Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars as They Unfold

As I was watching the Academy Awards tonight, I jotted down my thoughts. Here is what I was thinking as the night unspooled.

8:31 - It begins and it's already 1 minutes behind.
8:33 - This opening, reminiscent of the old Mac commercials, is pretty unfunny. It is not dynamic enough to grab one's attention.
8:34 - Who cares about these people, the nominees? We will them all later anyways.
8:35 - And now the nominees are being showcased live. Again, as if we will never seem then again on this show.
8:37 - Ellen arrives, finally.
8:38 - Did I just see a bald Jack Nicholson?
8:40 - Yay, let's celebrate how diverse Hollywood is! Pat on the back!
8:42 - Time for the prerequisite "Let's point out whose in the audience" portion of the show.
8:44 - First funny joke of the night and it's on Al Gore.
8:45 - Great reaction by Steve Carell.
8:46 - Just as I predicted: Ellen's cute, but give me Jon Stewart's sarcasm any day of the week.
8:47 - Quick, someone give Nicole Kidman a personality!
8:50 - Is Maggie Gyllenhal sucking on a lemon?
8:51 - First commercial break thoughts: This is going to be a long, comedically safe night that is ultimately filler.
8:52 - Wow, that iPhone commercial with all the helloes is awesome.
8:54 - Will Ferell and a piano? Hilarious. Sing it, Will!
8:59 - So far, Pan's 2 for 2.
9:00 - Cute kids.
9:05 - A movie about Jews wins an award? Shocking!
9:13 - Sound FX choir? Yes!
9:15 - They've done the indie comedy,now Carell and Greg Kinnear need to do a buddy comedy.
9:21 - Finally, a category that matters: Supporting Actor.
9:24 - Wow, an upset! Arkin over Murphy. Guess Norbit didn't help. And for the first time in a while, I have seen a movie that won an acting award.
9:27 - Interpretive dance? Who grennlit this idea?
9:30 - Gotta switch from Departed clips as that movie is coming up on my Netflix list.
9:31 - Our Town was an original song? It sounded like a typical (old) James Taylor song to me.
9:36 - Ah, the hippies, Leo and Al Gore are presenting together.
9:45 - I liked that the Academy added an Animated Film award a few years ago.
9:46 - Hollywood loves penguins.
9:54 - The Departed wins for best adapted screenplay. Too bad, we could have seen Sasha Baron Cohen on stage.
10:01 - Heh, nice little Devil Wears Prada homage.
10:05 - Holy Tom Cruise sighting! See, if he sticks to the script, he seems normal.
10:06 - Oh, an honorary Oscar. Time to see what's on Cartoon Network.
10:11 - Ok, Ellen interacting with Scorsese and Eastwood is pretty funny.
10:22 - Poisedon is nominated for an award? Did anyone other than me see that movie?
10:25 - Foreign Language presentation and they cut to Sasha Cohen I guess because he's English?
10:31 - Another minor upset as Pan's Labyrinth doesn't win Best Foreign Film and the director who does win doesn't even sound foreign!
10:35 - Best Supporting Actress Time!
10:36 - No upset here as Hudson wins and breaks down immediately.
10:45 - Jerry Seinfeld is a big enough movie star to present at the Oscars? I'll buy that!
10:50 - Another movie I have seen wins. Al Gore will not be denied as his docu wins.
10:51 - Another honorary Oscar, this time a lifetime achievement award for the guy who did that famous Western theme. I think Family Guy is about to start on CN.
10:58 - Flipping back briefly, I see Celine Dion has escaped from Las Vegas. Get the tranq guns ready!
11:11 - Nice minute long speech/gag from the Prez of the Academy.
11:12 - Being paired with Tobey Maguire and coming out to the Spidey Theme must be killing Mary Jane, er, Kirstin Dunst.
11:15 - Little Miss Sunshine wins Best Original Screenplay and although I didn't like the plot, it was different enough to deserve it.
11:30 - Another mnior upset as Melissa Ethridge wins Best Original Song over a trio of Dreamgirls songs. I guess hippies can beat Motown.
11:43 - USA! USA! Nice tribute to America in Film.
11:45 - Moment of Silence/Popularity Contest commences.
11:52 - Ah, time for Best Actress or as I like to call it "Helen Mirren begins her walk to the podium."
11:55 - A collective yarm comes from the audience as Mirren accepts her trophy.
12:01 - Reese Witherspoon is looking hot presenting the Best Actor award.
12:05 - Do you see the Forest for the trees? No, all I see is another predicted winner.
12:07 - The 3 great directors of the last generation (Spielberg, Lucas, and Coppola) show they are very affable and funny as they present Best Director.
12:09 - Scorsese finally wins the big one. Maybe he can return to the gritty films of his past, you know, the ones that really deserved to win, and not his watered down films of the past few years (though The Departed seems to be a step in the right direction).
12:15 - Last award of the night is finally here. We've been waiting for this moment for nearly four hours!
12:16 - Another upset as The Departed wins. I was sure that Babel would score this award, with Little Miss Sunshine as the possible upset, but I was wrong. This definitely moves The Departed to the top of my Netflix list.

Ellen was the nonoffensive, safe host I thought she would be, virtually disappearing after her opening monologue. This is almost opposite of waht happened last year, as Jon Stewart got stronger and funnier as the night went on. I am going to predict that Ellen is not asked back as the host, at least, not next year.

This wasn't a particularly strong year for films, so the awards weren't particularly exciting. The various montages shown seemed more self-congratulatory than showcasing the strengths of film. Now that the award season is over it is time for Hollywood to regroup and attempt to blow our socks off in the rest of 2007.


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