Oscar Night Highs & Lows: A Poll

The 2010 Academy Awards, celebrating the film industry’s best and the brightest, have been doled out to the winners and, for the most part, I can’t argue with the choices made by the Academy voters.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that I won last night’s Oscar Party poll. Because even though I managed to watch “The Hurt Locker” the day before the awards ceremony – and I knew at once that Kathryn Bigelow’s film deserved all the Oscar buzz it was getting – I still couldn’t resist voting for “Avatar” and the amazing world James Cameron created.

As it turned out, Cameron’s $300 million dollar film was amply rewarded for the stunning world it created with Oscars for Visual Effects, Art Direction, and Cinematography. But Bigelow’s much smaller budget war movie about an American bomb disposal unit working the shattered, nervous streets of Baghdad won for Best Picture, and not even James Cameron seemed to mind.

Who would've imagined that the first woman to win Best Director would win it for a war movie?

Aside from a couple of unnecessary lines of dialogue in a couple of scenes toward the end of the film, “The Hurt Locker” is a contemporary classic: something that every American should see. And now that it’s picked up a slew of Oscars, millions more will see the film in this country and around the world.

Think about it. What would a Best Picture Oscar have meant to “Avatar”, which has already earned $2.6 billion dollars worldwide? That’s more than 120 times what “The Hurt Locker” has done at the box office so far.

It can’t hurt to have more Americans watch Jeremy Renner and his fellow cast members portray heroic young soldiers risking their lives to protect their fellow soldiers — and an ambivalent, if not openly hostile Iraqi populace — from sudden, ultra-violent death. There’s no glorious war to be seen in this movie. Just serial carnage.

Bravo, Bravo Company!

As for the rest of the awards and the ceremony itself, the good far outweighed the bad. It was great to see one of my all-time favorite actors, Jeff Bridges, take home the gold.

And everyone in my family knew I’d be pulling for my cinematic sweetheart, Sandra Bullock – in a successful sports movie, no less! (That’s a two-fer!)

Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were the kind of hosts for a major TV event we haven’t seen since the golden days when Bing Crosby and Bob Hope casually knocked out vaudeville one-liners with effortless comic precision and old school show biz bonhomie.

Bob and Bing show us how it used to be done, Back in the day, you had to be triple threat to be a star.

And who didn’t love the brilliant, recently-discovered Cristoph Waltz in “Inglorious Basterds” — playing the most loveably entertaining yet thoroughly evil Nazi we’ve seen since TV’s “Hogan’s Heroes”. This award was never in doubt. They could have handed Waltz his golden statuette right after Quentin Tarantino’s offbeat World War Two revenge fantasy opened last summer.

And did anyone seriously think that any animated feature film other than “Up” was a contender? Personally, I was happy to see “Up” win two major awards, just so they could keep cutting back to Ed Asner – which, I’m sure, gave right-wingers a conniption all evening. (Come to think of it, just about everything on Oscar night gives conservatives a pain.)

But, among the generally satisfying symphony of elegance and good taste on Oscar night, there were, alas, a few discordant notes. If you saw the show – you know what they were. But what was the most sour note of all? You may not have gotten a chance to vote for the Academy Awards, but you are welcome to vote in our poll…

And just so we’re not dwelling unduly on the negative, I also invite you to cast your vote on a positive note…


Filed under Polls, Random Commentary

5 responses to “Oscar Night Highs & Lows: A Poll

  1. This covers a lot of last night – of course, Sandra Bullock made me laugh, cry, and spit take in her speech. A hat trick of sorts.
    And Tom Hanks skipping the preliminaries, looking at his watch, and going for the envelope. Good stuff here.

  2. Mo

    That wasn’t just break dancing, that was The League of Extraordinary Dancers!!! Why are they listed on the worst of the evening poll and not the BEST?! This is a really big deal – a new form of concert dance including modern street moves and more! Plus they’re employing some of the best SYTYCD dancers! It was BY FAR my favorite moment of the evening!

    • It was certainly excellent dancing, Mo. I just didn’t think the movement suited certain of the films. “The Hurt Locker”, for instance, seemed diminished by all the popping and locking. If they had been breaking to “The Hangover”, that would have been fine. Don’t get me wrong, the dancers were fabulously skilled and highly creative — but to quote the ETrade baby, “It’s not the venue.”

  3. My favorite moment? When it was over. Seriously tedious, badly directed & cheesy show w/ only one surprise – Hurt Locker winning. And frankly, that wasn’t such a big surprise given a) how despised James Cameron is in this town and b) the fact that though the movie was really good eye candy, from the moment it begins, there’s never any question as to how it will end. The plot is derivative, the script blows, the characters are archetypes, the dialogue runs the gamut from trite to canned and it’s pat as the day is long. That’s why didn’t win – in the end, while groundbreaking visually, it’s just not a very good movie.
    Frankly, I watch the Oscars to see the fashion errors. It’s just a really LONG evening of self-congratulation.
    But I really liked the Hurt Locker & Crazy Heart & UP. And I like Sandy Bullock, even though I didn’t see her movie.

    • As far as fashion errors go, there was a LOT of bad hair. I’m always amazed that men and women spend so much time and money so their clothes look a great — only to pay an additional fortune to someone who makes their hair look awful. Some of the best gowns were topped by the worst heads of hair.

      But not Sandra. She was radiant in every way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s