Now that we’ve gotten the winners out of the way, it’s time to go over some of the best and worst moments of the Oscars this year.
I like to be positive first, even though my first positive comments may be marred by a complaint.
The decision to mix up the under-appreciated categories a little: if you’ve been watching this awards show as long as I have you would have immediately noticed that there were some hijinks going on with placement of the nominees. Some were sitting together in the audience, some were up in the balcony, some stood uncomfortably in a line on stage. Even Chris Rock commented on the jumping around, saying next year they would surely be broadcasting from the parking lot. Though the flipping did make the it seem like they couldn’t decide what to do with them exactly, I do like getting the camera on the nominees who may may never again get the chance to be on camera. It’s not unusual for an Animated Short nominee to never be up for another award. Cutting the clips from their work, however, was very disappointing.
Jeremy Irons: For delivering a collected and funny impromptu response to a loud bang while he presented. “I hope they missed.”
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Roger Mayer: An elegant, heartfelt speech from one of the old guard. Yes, film preservation is important Mr. Mayer, and we thank you.
The Honorary Award to Sidney Lumet: No one is going to argue this. He made 12 Angry Men, ok? And it was a classy acceptance speech on top of that.
The Technical Awards: Bringing out some of the winners to the balcony was a nice touch. These guys sound like they have a good time at their ceremony.
Chris Landreth: I’m showing my bias, I know, but I’ve been wanting someone to thank the Academy for retaining the short film categories. Talk about losing these categories comes around every year like losing the electoral college comes up after every election. He’s not the first to do it, but it needs to be said often.
The Memorial Service: Yo Yo Ma’s cello was an excellent compliment to what is always a poignant section of the awards show. Glad to see Ronald Reagen and Frank Thomas included.
“Accidentally in Love”: The Counting Crows looked nervous and sweaty, but their performance was right on target. In my opinion, this should have been the winner this year, not because of their performance but because of the weakness of the competition.
Brad Bird: This kind of recognition has been coming for Brad for a long time. He thanked all the right people and gave a very sweet nod to his family as he put the Iron Giant years behind him.
Jamie Foxx’s acceptance speech: Genuine sentiment is always appreciated, especially when it includes a tribute to a beloved music star and a fondly remembered grandmother. Jamie deserved this award and I expect to see even greater things from him in the future.
Charlie Kaufman: Another award that was long overdue, Kaufman looked terribly shy and embarrassed to have so many eyes on him at once. “Take your time!” Kate Winslet told him. “No, I won’t take my time… I want to get off the stage!” he stammered. If only everyone else felt the same.
Oscar Dresses: This was a good year for clothes. A lot of nice dresses were being worn and you can see them here. Some of them were a little fluffy, some of them had a lot of cleavage, but otherwise, not bad at all.
The tribute to Johnny Carson: Appropriate and heart-tugging, this segment unfortunately emphasized just how much the current host was falling short.