March 8, 2010 by abbyo
Well, the Oscars are over. This year’s ceremony was pretty dull in comparison with previous years, especially last year’s, which was so flamboyant I almost mistook it for the Tonys a couple of times. I’ve come to realize that as much as I enjoy making fun Oscar schmaltz, that’s really all these awards have going for them. Otherwise it’s just…boring. So instead of best original song performances, we got some ridiculous interpretive dance renditions of the best score nominees, which made absolutely no sense, and James Taylor playing “In My Life” over an In Memoriam montage, which, again, felt like it came out of nowhere. And expanding the Best Picture nominees to 10 didn’t seem to work in the Academy’s favor either, since “The Hurt Locker,” the winner, had the lowest gross of any film to win the award. Kudos, Academy. Maybe next year you’ll consider inviting Hugh Jackman back. At least he was fun.
But enough about the ceremony. Let’s talk about the winners!
Personally, I didn’t find any surprises until pretty late in the proceedings. Christoph Waltz won for best supporting actor (to give it to anyone else ought to have been punishable by law), Jeff Bridges won for best actor, Sandra Bullock for best actress and Mo’Nique for best supporting actress.
Best foreign film went to an Argentinian movie no one had seen (“El Secreto de Sus Ojos”) instead of a movie people had (“Un Prophete” or “The White Ribbon”), just like last year, when “Waltz With Bashir,” “The Class” and “The Baader Meinhof Complex” all got the shaft in favor of “Departures,” which left most everyone in the television audience saying “huh?” If there’s one area in which the Academy members continually leave people unsatisfied, it’s the foreign film category, so the surprise was, in fact, no surprise at all.
But there were two categories that made a lot of people happy (including me!), and those were Kathryn Bigelow winning Best Director, and “The Hurt Locker” winning best picture (read: James Cameron and “Avatar” getting neither award).I’m a Bigelow fan, so seeing her be the first woman to win the award for best director gave me a case of the warm fuzzies. If you’re not familiar with her, I suggest you listen to this interview with Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen. I defy you not to be blown over by how cool she is.
-The anglophile in me was stoked to see Carey Mulligan nominated for “An Education.” It’s really fun to see actors from accross the pond make their way through the world of British film and Masterpiece Theater productions and finally get mainstream attention after years of sheer hard work. I hope we end up seeing more of her.
-Is it just me, or was Sean Penn’s impromptu introduction to the best actress category just weird? I had no freaking clue what he was talking about, although I suspect he gets that reaction a lot just in general.
-Jeff Bridges’ acceptance speech sure was long, but it was totally groovy. He is The Dude.
-I know “In the Loop” had no chance of winning adapted screenplay, but I wished it would have won, for the same reasons I desperately wanted “In Bruges” to come from behind and win best original screenplay last year. It was a fabulous movie with a fabulous script and had incredibly talented people working on it who don’t get enough credit. Everyone reading this: if you haven’t seen Armando Iannucci’s show “Brasseye,” do yourself a favor and watch it. You will be glad.