Monday, March 8, 2010

State of the Race: Final Edition

Reaction to Winners and Ceremony
Well, after 4 very long hours, the Academy Awards finally ended with a huge victory for The Hurt Locker. Winning 6 awards, it defied the odds and showed millions of viewers that the independent movie is still alive, although those same viewers might skip out on the ceremony next year. The little movie that could beat the largest grossing motion picture of all time, and it was no easy feat.

The acting awards went off without a hitch, and we got some great acceptance speeches, especially Sandy Bullock's incredibly humble and emotional win for The Blind Side. There were some surprises however. The biggest was the win for Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious' screenplay, which meant Up in the Air went home empty handed. I was thrilled for Fletcher, and he was genuinely emotional, but Up in the Air was the best movie of the year, and it is a shame it took home zero awards. There were some technical flip flops, like Avatar taking Cinematography, and The Hurt Locker taking both Sound awards, but overall most of the winners were predicted to do so.

The ceremony itself was extremely long, and to be honest they gave great tributes to Horror movies, and even the late, great John Hughes, but couldn't find time to give their honorary winners even 5 minutes? Alec and Steve were funny, but not particuarly original or a stand-out. Comedians have proven to be okay hosts, but not as good as those who incorporate music and such into their monologue ala Billy Crystal, although the NPH opening was great, and made me wonder why he wasn't hosting. There were some awkward moments, and they also kinda shafted the supporting categories, by simply showing clips, not having their friends present like they did for the lead actors. Furthermore, they performed all the scores, but the original songs were left out, would have love to have heard Ryan Bingham, Marion Cotillard, and Anika Noni Rose perform live, but whatever. The ceremony would get a B- from me, as there were weird moments, strange cuts, and to be honest Steve and Alec took a back seat after the first 20 minutes, and we needed some hosting and direction.

How I did with my predictions:
Overall, for my first Oscar ceremony as a blogger, I think I did okay, and I know that some of the surprises threw off many others' pools. I got 17/24 right, and learned a few things about myself. I cannot predict the Sound awards, I went back and forth on who I was going to choose and went with Avatar for both. I had initially thought about splitting the winners which would have at least given me 18. I also missed the Geoffrey Fletcher win, as did most people. I also learned that I need to catch up on my shorts, because I missed all three in those categories. I was happy with my El Secreto De Sus Ojos prediction, and that I stuck with Star Trek for Makeup. Hopefully next year will be better.

The Impact:
So what does all of this mean for the future of the Academy Awards. To those in the industry, tonight was a night to validate independent movies, honor old friends, and continue its recent streak of picking box office pariahs. While the rating this year will probably be better than last years, The Hurt Locker winning will only confirm what many thought about Hollywood anyway. That it is behind the times, honoring old-fashioned camerawork instead of the stunning new technologies of Avatar and others like it, and that it is out of touch with mainstream America, only nominating the big films to appease dumbasses like ourselves. Now I personally am thrilled for Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker team. However, the Academy took great strides to include bigger films, and then rewarded one of the lowest grossing Best Picture winners of all time. Will this make them go back to five? Maybe eventually, but for now, I think they will stick with the experiment and see how it pans out for the next couple of years. To be honest, I think the Academy still needs to do something to encourage more recognition, or simply better recognition, but for now all I can say is congratulations to all the winners.

Thank you for all who stuck by through thick and thin of this long and laborious season. Later today I will post about the future of The Awards Psychic and what to expect in its second year. For now, thanks to all those, all 4 of you, who have read this blog, and I hope to continue to provide in depth awards coverage for many years to come. Thanks!

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