The Oscars are over. I promise I will shut up about them. After I have my quick say about the show itself. And what better format for that than a bulleted list? So here you are, item by item: My Thoughts on the 83rd Academy Awards (most of which were already pointed out by everyone else yesterday).
- First off, it’s sad but true: Anne Hathaway tried her darndest, but James Franco was dead weight. His delivery was flat, their repartee went nowhere, and the material wasn’t especially good to begin with. (As many pundits have pointed out, saying “He made out with my co-host… in a movie” about Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t even a joke, let alone a funny one.)
- One more dig at the hosts’ disappointing suckiness: I love it when people show up in drag, and I enjoyed Hathaway in a tuxedo, but Franco’s Marilyn Monroe costume was so half-assed, and he was only wearing it for one tiny segment. This is the fucking Oscars; they have all the fashion resources in the world at their disposal. If they can only do crossdressing in the laziest, shoddiest of ways, they just shouldn’t try.
- Oh, and why did three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood have to read her speech off of notecards? It was (probably) the night’s most awkward acceptance.
- The attempts at incorporating Hollywood history into the ceremony were similarly pointless. All we got were some slideshows to the effect of “There’s a theater!” and “Movies made a transition to sound!” So informative.
- All the Best Song nominees sucked. Including and especially the eventual winner, Randy Newman’s generic jingle for Toy Story 3. Live performances of forgettable songs is not the right way to light up the evening.
- Like everyone, I’m glad they took the yucky popularity contest clapping out of the In Memoriam section, but I feel like they missed quite a few recently deceased heavyweights—e.g., where were late, great directors like Éric Rohmer and Satoshi Kon?
- Seriously, Franco’s bad dress pissed me off. It all just smacks of apathy, when you’re putting on a show for zillions of people!
- Finally, as others have noted: the Best Picture nominees montage. FAIL: 1) why so many spoiler-heavy moments? and 2) why oh why use the climactic King’s Speech speech as the soundtrack for every single clip? Some questions, no one can answer. Except that little golden man we call Oscar… and he ain’t talking.
- For all my vented spleen, though, I did like a few parts: Kirk Douglas & Melissa Leo; Javier Bardem & Josh Brolin; and Robert Downey, Jr. & Jude Law, to be specific. All good, entertaining pairings. That was about it, though. What can I say? Like most online commentators, I’m a born malcontent.
As for the awards themselves, the only (mild) surprises appeared very early on, like when Alice in Wonderland—a film roundly condemned for its garish ugliness—got two awards associated with visual beauty. (Which is two more than The Kids Are All Right or Winter’s Bone ended up receiving.) It was also cool when Reznor and Ross deservingly won for The Social Network‘s moody score. Beyond that, all the winners were about as predictable and unimaginative as the nominees. At least I got to play Statler and Waldorf to the Oscars’ Muppet Show; that was fun. And if you haven’t checked out my Oscar-themed “Mix Tape” articles for The Film Experience, there’s still time to go read the ones on The Kids Are All Right, The Social Network, and Inception.
So awards season has arrived at its bitter end, and The King’s Speech has finally taken its rightful place as another totally mediocre Best Picture winner, alongside the distinguished likes of Around the World in 80 Days and Forrest Gump. Thus, we enter a new year of film (that started two months ago), one with new movies by Alexander Payne, David Cronenberg, Pedro Almodóvar, and even Terence Malick. Wow, awesome! GTFO, 2010. Fuck you, lousy Oscars. It’s time to move on.