Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Sunday

It's always interesting to read about the strategies around promoting an Oscar nominee. Will anyone forget the year that Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan? Or that one of the biggest movies of all time, The Dark Knight, didn't get nominated for Best Picture; while the Reader - which no one saw did? But none of that matters to me on Oscar night.

I love movies and the Oscars is my Superbowl. I hunker down and hardly move my eyes throughout - feasting on the sight of all the celebrities trying not to look upset when they lose and wondering if anyone is going to just pop right out of their dress (yes you Sarah Jessica Parker).

This year I found myself in an odd position. I had hardly seen any of the nominated movies. Slumdog Millionaire I'd skipped because everyone who would see it had seen it without me and many people weren't that interested. I assumed I'd catch it on Netflix - never thinking that such a tiny underdog of a movie with no celebrities and mostly in Hindi would win. I was wrong. The Reader I skipped because I'd read the book and I'd figured out the secret in the first 20 pages. I spent most of the book wondering how stupid all the characters were for not figuring it out sooner. The Wrestler I was warned off of by my boyfriend since he knows I do not like movies that involve anything sharp coming into contact with people's faces - no staplers, no razors - Ick. And Frost/Nixon just didn't capture my attention - I'd seen the real interviews so seeing them re-enacted was not of interest. I did see Milk and the Curious Case of Benjamin Button - and I rooted for Curious the whole evening.

The overall broadcast was quite fun - though the medley of songs in the middle was just a mess. I'd rather hear a whole song than lots of tiny bits of ones. And while I love John Legend, I would much rather have heard Peter Gabriel sing his nominated song than just hear bits of it mixed in with the other two Best Song nominees. The best part of the broadcast were the actor and actress awards when past winners came out - each to honor one of the nominees. The looks on each nominees face as they were praised were priceless. The look on Anne Hathaways face, Meryl Streep's glow, Robert DeNiro's joke - were all priceless. In this one instance it was just enough to be a nominee.

So I give Hugh Jackman a big thumbs up and I appreciate the Oscars for honoring the whole year in movies - from the highlights of various film genres throughout the evening to the great opening number with Anne Hathaway. And it was nice that for once it was only 3 1/2 hours long as opposed to 5 hours. However my number one question of the evening went unanswered - did Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie ever encounter each other in the ladies room and did Jennifer finally clock Angelina?

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