ITA with Bostonfan's review of Oscar night. The time wasted on lame jokes could have been given to some of the winners or ditched to help shorten the tedious length of the broadcast. The proceedings were mostly flat, unsurprising and uninspiring. Grammy and Tony award productions are always more entertaining with the natural advantage of built-in drama (singers performing and selections from Broadway plays as part of those awards respectively). Oscar Awards telecasts always seem more manufactured and the producers generally try too hard and miss. There have only been rare occasions when Oscar producers have put on a good show. Over the years, the best Oscar hosts were Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and Billy Crystal. Whoopee Goldberg and Steve Martin were okay. Jon Stewart was middling, as was Chris Rock. David Letterman was a curmudgeonly misfit with jokes that didn't go over well at all. Maybe David might have grown into the role, but he seemingly was scared away. Crystal apparently got tired of the ultimately unrewarding and unsatisfying grind.
Last night, there were no real surprises and therefore little drama. The only categories where there might have been some suspense were Best Supporting Actor, the writing awards, and Best Director. Just because Ben Affleck was left out of the Best Director noms shouldn't have meant that Argo subsequently deserved SAG ensemble award and the Oscar for Best Picture. The notion that Ben is such a great director who was intentionally overlooked really got old as the awards season progressed. I think Ben's Golden Globes win for Best Director should maybe have sufficed. It seems to have actually helped [I]Argo[/] that the Directors portion of the academy did not extend Ben Affleck a nomination. He probably got some votes for the nomination, but in a year where there are so many worthy candidates, someone usually tends to get left out in more than one Oscar category.
I found it interesting that Tommy Lee Jones seemed in a snot at the Golden Globes when he didn't win for Best Supporting Actor, and then he didn't show up at the SAG awards, where he won. Too bad he wasn't there. It might have been that everyone hadn't sent in their Oscar ballot yet, and if he'd showed at SAGs, he might have edged for the Oscar. I haven't seen Inglorious Bastards or Django Unchained, but I'm sure Christoph Waltz is very good in those films, and thus a worthy Oscar recipient. I imagine Christoph can't wait until Tarantino's next film.
The best acceptance speeches were by Christoph Waltz; Daniel Day Lewis (best actor Lincoln); William Goldenberg (film-editing Argo); Claudio Miranda (best cinematography Life of Pi); Quentin Tarantino (best original screenplay);and Chris Terrio (best adapted screenplay Argo -- although I thought Tony Kushner should have won for Lincoln). Ang Lee started out with a good speech (best director Life of Pi), but he ended up missing the boat.
Halle Berry looked great as always (despite going through a rough custody battle in her private life). Shirley Bassey was magnificent -- her performance was perhaps the best highlight of the night! Best presenters were Dustin Hoffman and Charlize Theron. Boy, all that male testosterone with The Avengers cast as presenters!