriving any movie of being a classic. Therefore there are no "losers" with the bad sense of the term.
In conclusion : Better than the last year's Oscars, despite (James Franco). That dude made me finally discover that (Steve Martin) had potential as a host !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hopefully, throughout the rest of her career, Melissa Leo will not be
called upon again to accept an Oscar or even be a presenter. She must
have thought she was back in her role as the low-life common mother in
"The Fighter." Didn't Miss Leo realize where she was? Perhaps, she was
boozed up at the ceremony.
While there were some flaws at the show, it was a good one, especially the open sequence where hosts Ann Hathaway and nominee James Franco put themselves in the 10 nominated films.
Noticed that last year's supporting winners Monique and Christoph Waltz were not there to present the awards for their winning categories.
As has been the case in the last number of years,the nominated songs were just awful.
Celine Dion singing Smile Though Your Heart is Breaking was memorable during the memorial sequence. How come Corey Haim, Betty Garrett and Peter Graves were omitted? Ditto for the woman who played opposite Marlon Brando in "Last Tango in Paris."
All these things said, we still had a very good show. Wonderful seeing Kirk Douglas and how he reminded us of his 3 Oscar loses as well as Eli Wallach.
The women were impeccably dressed. Ms. Leo, though, appeared to be wearing curtains.
I only saw Melissa Leo in "The Fighter". Her character made me feel as
if I was walking on eggshells, and so she certainly deserved her win.
As I understand it, a lot of people were irritated that the expected winners all won, and that James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosted: the common meme is that their opening montage was funny but they fell flat afterwards. Well I liked their performance; it was especially cool when Franco appeared dressed as Marilyn Monroe.
I've seen very few of the nominees, so my judgment was biased, although I did consider "The King's Speech" the best choice. Movies that got totally snubbed include "Mother and Child", "The Good Heart", "Please Give", "Get Low" and "Fair Game".
All in all, I liked the show. Probably the best part of the broadcast was when Charles Ferguson, accepting his Oscar for "Inside Job" (about the causes of the financial crisis), noted that none of the people responsible for the crisis have gotten indicted.
Yeah, where was Anne Hathaway when Kirk Douglas was making movies?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
2010 has been good year for film, contrary to the views of many
critics. This was a year which brought us the enigmatic Inception,
twisted Black Swan, endearing Toy Story 3, the biographical prose The
Social Network and even the lighter, but still entertaining cyber-punk
tones of Tron: Legacy.
It also delivered films which I have yet to see, such as the multi-award winning The King's Speech, John Wayne(ish) remake True Grit and the British satire, Four Lions.
The Academy Awards have a tendency to honour the high brow, and why not? The Box office fails to, in favour of the low brow blockbuster, but is this a bad thing? In many ways, yes, filling Hollywood's coffers with the takings of films likes Transformers, whilst others such as the critically acclaimed Winter's Bone will never hit those marks.
But surly if the blockbuster puts the bums on seats, then that must speak volumes about the quality. Critics panned Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen as playing to lowest common denominator, selling out entirely to impress the popcorn crowd, giving them exactly what they need to draw in the crowd whilst sacrificing the quality of the narrative. But there are many types of film out there, as many as there are tastes.
Titles such as The King's Speech are the bread and butter to the Blockbusters ham, all have a place, but some are more wholesome are worthwhile than others, with the ham being more enjoyable. My tastes are very varied as I am a fan of film full stop. I don't like everything I see, and I do like blockbusters; I like Transformers, I like Memento, I like The China Syndrome.
My view of the Best Picture winner at the Oscars, is that it should reflect both the significance of that film in that year and the overall significance on the industry as a whole. The Empire Strike Back set the tone for the darker sequel, a model still in use today; The Matrix introduced us to the 21st century if cinematography and visual effects and now, in 2010, Inception again opened the door to the intelligent, original blockbuster, not dissimilar to Mission: Impossible back in 1996.
But Inception, in-spite of its critical acclaim and stellar box office, never stood a chance of the coveted big win. 1998′s Titanic year, when James Cameron's epic walked away with 11 Oscars is now looked back upon as blip, a year when that blockbuster stole the show and granted, L.A. Confidential, my number one film, may well have won big that year if Titanic hadn't done so well, but this was a year that the academy got it right.
A popular film won the greatest accolade, a feet that would not be repeated until 2001 with Gladiator, or 2004 with Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, though be it in honour of the entire franchise. I would personally compare Inception to Gladiator in the sense that both have Oscar sensibilities, both art housey, intelligent, deep yet produced on the grand blockbuster canvass.
What many people forget as they get into film, is that film was originally conceived as special effect. Shadow and light, where time itself is subject to a pair of scissors, and overlaying two strips of film created a dissolve. The earliest films from the late 1800′s where two minutes long and often showed the simplest of day-to-day tasks, whilst as the art form grew, special effects such a man being flattened by a steamroller were being developed.
Narrative cinema grew as did the chase comedy, the origin in fact of the term "Cut to the chase", referring to films being too slow to hold the audiences interest, and the introduction of some action. Film battled the predominance of theatre and eventually a marriage was born but not after decades of learning and compromise.
But as the decades have rolled on, more chasms have open up within film itself, where the belief that a movie has to be intelligent, deep and thought-provoking above all, whilst the industry is making a bit of everything, and selling seats to boot. Is the audience wrong? Comedies rarely win Oscars, in fact, I'm sure that the last was Annie Hall over 30 years ago. Mainstream blockbusters? They do okay, but are frowned up on when they do. The snobbery of the awards season is more that hypocriful when you look at the origins of the art form. Comedies, chase movies and epics. Not high brow theatre; that came later.
Congratulations to The King's Speech, though I haven't seen it I'm certainly looking forward to. But my film of the year was Inception, a film which has set a president for the industry to craft thought-provoking blockbusters. The King's Speech by all accounts is the bread and butter, an arty 'Daily Telegraph' film which seems to offer nothing longstanding but is a decent film, which added to the whole, will not disappoint and will strengthen the film industry's legacy.
I was also disappointed that Hans Zimmer was again snubbed, this time for his cracking Inception score, as he is one of the most influential composers working today, and my favourite to boot. But saying that, I did correctly predict the winner, The Social Network, so fair enough.
Natalie Portman was almost a shoe-in for her Oscar and fair play to her, as she really put her heart and soul into her performance, and it is a high-profile award for Black Swan, a film which I believe has been over looked.
This year's Oscars "The 83rd Annual Academy Awards" was a pretty
pleasant event to view really the awards handed out produced no
surprises, yet a treat to the eyes was seeing the beautiful and
talented Anne Hathaway as a co host. Actually the beauty changed
dresses and outfits about 7 or 8 different times! The academy certainly
went with a change of pace nabbing young talent to host as the
beautiful actress Anne Hathaway and jack of all trades actor James
Franco both sparkled and shined as hosts! The duo were both funny and
witty with catch fire sayings and their skits and monologue that opened
the show was in top form! As much of the show's montage was highly
enjoyable and entertaining.
As for the awards they went as expected really no surprises as clearly Colin Firth already had the best actor trophy wrapped up and he accepted gracefully like the professional he is. And in a royal and rightful manner the picture that Colin starred in "The King's Speech" was crowned best picture holding off the youthful picture "The Social Network" and best drama ensemble "The Fighter". And as expected Natalie Portman won best actress for her wicked and emotionally raw turn as a conflicted ballet dancer in the thrilling drama "Black Swan", hopefully many more awards will be for miss Portman.
A few funny moments were Melissa Leo's F bomb after her deserved win for best supporting actress, and the worn down and old legend Kirk Douglas trying his best to present the award. And as always seeing clips and footage from old Oscars and Hollywood history is a treat. The show certainly entertained with it's typical gold and sparkle as things in Hollywood change as more youth is filling movies still the Oscars still reward the best films and people as it was hail to the king! And it was a great eye treat watching the beautiful and talented Anne Hathaway be a co host it wasn't the best Oscars, but it was entertaining and it did it's job getting all the awards to the right people who deserved to win the most.
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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