Good post-Oscar morning, folks! Here’s my rundown of last night’s festivities:
Odd camera work and Seth MacFarlane: There was something off about the camera work and production value in general. To me the show looked sort of tacky and cheap. There were a lot of medium-tight shots of Seth MacFarlane that just sort of stayed there, without the customary cut-aways to the audience, so that he looked trapped in some kind of cheesy high school stage production. Was it because the producers were worried about audience members reacting badly or at least stone-facedly to the host’s possibly offensive jokes (Seth did get Tommy Lee Jones to crack a smile on his first go, so that was good sign)? But then other shots were too wide, so that we saw folks in the wings and far upstage waiting to walk onstage. During the Best Director award segment, Emmanuelle Riva appeared in David O. Russell’s little cutaway box. It all looked sort of amateurish and awkward. Also, I’m not sure if this is the first year that the orchestra has been off-site and not in the orchestra pit, and maybe I wouldn’t have noticed anything off if Seth hadn’t mentioned it, but it made the whole thing feel less cohesive to me.
I thought the Flight sock puppets were the funniest bit of Seth’s opening monologue, especially the socks tumbling around in the dryer. I’m never gonna turn down some Joe Go-Lev dancing in a lovely tux, and D-Rad was kind of adorable, too. As for Channing and Charlize – I did not know she could dance (she’s rocking that pixie cut, by the way) – and Channing continues to insinuate himself into my good graces (see my earlier post on the Time Warner Offers blog). And that Sound of Music “Ladies and gentleman, the Von Trapp family singers!” gag was endearingly Seth.
One Day More of Les Miz and Anne Hathaway: “One Day More” is my favorite ensemble number from Les Miz, and Broadway pros Samantha Barks and Aaron Tveit had me wishing for better singers to replace Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried. Hugh Jackman was decent, although I don’t care for “Suddenly,” the original song written for the movie. And Anne . . . I don’t know what it is, but she’s really been getting on my nerves lately. There’s some sort of Julia Roberts-ish, self-deprecatingly attention-hogging vibe about her.
Okay, the comment about Anne notwithstanding, I usually try not to get personal, but I have to ask: do you think Renée Zellweger was drunk? She was walking and holding herself very stiffly, as though she was working very hard not to sway or tip over onto Queen Latifah. On a related note, wouldn’t you love to see Queen Latifah and Adele combine their awesomeness into one totally divalicious project?
Damn it, it’s Shakespeare in Love all over again!: How mad do you think Spielberg is about walking away without the Best Director or Best Picture Oscar? As I said in my pre-Oscar post, I have no issue with Ang Lee winning. I just figured Spielberg would edge him out. If you can’t win for a sweeping historical epic about one of our most beloved Presidents, what can you win for?
Meryl makes a command decision: How many of you thought Meryl Streep had just decided to give Daniel Day-Lewis the Best Actor award no matter what the card said, since we didn’t actually see her open the envelope? I mean, who’s gonna argue with Meryl? And then DDL gave the perfect acceptance speech – funny (who knew?), very sweet about his wife, and ending with a touching shout-out to his mom. And that’s how it’s done, folks.
Separation of state and play: Now, I love our FLOTUS, but it was weird and unnecessary to have her co-present the Best Picture Oscar. First of all, I thought it meant that Lincoln was going to win, what with Former President Bill Clinton introducing it at the Golden Globes (also weird overreach). Secondly, it was the height of Hollywood self-important self-congratulation – having the First Lady thank the industry for helping kids by bringing art into their lives. Yes, because that’s why everyone’s in this business.
Finally, though, what better way to end the evening than with Kristin Chenoweth singing us out! Maybe she, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey can host next year? Till then, let me know your thoughts about last night’s ceremony in the comments section below!