Monday, February 28, 2011

The End of Oscar Season

I’m starting to realize something: it’s very possible that the run-up to the big night that is considered awards season or Oscar season may actually be more exciting and enjoyable than the Oscar ceremony. There’s also something about rooting for the film that wins, even if it’s not the best in the bunch. Last year, I rooted for “The Hurt Locker” even though I liked “Inglourious Basterds,” “Avatar,” and “Up in the Air” more, because it was a fun underdog choice. Somehow, “The Social Network” lost its frontrunner status and gave way to “The King’s Speech,” which admittedly is a great film, though not nearly as good as six or seven of the others (making this year’s list quite a strong one). When two of my Oscar viewing party attendees cried out with glee when Colin Firth won, it was clear that other people are behind “The King’s Speech” in that way. Tom Hooper’s win for Best Director caught me by surprise because I didn’t realize that everyone – with the exception of the editors and the musicians – had fallen into that camp. I scored what I believe has to be my personal best – 19/24 – topping my 2003 score, when I didn’t predict the short categories and scored 17/21. That does mean that this year was highly predictable, and in addition to Best Director, I missed only Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design, both of which went to “Alice in Wonderland,” and Best Animated Short, which preposterously went to the lackluster “The Lost Thing” over “Day & Night” and “Let’s Pollute,” and Best Documentary Short, which went to the inspirational and optimistic “Strangers No More,” about a multicultural school in Tel Aviv. I’m especially happy about two calls I did get right, for Best Foreign Film, the mesmerizing “In a Better World” from Denmark (see it when it comes out in April!), and for Best Live Action Short, the entertaining “God of Love,” whose director Luke Matheny first remarked how he should have gotten a haircut when he got up on stage. Hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway were fun but not too funny, and I don’t feel like the show had many overly memorable moments besides Kirk Douglas announcing an early award. I think that the Golden Globes, for all their hosting horror, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, may well have been more engaging and decently surprising, while the Oscars, with the wins for the predictable (and mostly deserving) actors feeling like just the final stretch in an already fulfilling and sufficient race to the finish line. I suppose we only have five months until Emmy nominations, so that’s something to anticipate.

In the meantime, here at Movies With Abe, the AFT Awards will be officially be wrapping up this week with an announcement of the Top 25 Films of the Year. After that, I’ll be returning to some weekly features such as Tuesday’s Top Trailer and looking for your suggestions on topics you’d like to read about for the other days of the week. Multiple TV reviews are still being posted every day over at TV with Abe, so feel free to head over there as well. Thanks as always for reading, and before you go, post in the comments and let me know what you thought of the show!

1 comment:

Greg Boyd said...

I'd personally love to see more reviews of classic films.

Glad to see the overrated "Exit Throught the Gift Shop" didn't win for Best Doucmentary, though I haven't seen "Inside Job" or any of the others. Otherwise, not much to say.