I was at an Oscar Party last night. Never been to one before. So it is hard to say if being at a fun party altered my view of the show, but to me, it seemed to be a tamer and shorter affair than in most previous years I have bothered watching.
I know I left right after they announced the upset victory of Crash as Best Picture. That was 11:30 or so. I know I have seen Oscar shows run well past midnight.
It was, of course, still the Oscars. You could tell by the many pointless montages from movies that have been featured in every Oscar montage every year for the last 30 years. But the extra musical numbers were kept to a minimum, and no one's speeches were overtly dragging. Both of these facts made for a shorter than usual ceremony.
As far as the host, I am not a huge fan of Jon Stewart, though I have nothing against him either. I do not watch his show, but I am familiar with it. He was clearly toning it down last night as far as political jokes, (though he did make a few.) His sharp though not quite biting sarcasm made for some enjoyable moments for me. He did not set the Kodak on fire with his work, but he did keep things moving with self deprecating humor, poise, some sarcasm, and overall a great deal of ease. Given that it was his first time hosting the most watched ceremony in the world, I give him a "B".
I would say more, but I did not see any of the Best Picture nominees, and only one of the acting performances that were nominated. As mention previously in this blog, I did see Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line, and she did deserve the award. (Though I did admit I predicted Felicity Hoffman would win. 9 times out of ten, if the Academy nominates someone portraying a member of the opposite sex, or a retarded person, that is your winner.)
A lot has been made about the fact that no blockbuster were nominated for best picture, and few huge names were in the most nominated movies. Ergo, according to some, there was less glamour to the ceremony. I think that is a bit silly. It is still the Oscars, and in theory, it is supposed to be about movie quality anyway, is it not? I think the Academy itself tends to forget that. While I do not expect this trend of "smaller" movies to continue forever, it was sort of nice to not see some explosion ridden CGI-fest up for Best picture this year.
Now that the Oscars are over, let's hurry up and get the rest of those movies on DVD so I can finally watch them.