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Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact 
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Post Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
My thoughts are as follows:
    -Really pretty boring show. Very few moments of spontaneity or genuine humor. Steve Martin and an uncomfortable-looking Alec Baldwin did the standard "poke fun of celebrities in a harmless manner" schtick, Ben Stiller mugged shamelessly, etc. It's pretty weird that my favorite moment was when Colin Farrell showed up to talk about Jeremy Renner, since he was the only person who seemed to be actually saying something true and unscripted
    -Speeches were just as boring and uninteresting as usual. The costume designer, oddly enough, had the best one.
    -The 10 BP nominees really didn't work. There was no chance at any of them winning, and it just cluttered things up
    -In a way it seems weird that Kathryn Bigelow kept dedicating her Oscar to the troops around the world and hoping for their safety. Does she realize she didn't really make an anti-war film? Shouldn't she be hoping they get to stay in combat a little longer and get some more "war as drug" moments?
    -What was up with the fucking interpretive dancers. And WHAT THE FUCK was up with the 15 minute John Hughes tribute? They cleverly shorten the ceremony in other places and then blow it ON THIS?
    -I have a feeling Quentin Tarantino is going to get ignored by the Academy until a Lifetime Achievement award in 30 years
    -Admittedly partly because I have a real job for the first time, but nonetheless, the ceremony was so uninteresting I kinda wish I had just gone to sleep 2 hours earlier

So gentlemen, what were your thoughts?

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:19 am
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
I'm glad something other than James Cameron or his movie won. While I don't necessarily think The Hurt Locker was the best movie of 2009, I don't have a major qualm with it winning. At least its a very good movie, something Avatar is not.

Steve Martin makes me laugh. He just does. I think he did a pretty decent job with the crappy material that he was given. Baldwin looked out of place.

I agree with Kunzy, Colin Farrell gave easily the nicest, most heartfelt intro/speech of the night. It really stood out next to the crap the other Best Actor introducers were spewing out.

Up won for Best Score. Fuckin'-A-Right it did.

Tarantino deserved something. I guess he already has a writing Oscar and they deemed last night The Hurt Locker night, so he was shut out. IB has too much gusto for the Academy anyway. They don't award balls.

If someone cool had announced the Best Actor winner, they would have said, "...and the winner is, Jeff Bridges. Hey, that's your name, dude."

The show itself kind of sucked. Slow, boring, safe humor. Status quo for the Oscars.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:50 am
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
I missed the broadcast due to dullish circumstances but caught up with the winners early this morning.

Maybe a little surprised that The Hurt Locker took original screenplay. It was the favorite to win but I figured (wrongly) that Tarantino would pull it off regardless. Oh well.

Precious for best adapted was a nice courtesy for the film. Up in the Air had hype that proved unsustainable - in the cold light of day this is understandable.

THL for best pic... no surprise there. Read on NY Times that Babs prefaced director's name with something to the effect of "it's about time". As if it weren't obvious when Babs was the presenter. Funny.

Best foreign language wasn't a movie on my radar but it looks good all the same. Milk of Human Sorrow looks interesting, too.

Actor trophies... any shock would be feigned.

No song performances but interpretive dance for scores! Up won for score... this was earned.

That's it, I believe. Would have liked to read about some big upsets but what can you do.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:41 pm
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
JamesKunz wrote:
My thoughts are as follows:
    -And WHAT THE FUCK was up with the 15 minute John Hughes tribute? They cleverly shorten the ceremony in other places and then blow it ON THIS?

So gentlemen, what were your thoughts?


That part was actually one of my favorites. I mean I grew up on those movies and love all of them dearly. It was nice to see that montage.

And finally The Dude won his long overdue oscar


Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:02 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
That part was actually one of my favorites. I mean I grew up on those movies and love all of them dearly. It was nice to see that montage.


Well, gee, I grew up on Mad Max movies but I don't need to see a 15 minute montage devoted to George Miller when he dies

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:16 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
In a telecast meant to please the general movie fan, playing the nostalgia card with a long tribute to Hughes makes a lot of sense. It creates interest, personal at that, in a parade that many would otherwise tune out until the final fifteen minutes. It's a Hollywood carnival first, an awards show a distant second.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:22 pm
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
PeachyPete wrote:
If someone cool had announced the Best Actor winner, they would have said, "...and the winner is, Jeff Bridges. Hey, that's your name, dude."
I was aching for a Lebowski reference. Alas, no dice.

Embiggening the Best Picture category from five to 10 nominees was a cute little experiment that ultimately didn't have much of an impact. Just the Academy trying to do damage control after their unpopular shunning of The Dark Knight.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
JamesKunz wrote:
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
That part was actually one of my favorites. I mean I grew up on those movies and love all of them dearly. It was nice to see that montage.


Well, gee, I grew up on Mad Max movies but I don't need to see a 15 minute montage devoted to George Miller when he dies


Yeah, John Huges was a good writer, above average director. Not worth 15 minuets for him. I thought airing Michael Jackson's funeral was unnecessary.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:19 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
Didn't watch.

Watched the John Hughes stuff on YouTube this morning and didn't care for it. I'm glad they did something for him but it would have been better if they just brought a person (maybe two) and actually talked about the guy for a few minutes as opposed to a group, each with a scripted line. Kinda lame.

I heard some of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin's jokes on The Howard Stern Show. Some of it was pretty good: "That damn Helen Mirren" and the crack about Merly Streeps Nazi/Hitler memorabilia collection.

I'm glad The Hurt Locker won instead of Avatar but Inglorious Basterds should have won best picture and I'll bet QT would have won best director had The Hurt Locker been directed by a man.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:59 pm
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
Bondurant wrote:
I'm glad The Hurt Locker won instead of Avatar but Inglorious Basterds should have won best picture and I'll bet QT would have won best director had The Hurt Locker been directed by a man.



Although I must issue the standard response of "there's no way to know that" I also must admit that I suspect you're right. By which I mean: you're right. That's a big first and the Academy cream their collective jeans at politically savvy firsts.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:14 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
Yeah, Hurt Locker won almost every major critics award in Dec just because it was directed by a woman. And was on more 10 best lists than any other 2009 release because it was directed by a woman. You really haven't been paying attention if you think that's why Bigelow won Best Director(were the DGA members also just giving her that award because of her vagina?)

I could buy this 'statement' argument if the race was close(ala Halle Berry in 2001), but it really wasn't. And Tarantino was never realistically in it(how many critics awards did it win? at least Avatar had the whole 'highest grossing film ever' thing to keep it in it, but the fact that so many don't think that film had any 'real' acting in it hurt it - remember actors make up the largest segment of the academy. and a lot of them aren't crazy about what it represents)


Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:44 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
calvero wrote:
Yeah, Hurt Locker won almost every major critics award in Dec just because it was directed by a woman. And was on more 10 best lists than any other 2009 release because it was directed by a woman. You really haven't been paying attention if you think that's why Bigelow won Best Director(were the DGA members also just giving her that award because of her vagina?)

I could buy this 'statement' argument if the race was close(ala Halle Berry in 2001), but it really wasn't. And Tarantino was never realistically in it(how many critics awards did it win? at least Avatar had the whole 'highest grossing film ever' thing to keep it in it, but the fact that so many don't think that film had any 'real' acting in it hurt it - remember actors make up the largest segment of the academy. and a lot of them aren't crazy about what it represents)


If it were my first day on this planet I may agree with you without reservation but, as it isn't, I'm still not convinced that politics didn't enter the fold with this film's overwhelming critical success. Holding the film up as deserving the awards it won because it won the awards it won doesn't lend any freedom from political bias. In Hollywood, where politics dictate so much behavior, it isn't unreasonable to claim The Hurt Locker was successful due in part to a female director.

After all, Barbara Streisend saying something to the effect of "the time has come" in reference to a woman winning best director isn't motivated by anything other than politics.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:42 pm
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
calvero wrote:
Yeah, Hurt Locker won almost every major critics award in Dec just because it was directed by a woman. And was on more 10 best lists than any other 2009 release because it was directed by a woman. You really haven't been paying attention if you think that's why Bigelow won Best Director(were the DGA members also just giving her that award because of her vagina?)

I could buy this 'statement' argument if the race was close(ala Halle Berry in 2001), but it really wasn't. And Tarantino was never realistically in it(how many critics awards did it win? at least Avatar had the whole 'highest grossing film ever' thing to keep it in it, but the fact that so many don't think that film had any 'real' acting in it hurt it - remember actors make up the largest segment of the academy. and a lot of them aren't crazy about what it represents)


What does any of that have to do with the Oscars? How often do the Academy Awards reflect the view of critics? The Academy Awards are pure Hollywood politics.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:19 am
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
After a lot of sleep I find that I mostly disagree with my previous assertion. The Hurt Locker, as far as Oscar performance (and general list-presence) goes, owes its success to the obvious factors (suspense, acting, and overall excellence) rather than the gender of its director. While I believe it was helpful in casting a few votes I'm hesitant to rest on speculation alone. Though it wasn't the greatest movie of last year I'm sure, no matter who the director was, it would have been highly acclaimed and a worthy candidate for the top prize.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:13 pm
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
Should we take into consideration that Kathryn Bigelow actually did the best directing job of the year? No?

Just a thought. Let's keep talking about her vagina.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:05 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
Pedro wrote:
Should we take into consideration that Kathryn Bigelow actually did the best directing job of the year? No?

Just a thought. Let's keep talking about her vagina.


Well first of all the Academy has certainly shown itself to be inclined towards political and/or politically-correct choices, so it's not like we're really off-base here. But anyway, yeah, let's consider whether Ms. Bigelow did the best directing job of the year.

In a word, no. She really didn't. I found the Hurt Locker to be a decent but poorly-paced film with a saggy middle. But let's pretend I loved The Hurt Locker. Then I would no doubt find it to be a brilliantly kinetic action film with a new and interesting take on warfare. But you know what? Cameron changed what a movie could be. He invented his own cameras, and introduced us to an incredible world the likes of which cinemagoers had never seen before. Did Avatar deserve Best Picture? No, probably not. I would rank Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man above it. But his achievement was head and shoulders above that of Kathryn Bigelow, vagina or no vagina.

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Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:36 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
JamesKunz wrote:
But let's pretend I loved The Hurt Locker. Then I would no doubt find it to be a brilliantly kinetic action film with a new and interesting take on warfare. But you know what? Cameron changed what a movie could be. He invented his own cameras, and introduced us to an incredible world the likes of which cinemagoers had never seen before. Did Avatar deserve Best Picture? No, probably not. I would rank Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man above it. But his achievement was head and shoulders above that of Kathryn Bigelow, vagina or no vagina.


Sorry to intrude, but I've heard the argument that Avatar was a first of some sort quite often and I'm wondering how people get this impression. It was neither the first 3D film, nor the first modern 3D film, nor the first one using motion capture etc. Of course, it may have well pushed the technology over the threshold into mainstream appeal, but the statement 'Cameron changed what a movie could be" is hyperbole. I also don't really agree that Avatar "introduced us to a world the likes of which cinemagoers had never seen before". Personally, I found Avatar's visuals very derivative - not the execution, but the visual ideas. Anybody who's been exposed to fantasy art (album cover art, comics, trading cards, illustrations for novels) should be very familiar with the sight of odd-coloured tribal warriors riding flying serpents, six-legged horses, hovering mountains, luminescent plants etc. It really isn't very original in this respect.

Be that as it may, at least now I know how Avatar could win an Oscar for best cinematography, if new cameras were developed for it (still don't quite get it because Avatar looks as if it was generated on a computer). Otherwise, I wouldn't understand how Avatar could have trumped The White Ribbon.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:56 pm
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
JamesKunz wrote:
Pedro wrote:
Should we take into consideration that Kathryn Bigelow actually did the best directing job of the year? No?

Just a thought. Let's keep talking about her vagina.


Well first of all the Academy has certainly shown itself to be inclined towards political and/or politically-correct choices, so it's not like we're really off-base here. But anyway, yeah, let's consider whether Ms. Bigelow did the best directing job of the year.

In a word, no. She really didn't. I found the Hurt Locker to be a decent but poorly-paced film with a saggy middle. But let's pretend I loved The Hurt Locker. Then I would no doubt find it to be a brilliantly kinetic action film with a new and interesting take on warfare. But you know what? Cameron changed what a movie could be. He invented his own cameras, and introduced us to an incredible world the likes of which cinemagoers had never seen before. Did Avatar deserve Best Picture? No, probably not. I would rank Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man above it. But his achievement was head and shoulders above that of Kathryn Bigelow, vagina or no vagina.


I enjoyed the film more than you (it placed in my year-end top ten) but agree that Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man were far superior. They were more difficult to pull off and were more successful with their greater ambitions than THL was. Suggesting that the film was acclaimed solely because of a female director would be ludicrous but asking if it would have been as highly acclaimed with a male director is more sexist than unreasonable.

It is a matter of some amusement, however, that a consensus can form around Sandra Bullock not really deserving the prize (and this is just something the academy does) but mention politics in the face of Bigelow's win and watch the hostility flow. It's as if some Academy Awards count but others are just nice, probably meaningless.

So we can surmise that some things are immune to politics, I guess. It would be nice to have an Oscar ceremony that doesn't feature any charity - if several nominees don't really deserve the aware, why bother nominating them? Doesn't this call into question the credibility of the academy?

Or was The Reader really one of the five best movies of 2008? This despite a lack of highly positive notices.

It's mostly politics whether or not THL was great. That it was very good and managed to win could be a happy coincidence, not destiny.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:18 pm
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
Pedro wrote:
Should we take into consideration that Kathryn Bigelow actually did the best directing job of the year? No?
No, because she didn't.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:28 pm
Post Re: Thoughts on the Oscars after the fact
JamesKunz wrote:
Pedro wrote:
Should we take into consideration that Kathryn Bigelow actually did the best directing job of the year? No?

Just a thought. Let's keep talking about her vagina.


Well first of all the Academy has certainly shown itself to be inclined towards political and/or politically-correct choices, so it's not like we're really off-base here. But anyway, yeah, let's consider whether Ms. Bigelow did the best directing job of the year.

In a word, no. She really didn't. I found the Hurt Locker to be a decent but poorly-paced film with a saggy middle. But let's pretend I loved The Hurt Locker. Then I would no doubt find it to be a brilliantly kinetic action film with a new and interesting take on warfare. But you know what? Cameron changed what a movie could be. He invented his own cameras, and introduced us to an incredible world the likes of which cinemagoers had never seen before. Did Avatar deserve Best Picture? No, probably not. I would rank Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man above it. But his achievement was head and shoulders above that of Kathryn Bigelow, vagina or no vagina.


His main achievement was selling the public that Avatar changed what a movie could be. Don't get me wrong, he did a bang-up job for the most part, but for all the time spent on making the movie in 3D, he still couldn't make his characters any more than one or two dimensional. (I'm paraphrasing the guy who did that long Star Wars review.) He couldn't bring out the best performances out of anyone, maybe Zoe Saldana aside. He couldn't create any tension or surprises out of his incredibly predictable story. There were a lot of obvious directorial fuck-ups that Cameron made that Bigelow didn't trip up on. Bigelow turned what could have been an ordinary war film into an honest depiction of the realities of being a soldier and working in those circumstances. What honesties did Cameron convey in Avatar?

If Avatar was more on the level of The Dark Knight in terms of thematic control and ultimate impact, I'd say he did the best directing of the past fifty years. But he didn't.

Now if you want to say Quentin Tarantino did a better job, now we're having a conversation.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:29 pm
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