Some thoughts on the Oscar ceremony

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were, by and large, unfunny. Martin was the better of the two — there were moments when it seemed like Alec Baldwin had forgotten his glasses and was having trouble reading off the teleprompter. When they did get their timing right, it was awesome to watch. The quip about Christoph Waltz’s Jew Hunter role was hilarious, and no one laughed harder than Sandra Bullock when Steve Martin asked, “Who doesn’t like Sandra Bullock?” and Baldwin replied, “We’ll know before the night is out.”

As it happened, enough people liked Sandra. I doubt I’d have voted for her though. I mean, it’s a good performance, but I am not sure it’s Best Actress material. Having said that, she was quite gracious in her acceptance speech, which she began by asking: “Did I really deserve this, or did I just wear you down?”

As acceptances speeches go, this wasn’t a brilliant year. Christoph Waltz gave a beautiful acceptance speech that paid rich tribute to Tarantino’s idiosyncratic vision, but that was the high point. Jeff Bridges gave the sort of speech you might expect The Dude to give, and Monique seemed to have a lot of stored up anger about industry politics. Her point about Hattie McDaniel was quite valid, though — back when she won for Gone with the Wind, she had to sit at a separate table during the awards dinner.

A word on some of the presenters: Robert Downey Jr. and Tina Fey were awesome, and Steve Carell was good as ever. As for Ben Stiller, every time he comes on stage to present an award, he makes you wish they’d invite him to host the whole thing. Sean Penn was… well, Sean Penn. And please, folks, is it too much to ask for a Seth Rogen sketch every year? One with Zack and Miri thinking of porn versions of this year’s nominees, maybe. Oh wait, Ben Stiller more or less did that at the Independent Spirit awards a few nights ago.

One very heartening moment for me personally was Woody Harrelson’s nomination for The Messenger. A long time ago, I wrote about a scene in We Were Soldiers that focused on the plight of men whose job it is to notify the next of kin when a soldier dies. I felt that their story deserved to be told — looks like someone was listening.

My favourite part, by far, was when Sound Editing was explained to us morons through a voiceover by Morgan Freeman. There are few greater pleasures in the movies than the sound of Freeman’s voice. (More on that in my Invictus post, coming soon.) Now, if they could follow that up with a Martin Scorsese narration…

Big mystery: Why did George Clooney look like Ryan Bingham would if he hated his job?

Will someone please, for the love of God, tell Miley Cyrus to dress up like she’s a seventeen year old?

My guess is, no matter what he does, Neil Patrick Harris will never escape the shadow of his childhood stardom. He could be up there on stage doing A Streetcar Named Desire and making Brando look like a bloody amateur, and our first thought would still be, “Dude, what’s Doogie Howser doing up there?”

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6 thoughts on “Some thoughts on the Oscar ceremony

  1. Shankar says:

    Actually, NPH has a lot of talent, obviously. I once saw him on a Sesame Street show (I have a 2-1/2 year old!) and he rocked! Similar to Hugh Jackman, this guy can sing and perform…he would be great in Broadway!

  2. S says:

    “As it happened, enough people liked Sandra.” Hey count me in! I’ve been quietly in her corner since While You Were Sleeping. So glad someone’s mentioned her. She puts some “extra” into even the most ordinary, and does so effortlessly. I really liked her in The Blindside. Loved Bullock and Affleck in Forces of Nature. She’s that rare embodiment of ‘approach angst with common sense.’ And she brings plenty of that to Gravity, yes, despite grappling with George Clooney’s voice in her head.

    About the Oscars (and awards in general), I’m getting the sense lately that in spite of the so called competition, actors themselves view it somewhat in the Hemingwayesque sense: “There’s nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” It’s the media hype that tells/sells you otherwise, methinks.

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