Oscar Thoughts From a Curmudgeon

Posted by Greg on Feb 28, 2011 in Movies, Op-Ed |

Every year I look forward to the Oscars and every year I’m let down. Maybe I’m just hard to please. Don’t get me wrong I’m thrilled with all the awards The King’s Speech won ––––it deserved them –––– and I was happy Christian Bale finally won, that’s not really the problem. The problem is….well, allow me to explain.

Kirk Douglas is an icon and a true legend, but does he really need that much time in the spotlight? Call me cold-hearted, cruel and insubordinate, but his rambling monologue was a few minutes too long. Sure it was funny and yes it was nice to see the old guy still doing his thing, but for the life of me, it was painful to watch. If you think I’m being unfair to a stroke victim and a geriatric, then I’ll take the time to pick on someone else. Namely Aaron Sorkin. Seriously dude that acceptance speech needed to be a lot shorter. We all know you’re smart, we all know you think the world of yourself, but just shut the hell up and get off the stage.

As for the winners. Everything went as planned. Well, except for Best Supporting Actress.

Someone please explain to me how Hailee Steinfield is billed as a supporting actress. True Grit is her story, and she is the fulcrum on which the entire script moves. I understand she’s a newcomer and a no-name, but the Coen brothers trusted her enough to pit her in the lead role, and the awards committee should honor their decision. As for the winner, Melissa Leo was great in The Fighter, and performed her role flawlessly, but that being written, the performance was not really the stuff of Oscar legend.

Jacki Weaver on the other hand was unrivaled in the underrated and overlooked Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom. My take is Leo is getting the award for kicking ass in Frozen River a few years ago and getting snubbed there. But who am I to know? I’m just a crochety 20-something picking on Kirk Douglas.

Toy Story 3 is a great Pixar film and a true delight through and through, but did it really need to win two awards? Randy Newman is a terrific songwriter and a bonafide talent but come on, enough with the love fest. Did he really need a second Oscar? I realize he’s been nominated 20 times, but seriously, just no.

My only other complaint is how in the hell did Biutiful not win for Best Foreign Film? Every critic agreed Bardem was sensational and that the script was Gonzalez-Irriatu’s best. So why the disrespect? Yeah his films are dark, dismal and downright chilling, but No Country For Old Men wasn’t a laughfest either and it was decked out with Oscar gold.

A few other things. I’m glad Inception got a few wins, even if they were in the smaller categories. Christopher Nolan’s directing prowess is limitless and the film was a true high watermark, so it’s good to see the Oscars continue to respect his talents.

As for the show itself. Franco proved to be a capable and charming host, while Hathaway was anything but. The laughs were good and the show moved quickly. But when it’s all said and done, not even a F-bomb from Leo could cement this year’s Oscars as anything truly special. Then again, what do I know? I picked Kate WInslet over Natalie Portman and Exit Through the Gift Shop over Inside Job.

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