Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's OSCAR time and the winner is ... Billy Crystal

I am excited and more than a little nervous about going to the Academy Awards tomorrow. After trying on '27 dresses' I've opted for a velvet tuxedo with some splashy sparkly jewelry to glam it up. My niece is a hairdresser and she's doing my hair and makeup tomorrow.
So I'm ready but I fear disappointment lurks. And it's all The Artist fault.
For the first time in years, I have seen all the nominees for Best Picture and from what everyone says The Artist is going to win the big prize. As much as I enjoyed this one, my heart belongs firmly to Hugo.  I think The Artist is essentially a great gimmick movie, quite charming, but lacking in the heart soaring emotional response of Hugo . Films have come a long way since the days of black and white silent movies and for a good reason. We embrace the greater heights that films can reach when using all the tools in the toolkit. Scorsese looks back fondly at our cinematic roots yet still tells a strong story, all while mastering the tools of today whereas Michel Hazanavicius looks back with a wink, the story is cute, the dog is cute, the premise is cute. And I will applaud politely as it wins, but my heart will still belong to Hugo. With The Descendants close in 2nd place. Disapointment.
Dujardin: Isn't he smarmy?
Jean Dujardin is also a shoe in for Best Actor which is absurd. It's not the lack of language than I abhor, it's the lack of range, the lack of emotional connection.  Brad Pitt, George Clooney or Gary Oldman should win. Period. But Jean has been adorable on SNL and winking all over tv this week and I suppose he'll be winking again tomorrow night. Pitt and Clooney will just shake their heads and move on because they're not just actors, they're movie stars. But I feel badly for Oldman; such an amazing actor who deserves the recognition.
Disappointment.
Martin Scorsese has been nominated 8  times, for Raging Bull, Last Tempation of Christ, Goodfellas, Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and now Hugo. He won for The Departed and deserves to win for Hugo. ANYONE who has actually seen the spectacular 3D film knows why and words simply can't explain it. I am so DISAPPOINTED that Scorsese, the genius, is going to lose to Hazanvicius! And I can't help but think that audiences think they are supposed to like The Artist - that it measures a certain level of sophistication that we all aspire to. I also wonder if the Academy really realized Hugo is not simply a childrens' movie based on a wonderful childrens' book by Brian Selznick. I wonder if they understand about Ben Kingsley's heartwrenching portrayal of George Melies??? Ah, too late for that kind of thinking now.

I don't mind who wins Best Actress. I was kind of hating on Meryl Streep until I realized she's always the bridesmaid but rarely the bride -  she hasn't won since 1982!!! And was utterly (and typically) astonishing as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. I think she's going to win and probably should win but after much inner debate I really don't mind if its her, Viola Davis for The Help or Michele Williams for My Week with Marilyn.   I do think it's an outrage that Tilda Swinton wasn't even nominated but that's another story.
And the supporting category seems to be all sewn up; no one is talking about anyone but Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Octavia Spencer for The Help. If  either of them don't win then Hollywood will have something to talk about. Otherwise it's pretty anticlimactic.
Oh well, at least I won't be disappointed in the host! It's Billy Crystal the Academy Award host extraordinaire.  Everyone is thrilled to have him back as he was always so brilliantly funny; I don't think anyone else has been quite as good as Crystal. His openings especially were masterpieces. On the other hand, think of the pressure. Crystal only came back, and reluctantly at that, because of the whole Brett Ratner snafu and Eddie Murphy departure. And it's one thing to skewer (while beautifully honoring) 5 best picture nominees - but how do you deal with NINE?!?!
Oh Billy, please be brilliant and funny and warm! I need someone to cheer me up while I watch The Artist sweep the major awards!
IF YOU DON'T REMEMBER THE GENIUS OF BILLY CRYSTAL AS HOST, CHECK OUT HIS INTRO NUMBER AT THE 2004 ACADEMY AWARDS. BREATHTAKING!

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