Oscar Recap, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Race
Look’s like the Academy is the King’s Bitch (pronounced bee-tch. You know, because if you say it all fast and all it sounds like King’s Speech). To accurately display my affection for the Academy’s choices last night, I offer it in the king’s own speech”
“Shit. Shit, shit, shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. SHIT. Shit. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck and fuck, fuck, fuck and bugger, bugger, bugger, buggity, buggity, buggity, fuck, fuck, ass. Balls, balls, fuckity shit, shit, fucking, willy, willy, shit, and fuck and … tits.”
I’m not that upset that The King’s Speech won, it’s just that, it’s boring. It’s a boring choice. For a boring Academy who put on an equally boring ceremony. Sure, it had its moments, but most of them were improv’d by an amazing Kirk Douglas or a reeeeally happy Melissa Leo. Some of the scripted stuff worked, but that was mostly because of how game Anne Hathaway was.
Though even though he was a good sport about it and the song was good, what was with the shitting all over Hugh Jackman all night? He was the Best Oscar host they had since Billy Crystal (who was amazing for the three minutes he was on-screen), and would have been amazing if they had picked him to host with Anne Hathaway (Franco just looked bored and tired the whole time. I said the whole time he isn’t funny. Terrible choice all around). She did a great job (for the most part), and should be asked back in the future.
So let’s get to the awards. Since I don’t care to discuss how bad the songs were or the fact that they didn’t even out and out state that Lena Horne is something other than white (both pictures of her were in black and white and Halle Berry only said how she made it easier “for us” to move forward in the business. The Academy was very specific in their word choices). We’ll leave that to whoever cares to discuss such matters. I’m all about the awards.
First — Best Picture.
Winner: The King’s Speech. Should have won: The Social Network. Really should have won: True Grit. Maybe The Social Network. I loved The King’s Speech, and while ultimately I’ll look upon it as a film that makes sense that it won an Oscar, I just didn’t think it was the best film of the year. And one that certainly should not have won —
Best Director — Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech. Should have won — anybody else. Seriously, the list was fucking stacked. Anyone else should have won that award. I mean, did you see The King’s Speech? Those dodgy framings and compositions? What the fuck? Honestly, who should have won? David Fincher, The Social Network. Let’s not even talk about who wasn’t nominated and should have maybe even won. Also, even the BAFTAs gave their award to Fincher.
Best Actor — Colin Firth, The King’s Speech. I agree wholeheartedly with this. Bridges won last year and might have gotten a vote otherwise. Eisenberg was too young and seemed like the performance was 75% Aaron Sorkin dialogue and 25% acting. I really couldn’t see him winning. James Franco, I never like. I just think he’s a bland actor, rarely interesting, and the whole hosting job made me convinced the dude not only isn’t that entertaining but also isn’t that great of an actor. Some of those line deliveries on the jokes were so wooden it was shameful. And I haven’t seen Bardem’s performance yet, so I can’t talk about that. But, now that Firth’s won, all the old women of America can shut the fuck up. He’s got his Oscar, leave it alone, find another cause to rally around. It’s annoying. It reminds me of when the public picks whichever stupid sentiment is popular this week (like Betty White) and then everyone jumps on the band wagon just to try to be “cool” like everyone else. These people should just start smoking and doing drugs. And then jump off a bridge. But, Firth was the best performance that was nominated. So, yeah.
Best Actress — Natalie Portman, Black Swan. If only I could separate Natalie — the performance with Natale — the woman. Her acceptance speeches were so fake sincere it was terrible. I’m not saying she isn’t sincere, but she sounds like women talking to each other in public accepting or those awards. When even though they don’t really like one another, they adopt that really fake tone of voice when talking to one another. Like, “Hey! How are you?” “I’m good! You look great!” And that bullshit. And they kiss each other on the cheek all excitedly and pretend like they’re all supportive of each other. Whatever they’re doing it’s the greatest thing in the world and they can accomplish anything. It’s strange. But, the performance itself was incredible, and while my heart was with Michelle Williams, Natalie deserved this. Annette shouldn’t even have been nominated, Jennifer Lawrence was good but shouldn’t have won, and Nicole Kidman — well, nominated because of who she is. Clearly Natalie’s category. Good job.
Best Supporting Actor — Christian Bale, The Fighter. Best choice in this category by far. The man deserved to win so goddamn much. Geoffrey Rush was good but shouldn’t have won (against Christian). Plus he has an undeserved Oscar, so it’s only fitting he lose a partially deserved one. Mark Ruffalo should not have been nominated, John Hawkes’s nomination was the win, and Jeremy Renner was good but not win material. Bale deserved this so much, and I’m glad he won.
Best Supporting Actress — Melissa Leo, The Fighter. Richly deserved, even though if Hailee Steinfeld won for True Grit I would have been just as okay with it. Ultimately I side as a purist and prefer Supporting awards to go to those who give supporting performances — unless I can’t help it and they were truly the best. Here, they’re about even to me, so I side with Melissa Leo. She really was incredible. Amy Adams was good, but Melissa Leo outdid her. Helena Bonham Carter was great but not win material. And Jacki Weaver was amazing but was never going to win, unfortunately. So, also a good choice.
Best Original Screenplay — David Seidler, The King’s Speech. Dude deserved this. We all know the brilliant conception that was Inception was probably the way to go here, but to me, here it was okay to vote for the story. The reason I wasn’t sold on Inception as a script was because all of the great things about it are directorial. He was always going to direct the film, so he knew what he wanted his structure to be. So for me the script was about dialogue — which Chris Nolan cannot do. His dialogue is standard rate action dialogue — which is never interesting — and is only made interesting by the actors performing well (see: Heath Ledger) or because you have to listen to it to understand what the fuck is going on (see: Inception). I felt Inception was all about the directing and the writing was all about the exposition. On that alone, I don’t really see voting for it for Best Screenplay.
On that note, David Seidler, a stutterer growing up, decided he wanted to write this script. Which is admirable. However, he wrote it while the Queen Mum was still alive — and since it was her father the story was about, he sat on the script for almost thirty years. That story, and the fact that the script is actually really well done, dictate that he probably should have won this. Well deserved. I approve.
Best Adapted Screenplay — Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network. The Social Network was the best script of the year, bar none. It doesn’t matter what was nominated against this script, Sorkin should have won. I won’t even go back to the other nominees, because this is like Gone With the Wind being up for Best Picture. Game over. I know The Wizard of Oz was also up but — game over. Can’t win ’em all. Best (and easiest) decision of the night.
Best Editing — The Social Network. Easily the best choice. I know Inception was one that also should be up to win — but, it wasn’t nominated. Too bad. So, in terms of the nominees, The Social Network was the one that was most heavily reliant on editing. Seriously — that story isn’t told nearly as well without top notch editing no matter how great the script is. Based on the nominees, this was the best choice.
Best Cinematography — Wally Pfister, Inception. Yeah, Roger Deakins didn’t win for True Grit. No matter how nice Inception looked, this will never be a good decision. Roger Deakins was the best choice here and this was, alongside Best Director, the worst decision of the night.
Best Animated Feature — Toy Story 3. Seriously? Did you really think anything else here was gonna win? This was far and away the best animated film of the year.
Best Original Score — The Social Network. Trent Reznor has an Oscar. That tickles me. Based on the nominees, I’d have voted for this. Then again, True Grit, Tron: Legacy and Black Swan were not nominated here, so the category to me was really, really weak overall. So, this winning wasn’t really a great decision to me as much as it was the only logical one. The King’s Speech score was so derivative of The Queen it was sickening. Inception was technically good, based around the Edith Piaf song, but the Hans Zimmer sound has become so widely used for action blockbusters that it’s just boring. I much prefer it when Zimmer has fun with his scores (see: Sherlock Holmes). And How to Train Your Dragon, to me, was whatever. Take it or leave it. And 127 Hours sucked as a score. So, there was only one logical choice here. Unlike last year, where there were 4/5 great choices.
Best Original Song — Randy Newman, “We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3. I always vote Randy Newman, and I’m always happy when he wins, no matter how (insert something here) his songs are. Though, all the songs here sucked. Mostly such that even the decent ones were made worse by how weak the category was overall. So, I like that Randy Newman won. Maybe the music branch will pick better choices. But since that Springsteen fuck up in ’08, I don’t think that will happen.
Best Art Direction — Alice in Wonderland. Yeah, Tim Burton has never lost this award for one of his films. This wasn’t entirely surprising. I was rooting for The King’s Speech, especially when it was discovered they filmed all the speech therapy scenes on the same set that was used for gay porn movies. That would have been a great story to tell in the future. Also, the fact that a mostly CG Tim Burton film beat Inception‘s rotating hallway scene is very puzzling to me. Also, True Grit created an entire Western town. I mean, they didn’t focus on the town and were mostly in the woods, so I can see why they didn’t win. But Inception shouldn’t have lost to Alice. Though, when you have a reputation for art direction like Burton does, it’s not entirely surprising when they just vote for him on that alone. Bad decision, if not all that shocking.
Best Costume Design — Alice in Wonderland. Two-time Academy Award winner Alice in Wonderland. That just happened. At least The King’s Speech didn’t win. I personally liked True Grit‘s costume design instead. That Texas Ranger costume was so awesome. The spurs and all. Everyone just looked right in that world. The other two films are whatever. Personally this is a dead category to me, I don’t care either way about it. Like most years.
Best Visual Effects — Inception won. Surprise. Obvious choice. Good one. Fill it into the “Yeah, that makes sense” file and move on.
Best Makeup — The Wolfman. It was a movie about a wolf. No shit. The wolf was mostly CG too. Surprising it won in that regard, not on the superficial level, which is how Academy members vote anyway. Barney’s Version had a lot of aging in it, so that makes sense that it was here. Haven’t seen it so I can’t judge. The Way Back makes no sense whatsoever. Whatever. The Wolfman makes sense, so I’m cool with it. I like being able to look back and go, “Yeah, this makes sense.” So I don’t have to be like, “Why the fuck did that win?” and investigate, only to get upset that it won and not be any closer to a solution. This happens surprisingly often with the Oscars.
Best Sound Editing — Inception. Okay. I really have no preference in these categories aside from trying to pick them. So, this happened. Neutral. Don’t care.
Best Sound Mixing — Inception. Yeah, it won both. That’s symmetry. I like symmetry. Still, who cares? This mattered between January 25th and yesterday. Now it won’t until next January.
Best Foreign Language Film — In a Better World. Denmark. Do not care. Only matter when you’re voting. Still maybe gonna see it, maybe not. Do not care about the outcome.
Best Documentary Feature — Inside Job. The boring choice, but the one that makes the most sense in this economy. I still would have went with Banksy though. That would have been cooler. But, given the kind of year it’s been, it makes sense this won.
Best Documentary Short — Strangers No More. Children, in Israel. Diversity. Hook, line, sinker.
Best Live Action Short — God of Love. It’s the black and white one that looked the most pretentious. Therefore I don’t like it.
Best Animated Short — The Lost Thing. Seemed the most boring. Not a fan. Day & Night was better. Madagascar was the most beautiful looking. So, bad choice.
That’s all. Ultimately a very ho-hum night. Where if someone went and picked with their head down, based on the obvious choices, they’d have come out with 18/24 or better. I got 17 not picking like that. So that should tell you something.
Here’s the final tally:
Inception — 4 Oscars
The King’s Speech — 4 Oscars
The Social Network — 3 Oscars
The Fighter — 2 Oscars
Toy Story 3 — 2 Oscars
Alice in Wonderland — 2 Oscars
Black Swan — 1 Oscar
The Wolfman — 1 Oscar
The two things to note are that this is the first Oscar for Best Picture won by a film about a member of the British royalty. And also that it only won 4 Oscars out of 12 nominations. That’s one of the worst Best Picture totals of all time. It’s the lowest amount of awards won by a Best Picture winner, and fourth worst based on the films that got 12 nominees.
So, another year over, and another one beginning. Don’t worry, I won’t talk Oscars again until next January. Though I am still doing my Oscar Quest, so there’s still gonna be those appearing now and again. Mostly a lot. I have other stuff planned, which will start appearing over the next few days, but ultimately it’ll be Oscar things. Plus I’ll keep my Box Office reports and Pics of the Day going, and add some other lists that will be consistently updated with some fun stuff.