Having given things a few (8) days to settle, and having listened to a couple of podcasts discussing the Oscars, I thought I should share just a few thoughts on the awards ceremony. I realize this is now super old, but I figured that since I started writing it, I might as well finish it. Discipline…discipline…
I must admit that I never really care so much one way or the other about the actual nuts and bolts of the Academy Awards show. Yes, it’s easy to tell if a host is good, bad or somewhere in between (as I believe Crystal was this year). Also it becomes quite obvious which presenting pairs work (Stone and Stiller, for the most part, the Bridesmaids and my personal favorite: Ferrell and Galifianakis) and which ones don’t (Downey Jr. and Paltrow, and Lopez and Diaz, yikes). However, regardless of the number of corny jokes, wooden banter or segments that are too long or that just fall flat, the real thing I’m interested in is who wins. Perhaps that’s why I typically forgo other awards ceremonies and just check the updates online as winners are announced.
That said, (and because I’m finishing this post now several days after I started it) I’m just going to go through some of my original pre-Oscar thoughts and maybe add a few more based on this year’s winners.
A) They opened the night by snubbing Lubezki again! The guy is only in his late 40s, so he’ll probably get another shot (especially since he’s reportedly working with both Malick and Cuaron again), but, risking hyperbole, The Tree of Life might just be the most beautiful film ever. I don’t want to criticize now 3-time winner Robert Richardson (who definitely deserved it for JFK, a movie I unashamedly admit to liking quite a bit, Costner and all), but Lubezki deserves more recognition than just repeated nominations. Of course, it could have gone to 2-time winner Kaminski for War Horse.
B) Drive lost its only nomination to Hugo. That’s fine, I still love the movie.
C) I still find it kind of strange that Hugo had the most nominations and tied for the most wins this year. It was on my radar as a film geek, but I feel like it didn’t really have that much of a presence in theaters, marketing, etc… Maybe 3-D drew people in? Or was it the Scorsese factor?
D) Way to go Jim Rash! Bringing Oscar gold to the cast of Community!
E) Conchord Bret McKenzie won for best original song. He had a 50-50 shot. After seeing The Muppets last week, I have to say that “Man or Muppet” is largely nonsensical and fairly incoherent, but was certainly helped along in the film by a cameo from a certain TV sitcom personality. I found the bigger number from the film, “Life’s a Happy Song”, to be much more fun, even if it was really cheesy.
F) Spencer won, Davis didn’t. Both were deserving. I still haven’t seen Streep in The Iron Lady, but honestly, I can’t argue against honoring her too much, though I have a nagging fear that when I finally see the film it will feel like an Oscar-bait caricature.
G) The Harry Potter series of films goes 0 for 12 (I think), and honestly, I’m entirely okay with that. I don’t think any of the films ever really rose to any particularly notable heights. 1 & 2 are awful; 3 is okay, but overpraised due to Cuaron’s involvement; I can’t really remember 4 that well; 5 & 6 were actually my favorites and, I feel, the most complete of the books and movies; 7.1 was pretty good but dragged a bit for me; 7.2 was also pretty good, but I didn’t feel like it had great closure for all of the characters we’ve spent 8 films with. Maybe this series should be a subject of a future post (or posts).
H) Good for Jean Dujardin. Who knows if he’ll ever be there again. Does anyone doubt Clooney’s ability to win another Oscar?
I) The Artist – I feel pretty good about this one. It’s kind of odd that a French silent film would win in 2011, but I feel like the film is deserving. Like many of the other Best Picture contenders, I want to see this film again. I’d love to look more closely into the general feeling of “nostalgia” for old Hollywood that seems to have surfaced (re-surfaced?) this year with films like The Artist, Midnight in Paris, and Hugo. This subject is one I’ve studied before and one I’m very interested in pursuing.
That’s it for the 2011 Oscars (probably). I can’t wait until next year when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey loses everything just to have The Hobbit: There and Back Again win 12 Oscars in 2013.