Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar 2009 tally

Some 2009 Academy Awards ceremony thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed the new format of the show. They were hands down the most entertaining Oscars in years if not decades. It goes without saying that my boyfriend Hugh did a great job as host. Charming charming charming.

Some highlights:

  • The opening musical number was great. Seriously, Hugh Jackman is made of awesome. And Anne Hathaway was good as well.
  • The new way that the acting awards were presented was really well done. I was worried when I heard what they were proposing. And in practice it seemed like it took a much longer time to present these awards but the time didn’t matter because it was executed so well. Ok, some people did better (Shirley Maclaine) than others (ahem Alan Arkin), but still, I liked what they did here. Now I don’t know if I want to see this done every year, but I liked it last night.
  • Another reason why the aforementioned length of the acting awards didn’t matter so much? They grouped together most of the other awards so that there were fewer presenters. The result was that these awards took less time to present and grouping things like “Art Direction”, “Costume” and “Make Up” just made the show more seamless.
  • Ben Stiller’s Joaquin Phoenix impersonation. Stiller usually bugs the crap out of me on these things but gawd, if he wasn’t hilarious making fun of Phoenix’s strange behavior of late.
  • All of the kids from Slumdog Millionaire. SO FREAKIN' ADORABLE!
  • The presentation of the movie genre groupings for 2008. I know a lot of people hated these segments but I really enjoyed them. Especially the comedy section that was presented in a sort of digital short mini-movie format with James Franco and Seth Rogen spoofing their characters from their movie "Pineapple Express". And the fact that award-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski played along was brilliant.
  • Dustin Lance Black’s acceptance speech for winning the best original screenplay award for “Milk”. Perfection.
  • The winners. Seriously, except for “Waltzing With Bashir” not winning the Foreign Film prize, I was happy with all of the winners. That may be a first for me. And you know how I love to complain.

The lowlights (speaking of complaining):

  • As much as I love musicals, and musical numbers, and boyfriend Hugh, and in small doses Beyonce, I really disliked the second musical extravaganza of the evening. It was a tribute to musicals even though there weren’t any musicals nominated from last year? And why were Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Effron, that annoying Seygfried girl and that Dominic guy who was in “Mama Mia” with her, all on stage singing back up and “dancing” behind Hugh and Beyonce? The whole unnecessary performance came off as forced, and twee. I mean we get it, Jackman’s a triple threat. That doesn’t mean that he has to sing and dance every 5 minutes, especially when it’s such a waste of time. That was 15 min that they could have cut out of the show.
  • Sean Penn's hair. It's so crazy; it comes off his head in this big bouffanty way and makes his noggin look HUGE. gah! But I'm very happy that he won and that he didn't make too much of a political speech. It was just enough.
  • "Departures" and the country of Japan for ruining my perfect winning streak in the Oscar winner pool at my work. Because this movie won Best Foreign Film instead of my pick "Waltzing With Bashir" or my chief rival in the game's pick of France's "The Class" there ended up being a 3-way tie so we had to split the $100 pot. least I still technically came in the lead - I just share the top spot with two others.

Regarding my Oscar winner picks - I missed 2. The aforementioned Foreign Film and Best Actor. As the ceremony started I knew in my heart that Rourke wasn't going to win. Again, I'm very happy that Sean Penn won. His work in Milk was amazing.

One last thing I enjoyed? The previews of the 2009 movies during the ceremony's credits. Made me so excited.

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