The Telecast

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Postby Okri » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:56 am

A great telecast needs great winners. We weren't gonna get that this year, so basically, I actually didn't mind the show.

I liked the tribute to old Hollywood, the music bits, the pace of the show. I enjoyed Hathaway for what she was trying to do, didn't mind Franco as much as others seem to (even though yeah, he has the wrong energy for this). A classy In Memoriam segment that ended with Lena Horne. Little startled at the worst telecast ever tages - I thought this was leagues ahead of 04/05, 05/06 and didn't even bother with 06/07.

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Postby Reza » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:36 am

OscarGuy wrote:There was a standing ovation at the end of the honorary introduction...

I was referring to competitive winners getting ovations. Not even Natalie Portman or Christian Bale, whom I would have expected to get them all things considered. It makes me wonder if producers told the audience not to rise.

I'm glad there was an ovation for the honorary winners.

Why should there have been standing ovations for Portman or Bale? Firstly they are too young and secondly they did nothing extraordinary to warrant such an ovation. Surely such ovations are reserved for persons of legendary stature or individuals thought very highly of?

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Postby OscarGuy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:10 am

There was a standing ovation at the end of the honorary introduction...

I was referring to competitive winners getting ovations. Not even Natalie Portman or Christian Bale, whom I would have expected to get them all things considered. It makes me wonder if producers told the audience not to rise.
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Postby jack » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:50 am

Reza wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:Does anyone have research for this? But is this the first time that not a single winner received a standing ovation? I don't remember the last time it happened.

Yes I found it strange that nobody got up even for Eli Wallach.

They stood for Billy Crystal.

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Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:31 am

Yes. It is. Nothing really comes close.

This is the worst Oscar-cast I've ever seen.

I say this mostly because of the disappointment factor. It didn't have to be. What rivals it? Well, Whoopi Goldberg's ugly '99 performance is similar in its astonishing inability to read the audience. '05 had similarly boring and bored winners. '08 failed to make the show any kind of spectacle about the movies, although this year's debacle clearly tried in a misguided way. Really, this Oscars is an example of how everything can go wrong.

And it's not like you can solely place the blame on James Franco and Anne Hathaway individually. In smaller doses, they might have been charming. But they had anti-chemistry, their lines were terrible, and terribly delivered, from concept and onward. It was like a Naked Gun spoof of an Oscar show...to which there is admittedly some entertainment. But to compound the frustration, genuine suspense intermingled with dullard winners. Up until Tom Hooper was named Best Director, it was a horse race, wasn't it? The music most heard in the auditorium was that of Inception. Until of course it was Beethoven during the montage (ye gods! spell the winner out for us, why don't'cha!).

Months of badgering prognostication, The King's Speech vs. The Social Network...for this? i dream of Dave Karger, Tom O'Neil, et al turning off their television sets "Everybody Hurts"-style, leaving their houses, and devoting their lives to assisting lower income housing brackets afford food and a better station of life.
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Postby Damien » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:00 am

Pathetic.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:21 am

After an hour, I blanked out. The TV was on but I paid very little attention. We worked on our taxes instead.

I think my favorite part of the show was the countown montage at the very beginning. No joke. The show was unendurable. I should have known we were in trouble when Alec Baldwin single-handedly stole the opening montage sequence from our beloved hosts. I still think Hathaway is adorable, but raunchy humor doesn't suit her, no matter how much she mugs... and did she ever mug. And when she has no one to play off of, she's left desperately flailing around. And as for the "no one"... I enjoy stoner personalities, but only when the goofy, offhand surface is a front for some hidden genius, or sly, subversive madness, something! But there was none of that in James Franco. He may be a very good actor, but he's no entertainer. He's a squinting blank.

The moment that most epitomized this was directly after the Marisa Tomei presentation of the Scientific and Technical Awards. He came back on and with his horrible diction, said "Congratulations, nerds" (more like "Congratulation, nurts.") Now, someone like Steve Martin could find a way to sell that line and get a laugh. James Franco can't, and it feels mean-spirited. Compare this to Cate Blanchett's presentation of Best Make-up immediately afterwards, and her tossed-off "That's gross" after the "Wolfman" clips which got a big laugh. And that's the difference between delivering a line and merely saying it.

It's possible the much-publicized sets were wonderful, had I made the effort to concentrate. But after the first "Gone With the Wind" transition left me shrugging my shoulders, I didn't pay it much mind other than to note the era-appropriate tuxes the poor presenters had to wear, one of many, many wrong-headed decisions... the beyond-awkward Kirk Douglas; the funny-for-ten-seconds autotone bit; the Best Picture montage with "King's Speech" inserting itself in the footage of all ten films; the jellied schmaltz grand finale with those sickening kids; the ADDRESSING THE INDIVIDUAL NOMINEES! (Didn't they lead us to believe they were eliminating that?) Oh lord, I could go on, but is it worth it? Let's just say that no "younger hipper" hosts will save a show that's conceived and produced by higher-uppers who aren't "younger and hipper".

Two good things. They finally got the In Memorium right. No applause, no sound clips, less film footage but more names. It was the best IM in years, despite the fact that the song underneath was "Smile" and despite the fact that Celine Dion was singing it. In fact, I take back my snarkiness. The segment worked, period. A minor achievement maybe, but the broadcast often manages to fumble this segment year after year. And they did away with the individual presentations of the ten Best Picture films, opting instead for the montage mashup at the very end, gauche though it was.

And that's really all I have to say. Maybe I'll find more individual things to like when I take the time to rewatch, but what's the point of digging through a haystack for needles? I'm not heartbroken by the Director/Picture outcome since I neither loved Social Network nor hated King's Speech, but at least an Arcade Fire moment would have redeemed the broadcast.




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Postby Uri » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:16 am

Since everything else was practically sealed long ego, for me this all evening (very early morning, actually) was all about best director. Didn't work out. Never mind. Lame show, lame outcomes.

Thank God we had Susana York's smile.

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Postby Reza » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:08 am

OscarGuy wrote:Does anyone have research for this? But is this the first time that not a single winner received a standing ovation? I don't remember the last time it happened.

Yes I found it strange that nobody got up even for Eli Wallach.

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Postby The Original BJ » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:05 am

My own personal prediction stats revealed something to me this evening. Below the line, I scored as badly as I ever have, picking most of the categories incorrectly. But I scored 8/8 in the top categories, which I've never done in my decade-plus of Oscar-watching. I think it's not a coincidence that the most suspense/upsets occurred in those categories where there haven't been a gazillion precursor awards forecasting the very same winners. (Had King's Speech been eligible for the WGA, we surely would have had a 100% copy of the major Guild winners.)

I was somewhat glad we weren't treated to The King's Sweep, but on the other hand, I was disappointed in a different way. When King's Speech lost Art Direction -- which I thought it would very likely take -- I knew for sure it wouldn't be sweeping, picking up truly ridiculous prizes like Cinematography along the way. I then started to doubt it would take Costume Design, which it didn't. And then when Ross/Reznor trumped Desplat in Score, I started to wonder if maybe there wasn't a chance that Social Network could still win Best Picture. King's Speech wasn't winning ANYTHING!

And then the air went out of the balloon when King's Speech won only its second award of the night: Best Director. Whose dumb idea was it to present this award so early in the evening, before not only both (pre-ordained) acting awards, but the Honorary Awards presentation? It killed all suspense, as we knew instantaneously what the final envelope held. Amusingly, many at my Oscar party posited that Social Network might still pull out a victory -- after all, King's Speech hadn't won very much at that point. Everyone at this board, of course, knew that if a split were to occur, it COULD have been Speech/Fincher, but it NEVER would have split the other way.

I can't claim any kind of credit for making wise predictions on a night when so many of my predictions failed -- but I did think Hooper would win Best Director since he won the DGA. Put this year on the books as yet another one where a split was widely predicted, but didn't happen.

I'd have picked Black Swan in Cinematography, but in my heart I hoped Roger Deakins would FINALLY triumph after so many losses. (True Grit ended up being that rare double-digiter that goes home emptyhanded.)

I thought the ceremony itself was fairly boring. Hathaway was entertaining in her musical number, but was otherwise completely lacking in poise. Franco was charming, but seemed checked out. The Gone With the Wind Art Direction/Cinematography presentation wasn't bad...but then this structuring conceit was abandoned for most of the awards, so it seemed odd.

And what was with that horrible kids choir at the end of the night? After the final award has been handed out, we're expected to stick around? (This number did, however, allow us the hilarious moment of Melissa Leo singing along to "Over the Rainbow" as she flailed her Oscar around. The woman may be completely insane, but I love her.)

Overall, not as bad as it could have been. Not as good as it could have been. Plenty of worse movies have won Best Picture. Poor David Fincher.

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Postby OscarGuy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:01 am

Does anyone have research for this? But is this the first time that not a single winner received a standing ovation? I don't remember the last time it happened.
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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:01 am

I liked the show. James Franco was just fine. So was Anne Hathaway and so were most of the presenters. The banter was attuned mostly to film and not the usual silliness between the presenters.

Some of the film segments didn't work. The first one was a little awkward with Tom Hanks talking about former winners of Art Direction and Cinematography going on to win Best Picture and then opening the envelope for Art Direction and revealing the winner to be a non-BP nominee.

The introduction of the Best Actress nominees by Jeff Bridges was pretty lame. Sandra Bullock's introduction of the Best Actress nominees at least introduced some humor into the proceedings.

Best acceptance speech: none really, but Natalie Portman seemed more heartfelt than previously and Christian Bale was properly exuberant. I don't know what the hell Melissa Leo thought or didn't think she was doing dropping the f-bomb for no apparent reason other than to draw attention to herself again.

Colin Firth's speech was a little too dry.

As for the awards themselves, I guess I'm thankful that The King's Speech only won four, though that was three more than it deserved.

I haven't been following those fifth graders from Staten Island on You Tube so I don't know what all the excitement about them is, but I've seen plenty of school kids in performance and believe me I've seen and heard a lot better.




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Postby Johnny Guitar » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:52 pm

Anne Hathaway may have been a little more entertaining, but frankly I'd be happy to see more of James Franco's quasi-stoner downbeat absurdity at next year's Oscars. (Likelihood? Zilch.) At this point it's probably best to assume the ceremony will be bad/awkward/unwieldy and to simply aim for the best ways to appreciate these qualities ...

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Postby OscarGuy » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:51 pm

I have to say James Franco was dead weight. He seemed entirely self-conscious...especially against the exuberant Anne Hathaway. Bring her back next year to host is what I say. She was fantastic.
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Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:49 pm

Johnny Guitar wrote:I think it's a bad show but I've come to appreciate the awkwardness that awards shows can provide - wish it could be cranked up a few notches. (I.e., show more James Franco.)

I think it's an improvement on last year's at least.


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