Monday, February 27, 2012

The Morning After: Oscars 2011

It's always incredible how quickly Oscar season is over when the clocks strikes 11:30 (or whatever it might strike) on Oscar night. After plenty of precursors and predictions, this is it, and the winners are the winners. I lost the Oscar pool at my party to my very impressive friend Beth - she scored 18/24, and I scored 15. That's down from 19 last year, 17 in 2009, and 16 in 2008. At least it's more than my 2007 score of 50%. I'm interested to know what your favorite moments were, so please post in the comments. In no particular order, here are some of the most memorable parts of the ceremony and my reactions:

- So "The Artist" and "Hugo" split the pot with five awards apiece. I was genuinely surprised by the win for "The Artist" in Best Costume Design since I figured it would be either "Hugo" or one of the other three one-nomination films. It's well deserved, though. "The Artist" is a great Best Picture, and certainly one to be remembered for a while.
- The biggest surprise of the night, in my mind, was Best Cinematography. Most expected it to be "The Tree of Life," and it seems this is another case, like when "Pan's Labyrinth" beat "Children of Men" in 2006, of a popular film sweeping some of the technical races on Oscar night. Not that "Hugo" is a bad choice, of course, just not the expected one.
- The second biggest surprise was "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for Best Film Editing. The main reason it's startling is that it wasn't nominated for Best Picture, which makes it an unusual victor in that particular category. I think it's very fitting, however, especially considering it didn't win anything else.
- The "Harry Potter" series officially goes home with zero Oscars. Oh, well.
- I'm happy to have correctly predicted Meryl Streep to win her third Oscar and her first in thirty years.
- All of the acting winners' speeches were great, highlighted by Jean Dujardin saying he loves our country, Meryl Streep thanking her husband first so he didn't get played out by the band, and Christopher Plummer delivering a heartfelt and humorous acceptance.

- Bret McKenzie is now an Oscar winner!!
- I correctly predicted both the Best Animated Short and Best Live Action categories just by guessing! When it comes to those races, it turns out that not seeing the films actually helps since they're often so unpredictable.
- I'm a sucker for montages, and I enjoyed most of them, though some were a bit strange.
- I liked the presenter bits from Emma Stone, Chris Rock, and Tina Fey. The Bridesmaids were also great. I can't remember anyone else at the moment, but they were generally fun.
- Billy Crystal's opening bit was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed him as a host. He wasn't entirely hilarious, but he seemed to be having a great time, and isn't that what the show is all about?

In the aftermath of awards season, I'm going to have to figure out what features to showcase and what content will be up on the site regularly. I'm planning to cover the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, which takes place in a few weeks, and then hopefully the Tribeca Film Festival, so stay tuned for that!

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