Oscar 2011 Wrap Up

E: Gee, it’s kind boring being right.  I like it a little better when I get surprised.  BUT.  I liked every single one of the winners, and though they were all deserving (even if they weren’t all my favorites), and that does not happen all that often, and so I’m really pretty darn pleased.  Also, I got unwind at a lovely little party thrown by my friend R.  Huzzah for girls night and The King’s Speech!

Who wants to talk about the winners, the speeches and the hosts?  I do!

Alright. Let’s get down to it!  I was stunned that they were able to finish the show before midnight.  Amazing!  I can’t think when the last time that happened was.  I appreciated the extended red carpet, too, as well as the presence of Tim Gunn and the absence of Billy Bush.  I thought Anne Hathaway was very daffy and appealing; why hasn’t someone put this girl in a musical?  She’s gorgeous, she sings, she’s funny…  I loved her faux-bitter little song to Hugh Jackman.  I know not everyone out there enjoyed her, but I did, and that’s all I can say.  James Franco made an occasionally amusing straight man, but you have to wonder where he was for so much of the night.  Is he trying to do too many things at once and so had no time to rehearse?  Did he pay too much attention to live tweeting the show?  Or was he just as stoned as he looked?  (For the record, I don’t think he was baked.  I think he’s just a crisp little cookie on his own.)

While the producers cut out a lot of filler, they included one bit I really loved – the autotuned musicalizing of some enormously popular films.  The ode to Jacob Black’s shirtlessness of course struck a personal note considering my sister’s warnings on the subject.

Speaking of my beloved sister C, we were both completely thrilled to see Zachary Levi, and to hear him sing!  Woot, even if they didn’t win.  The shortened versions of the nominated songs made them even less memorable, but I still think it was preposterous that they could only come up with 4 of them.

Best presenters were very clearly Kirk Douglas, agonizingly drawing out Supporting Actress.  Did you know that was Omar Sharif’s grandson with the cane?  It was.  Also, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.  Those two should always work together.  Finally, there’s Sandra Bullock.  Jeff Bridges personal tributes to each actress were nice, but Sandra was a riot.

Best speech for me was clearly Colin Firth.  Sigh.  The man is so delicious.  Also liked Natalie and golly sakes Melissa, funny Randy Newman and Tom Hooper thanking his mom.  And 73 year old David Seidler (“my father told me I would be a late bloomer”), who wrote The King’s Speech and couldn’t see it produced until the Queen Mum died?  And the Napoleon Dynamite guy who won best short?   Something tells me that Luke Matheny got more than an obscure Oscar last night; he may have just gotten a career out of his acceptance speech.

My favorite dress – I don’t know if this sounds weird, but Hailee Steinfeld (who apparently helped design her own dress) might have been my favorite because she just looked so perfectly appropriate, such a princess… I can’t even say.  Jennifer Lawrence, on the other hand, wore an extended Baywatch swimsuit, and while it wouldn’t be my favorite dress on its own, she looked completely amazing.  We were fans of Marissa Tomei’s royal blue old Hollywood glam, and of most of Anne Hathaway’s dresses – particularly the silver fringed one, the red, the shiny blue vinyl looking one,  and the tux. We were all in love with the top of Halle Berry’s dress but unsure about the bottom.  We loved Reese Witherspoon as retro 60s Barbie.  And we were all awed by Helen Mirren, who looks regal and sexy.  Amazing, right?

How does Cate Blanchette manage to look gorgeous even when covered with pustules?  Also, Christian Bale should donate his beard to Geoffrey Rush’s shaved head, and then we would all sleep better.

Those are my muddled, sleep deprived thoughts.  Later in the week I’ll give you my own personal Oscar list – who I would have nominated, and who would have won.  But for now, I need a rest and a break from all the dark stuff.  Comedies all around!

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15 comments on “Oscar 2011 Wrap Up

  1. MMGF says:

    It’s funny. It was a little bit boring, a little bit rushed, I didn’t feel like I cared for some of the schtick, and there wasn’t a surprise win in the house. And, yet, I was definitely entertained. So, all in all, nice.

    And now I can move on to TV! Catch up on old favorites I’m outdated on, look forward to trying out some mid-season winter replacements. Just in time!

    • E says:

      Oh my gosh, yes. Light and fun, that’s what I’m looking for now. I get to catch up on all the stuff I’ve been ignoring to see sad movies. (Fringe! If they cancel you, I’m going to be so peeved!) I’m going to watch Idol and catch up on my sleep and mellow out.

      • MMGF says:

        Heh. My “light and fun” will, masochistically enough, be things like watching people back stab each other on Survivor, and catching up on the season of Dexter I haven’t seen yet. So much for emerging from the dark!

        • E says:

          Yes, well, my light fun will include this week’s The Good Wife (drawn out relationship agony), and back episodes of The Mentalist (fun with corpses!) and Fringe (angsty end of the world!). And I just got Ghostwriter in the mail. But, even so, after our excursion to see Biutiful, a coal mine would feel light and fluffy to me.

          And let’s not forget, this week AI starts voting. If that’s not light, I don’t know what is.

          • MMGF says:

            Yes. Let’s put Biutiful behind us. (Wonder if you’ll get all the Biutiful defenders come to post now, like the time you dared mention a certain L&O SVsomething actress and got slammed by her devotees. Nah – there can’t be any defenders of Biutiful!)

        • E says:

          BTW, I just got the Hollywood Reporter in the mail. Their Oscar preview issue. Sigh.

  2. M says:

    I thought that it was all pretty good, good people winning, decent if not great speeches (I missed the afro guy, but have it on DVR), no “Uma-Oprah” moments, but no Billy-Crystal-singing-about-all-the-best-pictures moments either.

    For me, I made a big mistake the night before that really impacted my pleasure watching the show. I made the mistake of watching the amazing, phenomenal, visually and mentally stunning Inception. I watched it, I came to realize, just in time to be disappointed for it. Why, Oscar, the incredible aversion to anything with special effects? Boo. Not to take anything away from the King’s Speech or the Social Network or any of the other “contenders”, but much like 1977’s Star Wars vs Annie Hall match-up, 30 years from now which movie will people be looking back on as the greater film? I mean, was there massive buzz and a formal press release about when Annie Hall is coming out on Blu-ray? There should be for a great movie. Will there be for the King’s Speech in 30 years when we invent the ability to download movies to our optical nerve?

    That aside, I disagree, I’m 99% sure James Franco was baked out of his mind.

    I felt torn about Kirk Douglas. I thought he was charming and kind of senile, funny and pitiable. In the end, I think it’s pretty great that he’s about to do something like that after all he’s gone through and at his age, but was very worried that they were sort of exploiting him.

    Mile Kunis and JT had too much of an inside joke going, but his “you know” mimicking Kirk Douglas when she opened the envelope was perfectly done.

    The autotune of “does he even own a shirt” was the funniest thing of the night.

    • E says:

      I want to say that I read an article about Franco which addressed the issue of him seeming baked all the time. That would be the only reason I would think he wasn’t. Sleep deprivation, maybe? I can’t remember what the deal was.

      And yeah, in the beginning I was horrified by Kirk Douglas, that they had trotted out someone who was so disabled, but he won me over in the end.

      So, Inception. Yes, great movie. I need to rewatch it, but for me, the characters didn’t quite live up to the ideas or the visuals in the film, which is what kept it from being great.

      But there’s an interesting distinction between something which is an Oscar movie, and something you might watch over and over again, which is interesting, right? Schindler’s List, for one; I remember how in awe we were, the night we saw it, how I had never been as scared in my own life as I was watching, and yet I’ve never seen it since, or wanted to. It was too extreme and emotional a viewing experience to dilute.

      Obviously that’s not a problem with The Holiday, a far lesser movie yet one which I watch every Christmas season and enjoy immensely. The movies I’ll keep watching from this year are mostly the animated ones. I’m not saying that The Kings Speech is another Schindler’s List – I do expect I’ll buy it and I’m sure I’ll watch it. As often as The Holiday? Now that’s the question.

      (BTW, we already own Inception.)

      • M says:

        I thought the characters in Inception were not super-robust, but they didn’t need to be. I thought that Leo’s character was complex, interesting and emotionally moving, while the rest of the characters were there to serve a purpose, which they did as well as they needed to. Plus, the award’s not “best characters”, that’s what the SAG awards are for, really. The award is best picture, and Oscar tend to not really grasp that distinction, since it is comprised mostly of actors, who care mostly about their characters.

        As for the Schindlers List comparison, watching Schindler’s List we KNEW we were watching something special and great, it was just so powerful, emotional, scary and raw that it’s hard to watch. It’s the same reason I still have yet to see Saving Private Ryan, though I have no doubts it’s a great film, and why I think it losing to Shakespeare In Love (another battle of effects vs “characters”) may not have been the right decision, despite my enjoyment of the latter.

        Ultimately, like with Avatar last year, and others like Star Wars, the Matrix the first two Lord of the Rings movies and now Inception, there are some movies that have that rare combination of amazing or groundbreaking effects, combined with great stories, and connect with audiences in a remarkable and lasting way that make them special. When movies of that type aren’t even nominated or lose to movies that are merely “really good”, and not everlastingly good, it bothers me.

        Now, if the Kings Speech is that good, like Chariots of Fire or Shawshank Redemption level good, then I’ll stand corrected. But EVeryone I know that has seen it has said “yeah, I liked it”, while everyone I know that’s seen Inception has said “OOOOHHHHHH! You HAVE to see it!!!”.

        • Gina says:

          Now that’s interesting, because it’s exactly the other way around for me: Everyone that’s seen “Inception” has said they liked it, and everyone that’s seen TKS has said, “OOOHHHHH! You HAVE to see it!!!”

          Including myself. 🙂

          • M says:

            Well, that’s good to hear!

            • E says:

              M, I wonder if you got that response because people know you’re more of an action guy than a costume drama guy? C and I loved The King’s Speech, and I think you’d like it a lot, but I would have expected you to like Inception more. It’s not so much “you HAVE to see it” as “YOU have to see it.”

              • M says:

                Honestly, most of the people I’ve heard that from don’t even know my taste in movies, and haven’t been offering it to me, but offered it as more of a “everyone has to see it” statement. I know less people who have seen the King’s Speech, and as I have said I expect that I will really like it, like I like A Beautiful Mind. It’s just that the buzz for Inception from people I know across all groups and movie tastes has been beyond positive, to the point of being advocates for the film.

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