I have always loved the Academy Awards. I don't know why. None of the films I like ever get nominated. But this year, somehow, my favourite film of the year was actually getting some buzz. It looked like it could make a sweep--Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, plus the technicals. I was so excited to actually have a film to invest in, for the first time ever. It was shaping up to be a great awards season.
And, the film kept getting awards. Every one in the book. In January, it was the assumed winner. Then, it all went to hell. It won the technicals and screenplay, but nothing else. If you haven't guessed by now that film was The Social Network.
When The King's Speech started to overshadow The Social Network, I decided I wouldn't buy in this year. I wouldn't read the millions of articles first predicting the nominees, then predicting the winners. When Andrew Garfield wasn't nominated I almost decided not to watch.
Best. Human. Ever. How dare you not even nominate him!
But, alas, I did fall prey to a few traps. I read a few of the articles. And I watched the telecast. But my heart wasn't in it. I didn't have that usual obsession. I accepted in January that The King's Speech would win Best Picture. And, big shocker, it did.
That's my true issue with the Oscars. Not that Social Network didn't win or Andrew Garfield wasn't nominated. No, the thing that truly gets to me is the predictably. By the time the winners are announced, there are no surprises left. No big upsets. Just look at tonight: Colin Firth won (expected), Natalie Portman won (expected), The King's Speech won (expected). The only tiny upset was Best Director, but it wasn't even an upset in my favour, I wish I could stop reading the articles, so I could be surprised. But it's so hard to resist. With all of this in mind, I give you a few quick thoughts on what should have been my favourite Oscars, but turned out to be one I barely paid attention to:
-Why in the world was James Franco there? What did he do? Anne carried the whole show!
-Speaking of Anne, I think she did okay. I found her enthusiasm adorable. She's very genuine. Of course, I'll always be loyal to her because of Princess Diaries, so I'm glad to see her doing anything.
-Aaron Sorkin won! Yay, West Wing victory! Sadly no references to the show or anyone who worked on it or anything...
-This seemed to be the year to celebrate the history of the Oscars, which I personally enjoyed. I liked what they did with the stage. It seemed a little odd juxtaposing so much history with what was repeatedly called the "young Oscars", but this youth appreciated it, for one.
-I liked Helen Mirren's french. I don't know why.
-"He doesn't own a shirt"--classic!
-I liked the opening Best Picture montage, that built momentum, but I hated the last one where stupid Colin Firth talked over the whole thing. Ugh.
-Apparently Melissa Leo's crazy. Pretty much.
-Chuck can sing! Who knew?
-I do not like Nicole Kidman's accent. It's too sharp. But Jackie Weaver's accent was nice--so much softer.
-Canadian film lost! Hey, at least the word Canada was mentioned at this thing!
Personally, for me, I judged most of this year's winners on their previous work. I clapped like crazy for Natalie Portman, not because I cared at all about Black Swan, but because I loved her inWhere the Heart Is, all those years ago. Conversely, I booed Colin Firth because of the god awful Bridget Jone's films. And, of course, I cheered for Aaron Sorkin. He wrote West Wing! He is a genius! The Social Network wasn't bad either, mind you.
Last year, I wrote a million posts on the Oscars. This year, I think I'm done. I didn't buy into it and tonight's telecast didn't make me regret that decision.