Every year it is the same; people complaining about the nominees,
winners but mostly the award show itself. Nobody can be ever completely
satisfied of course and this also shouldn't be the Academy Awards'
intention. But it's still good to see that they are taking some of the
criticism at heart and keep improving/adjusting the show. I think that
they have now finally reached a point that they have taken the best
elements of the last 5, or so, Academy Awards shows and have combined
it for this year's award ceremony.
I really enjoyed watching it, mostly because there seemed to be a good pace, all throughout. The acceptance speeches were all equally long/short and none of them felt overlong or made me shout out at the TV 'get off the stage!'. Also there were no real distractions this year. Normally the show takes the time to suddenly honor somebody for 5 minutes, or throw in some montages or other videos. This year it all was really mostly about handing out the awards, nothing more and nothing less than that.
Also no distracting Oscar-nominated songs and live performances this time. Sorry to say but most nominated songs are always very boring and horrible to listen to. This year there were only 2 nominees but they didn't let anyone perform them on stage, which was a great move in my opinion!
Another thing that gave the show lots of pace was the order in which the awards were being handed out. For years they always saved the most important awards for the end of the show, with always as a result that people first had to endure 2 hours of other people, that no one has ever heard of or cared about, receiving Oscars, for some very uninteresting categories. This year there was a far better balance in which the awards were handed out.
One more thing that gave the show lots of pace were the presenters. No one that came on stage ever had a long routine before they announced the winner and it was also a smart move to leave all of the comedy up to the real comedians this year. And there were quite a few comedians handing out the awards this year!
The main presenter of the evening, Billy Crystal, was also surprising good. I really wasn't looking forward to him again, after a absence of 8 years from presenting the Oscars, after Eddie Murphy had dropped out. But he simply was really good, mainly since he didn't turned it into a one man's show for himself. He still had some good jokes this year, something that was also lacking during the last couple of years, when they tried out (too) many different, new hosts.
As for the winners themselves; there were no real big surprises this year but it's still always good to see that there is not just one movie, that sweeps all of the awards. Many different movies received an Oscar this year, which should also tell you something about what kind of a year this was. it was a year with many great movies, of which none stood really out as anything brilliant, in my opinion.
Still some of the winners and its predictability annoyed me of course. Christopher Plummer mostly winning just because of his age, the way Meryl Streep acted all surprised she had won, while she was the only true 100% lock for his year, Octavia Spencer being the only one that received a standing ovation mostly because of her ethnicity and out of so called white guilt. I mean, I was hoping and also expecting her to win but really, a standing ovation, just for her win alone? It were all little things like this that still annoyed me about the evening.
But oh well, like I said before; you can never expect to feel completely satisfied during an 3 hour long award ceremony!
Annual awards presentation honoring the best film achievements of 2011.
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Natalie Portman as Herself - Presenter: Best Actor in a Leading Role
Brad Pitt as Himself - Nominee: Best Actor in a Leading Role & Co-Nominee: Best Picture
Melissa McCarthy as Herself - Nominee: Best Actress in a Supporting Role / Co-Presenter: Best Live Action Short Film / Best Documentary Short and Best Animated Short Film
Tom Hanks as Himself - Presenter: Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction