Okay, am I the only person who thought the whole thing was pretty darn boring? Now maybe part of that is because the writers' strike only just ended and there wasn't a lot of time to write the script. And maybe part of it was because there were no real surprises (or surprises at all!).
But, mostly, I think it's about the speeches. Almost everyone got musicked (my new verb for the incredibly annoying way the Academy forces people to finish up their speech) and no one had time to say anything memorable, funny or even poignant.
I liked the Oscars a whole lot better when they always went over time, when people got to thank everyone from their cat to their agent. This time, for god's sake, they finished TEN MINUTES EARLY!!! What the hell is that?
At least when they went over, we got a sense of who the winners were. Now I suspect that everyone is told if their speech is longer than what fits on a 3x5 note card, it's too long. And what can you say on that notecard? A big fat nothing. And that's basically what we got.
Remember all those wonderful speeches from years ago when people just rambled on and on and somewhere in the middle of the rambling was a moment of pure joy or sorrow or ... something. In those days there was always something. Now there's nothing -
There were a few entertaining moments. Daniel Day-Lewis bowing to Helen Mirren, Marian Cotillard having no idea what to say but making it up anyway (and at least she was excited about it), Javier Bardem speaking to his mother in Spanish. But the most exciting moment was when Jon Stewart asked Marketa Iglova (co-writer of best song) back on stage because Glen Hansard spoke more than one sentence and they were musicked. She said:
Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.
There you go - that was the big moment, the speech that had some meaning, and it almost didn't make it onto the show. Shame on you, Academy. You've traded time for content.