‘Slumdog’ takes 8 trophies as Oscar keeps it under 190 minutes

Posted by · 8:59 pm · February 22nd, 2009

Danny Boyle at the 81st annual Academy AwardsIn the final analysis, there isn’t much to say other than: What a captivating way to put a bow on the worst and, ultimately, most boring Oscar season of all time.  The 81st annual Academy Awards swiftly went down earlier this evening with few surprise winners and a classy new sheen.  It was captivating and, at times, inspiring.  Here are my thoughts on Hollywood’s biggest night:

The winners
I did extremely well with my predictions this year, nailing 21 of the 24 categories and making good with gambles in the foreign language film and short film categories.  I stuck with my heart on Mickey Rourke despite the smart money being on Sean Penn, but regardless of the strong desire to see the former holding an Oscar in his hands and delivering one more barn-burning speech, it is, of course, impossible to argue with Sean Penn’s expert work in “Milk.”  His heartfelt acceptance was a highlight and it all felt somehow more complete than it did five years ago.

That “Departures” win took the wind out of the sails of one of the year’s most ingenious productions and yes, this is a committee that still needs a major overhaul.  I don’t think I could possibly say it enough.  That should take nothing away from Japan’s victory, mind you, because their submission is a delightful film that won’t deserve most of the ill will coming its way from those who haven’t even seen it.  But “Bashir” seems to have wrongfully faced an uphill battle from the start.

The sound categories (hotly debated all week) proved once again that the Academy doesn’t understand the impact of mixers and editors on animated films.  “Slumdog Millionaire” took the mixing award (I’m kicking myself for changing that), while “The Dark Knight” took the sound editing trophy.

Regarding those shorts, by the way, Pixar remains winless in the animated field since 2001’s “For the Birds” (the gorgeous “La Maison en Petits Cubes” rightly won tonight), while “Toyland,” with its ambitious structure (for a short) and obviously baity subject matter reigned supreme in live action.

The only award I missed kind of irritated me, I have to admit: Best Documentary Short.  “Smile Pinki” took down what I thought to be the best of the field (and being the most cinematic, the most likely winner), Steve Okazaki’s “The Conscience of Nhem En.”  But there was a concerted publicity effort behind the former that maybe I should have paid more attention to.

(More, plus a full list of tonight’s Oscar winners, after the jump.)

The rest: anticipated.  Winslet didn’t hypervenelate too much, Cruz gave a cute speech preparing her for the circuit once again next year and Heath Ledger’s family gave a touching acceptance on his behalf for what has to be considered the performance of the year in “The Dark Knight.”  I couldn’t imagine a better way to close this chapter.

The show
Bill Condon and Laurence Mark deserve a big pat on the back for injecting more class into an evening that has largely fallen the way of pomposity and snooze-worthy pacing.  Building the show to mirror a film’s journey to the screen was a simple but somewhat brilliant way into a hefty slate of 24 Oscar presentations.

Grouping the design categories and the post-production awards into separate segments made for an efficient and streamlined conveyor belt for seven of the night’s awards.  I was shocked how far along we were 60 minutes into the thing.

Hugh Jackman, meanwhile, didn’t get in the way of the proceedings, had a healthy sense of humor and charmed the pants off the room.  The opening number was great, though the Baz Luhrmann-choreographed ode to musicals midway through could have been trimmed down.  I wouldn’t say Jackman set a new standard for Oscar hosting duties, but he certainly presented a well-argued case for less is more.

The acting award presentations were fascinating to watch.  Even though I was reminded of “Superman II” at times, the quintet of past winners offering their praise to each nominee was a nice way of showing camaraderie during a night of competition and really embossing the idea that this is an evening that should be seen as celebratory.

The music medley worked for the most part, though John Legend wasn’t as vocally prepared as he could have been.  The mash-up concept was really cool but shouldn’t be revisited unless it works well with the contenders like it did here.  After all, a worldly-tinged toon tune sandwiched between two energetic Indian tracks kind of flows, but Springsteen’s “The Wrestler” might not have been so organic to the mix.  Basically, I hope future producers take these fresh concepts on a year-by-year basis if they’re ever tossed around again.

I am happy to note that my trepidation was misplaced for the sing-through In Memoriam segment.  Queen Latifah’s belting of “I’ll Be Seeing You” over a cleverly constructed montage of the year’s dearly departed entertainment figures was much more tasteful than I anticipated.

Oh, and probably the best presentation of the night, for me, was the screenplay categories, which boasted a hilarious intro and a nice overall comedic concept.  Coming early in the show worked rather well, too.

And the stage was stunning.  Bravo to all involved.

(UPDATE: I don’t know why I forgot to mention this last night, but the Seth Rogen/James Franco/Janusz Kaminski skit was absolutely hilarious.  Anyone who’s ever talked to Kaminski knows how irreverent and funny he can be, so I loved seeing him up on that screen.  But come on, you all know my feelings on “Pineapple Express.”  Great to see it get some love on the show.)

The season
Well, it’s over, isn’t it?  The writing has been on the wall since December and, for some of us, since late November.  No one can argue with how sluggish the year has become, but as I’ve noted, it’s bittersweet for me because my favorite film of 2008 just won eight Oscars

Yes, I wanted to see Wally Pfister up there.  Yes, “WALL-E” deserved more notice for certain technical aspects.  Yes, there is still irritation left over from the nominations announcement a month ago.  But this, the first relative sweep in five years, seems to have been a great way to cleanse the pallette.  Bring on 2009, which looks to have an interesting exciting sense of variety.

But we’ll get into that tomorrow.

Congratulations to all of the night’s winners, but specifically to Danny Boyle, one of the most exciting working directors, finally with an Oscar to his credit, and the folks at Fox Searchlight who’ve been working hard for major AMPAS recognition for over a decade.  This was their year and they stuck the landing.  Bravo.

The night’s big winners:

Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader”
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Original Screenplay: “Milk”
Best Art Direction: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Cinematography: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Costume Design: “The Duchess”
Best Film Editing: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Makeup: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Music (Original Score): “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Music (Original Song): “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Sound Editing: “The Dark Knight”
Best Sound Mixing: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Visual Effects: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Animated Feature Film: “WALL-E”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Departures”
Best Documentary Feature: “Man on Wire”
Best Documentary Short: “Smile Pinki”
Best Short Film (Animated): “La Maison en Petits Cubes”
Best Short Film (Live Action): “Toyland”

Tally:
“Slumdog Millionaire” — 8
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” — 3
“The Dark Knight,” “Milk” — 2
“Departures,” “The Duchess,” “Man on Wire,” “The Reader,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” “WALL-E” — 1




→ 85 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

85 responses so far

  • 1 2-22-2009 at 10:49 pm

    McGuff said...

    I admit to not really noticing the “Milk” score until tonight, when they performed all of them. It was pretty clear then that it was the worst of the nominated scores by 14 miles or so.

  • 2 2-22-2009 at 11:21 pm

    N8 said...

    Agreed. I enjoyed tonight’s show more than any Oscar broadcast I’ve seen.

    And thank you, thank you, thank you for convincing me to pick Departures. It’s the only risk I took in my predictions, and I also ended up going 21/24 (and won both my pools).

    All-in-all, a satisfying conclusion to what has been a relatively unsatisfying season.

    Just don’t anyone forget who called it for La Maison en Petit Cubes back in January! ;)

  • 3 2-22-2009 at 11:39 pm

    Sarah said...

    Just ignore the disgusting fundamentalist scum from user “Idon’tcare”. It’s a pity that people like you have the gift of living, because ignorant rats like you only deserve the worst that can happen to anyone. Equal rights for all will come soon whether you like it or not, so stop bothering in making accusations on the gay community, specially the “its a choice” nonsense. Just learn science a bit during the awards off-season so you can know that homosexuality it’s everywhere in nature, including mankind. Shut up and live with it ignorant fool.

  • 4 2-22-2009 at 11:41 pm

    Jake said...

    McGuff, you can’t get the gist of a film score from a 20 second excerpt.

  • 5 2-22-2009 at 11:44 pm

    The Other Ryan said...

    Jake, that’s true, but even in the context of the film, I didn’t like it. And the fact that McGuff didn’t even remember it doesn’t bode well for his overall view of it should he go back and watch it a second time.

  • 6 2-22-2009 at 11:44 pm

    McGuff said...

    I agree, but it certainly didn’t move me when I saw the movie (I confessed to not remembering it at all), and I think that’s the real problem. The 20-second clip just served to strengthen the position that it wasn’t nomination-worthy.

  • 7 2-22-2009 at 11:48 pm

    Jake said...

    Sorry, I didn’t know you had already seen the movie. I personally thought Wall-E should’ve won. And The Dark Knight should’ve been nominated. Rahman’s score might be more “original” than the others, but it’s far from the best.

  • 8 2-22-2009 at 11:55 pm

    Douglas said...

    Yeh bring back ‘the clip’ next year but keep the personal address by previous oscar winners
    i liked that

  • 9 2-22-2009 at 11:56 pm

    Vito said...

    I just realized George Carlin wasn’t in the Memoriam. I realize he wasn’t really much of an actor, but he was a legend and I think an important figure in show business. I wish he had been honored.

  • 10 2-23-2009 at 1:13 am

    Matt said...

    ” It was captivating and, at times, inspiring.”

    In the same way that banal crap like American Idol is captivating and inspiring? Because this was just as terrible as an episode of that.

  • 11 2-23-2009 at 1:28 am

    Jake said...

    I’ve really mulled over the event since it finished, and I have to say that I am more and more dissatisfied. I wrote earlier that I like the presentation of the acting awards, but there were moments like Adrian Brody’s trying to compliment Richard Jenkins. It was a little embarrassing for Brody and a true disservice to Jenkins. The song medley was annoying, because their version “Down to Earth” sounded very little to the actual song, if at all. And I understand that Lawrence and Condon worked on Dreamgirls, etc., but the show felt like the Tonys, to be honest. Really bad show. And when Ben Stiller’s Joaquin Phoenix joke ruined the Cinematography clips…don’t get me started there. The show was an utter disappointed, and it didn’t help that there weren’t any major upsets outside of foreign language (we all knew Penn would win Best Actor). The Oscars sucked, plain and simple.

  • 12 2-23-2009 at 1:41 am

    Mr. Harmonica said...

    No mention of the horrifying In Memorium, Kris?

    Nothing? Nothing about the zooming in and out and all around like monkeys having seizures were controlling the camera, meanwhile NUMEROUS people were blatantly snubbed? George Carlin, Patrick McGoohan, Harvey Korman, etc?

  • 13 2-23-2009 at 2:09 am

    James said...

    Oh, Idontcare. You’re so silly. A choice. That same, old tired argument that LESS and less people are clinging belief to. How is it that you’re so out of touch with what people think? Are you boarded up in some sugar shack in West Virginia? Poor bastard.

    Back to my point though: It’s not a choice. I wouldn’t choose to suffer thru loneliness because of the difficulty finding someone. I apologize to others who may be repulsed by this, but I’m gonna put it this simply: The fact that I get a boner from other dudes’ junk seems like a clear enough sign to me that my attraction to men is a natural, intrinsic thing. All sex and sexuality is a choice to engage in, but being this way is an innate thing one is born with.

    —-

    Okay, enough harping. I’ll just invite Dustin to tell him off next time ^_^.

    Mr. Harmonica: I think Queen sounded great. In fact, I wish SHE was involved in that Baz routine, not Beyonce, who was just miscast there. But I do agree about the repulsion I felt from those aggravating camera zooms. I couldn’t even figure out who the montage was showing half the time. I thought the point was to actually see the images of those we lost, not to gaze upon Latifah belting it out. Next time Academy: Play her vocals OVER the montage, with at most, a top-right-corner-square image of her. Honestly….

  • 14 2-23-2009 at 2:15 am

    The Other James D. said...

    Good point MacGuff.

    I did love Milk, but I thought it suffered from something….I felt that Van Sant’s direction was a tad too broad. I was more of a fan of his Paranoid Park work. I felt that the lack of focus on the supporting men, particularly Franco, was cloying. He, Brolin, and Hirsch could’ve been just a bit more developed. It might have helped Franco land a Supporting Actor nod. Well, or Franco should’ve campaigned for Pineapple Express….That + RDJ + Ledger….Best category ever.

    I am happy DLB won though, even though I prefer all 3 surprise Original Screenplay nods. But I’m surprised so many doubted his win: He’s young and hip, much like Diablo Cody, with a promising upcoming resume; but more importantly, because of his struggle to get Milk on screen, and his emotional journey connected to the whole theme of this film, spoke volumes about how unbeatable he really was.

  • 15 2-23-2009 at 3:34 am

    Mike V. said...

    To the guy “I don’t care”: GET A LIFE, LOSER.

    ————-

    I liked the format. Hugh Jackman was refreshing, he did a great job. I hated the fact that Slumdog won 8 underserved Oscars but I was thrilled when Sean Penn won over Mickey Rourke. Hi speech was brilliant and his performance is one of the greatest ever. Dustin Lance Black’s speech was the best of the night, IMO. He was honest and humble, I really enjoyed his speech. A true winner.

    Queen Latifah was good too. She has something especial.

    The worst parts of the show: BeyoncГ©, High School Musical, the “Sank Yew” speeches, Slumdog winning Best Score, Song, Director and Picture… Did I say BeyoncГ©?, Waltz With Bashir losing Best Foreign Language film… BeyoncГ©… and BeyoncГ©. Give me a break, she’s not that good.

    Anyway, I have lost all my faith. Harvey Weinstein Academy Awards should be the name of the show. PenГ©lope Cruz and Kate Winslet obviously won because of his dirty campaign. Did they deserve it? I’m a huge Winslet fan since Heavenly Creatures, but I think she robbed Meryl Streep. Cruz robbed Davis.

    Well, that’s what I think. Some of you will disagree with me but please, remember this is my opinion. Thank you.

  • 16 2-23-2009 at 3:42 am

    AdamL said...

    Cuba Gooding Jr.????????

    The only reason he should ever be on the stage at Oscar again is to give his Oscar back.

    Notice how out of the 20 presentations for the acting awards 19 were about the performance and 1 was about me me me. The guy is a complete wanker.

  • 17 2-23-2009 at 4:14 am

    Eunice said...

    I’m exposing my age here, but I enjoyed this year’s show. (I’m 17, by the way, no judgments please.) Last year’s was boring, and this year’s was enjoyable. What was not enjoyable about watching Wolverine make a complete fun of himself and his status as a ‘movie star’? I enjoyed the montages for the different genres and had a good time. Also, I chose to predict only 21 out of the 24 categories and went 15 out of 21, which I think is pretty good for someone new to this awards season game. The ‘Departures’ win shocked me.

    Yay! Moments:
    1. Five presenters. Hasn’t this been done recently? I don’t remember, and this is my first year of watching the entire awards season seriously, so don’t give me flack. It was fun, and the tributes to the nominees was a good way of appreciating their work.
    2. The set-up at the Kodak. It was so intimate and friendly to me. Bravo.
    3. The tribute to musicals. So they murdered a few songs, but it was fun. I do disapprove of the people they included. Honestly, did they not have the budget to at least rope Kidman and McGregor in? Or even Zeta-Jones and Zellweger? Come on.
    4. ‘Slumdog’ winning. I was not tired of every win. Honestly.
    5. Ben Stiller impersonating Joaquin Phoenix. Come on. Putting gum on the table? Funny.
    6. Tina Fey and Steve Martin. Hey, how about these two as hosts?
    7. The orchestra out of the pit. Finally, some respect! If only the Music branch could widen its nominee slate as well, I’d be happy.
    8. Heath Ledger winning. It’s been over a year, and I’m still misty-eyed.
    9. Sean Penn calling Mickey Rourke his brother. I loved that moment. I was equally happy that Penn won, especially because of how this two- man race was easily the most exciting category of the show.

    ‘Nay’ or ‘What?!’ or ‘I don’t know how I feel about what just happened’ Moments.
    1. Viola Davis not winning. Boo. I mean, the Academy could have given it to Taraji P. Henson, but no, they’d go conservative.
    2. Melissa Leo not winning. I’m forever on Team Streep, but come. on.
    3. Kate Winslet’s speech. I love how elated she was, and how she didn’t forget Angelina this time (haha!) but telling Meryl Streep to suck on that was not a little classy. I still think that her best work was ‘Eternal Sunshine’, but she is the choice this year.
    4. The movies to watch out for in 2009 credits. I agreed with some–like Public Enemies, Inglorious Basterds, and Julie and Julia–but G-Force? Hugh, are you high? This is the movie that might be on its way to an Oscar?
    5. John Legend failing on ‘Down to Earth’ and murdering a song from one of 08’s best movies. Sigh. I’m sorry, but that was not how it sounded.
    6. Jack Black’s Pixar-Dreamworks joke. I wanted to laugh, but like Jennifer Aniston, I felt a little awkward.
    7. Robert Pattinson, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Amanda Seyfried, and Dominic Cooper. Please. Do not represent musicals or box office hits. Get some credentials first.
    8. The In Memoriam segment. This has nothing to do with Queen Latifah, just what the camera was focusing on during the segment.

    Kris, are you coming up with the list of the possible 2010 contenders soon? It seems like a field of biopics and historical films this coming season. I’m already rooting for Robert Downey Jr. in ‘The Soloist’. :)

  • 18 2-23-2009 at 4:16 am

    Jim said...

    Kris, when are you posting the next year’s contenders list? Yes, I’m THAT addicted!

  • 19 2-23-2009 at 4:20 am

    Rob said...

    Tremendously exciting show. Well put together.

    I never like major sweeps, but yeah. I love the Oscars I do.

  • 20 2-23-2009 at 4:59 am

    RJNeb2 said...

    Didn’t see the ceremony and found the choices this year to be mind-numbingly predictable. Whatever. It’s over now. We can all start again.

    Passing thought though: is this the first time 2 consecutive Best Actor winners have picked up their second Oscar?

  • 21 2-23-2009 at 5:07 am

    McGuff said...

    I wrote this to a friend last night: a dozen things I loved about that edition of the Oscars.

    1. Phillippe Petit. I’m sad this might be the last we see of the year’s most likable character.

    2. The new style for acting awards: Suddenly, those behind the Screen Actors Guild are kicking themselves. They should have thought of this YEARS ago.

    2.5. Bob De Niro’s presentation to Sean Penn, Anne Hathaway’s reaction to Shirley McLaine.

    3. Freida Pinto. Taraji P. Henson. And all the beautiful women.

    4. The speeches of the “Milk” winners. Dustin Lance Black was brilliantly well-spoken, while Penn was funny, self-aware, meaningful, and thankfully, gave an ode to Mickey Rourke.

    4.5. The speech of Kate Winslet, or more poignantly, the fact that she got an award.

    5. A short speech from Jerry Lewis. Short, sweet and appreciative. All it has to be.

    5.5. No speech for the exit of an AMPAS President … or whatever. And NO ONE cares about this speech.

    6. Hearing A.R. Rahman as much as we did. I didn’t realize how much he brought to “Slumdog” until I heard it tonight.

    7. The “Pineapple Express” skit. Thought that was great. Better than the actual movie, in fact.

    7.5: Steve Martin and Tina Fey. Thought they were great. Better than in their “30 Rock” show together, in fact.

    8. Heath. Awards season kept his legacy moving forward. Let us not forget him now that it’s over.

    9. Danny Boyle’s Tigger act. No one showed class as much as Danny Boyle did tonight. Clearly reacting like a man just happy to be there. The kind of people that should be awarded.

    10. Queen Latifah during the In Memoriam segment. Added something to a — let’s face it — usually dull segment. (Though I agree camera work was abysmal here)

    11. Hugh Jackman, once or twice. He was on and off, but I think he connected with his peers. And that’s what is important.

    12. The set. As Danny Boyle said, bravo.

  • 22 2-23-2009 at 5:09 am

    McGuff said...

    And a half-dozen things I didn’t like:

    1. That a montage included “Seven Pounds.” Damn, was hoping for a complete shut-out of the year’s worst.

    2. Zac Efron. Why are you at an acting awards ceremony?

    2.5. Any of the musical numbers, to be frank. With the possible exception of bringing Anne Hathaway up there, as staged as it was.

    3. Beyonce. We get it…you think you deserved Jennifer Hudson’s Oscar. Now please, just go away.

    4. The no-shows. Daniel Day-Lewis, Javier Bardem, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio. Where were these guys? At the bar?

    4.5. In particular, Day-Lewis. How well-spoken and poignant DDL was in the weeks after Heath’s death last year … and how adept he seemed talking about actors. I thought he would love this set-up.

    5. That we didn’t get a Mickey Rourke speech. It became the best part of every awards night this season.

    6. That Heath Ledger couldn’t accept his award.

  • 23 2-23-2009 at 6:02 am

    Zach baum said...

    I figured it out,

    Waltz and The Class split the vote

    fuck Japan

  • 24 2-23-2009 at 7:05 am

    RichardA said...

    For the most part, it was classy. The memoriam was classy. The past winners giving the award was classy. The production numbers could have been better. But all in all it was a great show for a year with little surprises.

  • 25 2-23-2009 at 9:18 am

    Bing147 said...

    I was NOT a fan. The In Memoriam they managed to actually ruin. How do you do that? But the camera work was not only unneeded, it was terrible. I couldn’t read a number of the names. I recognized the people but if I hadn’t recognized, say for example, Cyd Charisse’s clip, I’d have never known it was her. Plus, the singing didn’t add anything and was slightly distracting, though Latifah sounded great.

    The genre clips, though funny at times, particularly the Apatow group’s things, were something more out of the MTV movie awards than the Oscars. And they showed impeccably bad taste in what was shown. I mean, Waltz With Bashir, a movie nominated for an award at the show, doesn’t get shown in the animation one yet Madagascar 2 and Star Wars get shown?

    The Ode to musicals was a disaster, Luhrmann looked embarassed after the fact. They have time for that but not for the nominated songs to actually be sung?

    Plus, it got really old seeing tween stars on the stage. I assure you, most Oscar viewers could care less about the stars of High School Musical.

    I didn’t hate it all. There were some very funny skits, the Pheonix one, the Pineapple Express one, I enjoyed the opening number though more in a sort of that’s alright way than a that’s fantastic way. Jackman had a lot of energy and pulled it off although he wasn’t great… The way of presenting the acting winners was kind of cool though I missed the clips and frankly, doing that in this category and not the others is borderline insulting. And there’s no way you could do that for every category, it’d take WAY too long.

  • 26 2-23-2009 at 10:27 am

    THE Diego Ortiz said...

    Batman was the only one who was able to take down the Slumdog.

  • 27 2-23-2009 at 11:00 am

    JP said...

    Eunice – Kate Winslet didn’t tell Meryl to “suck on that” she said that all the other nominees felt that they didn’t deserve to be in the same category with Meryl and when Meryl made a face of humble shock, Kate told her “sorry, you just need to suck it up.” Kate was telling Meryl that she just needed to accept the fact that all the other nominees were in awe of her. It was a compliment not a rude gaffe.

  • 28 2-23-2009 at 1:57 pm

    Chad said...

    Fantastic show.

  • 29 2-23-2009 at 2:44 pm

    Andrew said...

    For the record books, Slumdog is the first film EVER to win Oscar BP, Globe BP. BAFTA Best Film, BFCA BP, SAG ensemble, DGA, WGA, PGA and Scripter (I know it won other guilds too).

    Schindlers List didnt win SAG and BFCA because they werent around. American Beauty didnt win Scripter because its an original screenplay. LOTR: ROTK lost Scripter

  • 30 2-23-2009 at 2:48 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah, we were all over that last month, Andrew. Thanks though. History indeed.

  • 31 2-23-2009 at 2:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Wow, even a grouch like Chad was on board.

  • 32 2-23-2009 at 4:43 pm

    marco volpe said...

    Really liked the reworking of the show! Of course some new ideas worked better, some others less, but overall it felt much more organic, well-organized and fast, and the stage setting looked great.
    Actually missed the film clips from the nominated performances, though having five former winners on the stage to welcome the new one was nice (about this: ok, they’re Oscar winners, but keep Adrien Brody and Cuba Gooding jr. off the stage, in the future).
    The Rogen/Franco/Kaminski part was great, so was the paring of Tina Fey and Steve Martin; Ben Stiller doing Joaquin Phoenix was fun, but he should have not been stealing the show during the reading of the cinematography nominees…

  • 33 2-23-2009 at 9:16 pm

    PJ said...

    I quite liked the show. The bits that I was most worried about (Original Song medley, In Memoriam segment, previous winners not presenting acting awards) turned out to be fine, and remarkably tasteful at times, and Jackman more than allayed my aversion to musicals for a couple of hours. In the end, the winners were (largely) deserved, and I’m really not demanding more.

  • 34 2-24-2009 at 1:39 am

    Eunice said...

    JP–Thanks for the interpretation and for calling me out on that one. I watched the clip again, and realized that Kate was totally meaning something else.