Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oscars 2010: Post-Mortem

Another Oscar Night has come and gone and the final score this year is Doug: 10, Oscar: 9.  I knew I couldn't beat last year's score and I'm just happy to get over 50%.  Here's how it turned out - I emboldened the categories that I picked correctly:

Best Picture: The King's Speech
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Best Original Screenplay: the King's Speech
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Cinematography: Inception
Best Editing: The Social Network
Best Score: The Social Network
Best Song: Toy Story 3
Best Art Direction: Alice In Wonderland
Best Costumes: Alice In Wonderland
Best Makeup: The Wolfman
Best Visual Effects: Inception
Best Sound: Inception
Best Sound Effects Editing: Inception

I thought the show was okay. Anne Hathaway was great and kept it fun and relatable, but James Franco was a little wooden.  I suspect that he does better when he's not reading his lines from a teleprompter.

Things that were good about the show:
1. Lots of surprises. Tom Hooper winning Best Director? Alice In Wonderland taking more than anyone expected? Randy Newman gets Best Song? These are the things that keep Oscar Night interesting.

2. The sets were nice.

3. With a few exceptions, they kept things moving. Kirk Douglas and Billy Crystal were allowed to indulge themselves way too much and each brought the show to a screeching halt, but otherwise, things were very smooth.

4. They finally took my advice and didn't mic the audience during the "In Memoriam" segment!  There's nothing more tacky than the applause-o-meter popularity contest we usually get.

5. People looked good. There were no "what was she wearing" moments, but then again, those often make things interesting too.

Things that were bad about the show:
1. If this was supposed to be the "young and hip" Oscars, you wouldn't know it.  Young audiences don't want to hear about movies that are over 10 years old. They don't care about Oscar history. They don't want to learn about the first Oscar broadcast in 1953. And they don't want to look at the presenters and ask "Who?"

2. The writing was awful. Even by award show standards.  The intros, forced banter, and witticisms were uniformly strained, stale, and flat.

3. No great acceptance speeches. Colin Firth was sweet, Tom Hooper had a nice story to tell, and Randy Newman was kind of funny, but no one had a standout speech.

4. My advice is that if you're going to have two co-hosts, they should be as different as possible.  I'd like to see Steve Martin's jaded, sarcastic persona paired with Anne Hathaway's  earnest "Golly, I can't believe I'm here" energy.  That would make an interesting dynamic.

So: not my best year, but definitely not my worst.  I enjoyed writing these posts and I'll go back to writing about music now, but come back next February and we'll do it all again for the 84th Academy Awards.  Thanks for reading!

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