On the bright side, this show was better written than in years past, and God knows that’s not saying much. The story-driven nominations for the major awards were worth watching for.
But what about the lowlights? They were legion.
1. Was it just me or was the audio permanently out of sync with the video? On my HDTV I felt like I was watching a Quentin Tarantino-produced Martial Arts version of the Oscars. I know there’s a seven second delay here but does it have to be between the talking and the hearing?
2. Anne Hathaway must be told by a handler or a trainer that nobody is falling for her “gosh, little old me?” act. Her life has yet to have a “real” moment so don’t be surprised when the first one doesn’t emerge in an interview with Barbara Walters.
3. Somebody should tell Sophia Loren that propping her arm on her side for the entirety of her nominating speech isn’t sexy for a woman her age unless she’s trying to hold her bits and pieces together lest they crumble onto the Kodak Theatre stage. And even then it’s not sexy, just functional.
4. What compelled Oscar to decide that the route to relevance was in overstuffed production numbers? So now America knows heartthrob Hugh Jackman can sing and dance. Is that a good thing? How am I supposed to go see a Wolverine movie when I can’t banish the image of its star in top hat and tails climbing a stairway to paradise? The only way this would have worked is if Simon, Randy, Kara, and Paula had been critiquing the numbers between segments. Then we’d ALL watch. If Hugh Jackman is going to sing and dance does that mean Olivia Newton-John can do comic book movies?
5. Note to the musical director: Mashing up the song from Slumdog with the tune from Wall-E is a train wreck. You might want to listen to both songs before you merge them. This isn’t chocolate and peanut butter, it’s oil and water.
6. Twilight star Robert Pattinson should be told that “glamouring” us with his patented downward sexy gaze at the camera while he’s delivering nominations is not a turn-on. Are you trying to communicate with me or seduce me, fella?
In case you’re in a bubble somewhere, here are the big winners:
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Sean Penn, Milk
Kate Winslet, The Reader
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
And to the producers of the Oscars, here’s to your inspiration!