Oscars 2012 Summary

Another hard fought Oscar Tournament last night at my yearly Oscar Gala. (Can you call something a gala if only 11 people are there? Yes. Yes you can.) For those of you who don’t know, I’m a tad competitive. If there was a way to turn breathing into some sort of a contest, I would do it. I love the Oscars, and I watch it fairly religiously. So it’s natural that I require all guests at my Oscars party to fill out a ballot–boldly declaring their choices in ink. For me, it’s a lot like the NCAA basketball tournament. Do I normally care what the scores of every college basketball game played on a given day are? No. But if I officially picked the winners, then I care a great deal. (This is also why it’s a very good thing I don’t gamble with money. I have a feeling if I ever started, it would take about three days before I woke up passed out in an alley in Vegas somewhere, wearing nothing but a lampshade.) The winner of the Oscar picks gets the official trophy: the Oscar the Grouch hat.

Me: the proud winner of last year’s contest

I do typically threaten the winner with the possibility of them having to have their picture in the hat posted on my blog, but in the end, I’m really only a fan of publicly humiliating myself–not others. In any case, I was the reigning champion, but the early evening success of Hugo promptly put a stumbling block in my odds of a repeat victory. (After the first eight awards, I think I’d picked one correctly. As awful a beginning as I can recall having.)

But then the bigger awards started kicking in, and my picks improved. And improved. Not that I suddenly ended up having a record year, but I was in second place, in position to win the evening.┬áNothing builds tension at the end of an Oscars broadcast like knowing that it all comes down to the final awards. If Meryl Streep hadn’t butted in at the end there, I would have pulled off a comeback for the ages. But it’s hard to resent Meryl Streep too much, and a second place showing still ain’t too bad. (For the record, I got 9 out of 24 picks. The winner got 10.)

So what did I think of the Oscars as a whole this year? I was quite happy with the show, actually. Crystal did what Crystal always does, so no surprise there. His bit with the movies at the beginning was diverting, at least. His Oscars Song was hard to understand at times.

I was more pleased with the way the awards generally got sprinkled around, with no one film getting too doused. True, The Artist picked up three of the biggies, but you also had awards going to Midnight in Paris, Iron Lady, The Help, Hugo–it wasn’t a sweep by any one film, and I much prefer that to an air of inevitability.

None of the acceptance speeches seemed excessively boorish, which is always nice. Also, in the memoriam section, the audience actually managed to not clap for their favorites (or was the audience just not mic’ed?), something I was really happy about. Applauding for people who’ve died . . . how does that feel right? So even in death, some of the people don’t get as much respect as others, and the ones who get the most attention makes it seem like we’re happiest they’re gone.

My biggest complaint would be the random shots of musicians playing instruments in the opera boxes. That was annoying and baffling. Cirque de Soleil? Kind of a strange choice, and it felt too much like an ad for their show to me. The interviews with the movie stars about what they think about movies? Okay–but does anyone really care what Adam Sandler thinks about cinema? Some of the interviews seemed too much like the Bieber-grab for a certain demographic. Like someone who isn’t interested in the Oscars is going to be channel surfing, see Adam Sandler talking, and then spend the next two hours wondering when the fart jokes are going to start. And the commercials. Man, did they pack them in at the end of the show or what. We were clipping along so fast that at 11 I was thinking the show might actually end early, and then they gave us about 20 minutes of ads at the end.

(Soapbox: what idiot actually thinks at that point that commercials are a good idea? It’s getting late, you want to go to bed, and I just start resenting all the companies who are trying to sell me stuff.)

Overall, the show was a good one. I was entertained, even if I didn’t win. There’s always next year. Maybe I should figure out a way to Skype in my agent (who if you don’t know, follows the Oscars even more closely than I do–I love reading his liveblog of the event each year, and while I may post more movie reviews, he certainly sees far more movies in the theater than I could dream of. His reviews are always insightful, and he actually saw every single Best Picture nominee this year). Of course, my Oscar Gala might be a bit loud for him. I’m not sure if he’s watched the Oscars with three kids fighting with lightsabers in the background. But our dessert spread was tasty (gourmet caramel apples, strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar), we had other treats (chips, salsa, crackers, cheese spread), and we had some nice Martinelli’s to wash it all down (just keepin’ it Mormon here).

Maybe the chance to win the Oscar hat for a year would be enough to persuade him. ­čÖé

In any case, that sums up my thoughts. What did you all think of the evening? Do share!

3 thoughts on “Oscars 2012 Summary”

  1. Since your agent admitted he slept through one or two of ’em I’m not sure his opinion is valid on those.

    Personally, I’d have been happy with either The Artist or Hugo for best picture. But I’m glad The Artist got it, since making a B/W silent movie these days is a huge risk–and rightly so. It’s really impressive that they could pull it off so effectively!

    Not sure how I would have fared in your contest as I didn’t make any pics up front, but I thought all the winners seemed to deserve their awards. Glad that Meryl Streep got it even though I hear the movie itself isn’t particularly appealing. When you’ve been nominated 17 times you ought to pull it out more than twice and now she has.

  2. There were no awards given that really upset me or disappointed me one way or another, although I do think that the wrong Muppet song was nominated for the award. “Life’s a happy song” was much better.

  3. Respectfully disagree about the Muppets song. I thought “Man or a Muppet” was the highlight of the movie. Especially when the muppet’s reflection was Sheldon. Tremendous flick either way!

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