Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm Counting On You, Anne!!


Well, the Academy Awards telecast is going to be starting in just a little while. Frankly, I'm just watching it as I have the last few years, out of habit more than genuine interest. It wasn't always this way. I used to look forward with excitement to the presentation of the Oscars each year, when I actually used to really love the movies. That's going back to when I started watching the annual telecast back in the 70's and continuing through the 80's. But in the last couple decades my interest has been steadily waning, as with each passing year Hollywood convinces me that they aren't really interested in making the kind of movies that I find genuinely entertaining.

I think the last Academy Awards show that I actually enjoyed was the year that the musical, Chicago swept many of the major awards. I was hoping that last year director Rob Marshall would have a similar success with his film, Nine, as it was my favourite movie by far released in 2009. Alas, neither audiences nor film critics shared my enthusiasm, and Nine was pretty much shut out even at the nomination stage. Instead, last year was a battle between the technological marvel, Avatar, and the gritty war pic, The Hurt Locker, neither of which I much cared for. Actually, I didn't even get around to seeing Avatar until its later reissue, and The Hurt Locker (which won) I'd rented just the day before the awards and really hated it!

Yeah, I know I'm completely out of step with contemporary moviegoing tastes, believe me I'm painfully aware of that. As such, I really haven't had a horse in the race for many years now and I don't even enjoy many of the films getting nominated in the major categories. I've seen several of the Best Picture nominees this year, including True Grit, Toy Story 3, Black Swan, The King's Speech, and (as of yesterday) The Social Network. They're all good films, but quite honestly, none of them can hold a candle to the type of Oscar winning films that came out of Hollywood in its glory years in terms of outright entertainment. Films like My Fair Lady, Lawrence of Arabia, and The Godfather, as diverse as they are, remain for me completely memorable and entertaining in their respective ways. In contrast, none of the films nominated this year I would make a point of watching again. Sadly, it's been like that for me for many years now.

I guess if there's a single reason I'm interested in tonight's Academy Awards, it's because of the choice of Anne Hathaway as one of the two co-hosts. She's not only beautiful but has great charisma to boot. I love watching her on screen and in interviews, as she just sparkles with personality. I thought she was terrific when host Hugh Jackman carried her up on stage from the audience to join him in his song tribute at the beginning of the telecast a couple years back. I'm hoping she'll sing and dance for us tonight too! As for the awards themselves....meh.

7 comments:

Alberto said...

If it makes you feel any better the only nominated (in general) films I saw were the Illusionist, HTTYD, The Hereafter, and I wanted to see The Kings Speech and I Am Love. The list is not very impressive this year and it's a shame. Now that I moved to a bigger city I've been going to more retrospectives and special 35mm print showings as opposed to the new releases (actually I'm going to see NxNW presented by none other than Eva Marie Saint!). Also with the price of tickets, I'm far more selective than I used to be. I'd like to just say yes, the year after "Chicago" (2002) it started getting stale, but 2007 seemed to have been a pretty good year. The weird thing to me is that this year and the year before had more nominations than any previous year i've seen, so you'd think with more nominations the chances of a better movie would be higher... guess not.

Pete Emslie said...

Well, they reined it in well before midnight, but that sure was one lackluster Oscars telecast! Throughout the entire evening I really didn't care about the winners at all - usually there's at least a couple that I'm happy for. I was disappointed that Alan Menken didn't win for his song from "Tangled", which I thought was rather pretty and tuneful, a rarity in that category now. Instead ol' mushmouth Randy Newman won for another rather forgettable ditty commissioned by Lasseter. I long for the days of Henry Mancini teamed up with Johnny Mercer, and the years of the Tin Pan Alley composers before that. I think they should just do away with that category, as nobody knows what a real Oscar worthy song is anymore.

cabap said...

exellent as always Pete,
jan :)

Ricardo Cantoral said...

I know you'll hate me for saying this Pete but the Coen Bros. True Grit is so much better than the Wayne Film.

Pete Emslie said...

You're allowed to like the new one better, Ricardo. :)

I like both films, but I have a soft spot for John Wayne's look of one-eyed exasperation as Rooster Cogburn. I found Jeff Bridges mumbled his dialogue to the point where I was missing some of what he said. Also, I think Kim Darby was every bit as magnificent as Mattie as is critically acclaimed Hailee Steinfeld in the new version. Admittedly, Glen Campbell as an actor pales in comparison to the more seasoned Matt Damon, but ol' Glen sure sang a very pretty title tune in the original!

Ricardo Cantoral said...

I think Jeff Bridges did mumble a bit trying to capture a genuine accent but he still was terrific. I felt Cogburn's character more than Wayne's but The Duke would have been better had the part had been written as well. As for the rest, I think Hailee Steinfeld and Matt Damon blew their predecessors out of the water and then some. True Grit 2010 is another winner from The Coen Brothers in general. I really mean when I say they are the best in the business right now.

Omar Momani said...

incredible