The Morning After the Oscars

Yesterday the 82nd annual Academy Awards took place. Most of the winners were predictable, but there were a couple of surprises here and there. Before discussing the winners, I want to talk about the show.

The show was pleasant enough and it didn’t feel very long, at least to me. However, it doesn’t even come close to the greatness of last year’s telecast. I bet that the decision to have interviews with the people that have won Oscars in the short categories before going on to make feature length films, and the clips of actors talking about their directs were Bill Mechanic’s ideas as he is a proclaimed movie lover. The worst parts, I bet were Adam Shankman’s. Did John Hughes, a great director but was never recognized by the Academy, really deserve to have a separate tribute? Was the out-of-place horror montage just an excuse to get Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner to present something and to have an excuse to show a scene from New Moon? Neil Patrick Harris is awesome, but why was he there? The dance number was nice, but unnecessary. As for Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin: They have great chemistry together, but the material they had to work with was so weak that not even their charm could save it. Overall it was a good night, and on with the winners.

The Hurt Locker was the night’s biggest winner with six awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. All of these victories were well deserved, especially Kathryn Bigelow’s, who as you might know is the first woman to win the Best Director Oscar, and who could have been better to present it to her than Barbara Streisand?

For Avatar, the two billion dollars it made was it’s biggest reward as it only won three Oscars in the technical categories: Art Direction, Cinematography, and Visual Effects. The victory in Cinematography (although I wish it had gone to Harry Potter) is rather monumental as the Academy showed that they embrace not only digital photography, but also the work done by the cinematographer through computers.

The other winners that took two prizes each were Up (Animated Feature and Score), Crazy Heart (Best Actor and Song), Precious (Best Supporting actress and, surprisingly, Adapted Screenplay).

As for my predictions, I don’t know how different were the ones that I predicted here versus what I had on paper, but according to that I got 18 right, a new high for me. The ones that I got wrong were the short categories (although I’m happy I missed the Animated Short one), Best Actress because I was hoping that the best performance of the bunch would win, Sound Editing because I thought they would want to split the sound awards between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, and  adapted screenplay because I thought Up in the Air would take it.

So, the Oscar season is now over, and you could say that the new one has already started with the releases of Shutter Island and Alice in Wonderland, possible contenders for the technical categories. Until next year then, au revoir Oscars.

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