I always watch award shows if I can, especially the Oscars and the Tonys. I have a special tie to the Oscars as I worked on the pre-show one year. It always amuses me to watch the pre-show now.
This year's Oscars were much better than they have been in the past. I don't know if it has to do with Hugh Jackman as host or the new format or what.
I both liked and disliked the way the best actor/actress and best supporting actor/actress awards were presented. I think it was lovely to have a somewhat personal tribute and thanks to the nominees by previous award recipients. It did have the tendency to drag things on a bit. Good choices on the previous award recipient presenters.
Mad props to Hugh Jackman for his opening number. Almost as brilliant as Billy Crystal. But only Billy Crystal can be Billy Crystal. I thought Hugh Jackman was a brilliant host. He's funny, he can act, he can sing and he can dance. And ad lib... and his sense of comedic timing ain't bad. And the directors let him do what he does best and not force him to be what he's not.
The "movie musical is back" was all sorts of brilliant. I'm a sucker for all things musical, and I enjoyed the number. Even if it had the silly pair from High School Musical (yuck) and the possibility that Beyonce was pre-recorded. (My viewing companions and I had a debate on that). Nevertheless, Hugh Jackman was live and dazzling.
I'm damn proud of Heath Ledger and the Academy for awarding his amazing performance in "Dark Knight". I often forgot that it was Heath in the movie when I watched it. It truly was a memorable performance - and completely deserving of the award, whether he was alive or dead. I'm sure the other nominees were well-deserving, but he deserved it more in my heart.
I'm also damn proud of Sean Penn. I haven't seen the movie "Milk" yet, but from what I've seen and heard, he definitely deserves the award. Go him! Though, truth be told, I wouldn't have minded seeing Frank Langella or Richard Jenkins win. Richard Jenkins was brilliant on "Six Feet Under" - but this nomination will hopefully get him more high-profile work.
I thought Viola Davis was robbed, no offense to Penelope Cruz. She was AMAZING in her two scenes in "Doubt". Amazing.
The rest of the awards show was so predictable that it was sickening. It'll be a long time before I see "Slumdog Millionaire" because of all the hype surrounding it. That's almost a sure-fire way for me NOT to go see something. I stayed away from Harry Potter until the hype had died down significantly.
Sadly, I haven't seen a lot of the movies that were nominated, but I've added to the list of ones I want to see: Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Rachel Getting Married, Wall-E.
Can I also say that you definitely noticed that it was live TV. From the opening curtain gaffe (hah, someone on the fly rail just got fired) to silly little delays. I adore things like that. Live VV is BACK and it's the kind of reality TV I like.
In case you weren't watching, here are my highlights of the evening: