And the 2012 Oscars are now in the books.
For the most part, the awards went as I expected. The early surge of wins for Hugo made me think that it might have a chance in the Best Picture race, but by the time that The Artist won Best Lead Actor and Best Director, it was clear it would be not denied Best Picture. If you haven’t seen The Artist, and most of you haven’t, I recommend checking it out while it is still in the theater. Don’t let the black and white/silent movie premise scare you. I was hesitant going in, but the movie totally won me over. It really is quite charming.
It was a long night and a lot happened. My thoughts:
- While Billy Crystal was better than the Franco/Hathaway combo last year, I didn’t think he was particularly great. He at least seemed to want to be there, which is an automatic improvement over Franco who checked out very early in last year’s telecast, but unfortunately earnestness does not necessarily mean funny. I did enjoy the opening film montage, but a lot of the other jokes fell pretty flat. He made a few jokes about race that didn’t work and a lot of his material seemed fairly dated. He wasn’t terrible, but to me it was a reminder that you really can’t go home again. The Academy really needs to figure out how to solve its hosting problem. FYI – I am available.
- Not helping Crystal – or anyone else- was the TERRIBLE audio for the show. There seemed to be feedback through the entire show so it was either difficult to understand what people were saying (Crystal’s medley of Best Picture nominees was particularly affected) or there was a weird echo/humming noise in the background. Very distracting and shouldn’t happen on a show of this production level.
- Is there a stylist strike in Hollywood? Because I saw a lot of beautiful people wearing a lot of terrible clothes. I don’t claim to be a fashionista – far from it – but even I knew some of those dresses were a mistake. Particular standouts were Sandra Bullock (we all know that was a fake ponytail); Emma Stone (what was up with that bow?); Glen Close (needed a different jacket to go with that dress); and, as much as it pains me to say it, Melissa McCarthy in a dress that had too much going on and just wasn’t all that figure flattering.
- Fashion standout for me was Penelope Cruz. My goodness she was stunning.
- I thought it was funny that everyone kind of decided to pretend that the nomination of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close didn’t happen. It got the shortest mention in the song montage (one line: “Hanks is a memory”) and got the fewest clips in the video montage. Well played, Academy.
- I get that this is the Oscars and it is all about movies, but must we really be subjected year after year to montages whose sole purpose is to remind us how important the movies are? I’m no Cirque de Soleil fan to begin with, but that performance took up time that could have been allotted for the award winners to speak or to allow the best original song performances (yes, I’m still bitter about the song from the Muppets being excluded). I wasn’t aware that movies are a dying species, but that is the impression you get after watching the Oscars.
- Speaking of the Muppets – how sweet was that when Jason Segal teared up when Bret McKenzie won for “Man or Muppet?”
- The Gwyneth Paltrow/Robert Downey Jr. bit probably seemed like a good idea on paper, but fell completely flat in execution. And I’m not one of the many Gwen haters – if she is good enough for Jay-Z, she is aces in my book – but it just was kind of painful.
- Banter that totally killed? The Emma Stone/Ben Stiller combo. Loved it. I’m already a big fan of Stone, but she really nailed it.
- I am so over Angelina Jolie. I don’t know if it is the 6 kids at home or what, but she looks dreadful – way older than she actually is and there is something definitely weird going on with her arms. As someone on Twitter commented: “I’m pretty sure I now know what Jolie’s skeleton looks like.” She used to be so breathtakingly beautiful, but now she is way too skinny. Plus didn’t she used to have a sense of humor and be fun? Wasn’t this the same woman who was running around making out with her brother and wearing vials of Billy Bob Thorton’s blood around her neck? What happened to that person? In the immortal words of the Joker, “Why so serious?” I now find her insufferable. Funniest part of the evening was when Oscar winner Jim Rash (and Community star!) mocked her ridiculous pose.
- If there indeed was a wardrobe malfunction with Jennifer Lopez’s dress, I totally missed it. I’m fine with that.
- Uggie was in the house! HOORAY!!!
- Meryl Streep is an amazing actress, but I don’t think she deserved to win this year for The Iron Lady. I didn’t think the film was very good and her performance was one of her weaker ones. This was the only win that I was legitimately surprised by.
- I just love that Michelle Williams and Busy Phillips are best friends. They are so adorable and it is nice to see that something good came out of both of them appearing on Dawson’s Creek.
- Why did they insist on panning to the musicians in the balcony so much? It seemed a little weird – both in placement and in how much they were highlighted. Was there a concern that there wasn’t enough electric violin?
- So thrilled that Christopher Plummer won and I really enjoyed his acceptance speech. I hope I look as good as he did when I reach that age.
- They finally got some things right: eliminating the audience audio during the In Memorium segment and presenting the deceased in alphabetical order to avoid it deteriorating into a popularity contest and eliminating having a different actor come out to say something about each individual Best Actor and Actress nominees. The latter was usually awkward and took up too much time.
- I think the Oscars erroneously assumes that everyone has already seen the movies and performances nominated because there were an awful lot of spoilers throughout the telecast.
- The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore – told you so.
- Even though they didn’t take home any gold, I am glad that Bridesmaids got a lot of love during the telecast. Those women are great. I was familiar with all of them prior to the movie, but I hope now these actresses get more recognition.
- I couldn’t sleep when I got home so I wound up staying up to watch Jimmy Kimmel’s post-Oscar show. Maybe I was punchy because of the late hour, but I quite enjoyed it. I thought his trailer for Movie: the Movie was great. And who knew Oprah could be funny?
So that’s it. The 2012 Oscars in a nutshell. Time to start working on seeing the films for 2013!