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The Big Night

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message 1: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5358 comments I usually start these things by saying that the Oscars don't really mean anything to me, and then undercutting it by saying that yes, after all, I do care, I care deeply. But this year it really is true. I just didn't care about who won. I got a little stoked when Michael Giacchinno won best score for UP, because I think he's been unfairly overlooked in the past, but that was about it.

The evening's big contest between THE HURT LOCKER and AVATAR didn't exactly grip me. I'd mostly enjoyed AVATAR and found HURT LOCKER (what little I saw before dozing off) almost entirely uninteresting, and of the other nominees, only Pixar's UP seemed to me to be worthy of that Best Picture statue, and it was probably going to win Animated Feature anyway. The vague possibility of a vote split resulting in a win for something like UP IN THE AIR or INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS didn't add any spice to the evening, either.

The Oscars have something of a tradition of each year's awards being a reaction to the previous year's: i.e. an easy piece of feel-bad banality (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) is followed by an easy piece of feel-good banality (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE). This year this tradition extended to the show itself: I think I referred to last year's show as a lean mean awards show machine, so they seem to have decided to follow it with a bloated boring horror. I felt significantly older at the end of it.

I'll start with the memorial tribute to John Hughes. What the FUCK was that? The directors of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, NASHVILLE, VERTIGO, BARRY LYNDON, and STAGECOACH passed from this life without getting the rimjob that the auteur of PRETTY IN PINK, SIXTEEN CANDLES, THE BREAKFAST CLUB and FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF got.

And they actually went back to one of the most happily absent traditions: highlighting the nominated scores through interpretive dance. Seeing those folks breakdance to THE HURT LOCKER brought up all kinds of unwelcome memories of Savion Glover tapdancing to SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. God. It wasn't even bad enough to be funny.

And if the rimjob to John Hughes and the ceaseless encomiums to James Cameron weren't enough, we got to endure the introduction of the Best Actor/Actress nominees via selected peers, a tradition begun last year that they really should just dispense with.

I could go on. I hated the show. Hated it. They should be ashamed of themselves.

message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments I skipped the Oscars and opted for VIDEODROME, Brian DePalma's SISTERS, and the first half of KLUTE instead.

message 3: by Phillip (last edited Mar 08, 2010 10:03AM) (new)

Phillip | 10611 comments damn, steve-o, that's a gritty triple feature! i had a gig in the late afternoon and a rehearsal in the evening - so glad i was playing music and not watching sandra bullock win an oscar - which pretty much justifies my disregard of anything that goes down on oscar night.

message 4: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5358 comments KLUTE, man, now THERE's a movie.

message 5: by Phillip (last edited Mar 08, 2010 09:16AM) (new)

Phillip | 10611 comments right?

i watched it about two years ago for the first time since its release - and was happy to see that it held up - great suspense flick.

btw - nice coverage of the event tom - thanks for acting as our goodreads press correspondent. reading your piece saved me from reading beyond the headlines.

john hughes....brrrrrrrr!

message 6: by Steve (last edited Mar 08, 2010 10:00AM) (new)

Steve | 957 comments Yeah, gonna finish KLUTE tonight after work. I started it late last night so had to turn it off. BTW, Tom, I chose it based on a post by you a few weeks ago—I think about Jane Fonda.

Anyway, back to the Oscars, sorry for the thread hijack.

I avoid awards shows as a general rule, unless we're talking about Joel McHale and The Soup! Awards. I guess you could say that I'm against our "awards culture," to borrow a phrase from the salty, anti-awards Armond White.

message 7: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments The first two 'grafs of this piece by Anthony Lane are a good illustration of what is wrong with awards culture and Hollywood.

message 8: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10611 comments hmmmm, read the article, didn't see the graphs.

message 9: by Steve (last edited Mar 08, 2010 03:28PM) (new)

Steve | 957 comments Ha ha, 'grafs = paragraphs. (Sorry, that is editor-speak; I work in publishing.)

Specifically, the comments on how absurd it is that Miley Cyrus gets the stage, while Lauren Bacall is patted on the back and then swept aside.

message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5358 comments The John Hughes tribute is eerily indicative of where things seem to be heading.

message 11: by Phillip (last edited Mar 08, 2010 04:05PM) (new)

Phillip | 10611 comments ahhh, paragraphs, not graphs. got it. i didn't notice the apostrophe until you drew my attention to it - thought it was a blip on my screen.

miley cyrus...whatever.

john hughes passed recently, right? that must be why they felt inclined to honor him. he made numerous people rich (including himself). that seems to be the major motivating factor in hollywood...not unlike the beatles being knighted back in the day (for bailing out the british economy).

message 12: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5358 comments THey did more than just mention him with a picture in the usual Oscar Remembers montage. They did an extended blowout clipreel with cast members from those undying masterworks BREAKFAST CLUB, PRETTY IN PINK, etc. appearing in person to express their devotion to his genius. It really brought the show to a halt, and inspired some spirited speculation as to what the hell has happened to Judd Nelson.

Kubrick didn't get half what Hughes got. Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Robert Altman etc. got bupkes in comparison.

It was pretty gross.

message 13: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10611 comments damn.

message 14: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I skipped the Oscars for REVANCHE. Coincidently, it was nominated for Best Foreign Film last year.

And what is Best Foreign Film?? Either it's a good film or it isn't regardless of language. I don't care much about award shows but they should have one catagory of Best Film.

Was there any mention of Rohmer?

message 15: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments

Looks like Rohmer made the cut, heh.

message 16: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10611 comments i watched all of his moral tales last summer - great stuff. some are a little hit and miss, but films like claire's knee? so good.

message 17: by Manuel (last edited Mar 18, 2010 09:50AM) (new)

Manuel | 469 comments We trash the Oscars, but we all continue to watch. I suppose more out of habbit than tradition.

I look forward to them every year. They continue to be an unending source of bad taste/pathos/humor and if we are lucky, someone will say or wear something which will have us rolling on the floor with laughter.

Growing up I liked John Hughes movies, he captured for me that awkward time we share in common. His movies represented at one time or another those members of the social strata in high school. The nerd,the outcast, the popular kid etc. etc.

As much as I liked his movies; I have to agree with Tom. I hardly think the Oscars was the place to wax nostalgic about ONE director, when other people with more impressive resumes also passed in 2009/2010

message 18: by Phillip (last edited Mar 18, 2010 09:39AM) (new)

Phillip | 10611 comments Manuel wrote: "We trash the Oscars, but we all continue to watch...."

we, kimosabe?
speak for yourself.

message 19: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey | 209 comments I live in a second world country. The Oscars are insignificant here. Thank goodness there are other frivolous events that take precedence here. Like booolfeets.
I saw the first few minutes as I waited for my bus at the station. Did not care if I missed it or not and frankly no one else did either.
I noted early on that Bullock did not look well. She could have at least not broadcasted the fact that she was out of sorts and used a bit of tissue on her lipstick.

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