Thoughts on the Oscars

This was the first year I’ve been on Twitter during the ceremonies and it was a lot of fun. If you’re still unsure about where Twitter fits into your lifestyle, the ability to share an experience like the Oscars is one way Twitter creates tremendous value and enjoyment. Top 10 funniest tweets.

When I think of what an Academy Award-winning best picture is, I think of a film that is either epic, ground-breaking, or both. The yearly best picture award is unavoidably flawed because there are years when no films fit the bill, and other years when wonderful films lose out in stiff competition. 2009 falls into the first category. While The Hurt Locker was a crafty and powerful film, I didn’t see it as a best picture, either in its scope or originality. The votes most likely came down to the fact that no other film could surpass it. Up in the Air was a fine film, with moments that felt genuine and truthful, but I found my mind wandering as its third act slowly ground to a halt. There was not enough of the humor and magnificence of Little Miss Sunshine. Meanwhile, Avatar was, to be sure, ground-breaking and beautiful, but as everyone will tell you, the story has been done a thousand times before.

Overall, this year’s Academy Awards show lacked entertainment. Choosing Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin to emcee seemed like a brilliant choice, but they disappointed. Their opening monologue was a laborious roast of several nominated actors that left me uneasy and hoping for a quick end. Though Martin had a few good lines, the two never seemed to hit it off, and I found myself wondering if Baldwin was feeling well or if he was just refusing to deliver a punchline. The Oscars typically feature musical performances of the pieces nominated for best original song, but this year there were none of these, and it hurt. I found the replacement interpretive dance number entertaining, but judging from comments on Twitter, I was in the minority. Roger Ebert’s fine review of the Oscars hits on some of these points and many others and is an excellent read. A quote:

Director John Hughes was too great a legend to be simply included in the traditional “In Memoriam” tribute. The special clip package of his work stirred desires to see his films again. They seemed good at the time, and in these dreary days, they seem miraculous. As the stars he made — his “children” —strode forward, it became one of the greatest moments in Academy Award history.

Finally, for more information on the strange, Kanye-esque moment during the acceptance speech for short film documentary, check out Salon.com’s article here.

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