Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hey Oscar! The party's over...now go home!

Picture Source: Entertainment Tonight
THE big night in movies is behind us, and even with a day to digest everything I have to say I'm still disappointed that the Oscar show didn't reach the dazzling heights of this year's films but c'est la vie. Maybe Tina and Amy will host next year! As for this year's host Seth McFarlane; he proved he can sing and dance and that he can be tremendously funny. He also showed that he can bomb and just as easily cross the line into boorish and hurtful rudeness. As for the rest of the show I'm pretty much in synch with what Michael Russnow said in today's Huffington Post which I suggest you read after...

A few thoughts of my own :

L to R: Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence
Anne Hathawy & Christoph Waltz
The top acting nods were dished out pretty much as expected;  Jessica Chastain lost - I wonder with how big a margin - to Jennifer Lawrence who took Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook.  As surely as Anne Hathaway was going to win Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables, Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis was the only one really in the running for Best Actor. And while some of us hoped Tommy Lee Jones would snatch the Best Supporting Actor for playing Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln from Django Unchained's Christoph Waltz, that didn't happen.

I think my favorite moment of the event came from 9-year old Quvenzhane Wallis, nominated for Best Actress for Beasts of the Southern Wild. She was carrying a puppy-purse which, she delightedly shared on the Red Carpet, she'd adorned with a tiarra and sparkly necklace. She was so fresh, so sweet, innocent and joyous ... just a lovely highlight.  Which made the closing number "Here's to the losers" sung by McFarlane and Kristen Chenowith all the more egregious to me. Perhaps adults can laugh at being called losers - which I doubt with the 'losing' being so fresh - but a little girl? I assume she'd been prepped by her family that she would probably not win given her age and experience but that the nomination made her a winner, period. True enough but that doesn't negate the fact that she's still a nine year child and couldn't be expected to enjoy being the butt of the joke. MLH says it's possible she didn't make the connection. I hope so. I know it's a grown up venue and when you play with the big boys ya gotta play by their rules but still...she's a child, just a child.

I also loved Shirley Bassey's singing of the iconic Goldfinger theme song. There was a moment at the beginning when I thought they should have stuck with her original recording but that was soon replaced by admiration. I just loved how she sold it...and couldn't help singing along under my breath.
Aaron Tveit as Enjolras

The Les Miz cast was fantastique; I'm thrilled that Aaron Tveit who played Enjolras was included. He's got a great singing voice and he's gorgeous in a gorgeously manly way. Expect to see more of him as his exposure kicks in and everyone, even those in Hollywood who still haven't seen the film*, starts saying who is that guy. *Yeah, there's still an anti-musical bias in Hollywood that Les Miz financial success looks like it may turn around. Sure was a musical heavy show to set the stage.

I'm disappointed that Zero Dark Thirty was basically ignored - it won only for sound editing - and considering Jessica Chastain's standout performance, I'm thinking it might be a good idea for the Academy to follow the Golden Globes example and break down the awards into two categories; drama and comedy or musical. Not that they ever will! Jennifer Lawrence was amazing in Silver Linings Playbook but how do you even begin to compare her performance to Jessica Chastain's in the drama Zero Dark Thirty or Naomi Watts come to think of it, in The Impossible, a deeply visceral and emotional performance. It's all just ridiculous which is why I say C'est la vie.

What else? I'm happy for Ang Lee because Life of Pi is a beautiful film based on a beautiful book. It's a magnificent  achievement, especially in the categories where it understandably won - for Mychael Danna's gorgeous score, for Claudio Miranda's eye popping cinematography and for Bill Westenhofer's truly astonishing visual effects. This movie could not have been made just a few years ago. And I'm feeling bad for Stephen Spielberg - Daniel Day-Lewis has been justly rewarded but the film and Spielberg's direction, not so much. Lincoln is, like all the nominees, a marvelous movie, the current $179 million dollar and counting take will have to suffice!

I didn't expect Silver Linings Playbook to win Best Adapted Screenplay - Chris Terrio has been winning that for Argo all over the place. SLP is an amazing script though, really making the most of Matthew Quick's novel but, let's say enhancing it, when needed.

And let's see,  what other random thoughts are swilling around in my so called brain?  ... Jane Fonda has the neck of a thirty year old and was radiant in yellow. Quentin Tarantino encouraged writers - yay ! Barbara Streisand stood and delivered a moving tribute to Marvin Hamlish, singing The Way We Were at the end of In Memoriam which unfortunately left out a few important names including Andy Griffith!  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is too cute for words singin and a dancin in his tux and Adele is Adele is Adele. A for amazing, awesome, astonishing, astounding and on and on. Skyfall was another no-brainer for Best Song - it's one of the songs I walk to, listening with ear buds on my iPhone  everyday.  It's really hard not to sing along but I resist, lest the Neighborhood Watch bust me for impersonating someone who can carry a tune.
I think that about wraps it up for me; it's no more worrying about the race and back to a steady diet of basics. Bookish movie news about past, present and future screen adaptations based on the books we love yesterday, today and tomorrow.

4 comments:

  1. Sim,

    Argo did win Best Adapted Screenplay. Silver LP only has one win and that's Jen Lawrence Best Actress. I used to like her a lot when she was just a teenager in The Burning Plain and Winter's Bone. But now that she's won the Oscars and many other awards, and being hailed as the 'IT' girl in Hollywood, I'm not that enthused anymore.

    I'm still feeling a sense of loss re. Jessica Chastain. I do hope she has another chance, and more, for noms and ultimately a win for Best Actress. She's amazing and versatile. But above all, soulful in her acting... just think of her roles in the ZDT, Tree of Life, Take Shelter.

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    1. Of course Argo won Best Adapted Screenplay! - My point was while SLP was a favorite of mine, Argo won as expected. Rereading it my wording was pretty clumsy though, so you're forgiven for not catching my drift:)
      I'm glad you mentioned that about Jennifer and Jessica, mirroring my own discomfort. I was trying to think what it was about Jennifer Lawrence that was making me feel a little icky - for me it's the sense that while she is no doubt talented, and seems fresh, confident and unconcerned about her image, it's that devil-may-care attitude that has me wondering if she isn't a little toooo confident. She wished Emmanuelle Riva "Happy Birthday" almost as an afterthought during her acceptance speech; for me it brought back her comment at the Golden Globes, albeit a movie quote, about beating Meryl. It made me wonder whether she had the humility to learn from her predecessors. I do have to admit she did fall quite gracefully though, a move which had her declining rescuing from both Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman and of course enhances her It Girl status with Hollywood watchers. Hopefully, the Jennifer Lawrence "It Girl" train will slow down a teensy bit but Arti, you know as well as I do that every producer in town is calling her this week, just trying to get on the JLaw track.
      I'm not worried about Jessica Chastain who will almost certainly be up for Best Actress again...maybe this year? I have to think what she has in the pipeline besides that silly celeb movie! Chastain strikes me as having a Meryl Streep level of versatility which will wear well over the years. I liked her in Tree of Life, and The Help but especially loved the darker ZDT and The Debt. It will be wonderful to watch her career.

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    2. Of course, it's me misreading your sentence... it's just LOL funny, it can be read in two diff. ways!
      As for your analysis of JL's psychological makeup, I totally agree with you. I think she's a bit too confident, and just because of that 'devil-may-care' attitude, Hollywood loves her. Producers are drawn to her like bees to honey and we know why, it's all about the box office sales she can generate. In a way, JC is spared such pandemonium. They belong to two different generations, 35 and 22, JL has a lot of growing up to do.
      I'm not worried that much about JC either, but I'm just worried about the scripts that will come her way. Just hope they're worthy of her talent. Just today, I'm thinking about the possibility of her being in a Woody Allen film. That would be fantastic.

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    3. A Woody Allen film would be something! But I have no doubt JC will continue to get - and demand - the kind of roles that challenge her. I just read that she's doing an adaptation of Strindberg's play Miss Julie (which I have not read) which Liv Ullman is going to direct! That right there blows me away. Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton are set to costar. And she seems to like doing stage work as well which I think really keeps an actor in shape as they say:)

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