If We Can't Say Anything Nice About the Oscars...
Like many, I really hated last night's Oscars. But for the moment I'll try to put my complaints behind me (or elsewhere), mostly for the sake of my mother, who still loves the Oscars and often told me "if you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all." Well, by the logic of the classic phrase I only need to find some positive things to say about some of the honorees in order to allow for my usual negativity. Anyway, I agree with Dustin that it should be about celebrating great films and performances. So here goes:
1. I'm glad The Cove won, though most Americans will still ignore the film just as they do other documentaries, even those with cameos from the Heroes cheerleader and produced by the white guy who basically went blackface to play an Indian in series of popular movies about robot tolerance.
2. I'm glad Mo'Nique won, though I haven't seen Precious yet, because I honestly think she's great, and have tried in the past to get people to recognize her worth in both good and bad films, like Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins and Phat Girlz, respectively.
3. I'm glad The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos) won, though I haven't seen it yet either, because I'm a big fan of Argentine cinema, particularly those films starring Ricardo Darin (which seems to be most of them) and I enjoyed Juan Jose Campanella's previous Oscar-nominated film, Son of the Bride (El hijo de la novia). If you regularly watch 30 Rock, House or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, you've probably seen his work and didn't even know it. I'm very much looking forward to seeing this when it comes out April 16.
Some other things people liked about this year's Oscars (whether I agree with them or not):
- Richard Travers at The Travers Take:
Mo'Nique for being Mo'Nique. Meaning the Best Supporting Actress winner spoke her mind, thanking the Academy for rewarding "performance and not politics." Take that you malignant lillies of the Internet field who felt Mo didn't campaign enough. Backstage in the press room, she pointed out that she wore a blue dress and a flower in her hair to evoke what Gone With the Wind's Hattie McDaniel wore when she became the first black actress to win an Oscar back in 1940.
- Rob Kall at The Huffington Post:
Overall, the Academy did a good job, rewarding movies with messages and a female director who made a very smart, moving film with a message. That's even better than a shout out against Sarah Palin.
- Katey Rich at Cinema Blend:
Kathryn Bigelow winning Best Director. It can't be said enough-- the first female Best Director winner matters, in a way that can't be explained by citing how few female directors are working, how few women have been nominated in the past, how women still make less than men dollar for dollar. There's something visceral about seeing a woman holding two Oscar statues, seeing her take the stage and thank the people who helped make her film. The Hurt Locker's Best Picture win was surely an added triumph for her, but the Best Director prize is the one that will be remembered, and the one that will likely matter most to all women trying daily, everywhere, to break that glass ceiling. Bigelow has instantly become an icon.
- Marina Hyde at Guardian:
Best They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To moment
Footage of Lauren Bacall accepting an honorary Oscar at a gala a few months ago. "A man at last," drawled Bacall of her statuette. "The thought that when I get home I'm going to have a two-legged man in my room is so exciting I can hardly stand it." At the Oscars, this was immediately followed by a cutaway to Cameron Diaz chewing gum. Truly, it was the stars that got small.
- Adam Rosenberg at MTV Movies Blog:
Elinor Burkett's "Kanye Moment"
Look, based on the story behind the story, it seems as though Elinor Burkett might have been in the wrong when she stormed the stage during "Music by Prudence" director Roger Ross William's acceptance speech. But crowds love sensational stuff like this. And if the net result is bringing added exposure to a documentary short about a school in Zimbabwe for disable children, then I don't really see how anyone can complain. In that spirit, why don't you go learn some more about the Best Documentary Short winner.
- Alex Billington at First Showing:
One aspect of the show that I've been getting into a lot of debates about recently was the decision to remove their Best Original Song performances from the Oscars entirely and, well, put in that interpretive dance number for Best Original Score instead. I admit that dance sequence was kind of strange, but it was actually pretty cool to see (since it was well choreographed). Anyway, I fully support the removal of the song numbers because those were always the moments I dreaded at the Oscars. They were always so boring and I didn't want to hear the songs on the show again.
- Erik Childress at Cinematical:
MOST PERFECTLY MATCHED PRESENTERS
Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper as the most boring leading men in modern film history. Throw Sam Worthington in there and you have a triple thick vanilla shake.
- Vince Mancini at FilmDrunk:
My favorite part was Barbra Streisand inserting herself in the moment as if she'd actually done something. Imagine if when Peter Jackson had collected his Best Picture for Lord of Rings, Brett Ratner had been onstage to say "This is a victory for fat guys with beards everywhere!" No it's not, bitch, you didn't do anything. Sit your ass back down.
- Michelle Collins at Best Week Ever:
Where do you start with Schmerkin? First of all, his name. Can't get enough Schmerkin, no way, no how. He won Best Animated Short Film for "Logorama," the only animated short that had the horse sense to reference "Shoneys." Schmerkin, a petite French fellow, was also the only winner of the evening with the good graces to encourage people to give it up: "You can applaud them, the directors." Aw, Schmerx, never change.
- Tina Dupuy at Fishbowl LA:
Yes, we may not qualify for unemployment checks. Yes, some of us marry just for health care. Sure we still dodge questions from our parents and former classmates as to why we don't have a real job/future. But not last night! Last night, one of our own - Mark Boal freelancer turned screenwriter turned Oscar winner got his moment so all of us can wear our jammies a little prouder this morning.
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