Monday, March 3, 2014

Reel Facts & Opinions: Oscar Night - The Good, The Bad, & The Glorious

The year that was 2013 was officially laid to rest last night with the 86th Academy Awards. Just like any other year, there were plenty of Good, Bad, and Glorious moments:
The Good

-Ellen DeGeneres did a serviceable job in her second outing as host. Although some of her gags dragged on a little too long, she was pleasant, low-key, and moving her off the stage and into the star-studded audience where she could play was a great move.
-The work of legendary composer John Williams was played several times during the night. They just can’t ever have an Oscar telecast without his signature and classic themes.

-The In Memoriam was perfect, and was closed out nicely by Bette Midler’s rendition of Wind Beneath My Wings. Tears.
The Bad

-Music is a big part of the movies, and the Best Original Song nominees certainly deserve attention…but last night’s seven musical numbers kept on derailing the momentum the show was struggling to build up.
-Despite Ellen’s best efforts, the show took a long while before finding a rhythm.

-The theme of “heroes” was an excellent idea, but was played out like an afterthought. The two montages were nice but felt out of place because the “theme” was never consistent throughout the show.
-Nice tribute to THE WIZARD OF OZ, which turns 75 this year. But how come no tribute to the equally important GONE WITH THE WIND…which also turns 75 this year and won the Oscar?

-The Academy continues to produce broadcasts which ignores the rich history of film. There are so many great moments and stories in Oscar history, and they veer away from it every year as if they’re afraid of it.
The Glorious

-The acceptance speeches by the winners of the acting categories; Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, and Lupita Nyong’o’s speeches were full of heart and were all class.
-Although it comes as no surprise to this Blogger, the highly touted WOLF OF WALL STREET and AMERICAN HUSTLE were completely shut-out. They were good movies with fatal flaws which made it very difficult for them to overcome the superior films they were up against. Why is this Glorious? Because it was the right thing to happen.

-The Oscars are all about the movies in the end, and the two best films of 2013 got their due. GRAVITY earned every one of its seven Oscars; dominating the technical categories and even a Best Director. GRAVITY is a technical landmark, and on the opposite side of its world was 12 YEARS A SLAVE…a film which is a landmark in its own way. 12 YEARS A SLAVE is one of those films that should be required viewing for all, and is the right film to be called a Best Picture.


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