Oscars ’12 Post Mortem

Before we finally wash the bad taste of this past awards season out of our collective mouth, before we have to think for a few seconds to even remember what Argo was about, here’s a quick breakdown of what looked good and bad from where I sat last night.

Things I Liked

  • Fewer gimmicks! Outside of that protracted Family Guy-style opening, the show saw no real attempts to experiment with format, pay homage to film history without actually paying it homage, play This Is Your Life with the acting nominees, etc. For which I was grateful.
  • A Sound Editing tie. That gave Zero Dark Thirty its only win. And treated us to Mark Wahlberg gasping, “No BS, we have a tie!”
  • Shirley Bassey! Adele! Barbra Streisand! I’m OK with the Oscars turning into a really classy televised concert sometimes.
  • “One Day More” from Les Mis. Infinitely more palatable than how that number was actually staged in Les Mis.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis has jokes. Elaborate Meryl Streep jokes, no less.
  • Ang Lee winning. Especially because snub or no, his filmography > the fuck out of Ben Affleck’s.
  • Michelle Obama?!? was unexpected.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Seth MacFarlane. His frat bro tone. His “Boobs” song. His bad-because-get-it-they’re-bad-jokes-that’s-the-joke jokes. His gay jokes, Jew jokes, sexist jokes, and especially his Quvenzhané Wallis joke. Fuck him.
  • Rudd and McCarthy flailing. I don’t understand why you’d put two hilarious actors onstage, then not have them say anything funny.
  • Hey, remember Chicago? Or Dreamgirls? Or Les Mis? Because those are the only musicals that matter and we’re going to devote an enormous chunk of time to them.
  • Denzel Washington’s Oscar clip. Hope everyone saw Flight already! Because that was its entire climax.
  • Seth MacFarlane again. He was really just so (predictably) insufferable that he overshadowed most minor quibbles I had with the show. Congratulations, everyone else! You’re off the hook.

3 Comments

Filed under Cinema

3 responses to “Oscars ’12 Post Mortem

  1. I’m definitely with you on MacFarlane. There was some promise there at the start, but that goodwill went away when he started telling awful jokes and then mocking himself with random laughing. It was awkward and I know some people loved it, but it was painful. The salute to the musicals was bad news, even though I was surprised by how good the Les Mis performance was. There were some great points like you mention, but it was awkwardly paced. There was no need for that show to go 3:35.

  2. You know the show is bad when I find myself clamoring for more singing and dancing, but those are actually Macfarlane’s strengths and I wish he’d embrace them (as it seems sometimes he wants to do) rather than fall back on ironic BS. His “Family Guy” shtick at least sticks to millisecond jokes; that Shatner routine was interminable.

  3. Totally agree with both of you. Fewer “heh ain’t this material shit?” laughs from MacFarlane, more dancing—although not “last year’s Cirque du Soleil performance” dancing—and the show would’ve been so much more watchable. And hey, cut out the whole awful digressive Shatner opening thing, and maybe the winners could actually deliver full speeches without getting played off!

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