The 82nd Academy Awards: A Review

By , Roseville, MI
The Academy Award’s March 7th broadcast marks the 82nd time a round of little gold men were handed out. As the famous saying goes “expect the unexpected.” I fell into that frame of mind as I watched the ceremony. Personally, I was not a fan of the previous ceremonies as The Academy Awards tend to be a more structured award show that is based on keeping up with the tight-knit traditions they have developed over the years. It takes a lot to keep my interest afloat and previous Academy Awards shows have proven to not be as “entertaining” as one would. This year was no exception.

The ceremony began with a random, yet interesting performance by How I Met Your Mother actor Neil Patrick Harris. While it was quite different and sparked my interest for the duration of the performance, I had to reminisce to seeing a performance by Harris at a previous Academy Awards (or possibly Emmy’s ceremony). I understand they would put him back again for a performance because of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” marketing technique, but I would be even more interested if the show was opened by the actual hosts of the show. When I first heard the Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were hosting, I felt they could definitely bring a comedic ring to the show. They brought Steve Martin back as host for a third time, so there must be some reason to it, right? I was on a ship flying so far away from being right. Their banter and “jokes” were very under-performed when they finally came on stage and left little to be desired for. Their jokes seemed overly clichéd and too staged for my interests. I couldn’t wait for the show to move on to something else.

The show then went straight into presenting their traditional awards, not that I was interested. I was longing for the most coveted categories to be presented such as “Best Picture,” Best Supporting Actors,” Best Actors,” and “Best Directing.” If I had known that most of those categories were strategically placed at the end of the show, I would have stopped watching and resumed much later. While I do give credit to all the winners of the less coveted categories, I gladly could have done something else while they were being presented. The torturously long amount of time the nominees got in the nominees presentation didn’t help either. Two or three minutes given to each nominee in the Best Documentary Short category? We’re not the voters; we don’t need to see a clip from every scene of the nominated piece.

By the time it got to the three-hour mark, I was exhausted. There were very little comedic bits to keep me going and it became torturous waiting for the awards I was interested in. When they finally presented the “Best Actor” category, I slowly became relieved. After sitting through 15 minutes of friends or colleagues of each nominee explain random stories and opinions about the nominees, I didn’t feel as bad because I knew the announcement of the winner was on its way. As Jeff Bridges (who?) took the Best Actor Category and Sandra Bullock (who along with Gabourey Sidibe from “Precious” were the leading contenders for the category in my opinion) took Best Actress, I became even more interested.

I definitely expected “Avatar” to be the reigning champ at the awards show, not because I seen the movie (which I haven’t), but because of the excessive hype featured around the movie. I was thoroughly shocked when “The Hurt Locker’s” director, Kathryn Bigelow, took Best Director Not only was she the first female winner of the Best Director category, she won for a film that I had not even heard of or seen before awards season. The next shock came with “The Hurt Locker” also winning Best Picture in a quick announcement due in part to the show already being a half-hour over schedule. Though you could see the overwhelming excitement in everyone who accepted the award, it was still a big surprise. After all the expectations for “Avatar,” the James Cameron mega-picture only won three of the nine categories it was nominated for! “The Hurt Locker” led the night with winning six out of the nine categories it was nominated in. With that much winning power, I may decide to watch the movie sometime.

Overall, the 2010 Academy Awards were dismal at best. While it was probably the thrill of a lifetime watching the show for Hollywood’s more defined members of the movie industry, the show didn’t catch the interest of the movie-loving teenager that I am. If an awards show is going to take up three and a half hours of my day, I would expect it to be outstanding. I guess I will have to wait for MTV’s award shows or the 2011 Grammys, they tend to keep me more happily interested than some of the other shows out there.
Overall grade: C-





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