Monday, February 27, 2012

The Best and Worst of the 84th Academy Awards

The 84th Academy Awards show is over. Time for the Basement Blog's awards for the night.

1. The Up Yours Young People Demographic Award. Remember last year's hosting disaster with James Franco and Anne Hathaway? That was clearly designed to lure young people. This year, the show went classic and brought back Billy Crystal for a ninth time to host. Crystal who can joke, sing and dance was again wonderful. The opening film was a hoot and he did a funny song. Welcome back Billy.

2. Strangest show decision. A lot of times the Academy Awards show starts out with an acting award like "Best supporting actor" to keep the TV audience's interest. This year they started out with Cinematography which went to Hugo.

3. Dumbest Move of the Night. Having Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow present the Best Documentary feature award in a smarmy, unfunny skit with a cameraman filming Downey like a documentary and Downey making unfunny jokes. Huh? This is usually the most serious of the categories with the films often depicting real life tragedy or calling the world for a need for change.

4. Dumbest Music Choice. What was up with the new age jam bands during the commercials? How about using the time to play movie music?

5. Best Music Decision. While there were only two best song nominations, old shows had performances of all the songs. This usually kills the show by stopping any momentum. This year no songs were performed.

6. The "It" Girl Award. Emma Stone. During a presentation for Special Effects, Emma Stone stole the moment from fellow presenter Ben Stiller with some funny banter. She lit up the stage with her charm and it came across to the audience on television.

7. Strange Vain Moment. During a presentation for Best Adapted Screenplay, Angelina Jolie stuck out her bare leg in a dress that had a slit to show it. It was a pose that was great for the modeling runway but for presenting an Oscar? This leads us to...

8. Best Legs. Angelina Jolie.

9. "Too much of this" award, One too many segments of stars telling us why they love the movies.

10. Funniest bit. It's the smallest one. It's where Billy Crystal has the camera do close ups of the stars and he makes jokes about what they're thinking. Making Billy Crystal absolutely brilliant.

11. Best Move of the Night. Having one star talk about the best acting performances rather than one star per nominee. The old way was a time eater and killed the momentum.

12. The Up Yours Grammy Awards show.Jazz musician Esperanza Spalding who won the Grammy for Best New Artist last year and started a firestorm for beating out Justin Bieber sang "What a Wonderful World" to video of Academy members who died this year. It was a lovely perfomance.

13. The Martin Scorsese Award for Getting Hosed. This award is named after Scorsese when two of his great movies did not get Best Picture considering they deserved it. See Raging Bull. (1980) See Goodfellas. (1990) This year the nominee that got hosed was Scorsese's own Hugo. It got beat out by The Artist. Look, I like The Artist but it was too conventional. Hugo was a 3D masterpiece about the magic of movies.

14. Best Oscar for a guy you never heard of, but should. Douglas Trumbull received an Honorary Oscar for Special Effects. In case you don't know, Trumbull has a lifetime career of doing special effects. They range from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) to The Tree of Life. (2011)

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