Monday, February 26, 2007

Review: The Academy Awards - Brief and Will Be Updated (Updated)

Wow. Ellen was great. Pan's Labyrinth was robbed. And I don't see how The Departed can win so much, and yet Infernal Affairs was almost entirely ignored by America when it was released.

So much for the great international Oscars, huh?

But at least all the winners go to walk on stage this year...

My favorite moment of the night was that everyone who spoke to Barbara Walters actually lied to her about what would happen on stage. No, Ellen DID dance, Jennifer DIDN'T thank Idol, Helen WASN'T surprised to win, and Eddie DID know that he would never win an Oscar. Heh.

Ellen was the best host they've had since Whoopi. Her style of family friendly humor took a little while for the audience to get used to - her jokes do take a few seconds to set in sometimes - but when they finally caught it, there were smiles all around. Bonus points for out shadow dancing the shadow dancers. Super bonus points for mocking the green initiative (aka self lovin' fest) of the Oscars with the recycled jokes bit.

I was so happy when Pan's Labyrinth was winning everything, and then it just stopped. Considering that, even with three Academy Awards in three very difficult to win categories, the film is sill under appreciated solely because it's a horror movie, it was a little hard to swallow that somehow it lost Best Score. I was expecting the Best Foreign Film loss, but not the one award I thought they had locked.

Speaking of locks - Hah! Eddie lost, like I knew he would. Thanks Norbit. Well, I actually do want to see Norbit. Eddie Murphy is the only actor who has consistently shown that full body make-up does not cover up for a lack of character. As ridiculous as, his movies can be, every part he plays is a fully developed character regardless of the pounds and pounds of make-up on his body. I've only seen one other performance do that in this style of film, and that was Adam Sandler in Click - he made me cry. But Eddie does it voluntarily in most of his films these days. He's a truly talented artist who will be validated one day in a significant artistic way. I knew because of the combination of character type and past losses that Alan Arkin was the true lock for Best Supporting Actor.

Also, best moment of the night is a tie. Animated Film was so damn cute, with the kids from Monster House being animated as pulling a Beyonce and not applauding for the winners. And Anika Noni Rose showed that she was the best thing to show up at the shoot for Dreamgirls by out singing every other person on stage that night. Grammys require good editing to win, Oscars require one good performance to win, Tonys require going out every night and killing it. Hmmm...I wonder which requires the most talent? See For Yourself.

Bonus Clip: Tonya Pinkins award winning performance in the show that got Anika her Tony, Caroline or Change.

Double bonus: Jennifer Holiday killing it as Effie. Jennifer Hudson was good, but Holiday made that show.
And she still looks good enough to have played the role in the film. Bonus points: her singing actually sounds like it belongs in a girl group of that time period.

And the worthless: the shadow dancers are replacing Tyra Banks in my nightmares; why shout out how international the awards are but undercut every single foreign nominee with either a shorter clip or a shortened speech; the montage of America as told by American films featuring numerous scenes filmed in other countries; it's a green night, we get it, now quit stroking yourselves for it, it's a responsibility, not an earth shattering achievement; montage for honorary Oscar winner was so ill-conceived it was funny - the excerpts of printed score didn't even match what was being played, Celine Dion singing was god awful (and I like Celine), and they mentioned that the man scored one of the most universally reviled films in history: The Exorcist II: The Heretic (which I also love); The Departed winning Best Picture when the far superior Infernal Affairs couldn't even win Foreign Language Film when it was nominated.

In conclusion, wasn't Helen Mirren's rack glorious last night?

Varb For Me