Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On With the Show

And on and on and on.

Coming off of last year's Slumdog Millionaire whirlwind, this year's Oscar broadcast just fell flat.

There were some enjoyable moments to be sure. But for the most part, I kept waiting for the show to get over. I hate to call the technical awards in the middle tedious because I totally respect techies, but this year I was too bored by the rest of the show to care.

I yearn for the song-and-dance spectacles of yesteryear. Last year, Hugh Jackman attempted to capture some of that old-school entertainer spirit. This year, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin engaged in some witty banter, but their two-man show got old after the first five minutes. I know that it's tradition for the host to look into to the crowd, and make a quip or two about easy, popular targets so the cameramen can get their money shots. Honestly, it just seemed like Martin and Baldwin were just calling out actors' names. It felt lazy. I strongly believe Neil Patrick Harris should host every award show on TV because his show opener was the only intentionally planned entertaining moment of the night. And props on the sparkly blazer, NPH! Loved it.

I'm glad all the people who won won. There was no one who I felt was robbed or who I thought didn't deserve their Oscars. But since the awards in the acting categories went to the same people at every award show I've seen this season, it was all so predictable. I've heard these speeches over and over and over. I love a good upset.

That's why the women who jumped on stage in the middle of the Best Documentary Short director's speech (which will forever be known as 'pulling a Kanye' or 'the Oscar's Kanye moment')was a nice mid-show refresher. She breathed some life into the otherwise dull award show. Not because of what she said. I have no idea what she was talking about. She was incoherent and kind of messy. I hope she was drunk; at least Kanye was. I was fascinated wondering how she got on to stage. I get the MTV awards thing. I mean, the VMAs are not exactly a classy institution and Kanye's a big star. But the Academy Awards? Come on, the Academy should not have allowed it. The room was filled with some of the most famous people in the world so I would have imagined they would have quality security.

Other high and lowlights:

The Good

Monique has transformed from raunchy stand-up comedienne to a force to be reckoned with. Does this means she's the next Whoopi? Or with her BET show, has she already surpassed Ms. Goldberg? With the gardenia in her hair, she paied homage to Hattie McDaniel. Sadly, Monique is only the 5th African-American woman to win an acting award (Halle Berry is still the only Best Actress in a Lead Role). And I just learned from her pre-show interview, she accepts all her awards with hairy legs. Power to ya, sister!

Gabi Sidibe - I love her confidence on the Red Carpet and at the beginning of the telecast, posing and posturing on stage instead of standing around stiffly like her fellow nominees. I can't help but root for the girl because in the words of Oprah herself, she embodies the "new American Cinderella story." College girl one day, Oscar nominee the next. And damn, if Oprah ever introduces me at an award show, I'd be bawling too.

Kathryn Bigelow - She scored the first Best Director Oscar for a female. As Barbra Streisand so succinctly put it: The time has come. What's sad is that Bigelow was only the fourth female director ever nominated. Are we still stuck in the 1960s? I'm tired of those 'behind every man, there's a woman' director speeches. I want to hear some women roar.

Sandra Bullock - She always makes light of every situation. It was nice to see her get emotional. And I love how her tough-man husband always breaks down when she wins.

Fashion - Seemed like celebs tried harder to keep it classy this year (minus Charlize Theron and her rose/vagina breasts. I'm still a fan of the origami layer look. And I adore the crimson dress trend.

The Bad

The Oscars cut off the Best Foreign Film director when he made a statement about Chile. Come on, we had to sit through the weak interpretive dance number and listen to some rambling speeches about the Best Actor/Actresses. I think we could have stood to hear a message in support of the tragedy in Chile.

The dance segment. What happened to nominating popular, interesting singers who deliver great performances (ie: Celine Dion) instead of filling time with a poor attempt to mimick the dance show trend?

Molly Ringwald. The whole Breakfast Club reunion thing was sort of strange, but Molly Ringwald must have done something to her face cuz she looked crazy shell-shocked. Also, the 'bad boy' from Breakfast Club and Macauley Culkin both looked gross, like they have been taking hard drugs for the last few years.

The "In Memoriam" montage. How do you choose who goes and who stays out? Did we need so many shots of James Taylor playing his guitar? Leaving out Farrah Fawcett was trashy. Did MJ deserve a nod? Duh, yes. He has been directed by Francis Ford Copolla and Martin Scorsese. Plus, he was an Oscar-nominated musician (at the age of 14). It's not about who deserved a slot. Every person is just a valid as another. The montage should have been inclusive.

The Young Victoria costume designer. So, she already had two Oscars. Could she not even pretend to be excited (or even just happy!) in her acceptance speech? Someone should have put her out of her misery and just given her award to another nominee.

The length. Just far, far too long.

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