Well that's the show. Thanks for hanging out here at Last Cinema Standing. Apologies for disappearing for the last half hour, but the show always enthralls me at the end. Check back tomorrow for a few more reactions and analyses.
An interesting, eccentric speech by the Dude himself. A highlight of the night along with Michael Giachinno's statement that "It's not a waste of time."
I'd like to take this opportunity to respond to commenter Michael Leydon, who asks about the lack luster effort by advertisers on the Academy Awards to create any memorable campaign.
There are a lot of answers. In the marketing world, the Oscars are referred to as "the Super Bowl for women." The ads tend to skew that direction and research shows that men respond to humor better than women in ads. Hence, not as many attempts at humor.
Also, in the last several years, ratings for the awards show have gone down precipitously. It is not as good of an investment at this point for advertisers. Until that trend reverses, it is likely to be a dumping ground for second-rate ad campaigns.
Once again, the Academy ignores the challenging and innovative foreign films (A Prophet and The White Ribbon) and goes for the middle of the road, safe pick. It's a broken process.
I am utterly speechless...wait...I've found the words: It's a travesty. Really. They've done away with the talented writers and performers who wrote the nominated original songs and replaced them with nameless dancers who have nothing to do with the films. Honestly-- an interpretive dance to a film about the uncertainties of war. I think I've found another word: disrespect. Disrespect all around.
Commenter Sugar asks a wonderful question about why many of these Oscar-nominated movies never play in theatres near anyone.
The argument is that it is about money. The kind of art movies that win awards don't make money-- or, at least, that's the line. But, that's a catch-22. The movies don't make money so we don't put them in enough theatres to make any money? It doesn't make sense.
The sad truth is that producers don't believe audiences want to see these movies, so they fail before they have a chance to succeed. It's a cycle that is tough to break until a little indie film makes good on its promise.
More on this later...
The Hurt Locker is three for three tonight. It's well on its way to victory.
To paraphrase my friend Ryan, the reason horror movies don't get the rspect they deserve is because of people like Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart.
For those confused about Mo'Nique's statement about the politics ("...showing that the award is about the performance and not the politics."), allow me to explain. Mo'Nique has taken flack all season for refusing to go out and campaign for an Academy Award. Others, who were campaigning, tried to use it against her. She is right, in this instace, that the performance was so strong it could not be ignored. However, in many cases, the politics win out, and it is a crime and a shame. The poignancy of Mo'Nique's statement will hopefully resonate with those in the Academy. It's about movies, not motives, performances, not politics, and talent, not talk.
That was a nice moment for Roger Corman and Lauren Bacall. Also, a wonderful speech by Geoffrey Fletcher, a surprise winner for Precious.
Surprise, surprise, they cut off the short filmmakers for an unfunny bit by Ben Stiller. For shame.
Logorama really is an amazing film. If you haven't seen, seek it out.
Samuel L. Jackson said that Up is the second film to be nominated for best picture and best animated film. That's not technically accurate. It is the first. In 1991, Beauty and the Beast was nominated for best picture, but the best animated feature category did not exist. Just to stop any misinformation from being spread.
Does John Hughes really deserve his own tribute at the Oscars? He's been dead for months. He was never nominated for Academy Award. Far more interesting and talented people have passed in the last year. If the producers really wanted to shorten the show, this is what they should have cut. If you've seen the movies, you don't need the montage. If you haven't, then you don't care.
A win in screenplay for The Hurt Locker-- look out for a sweep.
I'm sitting here wondering who will be the first person to have a speech cut off. The producers this year promised to be Draconian about speech length and stop anyone, regardless of status, if the speech went over 45 seconds. We'll see if they stick to that.
Promoted as "Oscars like you've never seen them" everything is pretty standard issue so far. I'm not complaining; I'm just saying.
It's like that whole atrocious opening song was a justification for there being two hosts. Steve Matin was pretty damn funny though. Alec Baldwin, not so much.
And, Christoph Waltz's win, maybe the most predictable thing all night (until Avatar wins Visual effects). But, it was a sweet, humble, endearing speech. A fitting end to his awards run.