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Monday, February 23, 2009

TV Watch: Oscars 81

So the opening number to this year's Oscars was laughably bad, a misguided attempt at being humorously self-deprecating which came off as one part campy and other parts hurried, cheesy mess. At its worst it simply reminded us of some of worst bits about the Oscars, especially the musical number ribbing The Reader for the fact that nobody had actually watched it.

I'm not saying it wasn't accurate, it just wasn't funny. I'm also not saying Hugh Jackman can't sing. I'm just saying there are times when maybe he shouldn't.

That first step aside, though, it was actually one of the better ceremonies in recent history. And to be fair to Hugh, there's only so much you can do with bad lyrics - no matter how chiseled your chin might be. For the most part, he did quite and well and ushered along a good show. The self-love bits were short and well produced, the award giving was kept crisp and swift and the musical numbers even somewhat entertaining. One of the reasons we watch the Oscars is to mock them, and there sure was still plenty of that - but there was less painful groaning and wanting to throw things at the screen.

In fact, my only real disappointment was Mickey Rourke not winning. I was half expecting him to take an eye out with that pinky ring during his acceptance speech.

Not a lot of upsets, but all in all it was a pretty vanilla selection anyway. I'm not sure Button deserved all that it got, and in retrospect I'm a bit taken Blanchett wasn't nominated for the film, since I honestly think she was the best part of the film.

High points include Winslet telling Streep to suck it up, an Oscar being balanced on a chin as part of an acceptance speech (best. speech. ever.) and quite possibly the best example of why you should use a translator in some situations.

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