Sunday, February 22, 2009

Live Blogging: 81st Annual Academy Awards [Half-Hour 8]

Best Actress must be next. They're doing the five past winners thing again. The nominees: Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Melissa Leo, Meryl Streep, and Angelina Jolie. I only saw The Reader and Changeling, and I liked Jolie in Changeling better. It will almost certainly go to Winslet or Streep, but Jolie is my pick anyway. The winner: Kate Winslet. Oh, hey, she thanked Peter Jackson too. He directed one of her first films (if not *the* first film for her).

Wow, her speech went on for a while, and they didn't interrupt her with music. They haven't done that all night. They must just be letting this one go long tonight if it has to.

Best Actor is next. The presenters: Michael Douglas presenting Frank Langella. Robert DeNiro presenting Sean Penn. Adrian Brody presenting Richard Jenkins. Anthony Hopkins presenting Brad Pitt (they were together in the great movie Meet Joe Black), and Ben Kingsley presenting Mickey Rourke. My pick is Frank Langella, though Mickey Rourke is almost certain to win. Winner: Sean Penn. Wow, his wife Robin Wright Penn looks great! Dude, thank your wife. Thank your wife. There's the political commentary. Two more things? More political commentary. Mentions Mickey Rourke. Did he thank his wife??? If he did, I sure did miss it.

Best Picture, presented by Steven Spielberg. First, a Best Picture nominee montage, with a focus on this year's nominees but with clips from past winners sprinkled in. The nominees: Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, and Slumdog Millionaire. My pick: Slumdog Millionaire. Winner: Slumdog Millionaire. Good. It truly was the most deserving out of those nominated.


Comments on the show:

The new way of presenting acting nominees with five past winners per category saying nice things about the current year's nominees was a good idea in a way, but it carried on a little long and dragged down the momentum of the show.

I don't understand why there were only three Best Song nominees instead of five, but I do like the fact that they combined shorter versions of them all together into one performance rather than doing full versions of each, sprinkled throughout the show.

I also like how they clumped similar categories together back to back using the same presenters to save time, though I think having Will Smith present four or five awards all on his own was a little excessive.

I wasn't so sure about Hugh Jackman hosting since I've never watched him host the Tony Awards, but it really didn't matter much because once the show got started, there really wasn't too much for him to do.

And, not once did they start music in the middle of a person's speech. That was respectful. Now, if winners will just learn to police themselves on how long they go on crying and catching their breath, the show might be over by 11:30.

Overall, I liked the show. You could tell they were trying new things, and many of them worked or were at least improvements. With a little tweaking (and, I'm sorry, some overall better nominees), next year's show could be excellent.

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