Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The State of the Race: The End

So I had an exam today and Monday, so have not had time to post my thoughts about the winners, the ceremony, and the Oscar season as a whole. Here are my thoughts.

The Winners
Well, in the end, all of the potential upsets, in the big categories at least, the Bening v. Portman talk, the Best Supporting Actress mix ups, and the Fincher/ TKS split all ended up being just speculation. The four frontrunners for acting won, the two screenplay frontrunners won, and Hooper, along with the film took home the top two prizes. However, in some of the technical categories, there were some nice surprises to say the least. Say what you will about Alice In Wonderland, but it was a technical feat to say the least, and got some well deserved wins in Art Direction and Costume Design, that I was certain were going to The King's Speech. Then came Best Original Score, where the more modern and subtle score of The Social Network beat out the more obvious choices of The King's Speech and Inception, and move I welcomed with open arms. Finally, while I am so dissappointed that the great Roger Deakins has still yet to win an Academy Award, I was thrilled for Inception and Wally Pfister, as to be frank, he really did deserve the prize. Finally, I would like to say that although I was rooting for Fincher, I was extremely happy for Tom Hooper, and feel bad that he is getting so much heat from vitriolic people. Let the man enjoy his win in peace (kind of along the same lines as the Bieber fans trying to tear down poor Esperanza Spalding). In my personal predictions I got 16/25 categories correct, which is not terrible, but much worse than last year. I think this is because I was trying to pick against perceived frontrunners and be wild in some choices, and too safe in others. Overall though, I welcomed the times when I was wrong, and if you take out those damn shorts, I was 16/22, which is a much better percentage.

The Ceremony
Well, I've had a lot of time to think about the many things that have been said about this year's ceremony, so here it goes. James Franco was a complete disaster. He's a great actor, but he seriously acted like an apathetic druggy. smug, cocky, and seemingly didn't want to be there. That being said, while Hathaway was a little bit over the top, a little calming down and some better material, she would been even better than she was. At least she was enthusiastic and seemed to be genuinely happy to be there. The only thing I wish is that they would have been a little more playful with the nominees, as they were almost a little to congratualtory, and not enough subtle humorous heat, like Billy Crystal is so good at. The actual ceremony itself (with the exception of Melissa Leo's f-bomb) was rather uncontroversial, and a little boring. It was not god-awful as some bloggers, commentators, and commentors have suggested, but a little lackluster. I was happy to see the original song nominees perform this year, and I liked the new Best Actor/Best Actress set up, although I still thought that the previous winner format was best. Sandra Bullock was by far the best presenter, and it made me like her even more (if that's possible). Colin Firth, Christian Bale, David Seidler, and the great Aaron Sorkin all gave heartfelt speeches, as did Best Director winner Tom Hooper, showing how they are all genuinely nice guys. It was definitely not the best ceremony in years, but it had its nice moments, and I enjoyed the winners.

The Season
Well, I have talked all season about the many battles, Portman vs. Bening, the big switches, TSN then TKS. But right now all I want to say is that someday we will look back on this race like we have all the others, and use it to our advantage to make better predictions in the future. But after all of the twists and turns, and the ups and downs, and for those who have stuck by through it all, I think that it is quite appropriate to simply quote Bertie, "However this turns out, I don't know how to thank you."

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