58%… That’s how I scored in my predictions. Now that may not sound great (I’ve certainly scored better averages), but I’m pleased with this stat for a few reasons…
1. I scored 100% correct in the top 8 categories: Leading Actor, Supporting Actor, Leading Actress, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Editing, Directing and Best Picture. Granted, these were pretty predictable but there was a 50/50 chance of someone else winning in most of those categories.
2. Often, my 2nd choice won the award. I figured “The Young Victoria” would probably win for Costume Design but decided (wrongly) to take a chance on “Coco Before Chanel”. I figured “The Hurt Locker” had a chance at winning the Sound categories and Original Screenplay. I thought “Precious” was a perfect screenplay adaptation eclipsed only by “Up in the Air.” I missed those predictions by a hair.
3. Only 5 of the 10 categories I missed included films that I (and honestly, most Academy voters) had not seen like the Foreign Films, Shorts and Documentary categories. Access to them would’ve surely improved my score so I don’t count them as major errors.
4. I agree that all of the Oscar-winning films (that I had seen) and actors were 100% deserving of their awards with the exception of “Up” winning Best Original Score. I really hate that whimsical “French Cafe” accordion music and I can’t abide the fact that it appears in so many animated films. I also think it was the only category where “Avatar” got robbed.
My Co-Oscars conspirator, Jay, scored 41% but he did get a few that I missed like “The Young Victoria” for Costume Design and “The Hurt Locker” for Best Original Screenplay.
As for the ceremony itself, I missed a few things that were staples of past years. The mostly lame stand-up comedy between Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin was a poor substitute for the skits and spectacles I liked better from previous ceremonies. I thought it was too bad they cut out the “Best Song” numbers/medleys only because I really wanted to hear “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart” live on TV. The addition of the irrelevant and trite “A Tribute to Horror Films” (With the “Twilight” stars presenting???) and the incomprehensibly bizarre “stomp-style” dance numbers to the Original Scores felt awfully silly and out of place. However, the set and presentation was even more classy, well-rehearsed and professionally done than many shows from recent memory.
Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges gave the best, most heartfelt acceptance speeches. Mo’Nique’s speech seemed strangely arrogant and self-entitled. “The Hurt Locker” director Katheryn Bigalow was too busy trying not to throw up and faint to express her gratitude and that bizarre, conflicting acceptance speech/argument over the Documentary Short “Music by Prudence” makes you wonder why the Academy doesn’t plan against such disasters when one of the co-winners is clearly disgruntled or insane.
Speaking of disasters, Ben Stiller in “Avatar” drag was the most hideously embarrassing thing I’ve seen in awhile. I’m very glad they decided not to do the “Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Stiller as Navi sexually assaulting James Cameron skit” like they had originally planned. Ban Stiller from the Oscars… forever.
There will also be some controversy over the celebrities they chose NOT to put into the annual “Dearly Departed” tribute. Farrah Fawcett, Bea Arthur and several others apparently weren’t celeb enough to make the cut. If Brittany Murphy was deemed cool enough to be included then Farrah should’ve been at the top of the list. Due to the high profile backlash surrounding this oversight, expect the Academy to be less snobby about this segment next time.
Although I would’ve liked to hear legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman andLauren Bacall give acceptance speeches for their Governor’s Awards and producer John Calley for receiving the Thalberg Award, I think if the Academy was trying to trim time from the televised ceremony, they made a good choice by omitting them since the home audience would have little interest. I also thought it was wise to strictly enforce the acceptance speech time limit by preparing the potential winners beforehand instead of having to cut them off during the frequently rambling speeches.
I did enjoy hearing the tributes of the nominees for Leading Actor/Actress by other celebrities who know them well. While it may have bored the at-home audience, you could tell it was an unexpected honor and delight to the deserving nominees.
Overall, I had fun watching the ceremony and I think the “Assistant to the Engineer” did a damn fine job. Congrats on surviving your first Academy Awards experience, Erica 😉
Congrats to the winners and see you all at the Awards next year, folks!
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