'm one of those psychos who watches the Academy Awards all the way through. It's the Super Bowl of awards shows, so I get into it. But thank God for TiVo, because I don't watch the commercials, and I don't watch lame shit like James Taylor and Melissa Ethridge singing lame songs. Here's some of the stuff I liked and disliked about the show this year.
Ellen DeGeneres as host. She did a fine job. She made jokes that people didn't know how to laugh at (which is a good thing). "I think I see a few Americans as well -- I'm talking about the seat-fillers. Nobody can fill a seat like an American, eh?" That shit is funny. And the audience kind of half-heartedly chuckled, not sure if it was "okay" to laugh. Also her crowd interaction was great: handing a script to Scorsese, dancing in the aisles, having Spielberg snap a picture of her and Clint Eastwood.
Honoring all the nominees before a single award was given out. Nice touch. Instead of the usual "it's an honor to be nominated" blather, it actually WAS an honor to be nominated as all the nominees stood and bathed in a nice round of applause.
Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio. These guys smothered each other with so much mutual admiration that I was surprised they didn't suck each other off right there on stage.
The "Sound Effects Choir." Those guys and gals were amazing. A nice little performance, something we haven't seen at the Oscars before. But for some strange reason only received a tepid response from the Kodak Theater crowd.
Reading the nominated screenplays. As a scene from each movie was shown, there was voiceover readings of the screenplay, including stage directions, and scene descriptions. I loved that. They finally figured out a way to do justice to the work of the screenwriters in under 10 seconds.
Seinfeld doing standup. Very out of place. I thought I was watching the Academy Awards, when all of a sudden ABC cut away to The Improv in New York and broadcast part of Seinfeld's set. The only thing missing was the brick wall behind him.
Peter O'Toole not winning an Oscar. I don't really feel that bad for the old coot. The Oscar should be given to the best performance of the year. If the voters felt it was Alan Arkin, then fine. But you don't award an Oscar because of a lifetime of great work. That's what the lifetime achievement award is for. Maybe they'll give one of those to O'Toole next year. For related thoughts on that topic see my review of The Departed
The Japanese girl from Babel is a cutie. I was disappointed she didn't win best supporting actress. CrocoWife and I both thought she was phenomenal in Babel
Props to ILM for their visual effects work on Pirates 2. That Oscar was well deserved. You may not know or care, but I assure you, the work done on that film was amazing
Forest Whitaker stalking off the stage after his acceptance speech. He looked like he was ready to fight someone. So puffed up with pride and focused excitement ... I love that dude.
It happens every year. The show goes way over it's allotted time of 3 hours. Nobody is surprised by this. Everybody expects it.
So why the charade?
Why force the winners to limit their acceptance speeches? When there are 4 people accepting an award, why only let two of them speak? If the show is going to be 4 hours regardless, what's the point? It makes it look like the winners are at fault for the show going long every year, which is just ridiculous. Even if each winner was only given 20 seconds, it would still go long.
I mean, it's not even close! It's not like they go 10 minutes over, they go 45 minutes over. Routinely. Does anybody sit down and time each and every presentation, and performance, and commercial, and song, and montage, and add them all up to see how long the show will be? I think not, because it's not even close, bud.
The thing is, I'm not complaining about the length. I don't mind the Oscars being 4 hours long, but for the love of Wookiees ... just schedule it for four hours already! Nobody will care! At least that way we'll know they're trying to be honest about the whole thing.