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Post-AA Ramblings

Wednesday March 10, 2010

THE SHOW (**)
Overall, Weak with a capital "W"! I'll never get those 3 1/2+ hours back!! From the opening number (in the past this was THE highlight of the AA's) with a lame Neil Patrick Harris, to the botched "In Memoriam" segment (unconscionably leaving out 3 standout deceased stars: Henry Gibson, Bea Arthur, & Farrah Fawcet, who was previously ignored when she unfortunately died on the same day as Michael Jackson), to lack of inclusion of the nominated songs (even though none were even remotely memorable), to the inclusion of a head-scratching interpretive dance number to the Best Score nominees, to the utter lack of a surprise winner, to the lame acceptance speeches, to the . . . well-you get the picture.

THE PLUSES
-Generally I liked the 2 host comedy team of Martin & Baldwin. Maybe they stood out more because of the utter lack of interest the rest of the show provided (see above). Most of the humor brought smiles, if not outright guffaws (although the running gag with Clooney got a little tiresome). I just wanted more of this than was provided as it was too sparsely interspersed throughout. The funniest gag was when Martin took out an aerosol can & sprayed dead the floating "souls" from "Avatar". And the best play on words was when Martin pointed out Helen Mirren saying "there is that damn Helen Mirren" instead of Dame HM. And, Ben Stiller's "Na'vi" takeoff was humorous as well but the original nixed idea (see my Pre-AA Ramblings below) involving a pregnant Baron Sacha-Cohen Na'vi would have been funnier. The best laugh out loud bit was a prerecorded take on "Paranormal Activity" showing the 2 hosts sleeping in bed the night before the show with time lapse video recording the hilarious goings-on.
-I liked how The Academy honored the Best Actors with a chorus of previous winners honoring the nominees for the 2nd year running. However, it comes too late near the end and, I'm afraid too many people missed it by that time.
-For the most part, I loved the results. A great night for the Independents with "The Hurt Locker" & "Precious" leading the way leaving "Avatar" practically in the dust to scrape up 3 minor awards. I would have liked to have seen Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner win the Best Adapted Screenplay for "Up in the Air" (however it was nice honoring an African-American, Geoffrey Fletcher, for the first time), & anyone besides Bullock (the first actor in history to win a Razzie and an AA the same year!), but, for the most part, agreed with the predicted winners. It seemed odd that no great surprise winner came out of the major awards, though, as is usually the case.

AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME- -MAYBE
A suggestion to shorten the thing by eliminating the categories no one cares about such as the technical awards and awards to smaller film categories such as short films & documentaries seems, on the surface, a logical way to go. Except the awardees seem to bring out the most unexpected and entertaining parts of the show. For example, what happened when Roger Ross Williams had just started his acceptance speech for the Documentary Short "Music by Prudence" when he was sabotaged by, we later found out, the disgruntled Producer. (I loved "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart's line that she looked like the lady who runs the snack bar at his synagogue's Purim festival.) Without this "what the hell was that" moment the whole thing would have justly earned a 1-1 1/2 star rating! So, until the producers put on a halfway entertaining show, I'd be hesitant to entirely eliminate these awards.

MOST DISAPPOINTING ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
Most of the speeches were, for the most part, weak & unemotional. However, what really disappointed me was the lack of a passionate, moving speech from "The Cove" recipients. Maybe it was due to the lack of time (the producers were really holding to that 45 second max time limit). The only meaningful moment was the unfurled sign Ric O'Barry tried to get on the air which asked viewers to text "dolphin" with a text number (44144) underneath. The second it appeared the cameras cut away. Oh well-nice try. (But I did read online that O'Barry has received over 50,000 texts and that the important doc will be a series on Animal Planet.)

2ND MOST DISAPPOINTING ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
Mo'Nigue. She showed much more raw emotions at The Golden Globes. She actually seemed angry at the AA podium. Maybe she listened to all the predictions and was more prepared to deliver the speech. However, she did make Baltimore proud.

THE DUDE WOULD BE PROUD
Is it me, or is Jeff Bridges slowly dissolving into The Dude, the character he portrayed in the Coens' "The Big Lebowski"??

THE TRIBUTES
The tribute to horror films was interesting but no great shakes. The other one honoring John Hughes, who died last year, was notable by having the members of The Brat pack there which added to the poignancy. However, neither tribute stood out as particularly memorable as others from past shows had been.

AN AWARD SHOW THAT GETS BETTER EACH YEAR
The Independent Spirit Awards on IFC the Friday before the AA's. Although this year's host, Eddie Izzard, was horrid, the 25th version lasted just a tad over 2 hours. And it's worth watching if only for the acceptance speeches-especially when you realize the audience/recipients sit at tables holding numerous liquor bottles. You catch my drift on this! The atmosphere is more laid back and full of surprises (the F-word was heard on numerous occasions sans bleep).

MY FERVENT HOPES FOR NEXT YEAR'S SHOW
Bring back the music &, for heaven's sake, find a way to shorten the dame, er, damn thing!!!

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