Monday, 25 February 2013

Unleash The Armchair Critic - My Oscars Roundup

It’s all over…for another year, the deliberation, speculation, armchair analysis and ‘who are you wearing’ is put to bed as another Oscars all-nighter comes to an end.

As a movie lover, the Oscars are the biggest night of the year for me.  It’s also become tradition for me to watch the entire ceremony, a decision that I usually question on an existential level somewhere between 4am and 5am every year.  Now that I’ve had four hours’ sleep and a chance to review which parts were real and which parts were semi-conscious hallucinations, here’s my roundup of my highlights and lowlights of this year’s ceremony:
The Highlights

5.  Channing Tatum dancing across the stage; Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a song-and-dance routine; Seth MacFarlane belting out a bizarre movie twist on Be Our Guest.  What’s not to love there?

4.  The legendary Christopher Plummer showing everyone else how awards are supposed to be presented.

3.  The Avengers partly Assembled – even if their skit was a little under (or over) rehearsed, awkward and not half as funny as someone obviously thought it was, I still get a kick of seeing them, um, assembled.

2. The cast of Les Misérables – I could actually leave it there as just seeing them on the red carpet was a highlight but the musical performance was one of the best things I saw all night.  It was a real (cliché alert!) goose-bumps moment and is the only thing I’m likely to re-watch on YouTube more than Channing Tatum’s dance number.

1.  Jennifer Lawrence.  It’s rare that the person who most deserves to win actually does.  I know a lot of people predicted – and were rooting for – Emmanuelle Riva for the Best Actress award but in the opinion of this armchair critic this was Jennifer’s award.  Also, how classy does one need to be to fall up the stairs and still look that cool?

The Lowlights

5.  The Jaws gimmick.  What was that?  I am usually the first person to cringe when the speeches go on too long, but this was a dire way of dealing with it.  To be fair, if I’d known about it before hand, it probably would have sounded like a funny idea, and in many cases it worked, but when it had to be used to full effect it seemed crass, rude and just a little bit arrogant.

4.  Live from the red carpet.  This would be fantastic if any of these shows were actually, um, live from the red carpet.  It’s an unwritten law of awards season that we must endure ceaseless inane questions about dresses, which becomes quickly tiresome as we creep past midnight here in the UK.  What is the point, though, of being ‘live from the red carpet’ when you are in fact in a studio, looking at photographs of dresses, or in the studio, looking at clips of the nominated movies and only occasionally recalling that there are movie stars arriving who are infinitely more interesting than the ‘experts’ hired to talk about them.

3.  Bandwagon alert – Ben Affleck not being nominated for Best Director.

2.  Award presenters – what was going on this year?  Timing seemed off, jokes were weird and seemed to constantly miss their mark, and then there was Kristen Stewart.  Given that she is possibly the most sullen successful actress of all time, she’s an odd choice for an event that’s meant to be a celebration, but pairing her with Daniel Radcliffe, who oozes charm without even trying, just made it that much worse.

1.  The speeches – some people keep it short, coherent, funny and relevant.  Others, well, don’t.

Following the Oscars example, I’m going to declare a tie – step forward Seth MacFarlane.  Hours later I’m still on the fence about his performance as host.  His jokes ranged from the very, very funny to the ‘did he really just say that?’, the audience didn’t always seem to get him and the over-long, terribly self-aware opening with William Shatner was over-the-top.  On the other hand, he was, at times, hilarious, the section with Ted was movie-magic at its best (yes, I totally thought the bear was real), and he is far more handsome than Billy Crystal.  Overall, I wouldn’t be sorry to see him back next year.

Finally, it wouldn’t be an Oscars ceremony without a little bit of outrage from me (I still haven’t recovered from the Toy Story 3 injustice) so I’m just going to say it – Hugh Jackman was ROBBED!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Oscars run down as I missed it (and a highlight show I caught didn't provide the insights you have!). I too think Hugh Jackman was robbed. Poor guy starved/dehydrated himself and everything!!