The 82nd Academy Awards Rundown
A Recap of the Oscars and Some Photos
Monday, March 8, 2010
In case you weren't following the Oscars live with Cinema Junkie on Facebook last night, here's a recap of the 82nd Academy Awards along with some photos of the night's rather dull events. Thanks to all the Cinema Junkie fans for hanging out with me online and adding to the running commentary.
On the red carpet last night you could find the typical array of gorgeous women in ugly or ridiculous clothes. Then there was Sarah Jessica Parker looking like she was wearing the grill from some automobile on her dress. Easily the worst dressed actress I saw. But here are photos of some others. Ruffles were in making sexy, curvaceous women look odd and then there was the lovely Zoe Saldana in a feather boa of a dress disaster.
But nominees Cary Mulligan had an intriguing dress, more reminiscent of the animated film "9" than her own film "An Education, with all its found bits of items sewn in.
So when is George Clooney going to run for office? His "man of the people" act before the awards seemed a bit calculated and resulted in all the commentators commenting on how nice he was to hang out with all the peons.
Clooney, like Meryl Streep, is like Hollywood royalty and seems anointed to reign over event like this.
And a few more from the red carpet...
OMG NPH! Neil Patrick Harris arrives on stage for a musical number.
Why didn’t they let him host the show?! That could have been fun. Cut to Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner -- Hollywood's "adorable" "Twilight" couple. Good thing they pulled Stewart's hair back so she can't flip it or twirl it during the show. But she can still poutishly bit her lip. BTW, NPH's musical number doesn't stir any controversy like Rob Lowe and Snow White did years ago but it was fun. Now Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin being lowered onto the stage.
Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were the co-hosts and they rank as two of the worst. It's not entirely their fault, though, they were given atrocious material, beginning with the asinine opening in which they brought all the nominees on stage to introduce them, then they highlighted each nominee again. The show is long enough as it is without introducing and re-introducing and then highlighting the acting nominees throughout the show. Every time they came out I kept thinking, "Why do we have to be subjected to this mindless banter?" The show would be an hour shorter if they just came out and gave the awards. Please!
So their gag about "Avatar" and James Cameron (a very tame gag at that) gets approved but Sasha Baron Cohen's gag was ruled inappropriate and axed from the show. I guess they were afraid Cameron was too sensitive. At this point I was thinking, "I hope Kathryn Bigelow kicks her ex's ass tonight."
Steve Martin, in the redundant highlighting of nominees, points out actor Christoph Waltz for his role as the Jew hunting Nazi in "Inglorious Basterds," and then points to the audience for a joke about Landa hitting the "mother lode" of Jews here. When Sandra Bullock is highlighted, she tries very hard to look like she's doesn't have the award all sewn up.
Fifteen minutes in and we've gotten no awards but run through the nominees about three times and patted everyone of importance -- i.e. Clooney and Streep -- on the back repeatedly. But finally the evening's first award! Christoph Waltz for "Inglorious Basterds!" It's a bingo! That started the award giving out on the right foot with a much deserved win.
So why was Ryan Reynolds wearing a shirt? If they are going to have him on the awards he should be showing his abs. He just introduced a clip from "The Blind Side." "It's as American as football." Yep that's the brilliant line the show writers came up with for him.
Then there was a fun sequence of animated characters, like Mr. Fox and Coraline being interviewed about the awards. Ironically, one of the animated films nominated, "The Secret of the Kells," has yet to receive any release probably because the studio was hoping the buzz of a nomination was needed first. So it got the nomination. Can we see the film now. Please! Not surprisingly, "Up" wins Best Animated film.
To my great delight, the nominated songs do NOT receive a production number each. Maybe there is a God. The nominated song category is the worst and the production numbers were always a low point in the show. So this was a great relief. Plus the song from "Crazy Heart," the only decent song in the bunch, won. Whew! How nice when the deserving nominee wins.
Molly Ringwold (wearing a Matisse sculpture on her waist and wrist?) and Matthew Broderick paid tribute to John Hughes. This cued the first of many montages for the evening. Oddly, though, this does not lead into the montage/tribute to all the people who passed away last year. The Hughes montage did include a clip of an amazingly young and hot Alec Baldwin.
An hour in and only four awards have been given out, that's one every 15 minutes. Hmm!? Needless to say the show would run long.
In a sequence about short film winners, John Lassiter says that it's not the tools that make a film but rather it's how you tell the story. Take that James Cameron!
Best animated short went to -- this was a surprise in an otherwise uneventful night -- France's "Logorama," beating out Wallace and Gromit. Winner Nicolas Schmerkin assured the audience that "no logos were harmed in the making of the film." He said it took "six years to make sixteen minutes so he’ll be back with a feature in about 36 years."
The worst live action short won! "The New Tenants." I had just watched all the live action nominees before the awards ceremony and everyone in the room agreed that that film was the least deserving, yet it won. The only thing we could deduce was that the stars (actors like Vincent D'Onofrio) in the film made it attractive to voters. This was the worst award so far of the evening.
Ben Stiller had fun going Na'Vi to give out the Best Make Up Award to "Star Trek." I just realized that they are now saying "The Winner is..." They used to make a big deal about not designating winners and losers and instead saying, "And the award goes to..." I guess it really is all about winning and losing.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams present Best Adapted Screenplay to Jeffrey Fletcher for "Precious." The first of what would be two awards for the indie film. Although he was very sincere, he did drone on in his acceptance speech.
Governor's Awards, given out at a separate event to highlight veteran industry folks, were briefly -- and I mean really briefly highlighted. The academy finally recognized Gordon Willis (cinematographer for "The Godfather" among other great works) who never won an Oscar for all his outstanding films probably because he was an East coast cinematographer and the academy is a bit clique-ish about who they give their awards to.
Robin Williams (he's been a good host, why not bring him back?) gave the award for Best Supporting Actress to Mo'Nique for "Precious." Absolutely no surprise here.
Sigourney Weaver presented Best Art Direction. "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" deserves to win and that's exactly why it lost to "Avatar." Big surprise since Weaver is giving it out. One of the winners gave the worst line of the evening when he said about James Cameron, "This Oscar sees you?" You've got to be kidding!
The worst dressed woman -- Sarah Jessica Parker -- gave out the award for Best Costume. Irony is not dead. But nice to have Tom Ford there as well. And why is it that costume designers often dress so badly?
Best Costume: "The Young Victoria." Yawn.
Oh no banter time for the hosts. Instead we get a videotaped segment with Steve and Alec to extend the show even longer. The gag was designed to pay tribute to "Paranormal Activity," a film that cost nothing and grossed a ton of money. The academy needs to recognize those kinds of things.
Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner presented a tribute to horror. That was the way the academy figured out how to acknowledge the enormous fan base of "Twilight," a film that otherwise could muster no nominations. But the horror tribute gave minimal mention to Universal horror films, nothing of zombies and no "Shaun of the Dead."
A segment provided a lame lesson in sound editing and sound mixing. The award for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing both went to "The Hurt Locker," this marked the second and third award for the film, and both were deserved wins.
Elizabeth Banks was this year's cute actress who came out to recap the geek awards that were given out earlier in the week to tech people. These are awards deemed not sexy enough for mainstream America.
Sandra Bullock, presenting the award for Best Cinematography, said the nominees did "real good." "Avatar" wins.
Demi Moore introduced the dead people montage. Her dress was the same color as her skin and her heels were about 10 inches. James Taylor played accompaniment. Did he really have to do that? David Carradine's photo comes up. My thought was good thing they don’t say how they died.
Jennifer Lopez and Sam Worthington presented best score... wait! This was where they decided to insert the musical production numbers! I thought we were safe because they omitted the best song production numbers. This was just a cruel trick. Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper (again why were they wearing shirts?) presented Best Visual Effects. "District 9" on its much smaller budget was far more inventive than winner "Avatar." The winner talked about "seeing the world in new ways." Too bad the story couldn't have been as fresh.
Matt Damon presented Best Documentary. The best films were "Burma VJ" and "The Cove" and the winner was "The Cove." Yay! And the network cut away, however, as soon as the winners tried to get political and held up a sign to text DOLPHIN to 44144.
Tyler Perry (who has cleverly stuck it to the Hollywood establishment with his films) presented Best Editing: "The Hurt Locker." This was number four for "The Hurt Locker." This is my category (since I edit) -- look how pale the winners were! That's because a good editor probably never sees the light of day. Good work if you're a vampire, right?
Keanu Reeves presented clips from "The Hurt Locker." They gave Keanu too many words to say. He should have just said "The Hurt Locker" -- whoa!
Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino presented the Best Foreign Language Film, which is always a wild card category because voters have to see all the nominees in order to vote. So the winner was the unexpected, "El Secreto De Sus Ojos" from Argentina.
Winner Juan Jose Campanella thanked the academy for not "considering Na'Vi as a foreign language." Awesome!
Kathy Bates presented clips from "Fern Gully," um I mean, "Avatar."
Coming in from the break, the show cut immediately to a best actor clip montage. Now five performers came on stage, each one to gush over one of the nominees. This was so embarrassing.
Kate Winslet gave the Best Actor award, which should have gone to Colin Firth for the year's truly best performance in "A Single Man." Or to Jeremy Renner who was brilliant in "The Hurt Locker" and will probably never get a role as juicy. But I can't argue with Jeff Bridges winning for "Crazy Heart." He should have won for "The Big Lebowski" or even for his supporting work in "The Last Picture Show." But what the heck, he's a great actor and deserves to have a win.
Sean Penn -- who said he's never become an official member of the academy -- presented with great difficulty the award for Best Actress to-- gag -- Sandra Bullock for "The Blind Side." She’s pretended to look surprised and dutifully applauded all the other talented nominees that she just beat. Bullock said this is "a once in a lifetime experience." I can only hope she's right. I think Bullock is a nice person but she's just not a great actress.
Then Barbra Striesand arrived on stage to give the award for Best Director. It appeared as if the academy KNEW that Bigelow would win and make history as the first woman to win a Best Directing Oscar. I was so delighted to see Bigelow stick it to her ex James Cameron. She made her worst film while married to him and did her best work before her marriage to him and then after her divorce. How sweet. I liked that she did not say anything about breaking down barriers for women. She has never been that token "woman" director, and made films that were gender blind (i.e. she's a woman director who doesn't let herself get relegated to "chick flicks"). So kudos to her for focusing on her film in her acceptance speech and not on making any political comment about women directors. She leads by example.
The the big surprise -- Tom Hanks just went right to the winner for Best Picture to save time in the overly long show. So bang, no reading of nominees, he just blurts out that "The Hurt Locker" is the night's big winner.
So more than four hours after ABC began its Oscar coverage, the 82nd Awards were finally over. Sigh!
Check out the official Oscar website for a complete list of winners and more fun stuff.
Here are a couple after awards party pics.
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