Monday, March 8, 2010

Mrs. Amanda Recaps THE 2010 OSCARS

When I was about 8 years old, I fell madly in love with the Oscars. I loved the clothes, the excitement, the speeches, the reactions, the movies, the whole shebang. I taped them every year for over a decade, and would watch them back the way other people would watch family videos. I loved them so much that I actually chose my college major (Public Relations) because I (then) wanted to one day be the one to plan the awards show. I know, it’s all very weird. We all know I wasn’t, and am currently not, cool.

But cool or not, there is no one who knows more about the Oscars than me. Seriously. 

Well, maybe some Oscar historians (and yes, there are such a thing), but besides them, no one but me.

Which means that my opinions on the Oscars mean more than everyone elses’. And here is what I thought:

What I liked:
  1. Neil Patrick Harris opened the show with a 30’s-inspired song and dance number. Long ago, they would honor the Best Song nominees with similar routines, and this was a great throwback to these performances.
  2. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Both are HILARIOUS on their own, and I thought it was a great idea to have two hosts – it took the pressure off of one, and allowed for some snappy bits (and great glasses, Steve). One of my favorite one-liners was, “Everyone who works with Meryl [Streep] says two things: ‘what a great actress,’ and ‘what’s with all the Hitler memorabilia.’”
  3. For some of the less-interesting awards (like Editing), they gave an explanation of the process and why it’s important to the movie industry. This only works once (they can’t run these again next year), but it was an interesting “Why we give awards” and the animated film presentation was adorable. However, it still doesn’t make me think that presenting an award to an Animated Film (or Documentary Short) is worthy of the live telecast.
  4. To use a common theme, they were Nazi-esque over the speeches this year, and it really worked. There were only one or two that were cut off by music (the Best Documentary Short win is still befuddling to me), and many of the others were less about thanking people and more about explaining their feelings for the award. Much better.
  5. When they presented the Best Screenplay/Best Adapted Screenplay, they narrated a clip with the actual screenplay. They did this last year, and I dug it then, too. Plus, Best Screenplay was presented by RDJ and Tina Fey. Loves.
  6. Also last year – they started this new program of bringing out people who have worked with the Best Actor/Actress nominees and explaining why they are worthy of the award. FABULOUS. You get to see more celebrities, and it reminds everyone that they go to work just like everyone else.
  7. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about nominating ten films for Best Picture, but it made for more clips (good) and more movies (like District Nine) to be honored. I hope they keep this up.

What I didn’t like:
  1. They opened the show with all of the Best Actor/Best Actress nominees standing on stage. Just standing. They stood there, everyone clapped, and then they walked off. I honestly thought it was supposed to be a joke, and somehow Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were going to do some schtick along with them. Turns out, no.
  2. I have never-ever criticized the stage in previous years because it usually just consists of big monitors and sparkles, and you can’t go wrong with either. But this year it was just too much. There were stairs EVERYWHERE, meaning that 50% of the show was watching these poor (“poor”) women attempt to guide their high heels through an oddly-difficult obstacle course. Plus, one of the backdrops was made up of lampshades. Lampshades. This isn’t a 10th grade production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Did they break the bank on the big metal O’s?
  3. They showed a 5-minute montage of horror movies. I’m not begrudging the topic (and they always do a montage – although some of those flicks - *cough* Twilight - weren’t really “horror” movies, were they?), but they cut the Lifetime Achievement Award down to a big clapfest and a dinner the night before. Why not make the montage a selection of clips from the Lifetime Achievement winner’s portfolio?
  4. Miley Cyrus. WTF. Why, in any world, would she be appropriate for an Oscar presenter? And why was she nervous? She’s been there three times (Seriously, three. There are real actresses that haven’t been a part of the show that many times). On that same line, Kristen Stewart’s disgusting throat clear during her two-sentence intro is a good lesson for kids who are thinking about picking up smoking. The only young presenter who actually made it through their spot and still acted like a grownup was Zac Efron.
  5. What was going on with Molly Ringwald? And why was Clooney such a sourpuss? And why was Sean Penn…Sean Penn?
  6. I hate, hate the popularity contest that they masquerade as the “In memoriam those who passed on this year” section. They can bring out dancing bears and that won’t hide the fact that people will clap and cheer for some and not for all. Yucks.
All in all, it was a great show, and if I still taped the Oscars, this one would be a re-watcher. And how nifty was it that Kathryn Bigelow/The Hurt Locker won over Avatar? The movie was definitely worthy, but it was even better to see J. Cameron’s half-ass attempt at a smile when she swept. Hilarious.

PS – Hey, Pre-show. You used to only show the celebrities hobnobbing around in a third-person-eye-in-the-sky kind of way (“And there’s George Clooney talking to Stephen Spielberg!”). Now you interview them, and you’re not good at it. “What are you wearing?” and “Are you excited?” and “Good luck tonight!” Are not hard-hitting journalistic tactics. They are just uncomfortable space wasters. Stop it.

No comments:

Post a Comment