Discussion (19) ¬

  1. Andre
    Andre

    Well Katherine herself said that she’d much rather be seen as an Oscar winning director than an Oscar winning female director. I applaud her for that.

    Regarding the ceremony itself, I thought it was one of the worst in a long time. The hosts’ opening monologue was boring, just reading cards like stiffs without any dialogue between them, NPH’s sing and dance number was okay, but not entirely sure what the point was. Many of the presenters were just plain bad, everyone related to Twilight, Miley Cyrus, Tom Hanks that didn’t seem to care. Tina Fey and RDJ were the highlights of the night for me. They should host next year.

    As to the awards themselves, most winners were predicted by everyone save a few we don’t really care about. A minor upset for something we actually care about is Jeff Bridges over Jeremy Reinner, but nobody will argue much about that one.

    All in all, meh. I really think the Oscars are out of touch with what the general population likes. Every year, it seems that small and obscure movies no one has seen win a bunch of awards, and then they wonder why ratings are slipping more and more. A movie that grossed less than $20M winning most of the major awards is not a good thing, no matter what everyone says.

    Oscars people vote on a small piece of paper, real people vote with their wallets.

  2. Tom
    Tom

    I don’t know that the Oscars are obligated to award films or actors based on what is popular. It’s *an industry* awards ceremony. Peers acknowledging peers. It’s just been elevated to this position of importance because it used to be the only awards show in town. It was significant. It’s less significant now, but it was never about what the audience finds entertaining.

    More damning, I think, are the studios that try to leverage their Oscar chances by releasing films later in the year. Or doing limited engagements at the end of the year before releasing wide to general audiences months later. As a movie fan, that’s frustrating.

  3. Andre
    Andre

    But isn’t that what they did with Sandra Bullock? Her movie made a ton of money, and she was going up against Merryl Streep, who probably should have won based on her performance, but the voters probably felt that Merryl Streep was always in the running and it was time for someone else to win. There’s no way Sandra Bullock did a better performance than Merryl Streep did. It’s all politics. We never actually know who people vote the way they do. They could simply say “well I don’t like this person because he turned down an interview, so I’ll vote for this other person”. How is that fair when the ultimate goal is to reward excellence?

    Also, they brought in Adam Shankman to produce this show with the mandate to bring in younger viewers. Well he failed. It was horrible. Who puts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as hosts when you want to attract a younger audience? And if my memory isn’t playing tricks on me, I’m pretty sure Hugh Jackman was highly acclaimed for his great job as a host last year. They needed someone to rival that level of enthusiasm. Not too cynical geisers with no talent other than reading lame jokes.

    Next year, I’m hoping for RDJ or Stephen Colbert.

    And I totally agree about the studios screwing with us just to fit into the Oscar schedule. They should change the rules a bit so that only movies released to general audiences before december 31st can be entered.

    • Tom
      Tom

      Best Actress is always a weird category, though. I think if you look at the nominees historically, there are very few American actresses nominated. So maybe voters were responding to that. I agree there were politics at play. Box office, nationalism, exhaustion from seeing Meryl Streep’s name on the ballot so many times – whatever. You hope that it’s about the performance, but sometimes it isn’t.

      Shankman didn’t exactly fail in his task to attract more viewers. Ratings for the last telecast were up 14% from last year. They were the highest ratings for the Oscars in the last 5 years. I don’t think he did himself any favors with that dance sequence – although that’s something they’ve done in the past.

      The two-host thing was something new. I don’t think they ever tried that before. Bring in Martin for his experience. Bring in Baldwin because he’s popular on 30 Rock right now. They both have a sarcastic sense of humor and they probably thought they’d play well together.

      I don’t think you’ll see RDJ host anytime soon. He’s riding high. Jackman had to make up for Wolverine and, plus, he has that singin’ and dancin’ thing about him.

      Colbert? Too sardonic. Too wrapped up inside his caricature of a conservative to be considered by the liberal Academy.

  4. Andre
    Andre

    I just read that Shankman’s first option for host was Sacha Baron Cohen (possibly as Bruno?). Now THAT would have been something worth watching!!

    Apparently, the ratings were up 14% compared to last year. I wonder how big of an impact a huge film with plenty of talk like Avatar has on viewership. Viewers are bound to be interested/concerned if they’ve seen the movie everyone talks as a favorite to win, no?

    Anyway, here’s a good article where Adam Shankman defends himself about many things including the Farrah Fawcett omission, the “horror” tribute, the dance number that replaced the best song performances, etc.
    http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Oscar-Producer-Adam-Shankman-Wishes-He-Had-A-Do-Over-17477.html

  5. wren1313
    wren1313

    Love panel 3 Tom.

    Sacha Baron Cohen would have been a terrible host because someone would have gotten an ass in their face. Why don’t we just let Howard Stern host? No matter what people think of the Oscars, there is a level of class to the precedings which the host(s) should reflect. I don’t think they will let Colbert host because of the Jon Stewart hit & miss. I still am rooting for Neil Patrick Harris to host next year.

    I credit the more popular movies, especially Avatar, being nominated with raising the viewership. With the Best Picture expansion, I predict we will be seeing more higher revenue movies nominated. I think this was the least radical move the Academy could make in an attempt to raise the ceremony’s viewership.

    And moving on… Saw Alice in Wonderland last night & liked it. No, it wasn’t Burton in his top form but it was a decent movie & Burton’s usual cast is what made it decent. I was surprised to see Crispin Glover (villainous does suit him). The added bonus was seeing the Tron Legacy preview in 3D. It looked amazing & I can’t wait until December.

  6. Kris

    They were rather dull…..
    The biggest upset, I think, was Bullock’s win for Best Actress. And I think she knew it too. There’s no way she should have won in THAT line up, even if she was good in Blind Side.
    I was really put off by the original score dance thing, too. That was bizarre. Can’t believe they got rid of the original song performances and replaced them with that.
    Also, I didn’t like it last year, and I didn’t like it this year: when they bring up actors to kiss up and flatter the nominees. It’s annoying, it takes up way too much time, and I think it’s a little insulting as well. It’s like, they’re the best things at the Oscars, so they get all the attention. Like the supporting actor/actress noms are second-class actors.
    There was also a lot of repetitiveness. Like, here’s some people talking about the nominations for 10 minutes; now I’m going to announce them all again as I give the award.
    Was Hurt Locker really that good? Or did they give it the award because it was about the Iraq war, like how they gave Crash an award because it was about racism?
    On “the first female director”…. That is SO annoying. I hate when the point out shit like that, because they’re making it a huge deal when it’s not. She made a really good movie, and she happens to be female. So what? It’s like, they’re not honoring you because you’re a woman, or you’re black, or whatever. It’s because you did your job well. And you can do your job well no matter what sex or race you are. It mattered waaaay back, like when Hattie won for…Gone With the Wind, I think. Because the woman couldn’t even sit with everyone else, or enter the building from the same door. I think it’s kind of stupid to point that sort of stuff out now.

  7. James M
    James M

    Nice link Andre, thank you.

    Wow, people are really upset about the dancers. I thought that was the most interesting part of the evening.

  8. James M
    James M

    To add another note, I watched ‘Logorama’, its at
    http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2010/03/watch-this-now-logorama-the-oscar-winning-animated-short

    I can’t believe this won an academy award.

    • Tom
      Tom

      James,

      It’s not so much that the dancing was terrible. I mean, doing the robot to “Ellie’s Theme is jarring, but the Academy Award has done dance numbers in the past.

      I think it’s the fact that they FAVORED doing a dance number over having performances of the Best Original Song nominees that has people REALLY fired up.

      Considering Shankman the producer is also a judge on So You Think You Can Dance only makes it look more like a conflict of interest.

      Kris,

      I don’t mind it when the actors come on stage to talk to the Best Actor/Actress nominees. But I agree that it’s a time sink, especially so late in the show. I think if they’re going to do it in the future, they need to be more economical about time. Maybe eliminate some of the technical categories that clog up the second hour. Let’s face it, most people aren’t interested in who wins Best Production Design or Best Sound Editing.

      Oh, and back to James, I tried to watch Logorama and gave up after 3 minutes in. It’s a clever premise and executed well, but it’s not very engaging. I really wanted to see it after I saw the nominee clip during the broadcast, though. I wonder if that is as far as the Academy voters got as well.

  9. trevor

    I was trying to figure out the dancing bit too. It didn’t really connect with me. But then again, I don’t think I was the intended audience for that bit.

    • Tom
      Tom

      @Trevor,

      I don’t think the failure of the dance number had anything to do with finding the intended audience.

      It had EVERYTHING to do with a lack of contextual sense!

  10. Lance J. M.
    Lance J. M.

    “Sherlock Holmes” had the best score, in my opinion. Also, I really enjoyed the dancing. Now, the guy doing the robot was very awkward, but even so. Good comic, though. BTW! I’d like to see you make a crack about Sandra Bullock’s mentioning of her “lover”. lol

  11. SSG Jeff (USAR)
    SSG Jeff (USAR)

    Logorama… I quit watching after the Michelin men started swearing.

  12. Jacob
    Jacob

    I’ll defend the Robot, because *technically* it wasn’t the Robot; it’s popping and locking (incredibly subtle, but there is a difference and as a dancer I just want to point that out). And he wasn’t the focus, just a short centerpiece for the two who danced around him.

    I liked the dancing, but then I like dance. I didn’t watch the Awards because watching the industry give itself a nice big self-wank for being themselves isn’t amusing to me, so I ended up watching only the dance itself on another site. On it’s own, it’s fairly beautiful. I think the breaking, popping, and acrobatics were off point for the kind of music that wins, or is even nominated for the awards, but in it’s own right did it’s job and they kept it thoughout for cohesion. But I do agree, on it’s own it’s its own thing, but must’ve been incredibly offputting given what came the hours before.

    What may have worked better for the show might’ve been a mix of what they’ve done before; have shorter dance sequences between the other awards, ones that fit the style of the music, in the same vein of when the Best Songs are song between presentations.

    You mentioned conflict of interest; it might be interesting to know that a good portion of the dancers are past winners/contestants on So You Think You Can Dance (the easiest one to spot is the black guy with massive dreads, he was last season’s winner), and the main hub from League of Extrodinary Dancers have also been featured on the show. Shankman, you should’ve been a director of the show, because then a better producer could’ve nixed some of your more self indulgen ideas.

  13. gomro

    The real problem with the Oscars is that the award is absolutely meaningless, because the award ceremony HAS to go on. In other words, if we get a year where the only movies released are Return of Saw, Son of Orphan and Return of the Son of Ballistic:Ecks vs Sever, then one of those disasters will win an Oscar for Best Picture, because the Oscars MUST go on.

    The only thing that could give it any validity would be simply to refuse to give it if no film is worthy. But that is NOT gonna happen.

    • Tom
      Tom

      @gomro

      I don’t think the Oscars are meaningless because someone is holding a gun to their head to hand out awards. The Oscars acknowledge the best in film *that year*. If all the movies nominated in a given year are crap, that is 1.) Highly subjective and 2.) An unfair assessment because it judges contemporary films against some kind of invisible standard.

      @Jacob

      I don’t mean to disparage the dancers, but whether that dude was doing the robot or popping and locking, I still say it was out of place in contrast to the music that was being played. Sorry, but popping and locking doesn’t lend itself to every musical genre.

      The dancers were talented, certainly. But the entire experiment was like trying to cram a square peg into a round hole.

  14. AshiKitten
    AshiKitten

    Lance, I love you. Sherlock Holmes was a movie for me to geek out over. I have a soft spot for literature. I understand that all books are considered literature..but the category that I put such books for exampe, by the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, ect “old style writing” as Literature (aka, “those old boring books we were forced to read back in high school for a book report”). I can’t help it. If only my book store at home didn’t shut down. Oh well…I’ll get the books once I’ve moved to Canada with my boyfriend. *deep sigh*

  15. Liz
    Liz

    In regards to host(s): I’m 23, so I guess I’m part of that “younger viewer demographic,” and I liked Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. I thought they did play well off each other.

    In regards to next year’s host: I am a total NPH fangirl, and I loved what he did with the Tonys and the Emmys. His dance number made me so excited, so I’m hoping he hosts next year. He made the Tonys and Emmys (which can be quite boring) fun.

    In regards to your comic and its topic: I loved the dancing, overall. I hated the fact that they were popping and locking to “Ellie’s Theme.” DID THEY SEE THE MOVIE? DO THEY KNOW WHY THAT MUSIC IS SIGNIFICANT TO THE FILM? CHRIST ON A CRACKER! Your comic was spot-on, as per usual.

    In regards to the Oscars: I like Sandra Bullock, and I was very impressed by her performance in “The Blind Side.” I didn’t think she deserved the Oscar over Meryl Streep. I rarely think anyone deserves Oscars over Meryl Streep. She could be nominated in the Best Sound Editing category and I would think she should win. She is a class act and so so so talented.

    And now back to your regularly scheduled program.

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