So the 83rd Annual Academy Awards have come and gone. Herewith, a few notes:
Dear red-carpet commentator: given the term's origins, calling a 14-year-old girl a "nymphet" is not really a nice things to do.
No egregiously bad dresses this year, but the sooner the bow-on-butt/bustle craze disappears, the better. I mean, most of these women have no backside to speak of -- do they really have to emphasize that fact? And besides, those things just look silly.
I love Tim Gunn. Seriously.
The opening montage was far better than I expected it to be. Franco and Hathaway make an adorable couple (chemistry, even!) and she is, as Kirk Douglas noted, gorgeous.
Speaking of Kirk Douglas and the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Melissa Leo's heartfelt acceptance speech -- from her asking Douglas what he was doing after the show to her dropping the "f-bomb"(and even better, her reaction to herself) -- was priceless.
The adapted screenplay included Toy Story 3 as being "based on previous movies"? Really? Of course, I can only think of two cases where sequels were nominated in any of the major categories (Godfather II and Return of the King) and both of them were based on books.
The wins by The Social Network and The King's Speech in the screenplay categories were completely predictable.
As was Randy Newman's win for Best Song.
While I preferred the How to Train Your Dragon score, having the words "Academy Award winner" and "Trent Reznor" sitting next to each other creates a lovely sense of cognitive dissonance. It's always wonderful when the world turns out to be a much more complicated place than you imagine.
Christian Bale is English? Really? You could have fooled me.* And what in God's name has Geoffrey Rush done with his hair? I really hope that's for a role he's playing.
Cute musical number, Anne. Totally irrelevant to anything at hand, but cute. And that blue dress you changed into is absolutely killer.
Has Pixar won best animation every year it's been offered except the first? When Shrek won?**
Inside Job is an important documentary about serious subjects. Exit Through the Gift Shop is a bizarre movie about non-serious subjects,*** which may or may not have been a hoax. Clearly, the more significant film won. Nonetheless, I was sort of hoping Exit would win, just to see if Banksy would show up.
No applause between dead people during the "In Memoriam" segment. I guess the Academy realized that it was a little tacky to have people cheer a lot for Paul Newman and not so much for Sidney Lumet Pollack, as happened last year. [Sorry, Sidney Lumet died in 2011. Oops.]
Bring back Billy Crystal! Best Oscar host ever.
Of course Natalie Portman won for Best Actress. Having a nervous breakdown on screen is the sort of thing the Academy just loves. Also, she looks so cute pregnant.
Having Jeff Bridges speak to each nominee was a great touch. Same for Sandra Bullock. Her "Dude, Dude, Dude, you won this last year!" to Bridges was especially endearing.
I would give good money to see Colin Firth dancing after his Oscar win. Of course, I would pay money to see Colin Firth do just about anything -- I saw the film version of Mamma Mia!.
Sorry Academy, as much as I liked The King's Speech (see Colin Firth, above, not to mention Geoffrey Rush, who was equally good) Darren Aronofksy took more risks with Black Swan than Tom Hooper did with The King's Speech.
Wait, Tom Hooper's mother found the story when attending a play reading ? And it still fit in the Original Screenplay category? How does that work?
And, while I disliked it intensely, Black Swan is simply a better movie (as a movie) than The King's Speech is.
Can someone explain to me the rationale behind having a bunch of elementary school kids singing "Over the Rainbow" to end the show, which was, as usual, already running late?
In two more days I get the Entertainment Weekly issue with its usually somewhat snarky analysis of the awards and the fashion. And it is only a few short months until the Tonys.
I can hardly wait.
*Actually, looking him up on IMDb, he's Welsh. Wow.
**2001, in the first award in the category, Shrek beat out Monsters, Inc. In 2006, Happy Feet beat out Cars. Still, Pixar has won six awards in the eight years they have been nominated, which is a pretty good batting average. I still think How To Train Your Dragon was a better movie than TS3, and Despicable Me -- which wasn't even nominated! -- was a better movie still.
** Your Mileage May Vary on whether or not you think street art is important. Maybe. As much as I recognize it as art, and as much as I love art, it still pales in comparison to the major economic meltdown.