I've had a few days to let the Oscars sink in, so here are some thoughts about the whole thing. Meg and I had a blast watching with our friends Jane and Chris, who made the trek from Minnesota, most fun we've had watching the show in years.
Apparently Neil Patrick Harris is some kind of go-to-guy for award show dance numbers, but quite frankly, stupid way to start the show. Let Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin do their intro standup and get on with it already. Martin and Baldwin were funny: solid funny, not talk-about-it-the-next day funny. Their best stuff was the Paranormal Activity riff and the snuggie shot. Not a lot going on with the presenters other than Ben Stiller's bit, which I thought was a nice piece of Andy Kaufman-inspired awkward humor. The highlight of the acceptance speeches for me was Jeff Bridges, what a classy guy, The Dude does indeed abide. The Kanye moment for the best short subject documentary was fun, talk about promoting your film. Kathryn Bigelow was a bit incoherent when she came back onstage for the best picture win, but I actually found it kind of refreshing that someone was flustered by the enormity of the moment without screaming to mask it. I thought it was brilliant to have past winners of the short film award explain how important the award was to their careers, made that award relevant for me. My favorite part of the show was the John Hughes tribute, nostalgic in the right way, loved seeing all the actors.
Not a lot of surprises with the awards, for me at least, not that I agreed with all the winners. My real beef is with best actress. The whole Sandra Bullock lovefest didn't work for me. There is no way she should have beaten Gabouray Sidibe. That girl knocked it out of the park. I was glad to see Precious win for adapted screenplay, even though I thought Up in the Air was a great adaptation. I don't have a problem with Hurt Locker winning best picture, but I think Precious was a more powerful film. I thought Inglorious Basterds should have won best original screenplay, but it was Hurt Locker's night, so that made sense. I think Hurt Locker is a great movie, and I love the DIY spirit of the thing, but I thought 3 or 4 other films were better, with Precious being my choice for best film of 2009.
Oh, and one last thing. What the hell was Clooney's problem? I read somewhere he was swigging off a flask, but it sure didn't look like he was having any fun. Maybe he should have done some Lemoncello shots with Devito in the parking lot.