Monday, February 27, 2012
Wow, it's been months since I've posted and I've seen quite a few films in that time. Time to resurrect this blog for a recap of this years Academy Awards. Personally I love the Oscars. I adore film as an art and I enjoy awards shows. There are obviously some negative aspects about what we're celebrating and all of the excess, but I do enjoy the night each year.
First off, Billy Crystal hosting was a success. Personally I've never cared who hosted. I am watching it because I care about the films and who wins and the commentary in between is neither here nor there for me. But the average viewer doesn't not share my interest. The Oscars are notoriously one of the worst rated television nights of the year and the hosts in the last at least 5 years have been getting a lot of flack for poor ratings. Personally, I don't think they've been all that bad. I just think the average movie goer isn't interested in the films represented. But that being said, Billy Crystal reminded me that it can be done right. Entertaining, funny, and not too forced overall. He really is the best at Oscar hosting.
Overall, as usual, I'm pleased. There are always movies and actors I feel get overlooked but for the most part some of the greatest movies are recognized.
I was not at all surprised to see Octavia Spencer win Support Actress..she was the clear favorite.
I think Bryce Dallas Howard's role in The Help was phenominal. I've never been more impressed with her and I think she deserved a nomination just as much if not more than her four co-stars.
I think there were some overlooked movies this year (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Super 8, etc) that were great and I'm surprised Bridemaids got so much hype overall.
No Pixar movies nominated this year...the clear favorite in animation. The ones nominated were all mediocre to me.
I know that the Kodak Theater is not big enough to hold every star every year and that the ones there are usually connected to the films nominated in some way, but it still feels incomplete when I notice faces aren't there (Kate, Leo, Nicole, Johnny, etc) that I come to expect to see when big stars get together.
Some people were upset about Meryl Streep's win. I admit I was a little surprised (not shocked) because there were a lot of really good actresses nominated. But I really had no idea who'd take home the Oscar. That being said, though the movie overall wasn't very successful, Meryl completely nailed the part of Margaret Thatcher. When people get upset that mediocre movies win in categories like supporting actor or sound editing---it annoys me. It's not Best Picture. It's not about the film overall. It's about the individual performances and work and that is exactly how it should be judged. Both Meryl and Michelle did great jobs at capturing the person they were playing even though the films themselves were not that great. The same can be said for movies like Harry Potter and Transformers that overall might not be Oscar material, but aspects like sound editing and visual effects absolutely are.
Hugo deserved to win the visual categories. I liked the movie in general and liked the twist from Scorsese, one of my all time favorite Directors. I thought the film dragged a bit, but visually it was stunning. Those are definitely the categories it should have won in.
I generally don't understand when Makeup wins in a period film over fantasy because it just doesn't seem as hard to do makeup for Queen Elizabeth as it does to make prosthetics and fantasy characters come to life. But I think in this case it was one of those...honoring one of the oldest members of the field. Often at the Oscars I feel artists get "gipped" the year they deserved to win because it just happened to fall in the same year as an Oscar favorite (for instance, Leonardo Dicaprio has never won and I think his Howard Hughs would have taken it any year except the year he was nominated when everything went to Ray) so later on they'll throw that artist a bone and give them an award for film that wasn't their best (see Martin Scorsese winning for The Departed. A good film, but not his best. He was just long overdue for an Oscar).
John Williams never seems to win lately, but he's bound to get a lifetime achievement award at some point. He's the most famous composer for film and he's getting old. He's not going to around too much longer friends.
I love Bret McKenzie.
In closing, I haven't seen The Artist yet so I can't say whether or not I think it deserved to be the Oscar favorite and Best Picture winner this year. I do think what I've seen of Jean Dujardin's performance was great, but overall...hard to say with so many other great movies nominated.