The one word I would use to describe the Oscars is unspectacular. I luckily made the decision to skip all the red carpet coverage, which meant that my friends and I had enough stamina to endure the three and a half hour telecast. While few of the winners could be called surprising, I wasn’t really satisfied with the show at all.
Let’s start with Argo. It should come as no surprise to anyone that George Clooney and Matt Damon’s Best Friend won Best Picture, though I would have preferred Silver Linings Playbook. That doesn’t mean that it should have won though.
Was Argo a good film? Definitely. Great? Debatable. Best Picture worthy? Absolutely not. The film was a by-the-books thriller in every sense of the term. It wasn’t even that suspenseful. There’s a reason that Affleck wasn’t nominated for Best Director. The fact that he won Best Picture as a consolation prize is rather upsetting.
There was really only one upset amongst the major categories. “Silver Linings” was excellent, but Jennifer Lawrence’s Best Actress win is a bit of a stretch. I don’t really have a problem with Lawrence winning, but Jessica Chastain was far more deserving for Zero Dark Thirty. She carried that film with few other noteworthy actors (besides Chris Pratt of Parks and Recreation).
The only other toss-up was Best Director. I loved Life of Pi and have no problem with Ang Lee taking the trophy, but this was one of the most underwhelming Best Director categories in recent years. Given that Lee and Spielberg are past winners, this was very underwhelming.
One of the problems was that the vast majority of the winners had already won. Day-Lewis, Affleck, Lee, Clooney, Waltz, and Tarantino all had Oscar gold, as did many of the other nominees. Like Argo, the suspense of the night was underwhelming.
The show itself was mediocre at best. There were too many musical numbers and the opening was too long and too drawn out. Seth MacFarlane appeared to be losing steam about halfway through the show and only a handful of his jokes were truly funny. I suspect he was holding back a bit, but I would have liked to have seen something bold in this long telecast.
The other disappointment of the night was the Bond tribute. Adele and Shirley Bassey were both excellent, but I would have liked to have seen more Bond celebrated in the Bond celebration. The Academy’s decision to honor musicals as well proved to be too much. It’s disappointing that all six Bonds weren’t there, but there were plenty of other consolation prizes.
I can’t be the only one who was slightly disappointed that Susan Boyle wasn’t picked to sing “I Dreamed a Dream”…
The Oscars weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either. Looking at the talent involved, that’s fairly disappointed. Hopefully next year’s show will find better use of the three and a half hours.