I'm writing this now because I know I won't be able to write anything that requires a serious amount of time during the week. I still have a billion things in the inner portals of my mind that I can't remember as of now, but I will proceed with my mini review of the Oscar ceremony anyway.
I've always adored the glitz and glamour of the annual Oscar ceremony. The fashion, the awards, the sheer exhilaration of it all, the celebration of a rewarding artistic medium, the performances--it's just a wondrous sight to behold. And I still have to see some of those movies. Now I absolutely have to see Slumdog Millionaire, despite how corny and schmaltzy the premise sounds.
For me, this year's fashion standouts were Amy Adams in her gorgeous red dress and Taraji P. Henson in her lovely white dress. Both Adams and Henson had delightfully fancy jewelry to accompany their remarkable dresses. (I might showcase my favorite dresses from the ceremony later in the week when I find better quality pictures.)
I loved both musical numbers. Hugh Jackman was a rather fun host. Loved seeing Anne Hathaway (whoa, that voice!) and Beyonce rocking that stage. (But Zanessa? Meh.) Queen Latifah was wonderful, but the "In Memoriam" tribute was kind of awful, with the camera just going all over the place in the most annoying manner possible.
But really, I got a little sick of medleys in the "I don't want to hear another one for a very long time" kind of way.
I didn't care for the five past winners from the acting categories reading cue cards--I mean, praising the nominees before handing out the actual award. During that time, I just kept thinking to myself, "Why can't they just hand out the damn award now?" It doesn't help that the actors didn't seem very enthusiastic about showering those praises. It kind of made me wonder whether or not the actors actually saw the performances they were praising on stage since all of those speeches felt forced. I understand that it's nice for the nominees to get specially recognized for their work and have the spotlight on them for a while, but it resulted in this never-ending drag that made all that jazz slightly less entertaining.
But Kate Winslet won! Finally... Despite the negative criticism about her performance being the least-deserved out of all her past Oscar nominations, I still feel that Winslet's portrayal of Hanna in The Reader is a grand work of excellence. I definitely believe that Winslet's performance in The Reader is superior than her previously nominated performances in Sense and Sensibility and Titanic.
Then Robert De Niro appeared! I was too excited about the fact that he's on my TV screen and barely heard what he said about Sean Penn. I'm a terrible person, I know. But I hadn't seen a De Niro film in ages so I admit, I kind of missed him.
The icing on the cake was when Steven Spielberg presented the Best Picture award. My Spielberg fangirliness kind of came out that moment in a really weird, absurd way. I was saying things like, "Spielberg should win Best Director like, every single year." Well, probably except this year, but that's not my point.
The ceremony didn't really have any surprises so it really did get kind of boring as the evening dragged on. Everyone who I expected to win, won, maybe except for Sean Penn. I guess like everyone else, I expected Mickey Rourke to take the Best Actor award, but Penn was definitely number two on the list. I don't really know what to say since I haven't seen either performances, but it's all about the statistics when it comes to guessing the winner, right?
Despite how pretty the set looked, the entire ceremony felt a little sloppy, though. Lots of obvious cue card readings. Lots of sloppy montages. Lots of in-your-face loud background music. It did feel a little bit like a party, just not a very elegant, well-planned one. But there were fun moments, especially the song-and-dance moments that I somewhat enjoyed and Jack Black's little joke about betting on Pixar. Then again, it still didn't beat the 2007 Oscar ceremony (hosted by Ellen DeGeneres), which was probably the most glamorous and elegant Oscar ceremony I had seen so far in my lifetime.
The 2009 Oscars was just disappointing and unimpressive, although there were some sparks of potential around the edges.
There's always next year...and the year after that...
Head over to IMDb to view a full list of winners from tonight's ceremony. Feel free to discuss the Oscars. I would love to hear what you all thought about the ceremony!
By the way, I really want to see Departures (Best Foreign Film winner). Has anyone seen it? Is it any good?
Rating of Ceremony: **1/2 (out of four)