Well, the 82nd Academy Awards came in with a bang and left with a surprise ending, in my opinion, anyways. But will anybody even remember this one? Will it stick out from all the other Oscars over the years? I’m guessing not.
Neil Patrick Harris started off the show with a fast-paced musical number. Really, Academy? I actually found myself flipping the channel to see what else was on because I had no idea why NPH of all people was in the spotlight at the Oscars, nor did I really care to be perfectly honest. Who doesn’t love NPH, but it’s the Academy Awards, not Harold and Kumar. The producers of the event should have picked a better way to start out the evening.
Perhaps they could have started out with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin doing a spoof on all the nominations for best picture. Martin and Baldwin were unquestionably funny and clever throughout the entire night, and I would have liked to see more of them. I thought their ten-minute roast of all the individual nominees was spot on.
The roast did, however, become a bit awkward when the camera decided to continue panning over to a grumpy-looking George Clooney. I couldn’t figure out if his stern look was part of the joke or if he was just not enjoying himself.
The Academy wasted no time in giving out some important awards. Cristoph Waltz took home the Oscar for best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of a Nazi Colonel in the movie, Inglorious Basterds.
The top Animated Feature Film went to Up; a winner that was fully expected. Up was nominated not only for this category, but for Best Picture as well. If Up was nominated for Best Picture and was the only animation this year to hold that honor, an extremely rare occurrence for any animation at the Oscars, then why even have a top Animated Feature Film award? I hope the other animation nominees weren’t expecting anything else but for Up to win best animation, because clearly no other scenario could have played out.
Moving along through the night of Oscars, I felt it was the same old routine. Awards for categories that the average audience member doesn’t really care about were handed out; my apologies to all the nominees for best Makeup. Additionally, awkward and seemingly endless acceptance speeches were recited, as some winners even tried doing the whole “inspire the audience” thing. It happens every year.
Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin made a few more appearances here and there, adding some much needed comedy to the evening. They did a parody on the movie Paranormal Activity, which went over quite well with the crowd. If only there were more of those bits throughout the night.
Another piece that got some laughs was Ben Stiller’s appearance on stage in blue as a creature form James Cameron’s movie, Avatar. He drew many laughs from the audience, especially from me, with his comedic timing and his entire “I look stupid, this is stupid” attitude.
The part of the show that particularly stuck out to me was the acceptance speech by the winner of best Documentary Short. While director-producer Roger Ross Williams, of the winning short, Music by Prudence, was giving his thanks, producer Elinor Burkett took control of the microphone out of nowhere and started giving her speech as if Williams didn’t even exist.
Come to think of it, she did acknowledge Williams, briefly. She complained about him being a typical man, never letting the woman talk. The situation only got more awkward from that point, as Williams just stood there dumfounded while Burkett rambled on. Congratulations, Kayne. You’re off the hook.
Highlighting some of the winners of the more well-known categories, The Hurt Locker won best Writing for an Original Screenplay and Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire was awarded best Writing for an Adapted Screenplay.
Mo’Nique may have taken people off guard with her win for best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Precious, while Sandra Bullock of The Blind Side took home the Oscar for best Actress in a Leading Role.
The best Actor in a Leading Role went to Jeff Bridges for his performance in Crazy Heart.
Then came the final two awards of the night: Directing and Best Picture. Kathryn Bigelow was deemed the best Director for her movie The Hurt Locker becoming the first woman to ever win in the category. After her acceptance speech, she didn’t have time to go far as Tom Hanks announced, quite abruptly, that The Hurt Locker had won for Best Picture.
The show went over its designated time by about half an hour, which must be the reason for Tom Hanks’ quick and anti-climatic announcing of the most important winner of the night. While everybody most likely knew all the nominees already, it would have been nice to have had a brief recap of them since there were a total of ten.
The Hurt Locker seemed like an underdog compared to more popular movies like Avatar, Inglorious Basterds, and Up in the Air. Stealing the show, The Hurt Locker won six Academy Awards before the end of the night, proving that blockbusters don’t always win it all.
Looking back at the 2010 Academy Awards, no major malfunctions occurred aside from the aforementioned Kanye West moment from Burkett, so I guess that means all went well. Maybe I have been too harsh on this year’s event; after all, it wasn’t particularly boring and it didn’t feel like it was drudging along.
On the other hand, nothing all that spectacular or even entertaining happened, either. It just came and went, and we’ll have another one in a year from now. By then, most people will probably have long forgotten all the events that went on during this year’s Oscars, maybe even forgetting the winners.
But for now, let us enjoy and anticipate all the movies that 2010 has to offer.