Post-AA Ramblings

Thursday March 3, 2011

OMG!!! What the hell was that?! I just spent 195 minutes that I'll never ever get back. Although that abomination was a train wreck I couldn't' look away from, unfortunately, there were few redeeming qualities the entire production offered that could have elevated that one star rating. I'm usually on the more positive side of this show. Where others pan the living daylights out of it, I find enough interesting moments to make this even a little worthwhile. But this year, I'm going with the majority. First off, the decision to wander away from the usual tried and true, namely, an established comedian not solely tied to The Industry (Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, e.g.) or a talented song & dance dude (Hugh Jackman), looked promising but ended up a disaster. Okay let's appeal to the 20-somethings by putting onstage a handsome young up-and-coming actor and a nubile young actress. What seemed like an interesting experiment ended up with egg all over every one's face. I hope James Franco's deer-in-the-headlights visage has returned to some sense of normalcy by now-but the fact is, he was clearly out of his league here. Maybe it was the script, the moment, whatever-he looked lost and, as some have remarked, disinterested at best, or even stoned at worse. As for Anne Hathaway-well, she fared better but not by much, as she tried her darnedest to cover for partner. However, in doing so, she nearly appeared desperate. I suggest they go back to someone who can bring their own humor to the process and who can pick apart the incredibly pompous proceedings-which, lord knows, it desperately needs.

Hmmm-this is a tough one. Okay. The first 15 minutes. If you missed it, the show's highlights were all there. The last 93% were . . . well, see above. The opening montage, although not original in concept, was humorous as it took the dream level concept of "Inception" (virtually the only mention this blockbuster received all night) and put the hosts in various nominated films and, even some older ones. Sprinkled in were cameos including former host Alec Baldwin. A humorous, well-produced segment that brought some promise and hope for the rest of the show. A period of uninspired, unfunny repartee by the hosts (who were the writers for this stuff? ) was followed by an extraordinary, touching appearance by Kirk Douglas who was, to put it mildly, a mere shell of his former self. That was followed by the awarding of the best-supporting actress award to Melissa Leo who included an f-bomb in her acceptance speech. And it was all off a cliff from there.

None. Usually there is at least one. But this year? Nada. Zilch. This only contributed to the drabness.

Although the buzz was (correctly) on "The King's Speech", "The Social Network" deserved at least Best Picture or Best Director. After winning four Golden Globes for Best Director, Screenplay, Best Score, and Best Picture, Drama, the film won AA's for Best Adapted Screenplay, Film editing, and Music. Second biggest disappointment: "127 Hours" being shut out.

That honor goes to Christian Bale. Although not as bad as Hillary Swank, when she forgot to thank ex-hubby Chad Lowe during her 2000 acceptance speech for "Boys Don't Cry", Bale merely forgot his spouse's name. Uh-oh. I bet that post-show conversation was interesting. At least he didn't call her by another name.

Director David Fincher. Although his "Social Network" won three awards (one less that "The King's Speech" with four) every time the camera focused on him in the audience, he seemed like he wished he was somewhere else. He appeared utterly humorless. Even though everyone praised him to the hilt on the podium, his expression was so dour he seemed almost constipated. Hey, Dave, loosen-up! (Actually, I can't blame him. I felt the same way watching this show!)

Justin Timberlake & Milas Kunis. I hope they got whatever the hell they were talking about because I'm certain no one else did.

Sandra Bullock. Appearing near the conclusion to hand out the Best Actor award, although not my favorite actress, she seemed very much at ease and funny in discussing each of the nominees. She was so good, I remember thinking that she would be a nice choice for future hosting duties-if they can't land that A-list comic. Unfortunately, only the die-hards were probably awake to see her by the time she came onstage.

Robert Downey, Jr & Jude Law. Their banter was embarrassing and throwing in jokes aimed at Downey's sensational past escapades was, to me, totally unfunny and inappropriate. A close second was Kirk Douglas. Although it was wonderful to see him, his interminable time on stage was awkward & close to embarrassing-taking forever to announce the Best Supporting Actress winner .

Anne Hathaway (7).

I had 10 out of 11 correct of my major awards predictions-missing out on Best Director. Even though I was somewhat pleased that the award went to the director of the Best Picture, David Fincher ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") again, was robbed. Maybe next year he'll win and give the world a smile. I also predicted that "The Social Network" would win the Best Cinematography award, which went to "Inception". I guessed wrong on all three of the short film categories, but, having seen none of them, I had a 1 in 5 chance-a 79% overall.


Lew said...

You deserve some sort of award just for sitting through this over-produced and unfunny blob.

Jay Berg said...

I think we all do, Lew-those of us who sat through this dreck for its entire length. Well, as keeper of this blog, I feel it's my humble duty to report on all-things film. You just hope that some of it is worth watching. Bottom line: It's the worst AA show I've seen yet. The only positive I took away is that the next one can only get better. JB

Allan B. said...

God bless you Jay. You must have the patience of Job to sit through the endless hours of recycled scripts, vanity projects and comic book characters that should have stayed in comic books. Film, as an art form, is on life support. You have to paddle through lots of flotsam to find the occasional gem. I suppose someone has to do it and you do it well.Thank you for the hundreds of hours of boredom you have saved me.