Monday, March 08, 2010

The 2010 Academy Awards

The Oscars were very elegant this year all the way up to the opening number. Then Neil Patrick Harris sang about sodomy, masturbation, and prison and Hollywood’s classiest night was underway! But the hosts were good, there was some genuine suspense for a change, and if you could make it all the way till the end, a very satisfying ending.

People are saying “Hurt Locker” was an upset. No. “A Serious Man” would have been an upset. “Hurt Locker” deserved Best Picture and it’s just an added bonus that it beat out the most expensive movie ever made shot by the most pretentious director who ever lived.

But first things first – the red carpet shows. Several channels covered it but for sheer obsequiousness and stupidity you can’t beat Channel 5 with the publicists’ best bitch, Sam Rubin and some anorexic named Jessica Holmes. In the middle of Sam’s interview with “A Single Man” director Tom Ford he blurted out, “Oooh, there’s Kathryn Bigelow. But I’ll spend a few minutes talking to you.” Nice.

Jessica whoever-she-is to Christoph Waltz: “If you win, what language will you give your speech in?” Later she paid Christopher Plummer the ultimate compliment. “You play crazy very well.”

No rain unfortunately. That alone spoiled the red carpet show for me. I was so looking forward to hearing, “So who did your poncho?” “Do you think rain on Oscar night is proof there is Global Warming?” “Fashion catastrophe! Kathy Bates and Penelope Cruz have the same galoshes!”

The Oscars were held at the now legendary Kodak Theatre. Believe it or not, it was on that very stage that Siobhan Magnus learned she had made the top 24 of “American Idol”.

The opening monologue with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin had some good laughs. There were the obligatory five “Meryl Streep number of nominations jokes” but Steve Martin comparing “Precious” to “the Jerk” was hilarious, even if no one under 60 had ever heard of “the Jerk”.

Alec Baldwin proves once again that the way to get respect in the film industry is to leave it for television.

The academy and ABC were not subtle in their desperate attempt to rope in more young viewers. Early presenters included film queen Miley Cyrus, national treasure Amanda Seyfried, that grand dame Kristen Stewart, and master thespian Taylor Lautner.

For every time they featured Helen Mirren in the audience they showed “Star Trek’s” Chris Pine twenty times.

I was thrilled Christoph Waltz won. The last time I rooted for a Nazi was my high school production of “Sound of Music”.

Sorry Woody Harrelson lost but this was a big step in his quest to become Robert Duvall.

My daughter Annie said Tina Fey was there to show she can still dress after the Golden Globes.

It’s bad enough they now have ten “Best Picture” nominees when you know it’s a two-man race and all the rest are just schmuck bait. But now we had to sit through all ten introductions and film clips. Hey there academy, don’t insist you’re taking steps to shorten the show then spend five minutes telling us why “District 9” should be movie of the year.

Nothing against Jeff Bridges but they couldn’t find a single Jew to introduce “A Serious Man”?

All in all, better gowns this year. J-Lo looked gorgeous as did Sandra Bullock. Charlize Theron had what looked like two purple cupcakes on her breasts. I didn’t notice the rest of her dress.

It’s bad enough no one knows any of the “Best Song” nominees but this year I didn’t even know one of the movies it was from. What the hell is “Paris 36?” Was it actually released or was it one of those films that opened at 35,000 feet?

Sarah Jessica Parker’s gown looked like a torah cover. And she was presenting for “Best Costume Design”.

There was a “thank you cam” backstage so winners could take as long as they wanted to acknowledge people. I thought that was a bad idea until Jeff Bridges’ endless rambling pointless speech. Hey man, you’re the Dude. You should know better.

Robert Downey Jr. wore his best sneakers for the occasion. I find it ironic that he was presenting for “Best Screenplay” when he is a notorious writer killer.

Glad Mark Boal won for “The Hurt Locker” screenplay. He’s being sued left and right for possibly lifting the idea from a magazine article. But I think it’s a stretch to say stole the “Hurt Locker” from Cosmo’s “75 Crazy Hot-Sex Moves”.

It kind of takes away from the prestige of the Oscars when they break away for a Spam commercial. And excuse me but when they showed that ad with the starry eyed young woman and you think it’s a perfume commercial only to learn it’s about cervical cancer, I laughed. It takes a special Mad Man to turn “cervical cancer” into a punchline.

Whatever happened to Revlon?

Gee, “Transformers” lost.

Was Vera Fermiga wearing a giant red fan?

Dumbest acceptance speech line goes to Ryan Bingham who said, “I love you more than rainbows”. He won his Oscar for lyrics, by the way.

The tribute to John Hughes was lovely but when they introduced the Brat Pack how many times did you gasp?

Nice to see David Frankel sing the praises of short films. He won an Oscar for his. But in his speech he neglected to say his was really a failed TV pilot that on some technicality managed to qualify.

I guess the academy didn’t think “Music by Prudence” was going to win anything. They were in the last row. They had worse seats than the KRTH contest winners. And that woman who won? Could you understand a single word she said? Jesus, the “Best Foreign Film” winner was easier to understand.

No one can take a funny bit, milk it, stomp it, kill it, kill it some more, and grind it into the ground until it’s powder like Ben Stiller.

No surprise that Mo’Nique won. First one to her feet for the standing ovation – fellow nominee Vera Fermiga. You sure didn’t see that when Quentin Tarantino lost.

“Young Victoria” was nominated for best make-up? How hard is it to make Emily Blunt even more beautiful?

The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers hoofed their way through the “Best Original Score” sequence. As my daughter Annie said, “They re-imagined “Hurt Locker” as a breakdance competition.”

“Original Score” winner Michael Giacchino gave a lovely speech telling young people that creative pursuits are not “a waste of time”. Unless that pursuit is “red carpet show host”.

I LOVED James Taylor singing “In My Life” during the In Memoriam tribute. But when people applaud for certain individuals it always feels like they’re happy they’re dead. Of course, knowing this crowd, they probably are.

Once “Hurt Locker” started racking up wins you got the sense “An Education” was going down.

Michelle Pheiffer looked fabulous. Of course they only showed her in a medium shot on a split screen. But still!

The only award I really disagreed with was Sandra Bullock winning “Best Actress” over either Cary Mulligan or Gabourey Sidibe. But Hollywood loves its own. And I’m sure this was a make-good for “The Lake House”.

To present the award for “Best Directing” the academy turned to the esteemed director of that motion picture classic, “Yentl” – Barbra Streisand. I’m sorry but unless she sings I don’t want to see her.

But Kathryn Bigelow winning "Best Director" was historic. She becomes the first director to have slept with one of the other nominees.

And then “Hurt Locker” beat “Avatar”. Oh… and “District 9”. Revolutionizing film is still not as important as telling a good human story. But I don’t think that’s the lesson James Cameron will take from last evening. A) he’ll be worried that Linda Hamilton has a project, and B) it’s time to invent 4D.

77 comments:

Don from Vancouver said...

Sucks they forgot that Bea Arthur and Farah Fawcett died. Also, I thought Sarah Jessica Parker's fake tan looked really bad. And what was with the Director of the singing doc outrunning the woman to get to the podium first? Then she chastises him? Fantastic!

Sebastian said...

Ha German night at the Oscars. Ok ok not really. "Das weiße Band" didn't win anything so we over here have to be satisfied with german speaking actors - which gave us Christoph Waltz and Sandra Bullok. I'm honestly so happy for her because what Forest Whitaker said was so true - her eyes carry movie after movie for me. I mean when she so lovingly looked at her husband at the Golden Globes it didn't look any different than on any of her Romantic Comedies and because of that I can't thank her enough. She's the reason guys like Keanu Reeves can star in such movies and look good. Hell she even managed to save "While you were sleeping for me".

It didn't see either "Precious" (named after bla bla bla can't hear it anymore) nor "The Blind Side" yet so I can't judge who deserved the Oscar more. I wish it would've been possible to give out two to be honest and I'm kind of sad that even Sandra didn't expect it (again you could see that in her eyes on the red carpet which told you "I'm just happy to be here") but again I'm so happy for her because she deserves it. She's such a good and honest and kind actress...

And she speaks german! :-)

Also ab ins Bett und Zähneputzen nicht vergessen ;-)

Dan said...

The real shame: Lauren Bacall reduced to a footnote.

Sebastian said...

Uh Don, Bea Arthur and Farah Fawcett were TV stars. They didn't appear in any movies so there's not really a reason for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to remember them. That's what the Emmys are for.

Not that I don't like both actresses, it's just that they didn't do anything in this line of work so it would wrong many many others if they would've been put in, that's all.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
l.a.guy said...

"But Kathryn Bigelow winning "Best Director" was historic. She becomes the first director to have slept with one of the other nominees."

I hate to sound like a feminist, but I think that's sexist and dismissive. If you get a gift basket in the mail with a timer better not open it. But hey, at least you didn't criticize her for wearing an armless dress.

Funny post otherwise, you were actually nicer than I expected.

Philip said...

Farrah Fawcett should have been included in the "In Memorium" segment.

She appeared in Myra Breckinridge, The Cannonball Run, Saturn 3 and The Apostle.

Now that's what I call a varied CV!

Michael Zand said...

While it's true that Bea Arthur and Farrah Fawcett were mainly tv stars, they did appear in number of films. Check IMDB for their credits. I'm neutral on the fact they were ignored. They can be remembered at the Emmys.

I thought the dance number by the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers was very cool and a high point of the show. Adam Shankman's choreography was terrific and the fact that he used so many of the brilliant dancers from the best competition show on TV (So You Think You Can Dance) only added to the number.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

national treasure Amanda Seyfried

I hope she'll get there. Her part in "Nine Lives" shows that she can do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad Avatar lost. That film was a piece of shit.

JT said...

The Cove won! YES!

Zack said...

Tyler Perry in Tyler Perry's 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Starring Tyler Perry. Co-starring Tyler Perry. Produced & Directed by Tyler Perry.

Term Papers said...

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Jonathan said...

I thought Christoph Waltz set a new bar for well-crafted acceptance speeches (i.e. it's OK -- good in fact -- to have one prepared and practiced). I was happy to se Sandra Bullock proved that she's a pretty funny person in addition to being a sneakily good actress. I was thrilled that Kathryn Bigelow won, but she surprised me by being so nervous (her movies are so powerful and self-assured).

BUT when did the Best Acting categories become Best Person In The World categories? Boring, embarrassing, and awkward to watch some people have to stretch to find something good to say.

Rob said...

Last night's telecast made me long for a Debbie Allen interpretive dance to Precious or Inglorious Basterds.


The Bad:

Bruce Gowers/American Idol caliber direction. It was as though he was spinning a wheel to decide which camera to cut to next.

Mo'Nique's speech, which combined the incoherence and misplaced historical significance of Halle Berry with the ego of Sean Penn.

The ridiculous selection of foreshadowing presenters. Comedian Robin Williams presents to Mo'Nique. Barbara Streisand gives out best director? All they needed was a guy in a bomb suit to give one to the Hurt Locker.

Anticlimactic Best Picture announcement. At least give the director time to completely walk off stage before announcing it.

Gabby SIdibe appearing to have been seated in a Kevin Smith/Southwest seat to the side of the stage.

Alec Baldwin. Love him, but last night... meh.

James Taylor singing over the death march. Didn't work last year either.

The announcer who said, "Best Pitcher" and "Last Pitcher Show". This led to the best tweet of the night, "I hope Kool Aid Man wins."

What was up with almost every actor/actress looking pissed? Even George Clooney looked like he would rather be having a colonoscopy.

The good --

The Music by Prudence producer who Kanye'd the other guy on stage.

Kathryn Bigelow winning, if only because she looked hotter than most of the celebs there. 58? Damn.

Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges for making sincere speeches.

Samuel L Jackson making a face after Mo'Nique's speech.

Meryl Streep dissing Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet.

Larry Gelbart getting applause.

The tribute to John Hughes (which is probably more than Martin Scorsese or George Lucas will see when they kick the bucket). Yes, the kids ain't cute anymore, especially Molly "Cher" Ringwald, but the biggest shock wasn't that they got old, but that MacCauley Culkin looks like a 30 year old version of Kevin.

The whole damned thing being over at Midnight.

gih said...

Oh yes! My favorite movie of the year 2009 "Avatar" got many awards. I love those awarded and some films I never watch yet. The event was so exciting indeed.

bevo said...

"I’m sorry but unless she sings I don’t want to see her."

You could have (and should have) written, "I don't want to see her" in reference to Barbra Streisand's appearance.

From your recap, I did not miss a thing while catching up on season 4 of Big Love. Relax HBO torrent cops. It was on my DVR.

Amanda Seyfried's acting may not be a national treasure, her ass is. Magnificent actually.

I am surprised that Meryl Streep did not win. Now, we have to wait for her star in a mediocre vehicle so the academy can give her a make up statute. See Paul Newman.

Sandra Bullock got a trophy for playing a white character who saves a black child from his surroundings. Feel the guilt being released.

Isn't Bullock's win akin to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck getting a trophy for best screenplay?

Is it possible Academy voters selected Bullock to ensure she would be the answer to a great trivia question, "Who is the only actress or actor to win a Razzie and a Oscar in the same year?"

Too bad it wasn't for the same performance.

It should have been.

wv: ilect - when someone gives a word a special inflection that no one else uses.

RolloSuplex said...

"it’s just an added bonus that it beat out the most expensive movie ever made shot by the most pretentious director who ever lived."

Oh snap! I'm glad somebody finally said it.

Ian said...

Wow, Ken, you were much gentler than I would have expected. I thought the show was sloppy and mostly dull. I did note problems with the prompter, some odd sounds coming from back stage, and people running in and out of frame at odd moments.

Jessica Holmes? She's the channel 5 weather girl, and if that term sounds demeaning, that's how it was intended. The woman has all the depth of a Pringle. Not the ruffled kind, either.

LeeFranke said...

One of my favorite lines was (I'm sure I'm going to get it wrong) "sickly mole people" by Robert Downey Jr to Tina Fey.

Just had to stop by one of the sickly mole people this morning and read you blog :)

Lily Rose said...

WOW!!! God gifts I too see this, really good.

emily said...

"its a collaboration. A collaboration between handsome gifted people and sickly little mole people."

Michael Tassone said...

Fuck! Last night My Big Lebowski DVD finally ate it and has gone to the great big Best Buy in the sky.

Which did make me break out Raising Arizona (I was feeling pretty Cohensy) and I remembered just how good Nic Cage was in that awesome piece of awesomeness.

OK then.

Chazz said...

Dance number? Egregious.
George Clooney is tired of waiting for that Oscar. He really did look pissed. Human after all I guess. (This is what he and I have in common. I don't manage to be charming 24/7/365 either.

Best part: Somebody finally explained why winning best short film matters...to somebody.

Becky said...

Unlike last year where I felt Kate Winslet DESERVED that Oscar, because she deserves an Oscar for every performance, I think Sandra Bullock won based on popularity. And I'm thrilled! She is one of the few actors that seem real. The chances of her doing another film in which she will be nominated are slim; they're just not her thing. She was brilliant in The Blind Side. And while it wasn't a perfect performance (one I would expect from Streep or Winslet), it was for Bullock. And aren't we honoring best efforts of the year? I hope she lived it up and enjoyed every minute of her big night!

And Carey Mulligan WILL get an Oscar someday. She's mesmerizing.

olucy said...

Was any explanation given for why they returned to "And the winner is..."?

Also, I thought the Clooney-looking-pissed thing was just a running gag. But I didn't understand it.

Mary Stella said...

I want to say something funny, but I used it all up in my own blog. That's what I get for staying up and watching the entire broadcast.

My judgment must be flawed. I didn't think Martin and Baldwin were funny.

wv is consupt: A pitch heard over dinner

olucy said...

I didn't think they were funny, either, Mary Stella. Lame, bordering on painful. A couple of genuine laughs, but mostly ... meh.

Donald said...

BARBRA STREISAND was there presenting Best Direction because she is a great director. Even hear of "The Prince of Tides," Ken?
NOMINATIONS:
* Academy Award for Best Picture
* Academy Award for Best Actor (Nick Nolte)
* Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Kate Nelligan)
* Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay (Becky Johnston & Pat Conroy)
* Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Paul Sylbert & Caryl Heller)
* Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Stephen Goldblatt)
* Academy Award for Original Music Score (James Newton Howard)
* Golden Globe Award for Best Director (Barbra Streisand)
* Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama
* Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Barbra Streisand)
* WGA Award for Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Becky Johnston & Pat Conroy)

Oh, I guess that DGA nomination for Outstanding Direction means she should shut up and sing.

And uh Sebastian, both Bea Arthur and Farrah was in at least 3 films, including "Logan's Run," and Bea Arthur was in at least 2 films, including "Mame."

If Michael Jackson, that STAR of SO MANY films was included, (Um, "The Wiz" and what else?) then Farrah and Bea deserved it too.

unkystan said...

Lauren Bacall treated very poorly for a Life Achievement Award. NOT TELEVISED? When has that happened before? NEVER! She should, at the least, given out the Best Picture Award! And Kathryn Bigelow winning back to back over James Cameron. Probably the only time he gave her a multiple orgasm.

Ron Rettig said...

Absolutely agree, cervical cancer, feminine hygiene, products . .what about Revlon or Max Factor? Was rooting for Renner, who I also enjoyed as quirky cop in The Unusuals. But Bridges had family history and body of cinema work and I have not yet seen Crazy Hearts.

Mike Barer said...

I thought John Hughes tribute was great. I thought Farrah was left out, no Don from Vanc. confirms it. Also Bea Arthur--how could they? I guess the academy hates TV actors.

Anonymous said...

Hell, Gale Storm made more movies than Michael Jackson.

unkystan said...

Hell, Gale Storm made more movies than Michael Jackson

katherine. said...

It had it's awkward moments and wth dress choices...but I love watching the show.

I gotta think to win best director and best film is the ultimate thrill...but there has to be a little icing on the night to beat out your exhusband.

Laurie Mann said...

OK show, delighted The Hurt Locker won the major awards. I would love to have seen Up win Best Original Screenplay though.

"But Kathryn Bigelow winning "Best Director" was historic. She becomes the first director to have slept with one of the other nominees."

"That we know of..." ;->

The opening dance with Neil Patrick Harris was OK, but the dance under "Best Score" was worst idea since Rob Lowe sang to Snow White. Dancing to The Hurt Locker score???

What seemed to piss George Clooney off was a, perhaps, badly chosen joke about Katherine Bigelow sending James Cameron a timer in a gift basket. Because after that point, he was frowning.

Tina Fey and Robert Downey, Jr. should co-host an awards show together someday. They were GREAT.

Best line, from the Argentinian film maker who won for Best Foreign Film, "I'm glad Nav'ii is not considered a foreign language."

Jeffrey Leonard said...

Talking about Red Carpet interviewing awkwardness...
Why would ABC select Kathy Ireland (who has NO experience) to do some of the pre-show interviews. She talked like a robot! I guess she works for little pay.

Leafy Greens said...

"And Kathryn Bigelow winning back to back over James Cameron. Probably the only time he gave her a multiple orgasm."

unkystan, you owe me a new computer screen. I was sipping a latte when I read your comment. Your fellow sickly mole people think you're, like, totally awesome and stuff.

And God agrees! WV: dishe
(I swear!)

Ron Rettig said...

P.S. I think Jeremy Renner should be considered for James Cagney type comedy and tough guy roles. Remember Cagney in Fighting 69th, think Renner in Hurt Locker.

rockfish said...

"But Kathryn Bigelow winning "Best Director" was historic. She becomes the first director to have slept with one of the other nominees.

Now who's guilible?

Oscar Mayer said...

Okay Donald, I guess the President of the Barbra Streisand fan club knows more than most about her. Don't get your panties ruffled...

YEKIMI said...

I've passed kidney stones that were less painful then watching that unfunny crapfest.

Rutgers Theatre Alumni Network West Coast said...

A question, good sir Mr. Levine, for a Friday or whenever: Given how much you respected Mr. Jason Reitman (and, I guess, Mr. Sheldon Turner, though I don't know who that is) for penning the adaptation of "Up In the Air", where you surprised when they didn't win the Oscar? (Especially as they did win the WGA award?) Best, and thank you, Wally

Alyssa said...

Fantastic review.
And everyone in the room I was watching with laughed at the cervical cancer commercial. My personal fav.

A. Buck Short said...

You completely missed the point on the make-up win. Except for Emily Blunt, “Young Victoria” had an all black cast. Especially nuanced: Paul Bettany. Felt The Da Vinci Code had him a little too white.

As for Sarah Jessica Parker's tan, Don. The woman needed to add some color, having begun the weekend learning she was descended from Salem witches on that NBC rip-off of PBS’s “Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates.” (Another White House beer with HL and Jeff Zucker?)

On to other colors:
Red Carpet interviewer to George Clooney’s date Elisabetta Canalis: “And who are you wearing?” EC, “Him.”
Kathryn Bigelow to James Cameron, “So who’s got the blue balls now?”

I had Kathryn Bigelow in my car once -- OK it was a rental van, I think scouting Strange Days – and there were also other people -- which I'm pretty sure is the only reasonh she didn't put a move on me. Striking now, you should have seen her then. (Also a fan of other female directors, but frankly, if I want women telling me what to do I can just go home.)

I do agree that Cervical Cancer is a lousy name for a fragrance. Did they have a focus group? They should stick with mental illness names - Obsession, Schizophrenia – “the scent with multiple personalities… ooooooh! No celebrity endorsements. I mean who the hell wants to smell like Wally Shawn? Or Wally-Shawn for Women (AKA Linda Hunt). There must already be 17 variations on “Precious” already out there -- but until now none they could sell by the gallon.

As far as direction, calling a show like this has got to be a bitch, but I can understand the reluctance to go in too close, considering this was directed by Hamish Hamilton, the guy who does all the Victoria’s Secret “fashion” shows. A fella could lose an eye on those. Speaking of sexist remarks, I think Ken meant she was probably the first director of the opposite sex to have slept with one of the other nominees.

Rob (and others) good ones. I think you could be Mr. Levine’s new writing partner, but only for Oscar Night. Or at least co-presenters. Incidentally, I think the reason I enjoyed what I saw of the telecast is, except for the production numbers, a lot of it seemed to feel like a TV show, rather than spectacle. You could leave the room, make a phone call, do a crossword puzzle or boil some pasta while watching and not have the feeling you missed anything earth shattering.

The writing seemed to make the show more accessible and comfortable. Although I’m pretty certain Bruce Vilanch wouldn’t have missed, “Catherine Bigelow for Hurt Locker, Sandra Bullock for Foot Locker.” Anybody know where I can get a look at the writing credits? Didn’t seem to include those on IMDb? The Martin/Baldwin banter was OK by me; and did the delivery of the presentations seem less stilted than most? Adequate rehearsal or just better TV writing?

Speaking of presenting, what a concept. Why go out and get another whole bunch of celebrity presenters, when we’ve already got these people here as nominees, just waitin’ around doin’ nutthin?” Did there seem to be more of that last night? I believe in the awards business this is known as being responsibly parsimonious with the number of complimentary first class tickets the airline sponsor is willing to trade you. Except with almost everybody in LA anyway, I’m guessing you can substitute in-kind sponsor limo -- although, take my word, the overtime on free limo can still kill you.

Sebastian: Ü Mr.Oomlaut, the only emoticon with the smile in its locked and upright position. Accept any substitute, and we'll be shocked Ö. Shocked, I tell you ÖÖ!

Bill Peschel said...

I must have had the most fun of anyone here. I was at work, with no TV but reading my Twitter feed, which included Sandra Bernhard, Roger Ebert, Neil Gaiman and others sassing the show.

Meanwhile, Ron Hogan was watching that awful "The Oscar" movie and feeding us quotes, lending a surreal quality to the stream.

Best line from the stream, when Jeff Daniels won the Oscar: "That Oscar really ties the room together."

Harold X said...

I knew Kathryn Bigelow had it locked the minute I learned that Streisand was going to be the "best director" presented. And nice that the band had prepared "I Am Woman" as walkoff music.

But of course only the accountants know the winners (the Pricewaterhouse people were so embarrassed by the leak that they refused their traditional bow)

humbl: what Quentin Tarentino isn't, even though "Inglorious Basterds" lost

Joey H said...

Writing credits: I do remember seeing Bruce Vilanch and Jon Macks on there.

John said...

No one can take a funny bit, milk it, stomp it, kill it, kill it some more, and grind it into the ground until it’s powder like Ben Stiller.

Ken...have you never seen a Will Ferrell movie? He's the master at taking 30 minutes of material and grinding it into a powdery 90 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of bad interviewers, my question is: How does Larry King stay on the air? Glad Avatar lost. Would have given Cameron the honor of having the two worst movies to win an Oscar.

Kirk Jusko said...

Bea Arthur was also in Lovers and Other Strangers, and was pretty funny in it.

I couldn't believe they wouldn't let Lauren Bacall speak. Least they could have done was let her press her lips together and blow.

Ellie Werner said...

What the hell was up with that woman who cut in and basically did a Kanye West on the Best Doc.Short winner!?!

Greg said...

But Kathryn Bigelow winning "Best Director" was historic. She becomes the first director to have slept with one of the other nominees.

Actually, it's a tie, right? Couldn't you say the same thing about James Cameron?

gottacook said...

Larry King (for whom I have lasting affection becaue of his old late-night radio show that ended around 1993, although I never watch him on TV) also has been in more movies than Michael Jackson, I believe.

With reference to "I’m sorry but unless [Streisand] sings I don’t want to see her": Does that mean you even enjoyed her singing in Yentl!? Those miserable lyrics by the Bergmans and music far from Michel Legrand's best, all probably unduly influenced by Streisand herself, who then sang these awful songs while pretending to be a (41-year-old) yeshiva bocher!

gottacook said...

Larry King (for whom I have lasting affection becaue of his old late-night radio show that ended around 1993, although I never watch him on TV) also has been in more movies than Michael Jackson, I believe.

With reference to "I’m sorry but unless [Streisand] sings I don’t want to see her": Does that mean you even enjoyed her singing in Yentl!? Those miserable lyrics by the Bergmans and music far from Michel Legrand's best, all probably unduly influenced by Streisand herself, who then sang these awful songs while pretending to be a (41-year-old) yeshiva bocher!

Edie Spencer said...

Gabby was robbed. Her performance destroyed me utterly. Sandra was good, very good, but Gabby, my god.

Kirk Jusko said...

I was just reminded reading another blog that Henry Gibson wasn't mentioned during the obituary part of the show. He was in both Nashville and the Long Goodbye, both directed by Robert Altman

SharoneRosen said...

Kirk, I was just going to mention Henry Gibson as well. His Altman film performances were genius.

Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a Torah cover!!!! I just couldn't put my finger on it! That was IT!!!

The Extraordinary Dancers danced beautifully. It's too bad they danced in spite of the music rather than to it.

I didn't see Blind Side. I like Sandra Bullock. She must have given one hell of a performance to win over Gaby. She was devastating from the first frame.

Overall, I enjoyed the whole Oscar extravaganza.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I like Sandra Bullock but she didn't change facial expressions all night. Did she have Botox on Sunday morning?

Yes, Henry Gibson. And no mention of Ian Carmichael, who I guess never worked in Hollywood.

How do you play Tolstoy in a movie about Tolstoy and get nominated in the supporting category?

All those references to Jews and not a single Mel Gibson joke? Maybe I tuned in late.

Annie Levine is a hoot. I predict she takes over the family business.

Jaywhy said...

Liked how short and to the point the 2010 Oscars were, but I thought the production values were a little more amateurish this year, the jokes a little more stilted. Wish Best Actress went to Carey Mulligan, but who can hate or grudge Sandra Bullock?

Great commentary! Much better than any pop culture or style blog could have managed. Experience counts? :)

D. McEwan said...

A. Buck. I still have it on my DVR. The writing credits were as follows:

Written by John Macks, Carol Leifer (Former friend of mine), Jeffrey Richman, Bruce Vilanch.

Special Material written by Steve Martin, Beth Armogida, Dave Barry, David Feldman, Marc Shaiman, Colleen Werthmann, Scott Wittman

Opening number lyrics by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I noticed when all the actresses walked on stage that their hips seemed very wide. When Kathryn Bigelow walked on stage her hips were perfect. I found it ironic that a director was a bigger babe than all those glamour girls.
Agree that Streisand's appearance foreshadowed the Best Director winner, and it's a shame she had to make it into a cause. Surprised she wasn't wearing a ribbon.
Jeff Bridges proved that most actors can't say a coherent sentence unless someone else writes it for them.
It also occurred to me that I didn't see any of those movies.

cadavra said...

Ken, PARIS '36 was indeed released theatrically by Sony Pictures Classics. It's an absolutely marvelous film, full of excellent performances and terrific music. Please go rent it ASAP.

Susan Isaacs said...

Fantastic. Most awkward moment for me: protracted brown-nosing tributes paid to the five best actor/actress nominees. They managed to utter every Hollywood self-congratulatory cliche, apparently improvised cuz Vera Farmiga's tribute to George Clooney was awk.ward. Poor dear I like her. Hope she works again. Thank God Oprah actually thought hers thru ahead of time, kept it classy and succinct.

CW said...

A correction, Ken. Cameron and Bigelow weren't the first Best Director nominees to be lovers. Stanley Kramer and Norman Jewison made out like "girls gone wild" at Rod Steiger's house following the 1967 Academy Awards. Apparently, these two had been hot for each other since the early days of television when they met as Playhouse 90 directors.

D. McEwan said...

"Cap'n Bob Napier said...
Jeff Bridges proved that most actors can't say a coherent sentence unless someone else writes it for them."


Having worked with many fine actors in improv,. I know that's not true, and in any event, all Jeff Bridges could "prove" is that he wasn't terribly cogent during the emotional rush of winning an Oscar. If Jeff Bridges doing or not doing smething proved something about most actors, than most actors are aging, beloved dreamboats with Oscars and long successful marriages. Most of that is news to most of them.

MPG said...

@ l.a.guy --

I thought that Ken Levine's joke was actually an attempt to avoid going on about her being the first woman nominee. I didn't think it was sexist -- perhaps even the opposite. As she didn't sleep with the boss to get where she did, but slept with one of the other nominees many years ago... perhaps the joke was that she won that battle.

Or maybe I am reading too much in.

I do have to wonder, from a trivia standpoint, if none of the male directors nominated in the history of Oscar have ever slept with any of the other noms...?

Chas Cunningham said...

Okay broadcast, but not enough "generosity of spirit" compliments for acting nominees.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Must be why I hate improv, Doug. Truman Capote claimed most actors aren't very bright. Having seen them on celebrity editions of game shows, I have to agree. SNL's version of Jeopardy! isn't far off the mark. The ones that do show the most smarts are comedians, which makes sense to me.

D. McEwan said...

"MPG said...
@ l.a.guy --

I thought that Ken Levine's joke was actually an attempt to avoid going on about her being the first woman nominee. I didn't think it was sexist -- perhaps even the opposite. As she didn't sleep with the boss to get where she did, but slept with one of the other nominees many years ago... perhaps the joke was that she won that battle."


Jeeze are you overthinking this. It was a simple joke reference to the fact that Kathryn Bigelow used to be married to James Cameron. The only thing better than winnign an Oscar, is beating your ex-husband for the award.

"Cap'n Bob Napier said...
Must be why I hate improv, Doug. Truman Capote claimed most actors aren't very bright."


Truman Capote also claimed for a long time that he was writing Answered Prayers only he wasn't. I wouldn't put much stock in anyting Capote said. He was, well, often a liar.

In any event, many actors are stupid, and many actors are very, very smart.

I did 27 years of stage improv, and my Second City pals are the smartest folks you'd ever want to meet. Improv done well is more alive and more exiting than canned theater.

D. McEwan said...

Oh, and Truman Capote also said of Myra Breckenridge (One of my all-time favorite comic novels) "That's not writing, that's just typing." I put little-to-no-stock in Capote's opinions.

Anonymous said...

@Laurie Mann, YES to Tina Fey and Robert Downey, Jr. hosting something together! I also thought Elizabeth Banks was snappy, confident and funny -- she deserves to be promoted from hosting the tech awards.

What WAS up with all the backrgound noise whenever a new set of presenters first stepped up? Thought they would get that fixed pretty darn quick, but not so much. I do imagine it's a tough job, but this year was noticeably bad technically compared to other years.

Aaaargh said...

Farrah Fawcett was in way more (and better) movies than Michael Jackson. What the heck was he doing in there?

And why does he get more applause than Jack Cardiff?

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I heard that the Capote quote referred to Jacqueline Susanne's writing. OK, I won't argue about the Second City people because I loved the show (which was written I'm sure), but most improv I've seen didn't work for me. The groups that I have seen who were funny did material that had been worked and polished over time.

angel said...

This is a great post. I just had one of the ‘Doh!’ moments and ran back to correct my own site before publishing my comment. You see my own comment form did not match what I’m about to advice. I get less comment than you, so never noticed any problem. I’ve changed it now anyway so here goes.

reading home

D. McEwan said...

"Cap'n Bob Napier said...
most improv I've seen didn't work for me. The groups that I have seen who were funny did material that had been worked and polished over time.


Clearly you've never seen first-rate improv. I could tell you where to see teh best in Los Angeles (Fanatic Solon in West Los Angeles) or Chicago (Second City - Duh.), but if you're somewhere else, you're on your own.

Grace Brown said...

I am keen on Oscars and was looking forward to watch it. I've even used possibility of making bets on Sandra Bullock on battingwell.com :D so as you see I am an Oscar lover !