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Oscars 2012!! Is the film industry moving backwards?

February 28, 2012

Greetings CBC readers! I know, it’s been a long while since my last post. But I have actually been working! Like for money! So CBC falls to the wayside. But I couldn’t let something like the Oscars slip by without commentary! So here we go. Let’s begin, like we always do, with some fashions!

The Best

My absolute favorite was Jessica Chastain. Lovely gold embroidery on black. Thankfully the black was a sheer chiffon type of fabric so it was sort of light and airy while at the same time totally ornate.

Lots of the “fashion experts” really hated Sandra Bullock’s, but I really loved it. I liked the black and white mix, I like that it was flouncy at the top and dippy in the back. And those colors again! I guess gold embroidery is hip this year.

Even though Ellie Kemper’s bangs pretty much match her dress, which is weird, I really love this copper,sequined number. The earrings are great too.

Natalie Portman’s was a bit casual, but very cute. Apparently it was 1950s vintage, so that’s cool. I liked the polka dots on red and the period but casual hair. If anything I think the big, diamond necklace glammed it up a bit too much.

The MEH

I love the color and the layers on Michelle Williams. I HATE the little mini-skirt or whatever the hell it is and the fact that the back is actually beige. Ew.

Zee Arteest’s Bérénice Bejo needs a bit of red carpet practice. I love the color and the bead work. It just seemed a bit overwhelming and one note at the same time. I also really hate the hair. But the earrings are lovely.

Paltrow wore a cape. That’s all I got to say.

Yes, Angelina Jolie. We know you’re sexy. You’re dress kind of looks like a velvet trash bag though. Also, eat a sandwich please. Don’t listen to Paltrow, carbs are your friend.

The Worst

What…on…earth? Rooney Mara, just because you’re not wearing black does not mean you can wear a nightgown from the Corpse Bride collection.

Oh god. Why does Melissa Leo look like she’s wearing a sparkly pajama top underneath a hideous sequin gown?

Viola Davis. I LOVE you. You were ROBBED. But This dress is really awful. I love the color on you, I love your natural hair. But what happened with this? Bizarre cuts and mixing fabrics and awful all around.

Alright kids, now let’s move on to the actual show and some “memorable” moments. I put memorable in quotes because all in all I thought the show was incredibly dull, old fashioned and pretty lame. I give it a C.

-Billy Crystal as host: Look, I get it. After last year’s debacle of trying to “young” up the Oscar telecast with the atrocious James Franco and Anne Hathaway, they wanted something familiar, something stable, something traditional. And boy did they get it. I’ll give Billy applause for being exactly what they wanted, but shesh, what a snooze fest. I’ve never been a big fan of Billy Crystal type comedy to begin with, but his entire shtick was rehashed hosting bits from his 90s gigs. The opening video montage was funny, but the “Oscar, Oscar” song that he’s used 85 times? The mind reading gag?  Old news, my friends. And was it me, or was there an uncomfortable element of racism going on with Crystal’s whole bit? With the black face and the opening film and a couple of uncomfortable jokes about The Help, Crystal waded into some pretty sketchy territory. Hey, the old white men who make up the Academy wanted old and traditional, they got old and traditional, even with the winners (we’ll get to that later).

-Cirque du Soleil: For me, this was probably the most exciting moment of the show. I wish it had been a little more movie-centric and tied in more with some clips, for example I really loved the bit part where the flying acrobat was running away from Cary Grant running away from the plane in North By Northwest, but that was kind of the only evident tie in they did. While the amazing feats of Cirque don’t translate as well on TV as they do live, it was still a lovely spectacle.

-Wizard of Oz focus group: Am I the only one who thought this was stupid? It wasn’t particularly funny, and I mean…come on. REALLY? You’re going to make fun of your audience tonight, film industry? Your audience is the only thing keeping any of this alive. Your box office numbers are down and you’re going to mock the AUDIENCE?

-The Funnies: Thank goodness for Robert Downey Jr., Melissa McCarthy and up and coming comedienne Emma Stone. Their bits were way funnier than anything Crystal brought to the stage all night. Also, bravo to McCarthy and Rose Byrne for bringing back the Scorsese drinking game. In all seriousness, can we have the cast of Bridesmaids host next year?

-Best Acceptance Speach Quotation: ““You’re only two years older than me darling, where have you been all my life?”- Christopher Plummer after winning Best Supporting Actor for Beginners.

The Winners

I actually did pretty well with my predictions, getting 15 out of 24 correct. You can find a complete list of the winners here at EW. But I have a few notes:

-Viola Davis was ROBBED. I cannot tell you how pissed off I was that Meryl Streep won. I was one of the people whom Meryl correctly predicted audibly GROANED when her name was called. Ugh. Come on Meryl. And don’t give me this always a bridesmaid never a bride bull. She’s got two already. You know how hard it is going to be for Viola Davis to get another role that is going to earn her an Oscar nomination? Lame.

The Descendants SUCKED and I can’t believe it won best adapted screenplay. A friend and I sat down Saturday night to watch the screener and we were so bored that I started doing the hula every time they showed beautiful shots of Hawaii. Terrible, terrible film. When it won I screamed so loud that I scared my cat and he ran out of the room.

-On that note, thank goodness Jean Dujardin won Best Actor. If they gave it to Clooney for that shit-tastic Descendants, I would have probably scared my cat again.

-I’m very glad that The Artist won Best Picture. Of the rest of them, I could only say that I would have been happy with either a Hugo or The Help win. But The Artist was really fantastic. Does it, however, reflect the old fashioned trend of this entire awards season, nay year in film, as a whole in a negative way? Let’s ponder this for a moment.

The two films which won the most awards, Hugo and The Artist, were both love letters to old cinema. The era of silent films and George Meliés were groundbreaking and should be honored for sure. But add that content to the rest of these facts: The Academy is made up of primarily over 60, white men. A commentator on Roger Ebert’s facebook page noted that Viola Davis lost to Meryl Streep because, “There was no way they were going to allow two black women in that photo.” Was she right? Does Billy Crustal’s old fashioned hosting, his borderline racist commentary, Meryl’s win, the content of the two most winning films and the makeup of the Academy suggest that this entire year the film industry has been devolving and  moving backwards? I truly hate to throw The Artist and Hugo under the bus here, as I loved them both and am a nerd for old cinema, but I don’t think the connections can be denied. After The King’s Speech won out over The Social Network last year, the industry was labeled as being out of touch with modern life. I didn’t share the disdain, considering that I thought The King’s Speech was a better film, but I can see where they were going. THIS year, it’s even more evident. The question now is, what do we do about it. Suggestions folks?

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