I'm sure the first thought going through the minds of many Ginger-philes last night was, "Did Mel see The Hurt Locker in time?" The answer, good friends, is . . . . yes! The streak continues! I managed to get my hands on a copy of the DVD Saturday afternoon and watched it before heading off to the closing performance of Plaza Suite. Whew! I liked The Hurt Locker. I thought it was well acted and beautifully directed. I was not really a fan of the script, which I found a bit too episodic for my taste, but thought it was a fine film worthy of being named Best Picture (even though I really liked Inglorious Basterds better).
I will admit, though, to finding the awards last night rather boring. Yeah, it was cool to go 6-for-6 in the big categories last night for the first time ever, but I would have sacrificed perfection for a good shocker like Basterds winning Best Picture. The night, though, seemed to drag, the fun seemed to be lacking, and I spent a good portion of the night just wishing it would be over so I could go to bed. I did live tweet during the show, though, so check out my Twitter feed on the left side of the screen for more "in the moment" reactions to things.
Some random Oscar thoughts:
1. I love Alec Baldwin. I love Steve Martin. I do not love them together and especially did not love them as Oscar hosts. I found their opening monologue dull outside of a couple funny lines here and there. And then the two pretty much disappeared for the rest of the show. What a waste. I found a large portion of the patter unbearable, as usual. What I did like, though, were some of the introductory packages to the smaller and technical awards. The film explaining the difference between sound editing and sound mixing -- fascinating. The film showing "big" directors who started off winning Oscars for shorts -- fascinating. And I love it when they give the screenplay awards and "narrate" the clip with the directions in the script.
2. As soon as Barbra Streisand appeared, I knew Kathryn Bigelow would win.
3. Sandra Bullock's speech was text book perfection -- self deprecating, charming, touching, gracious. Can we make sure a copy of that is sent to all future nominees as a reference guide?
4. Don't shoot me, but I kind of missed having performances of the Best Original Song nominees.
5. I did not, however, enjoy the dancing.
6. I loved having the Best Actor and Actress nominees saluted by former co-stars. I thought it was a nice, personal touch.
7. Ten nominees is too many. I do think, though, that the extra minute it would have taken Tom Hanks to read off the nominees (rather than just opening the envelope without any ceremony to award The Hurt Locker its Best Picture Oscar) would have been worth it to remind of us the nominees. It was a really anti-climactic moment for what is supposed to be the most climactic moment of the ceremony. Bad form.
8. Also bad form: neglecting to include Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur in the "In Memorium" tribute. Okay, I can KIND of understand Bea Arthur, who was known primarily as a stage and television performer. (Although she was in the film of Mame!) But Farrah? Yes, you could argue Farrah was largely known for television work. I would argue, though, that while her film work was not as extensive, it was impressive, particularly her role in The Apostle . . . The Oscar-nominated Apostle . . . a performance that a lot of critics thought at the time was Oscar-worthy. It's just one more slap in the face to poor Farrah who had the misfortune to die just hours before Michael Jackson and thus be a mere footnote to the circus that surrounded Jackson's death. (And note that Jackson WAS included in the montage.)
9. I thought I would be more moved by Kathryn Bigelow breaking the glass ceiling. I applaud her for being restrained and dignified and not being a total Halle Berry up there, but at the same time . . . a LITTLE Halle Berry would have made the moment a little more moving.
So now I enter a hellish two weeks of 14 or so hour days as I prepare to get our school musical up and running. Perhaps I'll blog about it later or maybe talk a little more about my experience of doing Plaza Suite. I can't promise timely American Idol posts, though. But in two weeks, I'll be all yours!