2009 Oscar Recap

24Feb09

best-picture-slumdog

First and foremost, we would like to thank all of you who supported us on Sunday and followed the live blog.  It was a big day for Sexy Gypsy, and it really set the bar high.

Unfortunately, the Academy set the bar pretty low for hosting this year.  Hugh Jackman, while slightly entertaining and charismatic at first, bored us to death with the constant musical numbers.  This is the Oscars, dammit, we didn’t watch the Grammies for a reason.  Also, the new format for actor awards runs a little long for our taste.  Do we really need past winners standing up there talking one by one about the nominees for this year?  We know Heath Ledger was an amazing Joker, do we really need Kevin Kline to tell us again?  And if Cuba Gooding Jr. wants to be on stage at the red carpets, maybe he should be in a movie that doesn’t suck ass.

So despite some random last minute decisions, Sexy Gypsy did pretty well in predicting the Oscars this year.  Our preview was right on the money for the big categories, even if our ballots weren’t.  Unlike past years, there were no really big upsets.  So let’s recap:

Best Picture: We all knew that Slumdog Millionaire was going to sweep the awards again.  Milk was an amazing contender, but couldn’t stand up to the sheer brilliance in editing, direction, sound, and writing that Slumdog brought.  Well deserved.

Best Director: David Fincher and Ron Howard have done better work.  Stephen Daldry’s presence, not only in this category, but also in every other category The Reader was nominated, was a ridiculous, unwarranted usurping of Sam Mendes’ rightful seat with Revolutionary Road.  Van Sant gave him a good run for the money, but Danny Boyle couldn’t be ignored any longer.  Well deserved.

Best Actor:  Minus Brad Pitt, this category was stacked.  Jenkins, Langella, Penn, and Rourke all gave amazing performances.  But it really came down to the latter two, and even though Prop 8 could’ve pushed Penn to the win, he was fantastic, and at least Rourke is again on the radar.  Questionable, but well deserved.

Best Actress:  Anne Hathaway hasn’t been as typecast as most people believe.  Her role in Havoc was enough for us to take her seriously.  Unfortunately, she was up against two major actresses (not counting Melissa Leo or Angelina Jolie).  However, Streep has had her Oscar recognition, and Winslet was due after so many dead end nominations.  Well deserved, wrong film (should have been Revolutionary Road).

Best Supporting Actor:  If you read our preview, you know our conspiracy theories in this category.  But there was only ever a slight doubt in anyone’s mind that Ledger would walk with this one.  His “eclectic” career aside, this was not only his best performance, but one of the best of all time.  Hey Downey, why so serious?  Well deserved.

Best Supporting Actress:  This category wasn’t really stellar, but everyone did a good job in their roles.  Amy Adams, however, was definitely a head above the rest, in emotion and in screen time.  Predicting this one was disappointing, because we knew Cruz would take it for being involved in an otherwise-not-nominated Woody Allen film.  Undeserved.

Other categories of interest

Foreign Language:  Waltz with Bashir should’ve taken this, and most people thought it would.  Always gotta be on the lookout for the underdog.

Shorts:  It is surprising that On the Line or Manon on the Asphalt didn’t take it, considering they were more the Academy’s usual taste, but Toyland was interesting and well edited, and the only WWII film even nominated this year.  Also surprising, but definitely exciting, was the Academy’s decision to look past Pixar’s usual animated brilliance and give the Oscar to La Maison en Petits Cubes, the emotional Japanese film with a French name.

Screenplay:  Slumdog Millionaire was an amazing adaptation, as shown by its eight wins this year.  However, we still believe that, with any other director, the script would have fallen short.  Doubt, though sub par in acting and directing, was an amazingly well written film, full of amazing dialogue.  Milk was the obvious choice for Original Screenplay.  It built and developed all the characters for the actors to round out, and there wasn’t a weak link in the bunch.

Another surprise was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  All three of this film’s awards (Visual Effects, Art Direction, and Makeup) beat out The Dark Knight, which was a thousand times better in all of them.  This is either an apology to Fincher for ignoring Zodiac, or an apology to Brad Pitt that he will never, ever, ever be Batman.  Robin, maybe, but not The Dark Knight.

Overall, a good year for movies, and a solid Academy Awards ceremony.  We will of course be starting this all over again next November, but for now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming.  Thanks for the support.

-Sexy Gypsy

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