Everything that needs to be said about the winners has been said elsewhere - heck, the photos of the law firm of Swank, Eastwood, and Foxx are so oversplashed, I thought I'd put up a pic of Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski, who won for Best Documentary. So here's some random minor thoughts from yesterday's ceremony:
Nice that they cut to Alan Alda when Robert Richardson (the cinematography winner) was thanking those taking care of his mother in hospital - somehow you knew Alda would have a warm smile.
The step of making the "lesser nominees" (sound editing, visual editing, and so on) stand on stage was quite an ingenuous way of cutting back on the time spent on making them walk to stage. Giving out Oscars in the audience was just declasse though.
King Kaufman makes a good point, why all the rush?
I wonder the same thing about the Oscars that I do when I see people leaving close playoff games in the eighth inning or midway through the fourth quarter: What the heck is so important that you can't spare another half hour? Or an hour? If getting home, or going to bed, or whatever, is so important, just stay home, or just go to bed. Turn the recorder on.The way making the show come in on time has become so emphasised makes it feel almost as if the producers of the show are so embarrassed by the product that they want to help us fast forward through it all.
I thought one of the sound editing winners made the very salient point that these are artistic, not "technical" awards. Pity films always have a D.P. but never a Director of Sound. And pity they made Antonio Banderas sing. (Dana Stevens charts the protest against this musical travesty.)
And Chris Rock? Didn't bring the pain. Admittedly it was partly because some of his audience members - cough Sean Penn cough - were humourless, but it didn't have his trademark zing. Personally, I feel Rock's best bits always have to do with personal responsibility (which is actually a conservative point of view, and probably why Slate called him the "William F-ing Buckley of Stand-Up"), and I'm not sure you can work that really well into an awards show.
And I hear the band playing, so I'm going to scarper from the stage. Thanks Mom and Dad, I love you!
(Also cross-posted at Delta Sierra Arts, the arts arm of my media empirelet, where I've also put up an old column on Eminem's "Stan".)