Monday, February 27, 2012

A Reel Opinion: Oscar Post-Mortem, The Good, The Bad, & The Glorious

The 84th Academy Awards were handed out last night, and as expected THE ARTIST was the big winner, taking home Best Picture and five total Oscars. Hot on its heels was Martin Scorsese’s HUGO, which also came away with five. There were no real surprises or upsets this year, which is a good thing because that means all the right films and people won.

As it is with every year, there is plenty to praise and complain about…


-Sixty-three year-old Billy Crystal returned for the ninth time to host; his first since 2004. Yes, it was the same old Billy doing mostly the same old jokes, but it was familiar territory and offered a bit of a comfort. Billy kept things moving along, and it’s fair to say that the show looked pretty darn good considering they had to switch out producing teams and a host just a few months ago. Some jokes bombed, many were hilarious, but it was an absolute improvement over the disaster that we had a year ago with the outmatched dynamic duo of young-un’s in the form of James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

-Pixar took full advantage of the built-in, captive audience by unleashing a fantastic teaser for its upcoming BRAVE. This Blogger has always felt that commercial-time for the Oscars should be treated like prime-real estate for studios who want to showcase their upcoming films, but every year no one really jumps on it.

-The “why we love the movies” testimonials. Hearing movie stars tell their personal stories was a great way to remind us that we’re not really all that different from those rich movie stars. There is a connection there that often gets lost, and hearing Morgan Freeman tell us about his experiences seeing KING KONG and THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES puts us in the theatre seat right next to him. Good stuff.


-The In Memoriam. The exclusion of the late great Nicol Williamson, who was once described as “the greatest actor since Marlon Brando”, is absolutely sickening. Especially considering that the late Whitney Houston was included. Never mind the fact that Houston pissed away her career, talent, and once-amazing great looks in favor of drugs…her career amounted to three total movies in 20 years with only one of them being worth a shit. Other notable exclusions are Michael Gough (Alfred in Tim Burton’s BATMAN) and Charles Napier (BLUES BROTHERS, RAMBO II, PHILADELPHIA, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS).

-As a former broadcaster, this Blogger was cringing the entire night over the terrible audio production. Feedback from the microphones and missed cues were everywhere. You cannot blame the building as they’ve been using that theatre for a few years now (this was the tenth year), and technical glitches aside, most of it felt like operator-error. A room full of drunken muppets could have done better.

-You cannot justify Adam Sandler and TWILIGHT in those montages. You just can’t.


-Angelina Jolie’s legs in glorious HD. Enough said.

-Christopher Plummer’s acceptance speech. The guy has a second career as a stand-up comedian. Hire him as host for 2013!

-THE ARTIST taking home Best Picture. The entire world was predicting it, but hey…upsets happen on occasion (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, anyone?), so it was good to see the right film win. A good friend of Reel Speak likes to say that a Best Picture winner should move things forward for the industry. THE ARTIST does this by teaching a relevant lesson in the setting of our past. In a Hollywood over-saturated with remakes, reboots and adaptations, THE ARTIST really is a marvel, and deserves everything it has won.

What say you?

1 comment:

  1. I did not even know Nicol Williamson was dead thanks to these jerks. Thats completely unacceptable considering some of the odd people they include.


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