I had forgotten about doing a write-up this year. It wasn’t until I saw a write-up on Wednesday by a blog I follow (the write-up is here), it reminded me that maybe I should do a write-up.
Much like every year for… well… as long as I can remember I have watched the Oscars. I watch them every year, reveling the in the fantasy that I will be up there one day, accepting an award of my own. Each year that passes, it feels like that this goal becomes more and more attainable. Sure, the show’s pretty long in the tooth. The Academy Awards started in 1929. They’ve been around for some time.
As the ceremony is starting to feel a bit more… well aged, and less geared to the younger generation (OK, my generation) the more they strive to feel more relevant. Previously they attempted to use two young Hollywood actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway. The result was not funny. They just didn’t have the comedic timing that a comedian or comedic actor should. I actually think they were the worst hosts… in the history of me watching the Oscars.
This year, in their attempt to make the award show appeal to the younger generation, they got Seth MacFarlane to MC this year. He’s gotten mixed reviews from being completely offensive to being hilarious. He seems to have polarized the viewers as the ones who thought he was hilarious claim that those who found him offensive have no sense of humor.
I see his hosting this way, his hosting was a lot like watching Family Guy… which has ceased to be funny for some time. It’s not because I don’t appreciate edgy humor, I do. There are plenty of comedians who say completely offensive things manage to do it in an intelligent way. I like thinkers comedy. That’s my taste and I’m aware of it. I’m also aware that most people don’t share that interest. There were times where the comedy was misogynistic, there were times where the comedy was anti-Semitic or even racist. If there’s one thing that can be said about Seth MacFarlane’s jokes it’s that he was willing to be an equal opportunity offender. There’s a certain amount of commitment to try to offend everyone.
The best show of this song was the song at the opening of the show “We Saw Your Boobs”. There’s been a bit of controversy about this song. Here’s an article about it here. Unfortunately, some of the scenes mentioned are from scenes about rape… either directly or the aftermath of sexual violence. I understand that he was trying to poke fun at Hollywood for using showing boobs to make a movie “edgy”. Maybe if a little more research into other movies, it might have lost the ire of quite a few women (especially those who have been raped or otherwise have been sexually exploited). I can think of quite a few boobs that have been shown that had nothing to do with sexual assault. Of course, you can’t undo what has already been done. So, as much as one can “shoulda, coulda woulda”, it doesn’t change that it was done.
Of course, this actually galvanise the viewership (and the people who were at the award show). Seth MacFarlane has certainly made this year’s award show controversial… and not because of their choices.
Now, I can’t talk too much about the movies this year. I didn’t really see many of them. So, I can’t speak as to whether I thought something was more deserving than any other. It’s something that I feel that I should make more of an effort to do, but have yet to do so… largely because of lack of funds on my behalf.
There is one point that I would like to actually talk about, Anne Hathaway winning best supporting actress. Now, I’m sure she might have done a great job as Fontaine. That being said, I think that Sally Field was excellent as Mary Todd Lincoln. I don’t think Sally Fields needs another Oscar. I do think that she did an excellent job portraying the psychologically troubled Mary Todd. She did an excellent job of portraying a woman with bi-polar. As someone who lived with someone who had bi-polar (both off and on meds for it), she hit it spot on. It reminded me of some of the behaviors I remember from when I was a kid. For that reason, I think that she deserves the award.
The other issue that I might take up with this award show is how they would try to cut people short. Now we know that the Academy Awards likes to keep thank you speeches short but sweet for most awards except for Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. It’s been common knowledge for years. Whoopie Goldberg made a joke about it the year after Martin Landau was cut short giving his thank you speech when he won Best Supporting Actor for Ed Wood. Usually they play music. This year they decided to employ the Jaws theme. The music in and of itself is pretty nerve-wracking.
There was a controversy that wasn’t acknowledged by the Academy. That was the controversy that surrounds the award for Best Visual Effects. Life of Pi took that award (though I would argue that Weta definitely deserved it for the Hobbit). While the people involved was going to address Rhythm & Hues bankruptcy and the plight of visual effects artists. There is more information here, here and here. This is becoming a real problem. The visual effects artists on Life of Pi were going to discuss the outsourcing of visual effects. This is something that’s important to talk about in an open film forum. The one chance that it did have was cut short by Jaws.
If there’s anything that one can be said about this Oscars, it’s controversy. Some things that can’t be sussed out simply others that can be. It certainly makes an interesting backdrop for awards.