Let's start off with the show itself. It was long. Still too long. I like Ellen, she's amiable and funny, but not cutting-edge. Imagine if John Stewart hosted again? Or Stephen Colbert (in character)? Or Borat in character? I liked the shadow dancers but it took too long. The montage of famous foreign films should go, and the parade of the dead is always death to the show. The lifetime achievement awards are too long. Of course, I deal with these same issues at the CAS and MPSE shows, and sometimes there's just no way you can make everyone happy.
No film came away a clear winner, although DEPAHTED won four awards, none of them deserved, some of them predicted. Scorsese got his Lifetime Achievement Award, and so did Thelma Schoonmaker for editing. (She is extremely well-respected in the industry.) Picture should have gone to PAN'S LABYRINTH which was not even nominated. Adapted screenplay should have gone to CHILDREN OF MEN (or maybe BORAT, which I will finally see when it comes out on video in two weeks).
PAN'S LABYRINTH got three awards for Art Direction, Cinematography and Makeup. (Cinematography should probably have gone to CHILDREN OF MEN.) PAN was robbed of not only Best Picture, but Foreign-Language film to LIVES OF OTHERS (DAS LEBEN DER ANDEREN). Don't get me wrong, that's a great film too, and any other year would have won, but PAN is one of the best films I've seen in many years.
DREAMGIRLS got Supporting Actress as predicted, then when Jennifer Hudson sang on the Oscar show, proved that it was a fluke performance. She was terrible, and Beyonce blew her away. It also won Sound Mixing for Mike Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton, all of whom won last week at the CAS Awards.
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE won two, for Supporting Actor (which I predicted) and Original Screenplay.
INCONVENIENT TRUTH also won two; Best Doc, as expected, and Best Song. Almost a year ago in 242 class I predicted it would get nominated. When it came down to the wire, I did not think it would win, but I was wrong. Melissa Ethridge gave a better performance on the Oscars than she did on the recording, it was MUCH more emotional.
Score went to BABEL. I liked that score, but it wasn't an Oscar score.
Sound Effects Editing also matches the MPSE with LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA winning. Vis FX went to PIRATES, which was flashy, but the effects in SUPERMAN were actually harder because they had to be more realistic.
Actor and Actress were as predicted and deserved. Animated feature went to HAPPY FEET which was just OK. MONSTER HOUSE should have won.
I've yet to see MARIE ANTOINETTE but will this week.
My former student Ari Sandel won for Best Short and gave one of the best acceptance speeches of the night.
Overall Oscar did a good job of spreading out the awards and many were deserved, but I can't get over DEPAHTED winning four, all undeserved.