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February 23, 2009


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Owain Wilson

My favourite part of the show was right at the beginning when the huge curtains failed to open. Somehow, the backstage crew were on mic and could be heard arguing about getting the damn things open. Awesome.

Apart from that, last night's show was one of the most embarrassing I have ever seen.

And I can't believe they shafted Mickey Rourke.


Much of the opening number was terrible (I drink Milk?!) but I have to admit his musical admission that he hadn't seen The Reader was actually pretty funny. Anyway, Jackman barely showed up in the second half. Interesting. And yes, the Franco/Rogen (and don't forget Kiminski) thingie was the funniest. And very meta when Franco watched himself make out with a dude. It irritated me that they couldn't mention pot, but then the suggestion for how to use the Oscar in the final seconds made up for that. By the way, Rogen had noticeably lost weight since PE. Is he going Hollywood?


I completely agree about Farber, mad props to whoever included him. And I really liked that Queen Latifah was singing over the tributes because it kept the goddamn clapping to a minimum. That irritates me every year -- turning it into a popularity contest, or rather in that room, a "which ones have you actually heard of" contest.

Tony Dayoub

@ Glenn,

Yes, I caught the nod to Farber and thought it was great. And I was on live-Twittering the Oscars I must admit, but aside from a few snarky comments (Sophia Loren looked rough) I hope I wasn't spreading the hate.

@ Owain,

I thought the show was livelier, and much more interesting to watch this year, i.e. not as stately and boring, in my opinion. Liked the idea of the five presenters in the acting category, but didn't like how long it took for them to execute that. Loved the order of presenting the awards from pre- to post-production.

@ MovieMan,

I was amused by Jackman's opening number, but he's lost some of his Wolverine mystique... even before the show started. Did anyone catch him lap-dancing for Barbara Walters? And here Mickey Rourke is admitting to Walters that he hated whoring himself out during his low period.

I will join T.S. at ScreenSavour.net in campaigning for Tina Fey to host next year's awards. She and Steve Martin were funny.

@ Campaspe,

The thing that bothered me about Latifah's singing (also mentioned by T.S.) was how the camera tried framing her along with the video on the dearly departed. It made the video hard to see.


Tony, you're right, and Edward Copeland also suggested a very simple solution on Facebook: turn off the mikes in the audience. Presto, applause not a problem.

Was I the only one who found the "recession" theme of the opening number kinda tasteless?

And I love Jackman, but he is not what the show needed.


I've never like Baz Luhrman's movies, but I think that he's finally found his calling: choreographing wildly tacky Oscar musical numbers featuring members of the High School Musical cast. If only Bill Condon would go back to making non-musical films and leave the Oscars in Luhrman's hands entirely.

Pete Apruzzese

I tuned in to see Jerry Lewis get his long-overdue recognition and left it on after that. Was shocked that they didn't actually show film clips during most of the nominations. Most annoyed that Patrick McGoohan was left off the memorial segment.


Shit, Pete -- You're right about McGoohan. I didn't even catch that. Now I, too, am pissed off.

Dan Coyle

I spent the night trying to finally beat Grand Theft Auto IV, which had an extremely bleak ending that you don't find in Hollywood these days.

I'm partially happy that Penn won again, just to see John Nolte and his crew crack in half with barely suppressed homophobic rage.

Owain Wilson

Tony, I'm all for adding snap and pace to the Academy Awards, but when I say it was embarrassing I was referring to all the dead little moments and awkward gaps, the many fluffed intros, the terrible writing, and so on. The Daniel Craig and Sarah Jessica Parker bit comes to mind.

Plus, some of the ideas were just outright terrible anyway. The Baz Luhrman sequence was a mess. Hugh Jackman kept shouting "Maria!" completely at random. I started to feel sick by the end of it.

I think I actually prefer the stately feel of previous shows, though. It added the gravitas and sense of event that the Oscars is supposed to have. The trouble with this year is that they went too far in the other direction. If they can find that delicate balance between classy and snappy, they'll have hit the jackpot.

Dan Yeager

As to McGoohan being left out, he passed away in January. He'll be in next year's montage I'm sure.


Fine. Then I'm pissed off that Donald Westlake was left out (he passed away in December).

Tony Dayoub

@ Dan Yeager,

Don't be so sure about McGoohan next year. Montalban passed away shortly thereafter and he was included in last night's montage. And Whitmore died a couple weeks back and was also included.

Dan Coyle

If I were Westlake, I would have been asked to be left out of the montage, just so people wouldn't remember What's the Worst that Could Happen? was adapted from one of my books.

(Great novel; horrendous raping of the source material)


Or Two Much. But I doubt anyone's going to remember either of those movies anyway.

Dan Coyle

Nobody... except us. That is our gift... that is our CURSE.


It's like we're tortured superheroes or something.

Dan Coyle

But with more expressive faces than Tobey Maguire.


Maybe yours is. I'm like a frickin' statue. I can't do a damn thing with this face.


I thought Jackman was the best thing about the show, honestly. Sure, the opening number was mildly tacky, but these are the Oscars: tacky is the name of the game. The five former winners thing got old the first time it happened, although I don't begrudge anybody getting a compliment from a respected actor.


Yes, what an honor it must be to be praised by Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Sorry, I know what you mean. That's why I would have been pissed if I was nominated and happened to be the guy stuck with Gooding.


This was the worst Oscar telecast that I can remember, in so many ways it would be impossible to list them all. Most egregious IMO was the way they shot the "in memoriam" segment, which made it IMPOSSIBLE to see most of the names, let alone what might have been under the names to help you identify those people whose names aren't instantly recognizeable (producer, etc.). Waving the camera around in big circles and moving it in and out did nothing for the home viewer, it was completely annoying.

2nd most egregious is the smart-assed directing. Cutting to angie and brad in the front row, TWICE when Jen was presenting is just very TMZ. I just wanted to smack someone.

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