The Oscar(tm) thread for dilettantes

…i.e., those of us who skipped the play-by-play thread because we were curled up on our couches watching.

Good show! I liked Hugh Jackman as host – turns out a song-and-dance man makes a fine alternative to a comedian. I liked the opening number quite a bit (very funny stuff – esp. the part about how he hadn’t seen The Reader) and thought the salute to musicals, though having very little to do with 2008, was fun. Glad he was able to throw his pal Baz some work, since the whole Australia thing didn’t work out too well.

Liked having the groups of five previous winners doing individual statements to the nominees, though the results were uneven – the Best Actress ones were particularly affecting.

Tina Fey and Steve Martin were great, and I loved the effect of having a snippet of the script voice-overed.

Jerry Lewis – what a sad, sad man.

I saw Slumdog Millionaire and liked it a lot, but felt bludgeoned by the juggernaut it turned into – I think a few other movies got slighted by the landslide.

Whadja think?

Well said, Twickster. I was especially impressed by Mr. Jackman’s performance. And I totally agree with your thoughts about Slumdog. I really enjoyed it but I think it’s now bcome overrated. I didn’t see Milk, but I loved Sean Penn’s acceptance speech.

I was sleeping. In what way was Jerry sad?

His whole persona – the brief period during which he was considered very funny (and I was a child during his heyday, but never got it), which has turned into a whole thing about the MDA, no one ever mentioning that he got into it as penance for mocking spastics. Which is not to say that he doesn’t totally deserve kudos for raising a fuck of a lot of money for charity – but I always feel an emotional disconnect with him, that the only human feeling you see from him is anger. I don’t know how to describe it.

Oh – forgot one thing in the OP – the thing that super pissed me off was the jerking around of the camera during the In Memoriam section – yup, I got it, it’s Queen Latifah, and after a shaky start she was fine – but that’s one section where you should just show us the video feed that the audience is seeing, I missed about half of the people mentioned because they were doing rollercoastercam.

With any luck, they’ll put the slideshow up on YouTube sans Queen Latifah. Hollywood lost a lot of talent last year, and it would be nice to remember them.


That sounds critical. Is that how you meant it?


See what I said in post #4. I’m not sure what you mean by “critical” – I’m not a fan, though I respect what he did for charity. I feel that he is not a happy person, and that seems sad to me.

For a brief time in my youth I liked some of Jerry’s movies. I have a fond memory of The Nutty Professor.

As an adult I don’t care for them - and for some reason I cannot put my finger on, I dislike *him *too.

I’ve just recently discoverd the wonderous joy that is Hulu (loving the old WKRP episodes) and I can only hope that they’ll have the show on their site, as after cleaning all day yesterday, I laid down for a nap at around 6:00 and woke up just in time to see Sean Penn walk off stage.

I’d love to catch the whole thing if possible. Even though I’m happy to throw my support behing the artsy-fartsies who see the Academy Awards as one big circle jerk … damn, but I love watching that award show.

Loved Anne Hathaway’s Frost/Nixon duet with Jackman. When he pulled her onstage I was afraid it was going to be as bad as when Letterman got Tom Hanks to help with a stupid pet trick.

I have a low threshold for the Oscar telecast – it’s all good, as far as I’m concerned. The changes they made this year, though, didn’t help: I didn’t like the 5 past winners praising this year’s acting nominees…a bit over the top. Would’ve preferred to see a film clip.

And turning the Best Picture film clip into a montage on related themes…an interesting choice, artistically…not sure if it worked.

My first impression was that Bill Maher’s “silly gods” remark was kind of dickish. On further reflection, though, it wasn’t any different than Sean Penn’s remarks on gay rights (using the Oscar stage as a forum for one’s not necessarily popular views) so I’ll have to give it a pass.

And Sean Penn’s win continues a recent trend. In the past 5 years, 8 awards have gone to actors playing real people in biopics. (scroll down for the list)

2005: Ray (Jamie Foxx); The Aviator (Cate Blanchett)
2006: Capote (Phillip Seymour Hoffman); Walk the Line (Reese Witherspoon)
2007: Last King of Scotland (Forest Whittaker); The Queen (Helen Mirren)
2008: La Vie en Rose (Marion Cotillard)
2009: Milk (Sean Penn)

Here’s what I liked:

Some of the opening number, especially the The Reader part.
Steve Martin and Tina Fey.
Seth Rogen and James Franco.
Jack Black’s line about taking Dreamworks’ money and betting it all on Pixar come Oscar night.
Ben Stiller’s Joaquin Phoenix impersonation.
The Man on Wire acceptance speech.
Kate Winslet. I fall deeper in love with her every year.
Sean Penn. Pretty good speech.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

The salute to musicals. It seemed disjointed, poorly choreographed and all in all a complete waste of time and energy. Oooo how I hated it.
The camera work during “In Memoriam.” Wow, was I pissed off when the camera was moving all over the place.

I didn’t have a problem with any of the winners, though I was most surprised that Presto didn’t win for Animated Short and that Waltz with Bashir didn’t win for Foreign Language Film. Also, I was rooting for Frank Langella and Peter Gabriel to win awards.

Jackman didn’t do much for me. I watched the opening and thought, Billy Crystal would be funny doing this. Hugh Jackman was Broadway show funny, which is not very.

The whole show felt longer than it was, too. It missed having the comedian host come out after each commercial break and make a quick joke about what had happened earlier. At least then you knew someone was watching the show. Again, this felt like Broadway. Everything set out in advance and nothing can spoil the illusion.

The NY Times this morning said that the “story arc” of the show that they made so much about earlier was creating a screenplay, starting with the beginning words of writing and moving through the various pieces until it culminated in a whole picture. Man, I missed that entirely. Was it just me?

Well since they mentioned that fact several times during the show itself…

Except that apparently the first step of the ‘process’ is to hire a supporting actress. Then you write the screenplay.

I thought it was a good idea, as it resulted in grouping like awards…and if it meant keeping Will Smith onstage for 4 straight, so much the better.

This was terribly disrespectful (not Queen Latifah singing per se, but turning a tribute to the dead into a showy production number) and completely wrecked what is usually the most genuine and moving part of the show.

Also, the “tribute to musicals” was a complete waste of time, Beyonce’s bod notwithstanding.
Better they’d used that time to perform each of the Best Song nominees in full. That medley was train wreck; I can see why Peter Gabriel bailed.

Agreement on the bad salute to musicals as well as the total abortion that was the in memorium segement, but I think the worst thing of all was the lack of clips for the acting awards. How can you have an Oscars witout acting clips?

This was one of the worst produced and worst directed Oscar shows I’ve ever seen.

Also, did they not realize that “I’ll Be Seeing You” has only two verses and cannot possibly stretched into five minutes, except if the singer sings it over and over and over? Perhaps it could have been made into a medley with another song? Or have her sing at the beginning, orchestra play through the main part, and have her pick up at the end? You just can’t have her sing the same verses over and over and over!

Oh. You can.

I’m left with a bunch of questions: who was the young guy (crying) who the camera kept switching to when Penn won his award? Son? Part of the film? I missed the whole red carpet stuff, so missed the protesters (?).

I missed the first hour of the show, so I missed Tina and Steve. :frowning:

I had no idea who the host was. I also missed out on the whole “concept” and thought they were just announcing the different bits of the process of film making.

I liked the group presentation stuff, but it was uneven. It did feel warmer and more personable, but some of the praise was over effusive so that what followed came across as tepid.
How much botox has Sophia Loren had?

The montage for musicals was not only laughably incomplete (and missing some of Hollywood’s finest), it was disjointed–the musical bits in between weren’t long enough or adequate enough to switch songs/moods etc.

The dresses were very nice this year–not too many “what was she thinking?” gowns. Bill Maher’s tux was very shiny–he reminded me (in a weird way) of Bobby Darin (the cut of the suit). Silly gods hit a wrong note, IMO, too.

I really liked all the kids from SlumDog being up on the stage–what a night for them all.

(I thought Benjamin Button was supposed to do the sweep thing–I’m glad to see it did not)

I wanted *The Class *to win. <sigh>

And I loves me some Queen Latifah, but I was also grrrrr re the tribute. Especially Paul Newman (and many others)–let them fill the screen, like they did before. Get the hell out of the way (I don’t blame QL, but the director of this).

And lastly, I liked the set. Usually I can’t stand Oscar sets. I liked the shimmery lighted arc and the round stage. I also liked that they didn’t start the music to shut people up and it really didn’t run that much longer than when they do that. Hope that continues.

I thought the past actors present thing was utter bullshit. I hope next year they go back to the old format of having last year’s winner present and showing actual clips.

OTOH, abridging the technical awards was a good call.