Ok, I hope y'all got over the Oscar buzz, the dresses everyone wore, the nipple flashing by Sharon Stone and the very real assessment by Molly Cyrus regarding her role in her new Hannah Montana movie, stating that it's deep enough to maybe even make it to the Oscar's.... whatever Miley (by the way I will insist on writing your name as I see fit depending on my mood in any sentence where I'm generous to include any reference to you). It was a very different type of Oscar night for various reasons and to be honest, just like the dress selection on the red carpet, there were hits and misses.
First off, choosing Hugh Jackman as a host was an interesting choice and when they let him do his stuff, I thought he was rather entertaining since he was being asked to up the ante to regular antics rather than asking a comedian to tone down their comedy. The first musical number I really enjoyed and more than anything, because it showed the Oscars not taking themselves too seriously if only once in this lifetime. The stage was actually beautiful, the presentation for best supporting actors, and best supporting actresses as well as actresses and actors in lead roles was a departure from before and 3 of the 4 were an interesting twist even though the kumbaya levels were on high. That being said, I dunno what the hell happened in the best supporting section where the format bogged, the people had nothing really interesting to say and well, it was aight at best. Everyone looked too stiff and any acting chops were quickly dissolved in a sea of uptightness, well with the exception of Cuba Gooding Jr. looking like an extension of his Boat Trip and Norbit roles rather than the talented actor we've seen in other movies. I swear, that guy is like Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to roles he's chosen. Sometimes brilliant, often painful.
In comes my first beef... Penelope Cruz winning for Vicky Barcelona... um....... nothing against Ms. Cruz but ok... good for her. Somehow I look at the competition and scratch my head quite a bit when it comes to this one because I thought it was a category stocked with so much talent that it was anyone's game.... except Penelope. But hey, great for Cruz. She accepted gracefully, gave thanks to Pedro Almodovar who pretty much made her career and through sexy lisps and admitting she might faint, she took the little bald guy to home. Well deserved? Well lets just say I'll check all movies in a month's period just to try and be fair. I'm just saying she was the underdog and maybe she wasn't the most deserving acttress in that category.
(wow, that was some weak segway to get to my point but screw it)
Speaking of underdogs that got the benefit of the doubt WAY too much, enter Slumdog Millionaire........... Ok first off, nothing against Slumdog Millionaire. I think it was a great movie, a nice time at the movies and money very well spent. That being said, it was a great movie, not fantastic, not life changing, not impacting, not incredible, not movie of the year. It was just very, very, very good and though I'm actually glad it got nominated, I'm not so glad that it won so many awards. Nothing against the people of Mumbai, it's just that I think some Bollywood films are even better than Slumdog and they've rarely even been mentioned in the same sentence with Oscar, unless you're talking about some cold cut meats.
Trust me on this, I LOVE underdogs winning, but winning when they deserve to win. Slumdog is a great movie... but the best movie of 2008? I think not. Simply said, I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and was floored by the painstaking beauty of this movie. A movie that to me was as good as it could have been made regarding score, visual presentation, sets, makeup, acting and pretty much everything I can think of. Was it a bit slow? Well to me, that's relative and if you were bored in Ben Button then it's either not your cup of tea or you have the attention span of an Olsen twin fan. That being said, Danny Boyle winning best director was a slap to the face of David Fincher. Again, not taking away the talent that is Danny Boyle, he's a great guy, good director and seems like as good a person to share dinner with as anyone, but when you compare movies, I still think it fell way short of at least two other movies. But you know what, it didn't piss me off that much because in the end Slumdog is excepcionally well made and had very interesting tricks to showcase.......
Where I do get really pissed off is in awards like sound mixing, original score and best song.... above all best song and for two damn reasons. One, Peter Gabriel's song is better and second and MOST importantly, Springsteen did not get nominated. Hell I could even accept Sean Penn winning the Best Actor award, but the Boss not even getting mentioned? Fuck that. And I actually applaud Gabriel for not wishing to participate in the awards after the hack and slash they did with the songs. It was like his song, remixed to better fit the Slumdog theme of the night.
Which is the point. I'm not sure what political interests catering to a Slumdog night was going to serve, but I hope it served them.
The only thing I did not have a gripe with was Heath Ledger winning for his role as the Joker. My gushing love for the Joker aside, I think it was a special win because it showed that blockbusters can and should have great acting. It showed that characters like that can and should win when pulled off so incredibly well and that you don't have to be Phillip Seymore Hoffman or a Slumdog to win. You just need talent.