Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"You've Never Always Seen Oscar Like This"

Advertising can be so misleading. The tagline for the 82nd Academy Awards was, "You've never seen Oscar like this!" But from the gaudy opening song to the mix of new and old Hollywood presenters through time wasting dance numbers, scripted "banter," and clip montages, it was more like, "You've always seen Oscar like this!"

To be fair, there were some tweaks to ancient traditions. We don't normally get to see the Lead Actor and Actress nominees until late in the show, except in reaction shots, but the producers made a savvy decision to showcase the biggest stars instantly. Just as soon as the show had begun, all ten walked out to smile at the cameras in their gowns and tuxes; bubbly Precious star Gabby Sidibe stole that moment by adding diva posing to her close-up. The show also jettisoned the Original Songs performances, though in their place was a lengthy and frankly confusing interpretative dance number featuring the Original Score nominees. Why, pray tell, was Up accompanied by "the robot"—WALL-E was last year's Pixar movie—and what did the "pop-n-lock" say about The Hurt Locker???

That's the last of my weekly Oscar columns for Tribeca Film (sniffle). The season is done. For the finale, I'm talking about the mixed messages Oscars always presents from Art vs. Commerce to Performance vs. Politics.

Also right here... Oscars in Review: worst & weirdest moments, most wonderful moments and all 09/10 awards season posts


Anonymous said...

Hey, are you guys doing a post-Oscars podcast?

Hayden said...

Continued digging on the "goddess moment"...I realized that Julianne and Michelle BOTH claim to be close friends with Ellen Barkin...could this mean that they're buds, too?

Hayden said...

Additionally, she was one of three pairs considered for Thelma and Louise: Sarandon and Davis, Frances McDormand and Holly Hunter, and Jodie Foster and Michelle Pfeiffer. So interesting. Her trivia section is killing me right now.

Michael B. said...

I have to say that I thought the ceremony was a drag. Three openings? Really? (Neil Patrick Harris you are no Hugh Jackman, sorry).

Having the lead actors and actresses up there was a nice moment, but it also made it kind of seem that they were superior than the rest of the categories. The producers should have taken notes from the 2007 ceremony when all the nominees stood up in their seats and the camera panned the rows.

I'm not even going to talk about the Hughes tribute...(yet, as I watched it I realized how awesome it would have been if they had one for Robert Altman and just had the main players from his movies show up...)

And lastly, they really need to find better presenters--especially in Picture and Director. It seems that the same people rotate over and over again. AMPAS needs to get better producers.

Dean said...

i also hope there will be a podcast. last year's post-ceremony one was hilarious.

NoNo said...

I thought this show was sooooo low rent. Now the Oscars usually are a show that mixes A-stars with wannabes but the star power was severely lacking especially compared to last year. I think it was the stars that came out for the odd John Hughes tribute that contributed to the problem.

The best parts of the show was the parts that they borrowed from last year and even then it wasn't good.

Some parts of the show seemed self-indulgent of Adam Shankman (the dance numbers to be specific) and there was no consistent tempo to the show. I know everyone loves NPH but his opening number was pointless.

They really down played the supporting categories this year! The introduction of the lead nominees in the beginning was just odd. To be honest, I much preferred when they had all of the nominees in a montage and then stand the year Ellen hosted.

The tribute to Horror...I think a tribute to Sci-Fi would've been more fitting. I know it was the in thing to pick on Avatar but it would've been cool to acknowledge it as well as District 9 and Star Trek.

And I'm starting to get the feeling that they just can't find enough people of that caliber that want to give out that last big award. He's the acting branch's governor so that leads me to think he was a last resort pick. If they were smart, they would have had Lauren Bacall do it.

RJ said...

"Hey, are you guys doing a post-Oscars podcast?"

Oh, please do. I was listening to a podcast on a site that will remain nameless, and I was so frustrated at how much they DIDN'T know.

aclp said...

I didnt understand the tribute to John Hughes- let alone the lenght of it.

Bergman passed away like what, two years ago? No tribute to him. Fellini died, Altman died, Kubrick died, Truffaut died. None of them were considered worthy of such a tribute.

And I think all of their legacies is far superior and more important than Hughes'.

aclp said...

And it was quite depressing to see all of those former teen stars who are, most of them, current has beens.

Where was the A-List? Julia? Denzel? Drew? Reese? Pacino? De Niro? Hoffman? Douglas? Will Smith? Di Caprio?

What about the living legends? Deneuve? Loren? Elizabeth Taylor? Julie Andrews? Peter O'Toole? Angela Lansbury? Fanny Ardant? Kirk Douglas?

It is very depressing that the academy has the time and space for Miley Cyrus, Kirsten Stewart and her "above it all" attitude, Taylor Lautner (who?), Zach Ephron, and leaves Lauren Bacll standing there like a fool who doesnt deserve more than three seconds of their time.

NoNo said...


I know the podcast your talking about! Maggie Gyllenhaal was the next frontrunner after Mo'nique? Gabby was the frontrunner until the Golden Globes? Coraline doesn't deserve to win because it was scary for children? I wanted to rip my hair out!

Chris Na Taraja said...

The Hurt Pop and Locker is probably my favorite comment on the Oscars that night!

NicksFlickPicks said...

Wonderful article, Nathaniel! You managed to be gracious in criticizing a show that didn't really invite a lot of graciousness.

Deus Ex Machina said...
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Kirby Holt said...

Yikes. I HATED the opening with the lead nominees on stage, way too "American Oscar Idol" for my tastes. It, of course, all went down hill from there.