The Good, the Bad and the Oscar (goes to…)

This year’s Oscars impressed me – much thanks to Seth Macfarlane. Though he’s been getting back lash for a few jokes poking fun at Jews and women that may or may not have pushed the envelope, it was a stark improvement from the slanderous material of Ricky Gervais. A little gratitude people…

The majority of the ceremony Macfarlane delivered witty quips and light-hearted jabs at the nominees (and the man can sing!). Here’s a quick recap – a brief taste – of some of his genius last night.

I was extremely happy when…

Adele won for Best Original Song – she has now collected a Golden Globe, a Grammy and an Oscar… in the first two months of 2013.

The cast of Chicago reunited after 11 years, complete with a performance of “All That Jazz” by CZJ (she’s still got it…)

Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor, he’s now the only person in history to have won the award three times. And how does he respond? He jokes about how he was supposed to star as Margaret Thatcher in “Iron Lady,” and Steven Spielberg’s first choice to play Lincoln was actually Meryl Streep. And he finishes the acceptance speech by thanking his mother (the perfect man? yes, yes he is)

Winners who spoke too long were cut off by Jaws music. I don’t know who came up with that one, but that’s award-worthy in itself.

Jennifer Lawrence tripped on stage as she goes to accept her Best Actress Oscar, reminding us that we’re all human, and proving she’s one grounded girl (pun intended). In fact, when the audience gave her a standing ovation, she said, “I know the only reason you’re doing that is because you feel bad that I fell, so sit down!”

Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a dentist-turned-bounty hunter in Django Unchained. His character is unarguably the most adorable, lovable, admirable man who kills people for a living to ever exist.

Channing Tatum DANCED!!! (with Charlize Theron…but really, who cares?).

And I was extremely pissed-off when…

Lincoln lost like every award imaginable. Lincoln got NO love. Well, it got some. It went 2/12 (Best Production Design and of course DDL). That’s just WRONG, in my opinion.

Anne Hathaway starts off her acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar with “It came true!” Maybe because I’m a writer, and I abhor cliches, I couldn’t stomach that one, but I’m sure the other %99.99999999 of the viewer probably found it endearing. Plus if I were on TV in front of 40 million people, I’m sure I wouldn’t be so eloquent. But I guess no one’s even listening to you when you’re wearing a dress like THIS:

The orchestra swallowed every performer whole. You could barely hear Adele and Norah Jones, who can croon with the best of ’em, over the roar of violins and trumpets. It didn’t matter for Jennifer Hudson who would sing over a nuclear explosion if she had the chance.

They had Michelle Obama announce the Best Picture award. I’m not trying to get political, in fact, that’s exactly what I’m criticizing. Politics has no place in show business, but unfortunately, they’re now infused and I don’t anticipate a separation – ever. I get that the majority of Hollywood is so liberal they’d cut off their right hand to prove it, but really people, can’t we let it be for one night?

Overall…

Pros > cons, and I can honestly say it was the best Oscars telecast in a few years, AND I can’t remember the last time the show ended when it was supposed to. Bonus points for that.

Et toi?

Quality, Popularity, and Oscars

When we first talked about the Oscars in class, I thought, “Oh, this will be so cool!  The movies I saw this year will do great!  I’ll get to cheer them on and-“

 “Um…  Amour?  Argo?  Beasts of the Southern Wild?  I’ve never heard of these…  But, they’re probably good if they’re nominated…  At least I know what the others are about.  Vaguely.”

“But that’s OK, because I’m sure I’ll have someone to root for in actors and actresses!”

“…I didn’t see any of the movies they got nominated for.  I saw Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, and I saw a stage production of Les Mis, but that doesn’t quite count…”

“Y’know, The Avengers came out this year, and it’s the third-highest grossing film of all time, and so did The Hobbit – it got over $960 million!  They must be in the running for some categories!”

“…The Hobbit is in makeup/hairstyling, production design, and visual effects.  Just three.  The Avengers is in visual effects.  Just one.”

“…”

“…How come comic book movies never get nominated~?”  I just don’t know why, Hugh Jackman.

I respect people who watch all these different films and have informed opinions.  (Like Carly, for instance.)  I am most certainly not one of those people.  It takes something big to get me off my rear and go to the theater, so usually it’s a big-budget, splashy film.  Essentially, it’s the stuff that’s popular.

I got to thinking about how complicated popularity and quality are.  On the one hand, if something is wildly popular, then there’s something in it that appeals to audiences.  The Avengers isn’t one of those deep, thought-provoking films, but it is a ton of fun to watch (especially if you’re a fan).  On the other hand, just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good.  (I’m looking at you, Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.)

The problem with me and reviewing films is that I really have no frame of reference other than my personal opinion.  Critics, at least, are aware of general traits that make a film stand above the rest.  I suppose all I can really say for certain is that if the public was allowed to have a say in the Oscars, the divide between them and the Academy would be miles wide.

What do you think of this popularity/quality business?  Is there anything you’d like to add, or anything I’ve missed?  Feel free to leave a comment!