Monday, February 23, 2009

"but I have a mother": Oscar Recap

Cast-and-crew-of-Slumdog--001 


Did you have a good time last night?


I was not disappointed (except by our local Thai restaurant being closed on Sundays...urrr!). 


Out west the show starts early, which is never easy with little ones still awake. Brian, who has no real interest in the Oscars, was incredibly sweet in his efforts to let me watch it uninterrupted. I still missed Best Original Screenplay, which, truth be told, is probably the most important award to me. Must have been putting Nolan to sleep.


First---the winner of our little 8 category contest! Out of the 14 predictors (not including Scott who emailed his picks this morning, ha!), Brian's cousin, Barb won with a perfect score! Way to go, Barb!  Too bad we are too far away to watch Leah while you and Bob enjoy the movie tickets.


And Sean picked Mary Alice's predictions out of a bowl of all the comments, so we'll be mailing you The Slumdog soundtrack. MA, please tell me you don't have it already!


And...just as I was typing the above, I got a call from Sgt. Peppers, our local mom&pop movie/cd store saying I won their contest!! Woohoo! Movie tickets and dinner:-) Luckily they didn't include the Best Screenplay categories. I predicted that "Milk" would win, but liked "In Bruges" too much to vote against it (there is always one category where I have to vote with my heart).


Highlights for me: Penelope Cruz and Kate Winslet's acceptance speeches. I'm a sucker for the childhood stories of watching the show, and loved Cruz's point that the night is really about a moment of unity for the universal language of art.


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The few friends I have that do watch the show are more interested in the dresses and fashion. I like seeing what people wore, but couldn't tell you one designer's name. I love that my family always crowded around our TV set, and watched in awe the celebration of storytelling and artists. That's what I love about the Oscars, and why last night, with all its high and low moments, was a great show---it got that feeling of celebrating story right.


Also---the actor awards being presented by five past winners. Brilliant. I love that each nominee had a moment in the spotlight, and preferred the praise from a colleague over a clip that often ruins the movie for future audiences.


Also loved AR Rahman's acceptances, sandwiched around his performing. Hugh Jackson's opening number showed his enormous talent, but seemed mainly about his own talent. I liked the "musicals are back" number more...because I love all those songs.


Loved Danny Boyle's Tigger dance and acceptance. I have mixed feelings about "Slumdog Millionaire" and don't think it will hold up in time, but I hope its success helps those it portrayed. While it relies on plenty of movie cliches, its energy and style were refreshing. I'm so glad its producers were rewarded for their risk.


Low point of the evening was the In Memoriam. Queen Latifa sang "I'll Be Seeing You" so beautifully; it should have been a highlight of the evening. But the camera work was beyond annoying---wanting us to see the stage set up rather than just one screen. And it would have been easy to acknowledge as they introduced it that  Heath Ledger passed away last January so audiences wouldn't be wondering why he wasn't included until they remember (20 minutes later) that he was in last year's montage.


I'm glad Sean Penn won, but man, he comes across as a jerk. I can't stand the idea that Princess Buttercup had to turn his face for a kiss when he won. Maybe he was just in total shock, and maybe he didn't thank her because that's private to him. Still...Buttercup deserves better.


I enjoyed how the montages acknowledged movies from the year, not just the few that are nominated, though there was a bit too much of reaching for the young crowd (should Miley Cyrus really be there?). I must be getting old.


And the best part of the night---a recap phone call after the show with my youngest brother:-) Next year we have to do a conference call after the show with all the siblings!






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