My Thoughts On The 82nd Oscar Telecast

Well, my predictions were pretty decent. If you look at the ones on this site, there’s a slight difference: I ended up going with The Hurt Locker for Best Original Screenplay. My computer has been down the past few days and didn’t think to change it. At my school every year they project the Oscars in the multi-purpose room, and have a contest for prizes. The people who can guess the most correct winners get the prize. I ended up with second place, correctly guessing 17/24 categories in total. The ones I missed:

All the short categories.

Best Sound Mixing (I went with Avatar, thinking sound would split its votes. I was wrong.)

Best Cinematography (I originally thought Avatar would win, but changed my vote at the last minute to The Hurt Locker. I decided to go with my gut on that one and it ended up wrong.)

Best Adapted Screenplay (Boy, who called this one? I’m sure some people did. I thought Up in the Air was sure to get some love, but it got none. How unfortunate.)

Best Foreign Language Film (No, I wasn’t an idiot. I didn’t guess The White Ribbon (which is not to say the film is bad — it’s just that Oscar barely ever picks the frontrunner in this category these days). I went with Ajami. I’d heard it getting a lot of talk lately and took a shot. But it was another incorrect guess from the gut)

My reactions to the show itself:

It was awful. Honestly, I can’t remember a time I saw a more stilted, unfunny, boring telecast. I laughed more at the ridiculousness of the whole thing than the jokes themselves. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin was always a bad choice, and anyone who thought otherwise was probably living in another world. Making a hosting duo was bad enough. Making one of the hosts Alec Baldwin was worse. I don’t dislike Alec Baldwin, but hosting the Oscars? No thanks. He proved my suspicions correct.

The “In Memorium” was awful, forgetting not only Farrah Fawcett, but Bea Arthur as well. What the hell? Not to mention TWICE did they fuck up their own statistics. Once they said that The Hurt Locker was nominated for 4 Oscars. If I’m wrong about them saying that, someone correct me, but that’s what I heard. They also said that Up was the second movie to be nominated in both Best Animated Feature AND Best Picture. That’s a GLARING mistake. Beauty and the Beast is the ONLY other animated film to be nominated for Best Picture, and in 1991, the Animated Feature Category didn’t exist. Seriously, Oscar, what the hell?

I was okay with them not doing full performances of the nominees for “Original Song,” as much as I enjoy hearing the entirety of the songs nominated. I mean, would it have been the same if Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova hadn’t been able to actually sing their song at the Oscars back in ’07? I don’t think so. It was one of the highlights of that show. There was nothing that magical at this one. Instead, they had dancers for selections from the SCORES of each of the films. And it was just awful. When Up‘s score came along and they had that awful robot bullshit, I openly yelled, “OH COME ON!” and to my (pleasant) surprise, the rest of the audience watching laughed and cheered me on. It can’t be good when that kind of derision is so open. And about derision, how about George Clooney? He was one of the best parts of the show, seeming to mock the entire thing. Good for you, George, if that’s what you were really doing.

To be honest, one of my favorite parts wasn’t even the actual Oscars. It was that commercial for “Modern Family” where they play “Oscar Charades”. Very funny. I wish the telecast itself had that kind of energy and hit those high comedic notes. I’ve never even seen the show, but that commercial made me want to.

So the telecast was a failure. Were the winners? For the most part, I was happy. Most of my predictions were what I wanted to see happen. Waltz for Best Supporting Actor, Bridges for Actor, Mo’Nique for Supporting Actress… I’m glad The Hurt Locker won Best Picture and Best Director. But I have a few problems with some of the awards given.

Best Actress
Okay, Sandra Bullock is fine, I guess. I haven’t seen The Blind Side. I’ve heard she’s wonderful, but I honestly think that either Carey Mulligan or Gabby Sidibe deserved it more. I was upset, if completely unsurprised by the award.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Where’s the love for Up in the Air? It didn’t win a single award for which it was nominated. This was its sure thing. Did the Academy just want to award Precious some more? I don’t quite understand. It’s not that Precious had a bad screenplay. It’s just that Up in the Air‘s was arguably the best of the year, adapted or otherwise. It was also one of the best films of the year, and according to some, the very best. This, more than any other choice, upset me. Oh well, I guess.

Best Cinematography
It’s not that Avatar had BAD cinematography. It’s just that The Hurt Locker, The White Ribbon and Inglourious Basterds had better cinematography. Did they just like the pretty colors of Pandora? Did they appreciate the fact that the majority of the film was in CGI? Why not nominate Up? I don’t know. I don’t think the Academy understands what cinematography actually is. If they did, one of those other three would have come away with the award.

My Personal Jury Award for Best Award Given:
I have to say, I was extremely happy that Star Trek won for Best Makeup. I didn’t know if it would actually pull it off, given that it was up against The Young Victoria, and you know how those period costume dramas do in those award categories… It deserved it, especially of all the nominees.

In the end, the 82nd Oscar Telecast will be forgotten. The film that triumphed, The Hurt Locker, will not. This was one of those rare times where Oscar actually got it right. Even if the process of awarding the films was a complete and utter mess. Better luck next year, Oscar.

4 Responses to My Thoughts On The 82nd Oscar Telecast

  1. Gay-C says:

    Great review Nathan!!!!!

  2. Castor says:

    Totally agree about the telecast. Martin and Baldwin were not funny! (except maybe for that Paranormal activities spoof). Ben Stiller, even worse… I can’t believe people are paid to make such an terrible and overly long show…

    • Nathan says:

      To think how good it could have been had Sacha Baron Cohen actually hosted, as originally planned…

      And I sort of enjoyed the Paranormal Activity skit. But it would have been funnier if something slightly paranormal actually happened. I don’t know. I felt the duo was a complete letdown.

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