ITALIANO wrote:And most importantly, it's (another) sign of how frail 12 Years a Slave is (unfortunately I haven't seen it yet). I know that it keeps winning Best Picture prizes, but it does so without any real enthusiasm, obviously. And let's face it, at the Oscars - even more than in other contexts - enthusiasm plays an important role. Respect alone may not be enough.
I'm thinking of other movies over the years that were considered front-runners for much of the season despite falling into the respected-not-loved category: Reds, Born on the Fourth of July, and, yes, Brokeback Mountain. Each went into the presentations thinking they'd held on just well enough to win, but fell short at the end. And they each had the advantage 12 Years doesn't have, of being the DGA winner. As you say, the Oscar can sometimes be more dependent on enthusiasm than even prelims for which we have less respect, like the Globes. (cf. Klaus-Maria Brandauer winning the Globe but losing the Oscar to the pathetic Don Ameche)
On the other hand, I confess I have no idea of the effect of the preferential ballot, which exists for best picture alone. We're going to get our first demonstration of how that plays out in a non-consensus year.
Magilla, I'd assume you'd get the same BBCAmerica feed in NJ that i did in Manhattan, and the version I saw ran three hours (with that same 35 minute red carpet you saw). The show was only truncated, as usual, by keeping most tech awards off-screen.
And I wouldn't make any comparison between Bruce Dern and Richard Farnsworth. Lumping them together reeks of "one old man's the same as the next" Richard Farnsworth had a creditable career as (mostly) a stunt man, but was hardly a Hollywood regular on the scale of Bruce Dern. I imagine a great many of the older Academy set would love to see their old pal Dernsie win (I've heard one or two express that very thought). I doubt many of them even knew Farnsworth.