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Ten Oscar Observations -- A Morning After List

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 8th 2010 2:00PM
oscars_abc_gold_2010"The morning after ... we ask the right questions. The morning after ... we make the suggestions."

Those are the lyrics to a song Barbra Streisand once sang and it occurred to me this morning after recovering from the long, long and rather uneventful 2010 Oscar ceremony last night on ABC.

Looking back through the bleary-eyes of my memories, there were quite a few things that could have been better, a few that were just plain lousy, and a few moments that lived up to the hype. Danny shared his view. Check out my ten Oscar observations list:

1. Neil Patrick Harris lied ... but he's forgiven. See, Nikki Finke's column was right, sort of. Neil Patrick Harris did sing the opening number. He didn't sing it with Martin Short, so in that she was wrong. But Neil Twittered that he wasn't going to be the opener for the Oscars. Liar, liar pants on fire! But the number was energetic and fun, so Neil Patrick Harris is forgiven. It wasn't as good as his Tony song, but still pretty, pretty good.

2. Too much John Hughes and not enough Lauren Bacall. It was lovely that they gave the late writer/director John Hughes a big tribute. But after the film clips, the line up of stars sharing a thought -- Jon Cryer, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Matthew Broderick, Macauley Culkin and Molly Ringwald -- was superfluous. This was especially true in light of the short-shrift given to Lauren Bacall, Gordon Willis, John Calley and Roger Corman who were presented Special Oscars that were not included in the night's celebration. WTF? Why not? The separate awards on some other night was not good enough for a Lifetime Achievement Oscar.

3. Give us more Tina Fey and Robert Downey, Jr. They were the funniest presenters. They actually had good material. Better than Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Hmm ... could it be that Tina Fey is the right person to host next year's Oscars? Let's start the campaign now.

4. Horror films? Why the salute to horror films? Was this a super year for horror? And when did thrillers like 'Psycho' and 'Marathon Man' get lumped in with horror? Most of the classic horror, the Universals, were slapped onto the end, while Hammer horror was ignored completely. But back to the main question, was there an outcry for horror film making to be recognized?

5. Lord ... that dance!
Granted, Adam Shankman is a choreographer. He wanted to get dancing into the Oscarcast. However, as great as the dancers were -- and they were great -- all that flipping and grinding to the nominated film scores was dumb. The winner, Michael Giacchino's score for 'Up,' was incorporated in a lovely pas de deux that wasn't connected to the original.

6. Rushing at the end. Even at three-and-a-half hours, they were still rushing to end the show before midnight ET. While they took time for the five nominees in Best Actor and Best Actress to get great tributes, which were appropriate and lovely, by the time Streisand came out to present Best Director, the clock was nearing midnight and everything was compressed. Streisand didn't even say she was presenting Best Director, and then Tom Hanks decided not to mention the Best Picture nominees, just read the winner. Timing is everything ... the Oscars didn't have it.

7. Did you catch the wonderful 'Modern Family' Oscar commercial?
Now, that was funny. Cameron and Mitchell were wiz kids at movie charades, Jay declared they would never play again after Gloria got stuck on one word. Excellent promo, ABC. Oh, the Jimmy Kimmel in bed with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner was also a hoot!

8. Predictability.
This is not the fault of the producers, but last night was the most predictable Oscars since 'Titanic' swept the awards in 1997. Every major winner was predicted. There were no curve balls. Even the ten nominees for Best Picture failed to bring a shocker. Once 'The Hurt Locker' was winning for editing, writing, directing, it was obvious that it was taking the top prize. 'Avatar' won the techie awards and all the money in the world.

9. Sacha Baron Cohen yanked. Ben Stiller was supposed to do the blue man bit from 'Avatar' with Sacha Baron Cohen. The gag was deemed offensive and Stiller ended up doing the schtick on his own. It wasn't very funny. Whoever axed Sacha blew it big time. He would have been funny for sure.

10. Overall, a dud.
Executive Producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic promised to be innovative and creative. If creative means putting enough steps on the stage to scare the hell out of every actress in high heels on the stage, they succeeded. If innovative means playing it safe, they succeeded. A week from now this will be a lost memory. Nothing will stand out as great television. Ho hum, yes. Great, no.

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Venkatesh

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March 11 2010 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
megan

Does anyone know where to find the Modern Family and Jimmy Kimmel spots (#7) and the NPH number online?

March 09 2010 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim Willis

Here's my two cents. Lots of excess that should have been cut. Ben Stiller bit was awful and too long. What a waste of time. Steve and Alec just didn't deliver in the way I thought they would. Academy should have worked in an additional 2-3 minutes or more for the November recap of the Life Time Achievement awards. Don't get me wrong..the November award show was absolutely fantastic and the Academy deserves big recognition for that event. However I feel they forget the wordS LIFE TIME ACHIEVMENT while putting Sunday's show together. For example, Ben Stiller Bit vs. time for the Lifetime achievements? That's just a bad decision. But then again it's not so much about the recognition anymore but how they can deliver the show to achieve better ratings.

March 09 2010 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SISSERS

Im sorry, but omitting Farrah from the 'In Memoriam' was downright stupid. I dont give a crap about 'time limits' and whatever! She wasnt 100 years old. She wasnt obscure. She was FARRAH FAWCETT! Hello?? Everybody knows Farrah! Everybody's heard of Farrah! They never fail to include some no name producer, or sound editor that was way before my time, but they dont include one of the biggest icons of all time?! And where was Bea Arthur??? Yeah, she was mostly known for her roles on tv, but she was in movies too!! Major oversight Academy. And PS-the funniest thing I laughed out loud at was the Paranormal Activity parody. Where oh where is Billy Crystal when you need him??????

March 08 2010 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rtms

They have got to drop some of the technical awards and smaller awards from the show. Give them the Oscar but off screen. No one knows or cares anything about documentary, short docu, sound,short animation, etc.Unless your a film fanatic. If they would relegate these awards to earlier in the evening we would have a much shorter and entertaining awards show.

March 08 2010 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C C

From what I understand, they wanted Tina Fey to host this year, but she was too busy with 30 Rock.

Some advice to the Oscar producers: Dump the individual segment for each Best Picture nominee. It was bad enough when there were only five nominees, but ten? Ugh. I know all the awards shows are doing it now, but it really drags everything out. I'll bet they would have saved at least 15 minutes if they hadn't done it. Just show clips from the nominees before they award the big prize, or have one big segment for all the pictures.

March 08 2010 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Professor Zed

Where were Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin? They were there one moment, then gone for over 30 minutes at a time. When they were on stage, they were masterful. The Paranormal Activity parody was the funniest I've seen. They should have tried something like that for all 10 nominated movies. Well, maybe not.

Glad to see they eliminated every nominated song being sung. Unfortunately, they replaced it with the awful dancing number. The dancing was uninspired. I could have done without the Neil Patrick Harris opening, as well.

Worst of all - well, maybe not - was the introduction of each nominated Best Actor and Actress. BORING! Why didn't they show them at their craft instead?

The Ben Stiller bit dragged on way too long. Someone should have told him in rehearsal that it wasn't the least bit humorous.

Was the attending audience really as quiet as they seemed on TV? I doubt it. The sound quality was really bad.

I agree that Tina Fey should host next years ceremonies. What a talent - and a babe!

I wish I had some of whatever it was Jeff Bridges had been smoking. It would have helped get through all the tediousness of the evening/night/early morning broadcast.

And I have to say this again. If you're going to have Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin host the show - give them some time on stage and let them go crazy!

March 08 2010 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
divineparasite

This year was definately about one thing: Ratings. And apparently it worked. From genre films like "Avater" and "District 9" getting nominated for best picture, to the tribute and acknowldegment to the Horrer genre, and getting the "Twilight" actors to present, they were certainly trying to bring in younger viewers. This might have made the older audience groan. Yet it seemed to work as the ratings seemed to improve from previous years. Yet would you argue that the most deserving films for the most part didn't win?

March 08 2010 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

My observations:
1. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin sketches are only funny when they try to kill each other to protect their SNL record.
2. Jeff Bridges was high
3. The crap season finale of Big Love was more interesting so I missed an hour of the show thanks to that.
4. Channel 9 had alot of Seinfeld reruns on during the show.
5. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin can do a monologue
6. Something crawled up George Clooney's ass and died last night. So he spent the night acting pissed off.
7. The best actor/actress introductions can replace Ambien
8. 10 nominees = 2 movies with a chance
9. Being backed up by Oprah doesn't get you an Oscar, but a fake Southern accent does.
10. New Moon and Young Frankenstein are horror movies according to the Academy. So do they think Precious is a comedy?
BONUS: Kristen Stewart was very excited to be there. Just look at her face, that's Kristen Stewart excited. Its also her happy, sad, angry, constipated, and sex face.

March 08 2010 at 3:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ac's comment
Dorv

Bullock was born in Virginia, and went to college in North Carolina. A Southern that does make.

March 08 2010 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

That she is but that still wasn't her actual Southern accent meaning it was a fake accent. Therefore I stand by my #9.

March 09 2010 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick

The best part was that a scene from 'New Moon' was included in the horror segment. Umm...what?!

March 08 2010 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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