Turns out that there really weren’t many surprises last night. My Academy Award predictions were correct for 19 out of 24 categories (which was enough to win the pool at the party I attended. 😎 ) The only ones I missed were Foreign Film, Documentary Short, Animated Short, and both Sound categories. (Okay, those last two were a surprise. I really, genuinely expected Wall-E to take at least one of them.)
Slumdog Millionaire walked away with eight of the nine categories in which it was nominated. I guess there’s something to be said for a “feel good” movie, no matter its other shortcomings. (Although IMHO Milk still qualified more plausibly for that description.)
As for the ceremony itself, AMPAS seems to be trying to revamp it almost every year lately. This one wasn’t bad, but wasn’t anything to write home about either. Hugh Jackman was a perfectly decent host (and a great song-and-dance man), but he wasn’t actually on stage much—he wasn’t even called on to introduce most of the presenters. The production design wasn’t as glamorous or memorable as some past years, either. On the other hand, the new idea of having five past winners individually describe the nominees for each of the big acting awards was a nice touch, and seemed to be very well received.
What it really takes to make the Oscars interesting, more than anything else, is a good year for movies. That’d keep things competitive, and amp up public interest regardless of the details of the ceremony. Unfortunately, we haven’t had one of those for a while. This isn’t the time or place for a detailed analysis of why Hollywood has been misfiring so much in recent years. The reasons are not only plentiful but unavoidably subjective and debatable. Suffice it to say that 2009 so far hasn’t been dramatically different from 2008, either… but we can still hold out hope that it’ll turn out to be less mediocre before it’s over!…
For the time being, I’m just looking forward to Watchmen next month.Tags: 2009, Academy Awards, movies, Oscars