|Me: the proud winner of last year's contest|
But then the bigger awards started kicking in, and my picks improved. And improved. Not that I suddenly ended up having a record year, but I was in second place, in position to win the evening. Nothing builds tension at the end of an Oscars broadcast like knowing that it all comes down to the final awards. If Meryl Streep hadn't butted in at the end there, I would have pulled off a comeback for the ages. But it's hard to resent Meryl Streep too much, and a second place showing still ain't too bad. (For the record, I got 9 out of 24 picks. The winner got 10.)
So what did I think of the Oscars as a whole this year? I was quite happy with the show, actually. Crystal did what Crystal always does, so no surprise there. His bit with the movies at the beginning was diverting, at least. His Oscars Song was hard to understand at times.
I was more pleased with the way the awards generally got sprinkled around, with no one film getting too doused. True, The Artist picked up three of the biggies, but you also had awards going to Midnight in Paris, Iron Lady, The Help, Hugo--it wasn't a sweep by any one film, and I much prefer that to an air of inevitability.
None of the acceptance speeches seemed excessively boorish, which is always nice. Also, in the memoriam section, the audience actually managed to not clap for their favorites (or was the audience just not mic'ed?), something I was really happy about. Applauding for people who've died . . . how does that feel right? So even in death, some of the people don't get as much respect as others, and the ones who get the most attention makes it seem like we're happiest they're gone.
My biggest complaint would be the random shots of musicians playing instruments in the opera boxes. That was annoying and baffling. Cirque de Soleil? Kind of a strange choice, and it felt too much like an ad for their show to me. The interviews with the movie stars about what they think about movies? Okay--but does anyone really care what Adam Sandler thinks about cinema? Some of the interviews seemed too much like the Bieber-grab for a certain demographic. Like someone who isn't interested in the Oscars is going to be channel surfing, see Adam Sandler talking, and then spend the next two hours wondering when the fart jokes are going to start. And the commercials. Man, did they pack them in at the end of the show or what. We were clipping along so fast that at 11 I was thinking the show might actually end early, and then they gave us about 20 minutes of ads at the end.
(Soapbox: what idiot actually thinks at that point that commercials are a good idea? It's getting late, you want to go to bed, and I just start resenting all the companies who are trying to sell me stuff.)
Overall, the show was a good one. I was entertained, even if I didn't win. There's always next year. Maybe I should figure out a way to Skype in my agent (who if you don't know, follows the Oscars even more closely than I do--I love reading his liveblog of the event each year, and while I may post more movie reviews, he certainly sees far more movies in the theater than I could dream of. His reviews are always insightful, and he actually saw every single Best Picture nominee this year). Of course, my Oscar Gala might be a bit loud for him. I'm not sure if he's watched the Oscars with three kids fighting with lightsabers in the background. But our dessert spread was tasty (gourmet caramel apples, strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar), we had other treats (chips, salsa, crackers, cheese spread), and we had some nice Martinelli's to wash it all down (just keepin' it Mormon here).
Maybe the chance to win the Oscar hat for a year would be enough to persuade him. :-)
In any case, that sums up my thoughts. What did you all think of the evening? Do share!