Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Very Late Post-Mortem

Now that I've had a week to consider the results, I can finally channel my thoughts of last Sunday's Oscars onto the page without bias (yeah right).

"No Country for Old Men" took home four well earned trophies for picture, director, supporting actor and screenplay (although I would have LOVED to see Sarah Polley take it for "Away from Her"). The only slight shock in the top categories being Marion Cotillard's rightful win for best actress, the kudos mostly went to the usual suspects. But it's wrong for people to complain about the predictability of the ceremony. We can't ask the Academy to vote for what they don't think is the best just so we can be surprised.

There were some surprises though in the craft categories. Namely "The Golden Compass" for visual effects (wtf?), and "The Bourne Ultimatum" taking home all three trophies for which it was nominated. While I'm glad that "Bourne" earned some much deserved attention, I can't help but feel that both sound awards aught to have gone to "Transformers", especially now that poor Kevin O'Connell is 0/20 (he must have done something in his youth that REALLY pissed God off).

As for the show itself, John Stewart made a much better host than he did two years ago, keeping a light and endearing tone throughout the show. It's too bad he'll probably end up taking the fall for the por ratings, which had more to do with the obscurity of the films than the host.

The best and worst moments of the night all seemed to revolve around one category; Best Original Song.

The worst had to be the excruciating performance of an otherwise adorable number "Happy Working Song", which pitted poor Amy Adams against an audience of millions, singing to invisible rats and pigeons on an empty stage, while seasoned pro, Kristen Chenoweth, got dazzle everyone with "That's How You Know", which still came across as lame and stilted. The performers are not to blame. These songs were destined to flop onstage the day they were nominated.

On the other end of the scale, the performance of "Falling Slowly" by musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova was earnest and moving, receiving a huge reaction from the audience. That moment was only surpassed by them actually winning the award, which was then surpassed by the classy decision to let Irglova back on stage to give her speech after the orchestra had uncerimoniously cut her off.

All and all an enjoyable evening, despite the endless and pointless parade of montages, but many will still call the telecast a failure because their expectations are just too high. If you only want to see a show where your favourite celebrities surpirisingly win for movies that everybody has seen, the Academy Awards is not for you. The Academy will pick whatever movie they want, whether people have seen it or not, and the suggestion that they remove the craft awards from the show is the most vulgar I've heard.

The Oscars aren't for people who are only going to complain about they're predictability, dullness, and campiness. The Oscars are for people who love the movies. As one such person, I look forward to them every year because, after all, the real fun is in the anticipaction. Oscars 2009? Only 358 days away!

1 comment:

DGilbert said...

I agree. "Falling Slowly"'s win was definitely the moment of the night!