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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What did you think of the Oscars?

Okay, time for the postmortem. Did any award surprise you? (Nominees and winners here.) Who gave the best speech? (It was Sandra Bullock, wasn’t it?) Which movie do you feel like you really have to see now?

What was the funniest moment of the ceremony? (Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. on writers, I think.) The most cringe-inducing? What did you think of Steven Martin and Alec Baldwin? (They were often gone for such long stretches that I forgot they were hosting.)

If you were caught up in the Cablevision/ABC fiasco, how did you watch?

And perhaps someone can explain to me why the cinematography nominees didn’t get clips — could the category be more visual? — and why Governors Award winners Lauren Bacall and Roger Corman didn’t get to speak, but we were treated to 37 or so long minutes of interpretative breakdancing?

What did you think of the Oscars?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • LaSargenta

    My favorite speech was Michael Giacchino’s (for the music for Up). I liked his statements about encouraging creativity, even thought I was rooting for the music of Fantastic Mr. Fox or The Hurt Locker. [I really, really was shocked that the music for Sherlock Holmes was nominated and I’m glad it didn’t win. The music itself is nice; but, I didn’t think it worked all that well with the movie and I didn’t think it helped set the scene in place and time.]

    But I can nominate WORST speech…that bizzarre interlude where Roger Ross Williams was cut off by someone…the producer? Who was she?

    I checked out the doc’s site and there is a link to what they labelled “Read the (unheard) acceptance speech”. http://www.musicbyprudence.com/

    I’m also very curious to see all the short docs now. Maybe I’ll carve out a bit from my copious spare time!

  • Brian

    Mostly unsurprised, pleasantly surprised by the wins for Ms. Bigelow and The Hurt Locker.

    Sandra Bullock’s acceptance speech may have been her best performance ever.

    I’m baffled, however, about a mostly computer-generated movie getting an award for photography. I’m sure that the challenges of lighting and filming live actors convincingly to fit into a CG/3D environment are quite significant — but really, it’s tough to tell how most of the Academy members would have been qualified to compare that meaningfully to some of the more completely photographed films.

    Also: How did they forget Ricardo Montalban and Farah Fawcett get missed in the memorials?

  • I didn’t mind the interpretative dancing; they were damn fine dancers. What puzzled me was the tribute to horror films. In a show that was already too long, this brought a whole new meaning to “gratuitous violence”.

    I enjoyed the good-natured Meryl Streep roast, particularly the crack from Messieurs Martin and Baldwin (which I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember it exactly): “Two things you can say about Meryl Streep: 1) she’s a great actress; and 2) what’s with the Hitler memorabilia?”

    The rest of the show was utterly predictable except for the animated shorts and foreign language films. Thanks to you, I’ve seen all five animated shorts, and Logorama was my least favourite. Very clever, but no heart (actually, probably deliberately so). I’d actually only seen one of the foreign language films, but was haunted for days afterward by The White Ribbon, so was disappointed when it didn’t win.

    None of my other favourites won either, but I knew they weren’t going to. Sad that Up in the Air didn’t win in a single category. It was my favourite of the nominated films. I wish it had won something

  • JoshDM

    Didn’t watch everything, but I enjoyed that in the end, Martin and Baldwin came back to the credit joke they set-up in the beginning.

  • At least I now know Young Frankenstein, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands are horror films.

  • Alli

    Yeah, I didn’t understand the salute to Horror either, though that was the time of the show when they brought out all the young actors. Maybe they thought the teens would like it? I don’t know. I still think it’s funny that the Twilight movies are considered horror.

    I liked the dancers, because I thought it was the liveliest part of a very boring show.

    I was bummed that neither Inglorious Basterds or Up in the Air won an award.

  • Stefanie

    The most cringeworthy speech for me and my husband was the costume designer who accepted her Oscar with the “yeah, my third Oscar, ho-hum” attitude. It seemed like she realized her mistake and then tried to dedicate it to the little people, but that just made it worse.

  • Eric

    Actually, Alli, Inglourious Basterds did win an award-Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz. A richly deserved win for a chilling performance, this was a great note to begin the ceremony on. It would’ve been nice to see Up in the Air win something, and was kind of surprised that it lost Best Adapted Screenplay to Precious, which was probably the only major upset of the night that I can think of. Still, in my opinion it was one of the better Oscar ceremonies in recent years, and I was so glad to see The Hurt Locker take home the top prize.

  • Cate

    It seemed random and all over the place – the Academy really doesn’t know what it’s trying to be anymore, does it. NPH intro dance number? Awesome. Martin & Baldwin? So-so – funny sometimes and other times just awkward. I have always hated the habit of cutting off acceptance speeches with music – give the people some time! Of course, only Julia Roberts can get away with demanding that sort of thing. The big thing that bugged me about last night was that “The Oscar goes to” was replaced with “The winner is” – who decided on that? It made the giving of the awards seem generic.

  • Brian

    I think the biggest cringe of the evening was hearing the orchestra strike up “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar” after Kathryn Bigelow’s acceptance speech. Really, Marc Shaiman? You went there? We wondered what they would have played if Lee Daniels had won: “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot?”

  • Drave

    I actually liked the costume designer’s speech. It was like she was freely admitting her win was utter bullshit, but still enjoying it. Kind of a “You should not have given this to me, but I’ll take it!”

  • judy

    I thought the Oscars were a mixed bag. Martin and Baldwin had some pretty good moments. I also felt though like they were not on enough. Could have actually used more of them. The dance part was just not so good and felt too long. I felt way too many winners were cut off and could not talk. I was not really too surprised about anything. Happy for The Hurt Locker. I enjoyed Ben Stiller and Robert Downey and Tina Fey. The horror montage was needless and the memorial part skipped way too many people. And they need to stay away from the three screens there… was hard to tell what was going on. I just read where the ratings were way up. I wonder why but then most of the award shows this last year have had high ratings… Grammies and Globes. I have been watching these awards all of my life and always look forward to it. I feel like this year I was not too upset about anything. Some years I am throwing things at the tv most of the night! So I would give the show a B. One question…why so many shots of George Clooney? there were other beautiful people in the audience last night? they seemed to really focus on him.

  • Alli

    Oh Crap Eric! You’re right. How could I have forgotten about Waltz? He was amazing. Thanks for catching my blunder.

  • Cyndy

    What the hell with the 80s dancing when there isn’t time for everyone to speak. Annoying. Disjointed. I always get annoyed with the technical awards being reduced to a damned picture, but I expect that now.

  • hank Graham

    Best moment for me was the writing presentation by Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr (and will someone make a movie with those two together?), and the worst was a tie between the “I am Woman” music quote and the lame ass attempts at humor by Martin and Baldwin.

  • Late to the party, as usual… but in case you haven’t heard the lowdown on the bizarre Kanye Moment during the acceptance speech for the Best Documentary Short (Music by Prudence), Salon has the details.

    Having read both sides of the incident, it confirms my prior impression: she was totally out of line. Once she got on mic there was nothing to be done without making the situation worse. Once they got offstage, though, I wish they’d thrown her out of the theater.

    At least, I imagine, if she has any future plans involving the movie business, nobody is going to take a call from the crazy Brenda Vaccaro-looking lady who Kanyed the guy at the Oscars.

  • does his story really sound any more reasonable than hers? i bet the truth actually lies somewhere in the middle distance.

  • RogerBW

    I’m glad to see the astroturf “veterans'” campaign against The Hurt Locker got nowhere, but I honestly wouldn’t expect Avatar to have got very far anyway – sure, biggest movie ever, but it’s that nasty sci-fi stuff, and the Academy Awards can always claim to be “all about the art” when that offers a chance to spit in the face of films not set in the “real world”.

    (Didn’t bother to watch the ceremony. No interest. No television.)

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