Oscars 2011

With the help of a carefully coordinated irregular sleeping pattern and LOTS of Marks and Spencer flapjacks, Dr B and I managed to stay up to watch this year's Oscars. A few thoughts:

  • Just like last year, trying to to work out how to watch the damn thing was a pain in the bum. Obviously I would prefer it if the BBC got their hands on the show again, but if it does have to be with Sky, they could at least provide some kind of online viewing option. The simple fact is that there are huge chunks of society (shout out to all the fellow renters) who simply cannot get Sky TV no matter how much they want it. In the end, we managed to find a pixelly, stuttery (yes yes, the irony) stream online – and we weren't even sure that was going to work until it actually kicked off.
  • Actually, it would have been great to watch it in a bar or something. Does anywhere in London do that? Or better yet - and this seems SO obvious to me - why don't they broadcast it live to cinemas? I can pop down the road and watch the New York Metropolitan Opera live from the other side of the planet, so why not the Oscars?
  • The Associated Press Red Carpet Star Harasser (didn't catch her name) was woefully underprepared. You've basically corralled a bunch of the most famous people in the world for hour, it should be like shooting fish, so questions like "Are you wearing matching shoes" and "Do you speak Hindi?" aren't really good enough, are they?
  • James Franco and Anne Hathaway were … okay. A marked improvement on Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin last year, even if James Franco did look like an underpowered squinting robot at times. No need for the singing though Anne, no need for the singing.
  • I do miss Billy Crystal though :(
  • Franco was tweeting pics and videos throughout the evening. 'Sup, youth demographic.
  • It was good to see Inception get lots of technical awards, although it doesn't make up for the fact that Christopher Nolan wasn't nominated for Best Director. Did the Academy not watch it or something?
  • Kirk Douglas. Legend. I watched Paths of Glory the other day, and he wasn't exactly young in that, so to see him on stage over fifty years later – and being bloody funny to boot – was a real treat.
  • Celine Dion. No. Wrong. Bad.
  • SO MANY ADVERTS. Not just any old adverts, but American adverts. And as we all know, American TV is just plain weird. Still, nice to see a Diet Coke advert with a Tom Gauld animation.
  • Trent Reznor. In a tux. On the stage of the Academy Awards. Receiving an Oscar. For a film about Facebook. The world is a strange, unpredictable place. (Dr B points out that it's a shame he didn't fit "I want to thank you like an animal" into his speech.)
  • Lots of British winners. Splendid.
  • Toy Story 3 got best animated film, which was to be expected. I'd have quite liked to have seen it go to How To Train Your Dragon though, simply for its good old fashioned pure storytelling, not resorting to Shrekian pop-culture references.
  • "I know, let's give Francis Ford Coppola a lifetime achievement award, but on a separate, untelevised evening. We don't want to take up precious Celine Dion time with that dullard hack. We'll let him walk on stage and wave, but that's all."
  • I will never understand why they insist on using nominees to present (and now actually host) the awards. There are quite a few famous people in that room – it'd be nice to see some different faces. And not just pairings who are there to transparently promote their new films (Brand and Mirren, Downey Jnr and Law), which cheapens the whole thing.
  • According to his IMDb profile, Christian Bale is currently filming something called The 13 Women of Nanjing, which presumably features prominent ginger-beardery. (He also appears to be lined up for an "Untitled Nikola Tesla Project", which must surely have something to do with a prediction I made the other day.)

See also: Oscars 2010 and The Best Animated Feature feature.