1. Sandra Bullock is finally appreciated - I posted last year a list of under-appreciated actors and Sandy B. was on that list. I didn't see The Blindside - and to be honest I really don't want to see it, but I love that she is finally seen as a serious actress. Ever since I saw her in Speed, I have just adored her. Sure she has done some truly awful films (The Lake House comes to mind...), but so have most actors/actresses. She truly deserves some credit and she finally got it!
2. The Hurt Locker beats Avatar - I really don't think either of these films should have won Best Picture, but if I had to pick one it would be The Hurt Locker. My pick for Best Picture would have been 500 Days of Summer, which was not nominated (seriously with 10 slots, this should have definitely received a nod..). I really liked The Hurt Locker - it was an amazing achievement as far as directing, acting, editing and cinematography but I just have a hard time with the subject matter and the length of the film. It is hard to watch - it induces anxiety and stress. I am happy that it beat Avatar because I am sure that if other directors were given the opportunity to have an unlimited access to money and 10 years to develop a film there would probably be a lot more films like Avatar released. It is a success no doubt, but it had very little character development and a weak, overly simplistic plot.
3. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin - Unfortunately, I am a Cablevision subscriber, so I didn't get ABC until they were already announcing nominees - luckily I was able to find it streaming online so I was able to catch the opening. It wasn't the best Oscar opening, but it was entertaining. I like the banter between Baldwin and Martin and also their banter with the audience. The atmosphere of the show was very relaxed and it moved rather quickly. Last year, I posted a few times that Ricky Gervais needed a hosting gig and then he got one (hosting the Golden Globes last month), so now my next recommendation is Tina Fey. She always kills as a presenter.
4. A tribute to John Hughes - Being a child of the 80's and a huge film enthusiast, it is obvious that John Hughes had a huge impact on my life. He basically created the teen film genre that is so huge today. I was very impressed that the Academy realized his impact on films and gave him a very respectful tribute.
5. The animated film clips - How cute! I hope they do that every year. I really wished I saw Fantastic Mr. Fox in theaters - I have a feeling it would be my pick for Best Animated Feature.
1. Miley Cyrus is invited again - And just like last year, she completely embarrasses herself. First, her dress was 3 sizes to small - then she describes her look as "Marilyn Monroe-esque" which is obviously not an appropriate look for a 17 year old. She was so obnoxious and conceited in her red carpet interview that I really just lost all faith that she is deserving of her superstar status. I have to admit that Zac Efron is winning me over though. He seemed very mature, appreciative and respectful of where he was. Even Kristen Stewart made an obvious effort, looking appropriate and glamorous (albeit very uncomfortable - as I would be if there were hundreds of people screaming my name and taking my picture).
2. The Fashion - Most of the dresses were either boring or awful. Even my favorite dress (Rachel McAdams in Elie Saab) was beautiful, but not jaw dropping. The worst offenders? Easily Charlize Theron (Cinnabon anyone?), Zoe Saldana (who was being attacked by a bird) and Faith Hill (completely trashy).
3. Jeff Bridges won - O.k - he deserves an Oscar no doubt, but I was just really hoping for some sort of surprise after a pretty bland list of winners. Wouldn't it have been great to see Jeremy Renner or Colin Firth pull out a huge upset? There were literally no suprises...o.k maybe it was a little surprising that Jason Reitman didn't pick up Best Adapted Screenplay leaving Up in the Air completely shut out (the film didn't win any of its 6 nominations). I did enjoy Vera Farmiga's red carpet interview where she said that Kathryn Bigelow was her pick for Best Director and then realized her egregious error in not picking her own director for a film that earned her her first Academy Award...hilarious.
4. The audience - Was it just me or did it seem like the audience this year was completely miserable? Every time they panned to a celebrity - they seemed to be completely annoyed (George) or bored (everyone else). Have some fun people!! That is why we watch these things.
5. The many snubs - I never had the chance to post my thoughts on the nominations, but watching the show made me think of all the films and performances that got left out - Brian Geraghty and Anthony Mackie for their supporting performance in The Hurt Locker, Sharlto Copley for District 9 (still my favorite performance of the year), A Single Man - such a beautiful film that should have been nominated for Best Picture and Tom Ford for Best Director, and of course 500 Days of Summer should have received several or at least one! Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Editing....anything would have been nice.