2012 in Film: #41
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) | Directed by Robert Benton
Thoughts: I had been silently dreading watching this film, for fear that its subject matter would be held fairly melodramatically. but thanks to a superb screenplay and outstanding performances from Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep (who both won Oscars), it actually was one of the most moving films I’ve seen in quite awhile to deal with domestic problems. Incredible.
Something that any movie buff will have to come to terms with eventually and probably never will is that the Oscars will never be able to satisfy everyone. Partly because it’s natural to be unable to please legions of cinephiles, and partly because we have old, white, not-even-Oscar winning voters making the decisions here. It’s like a more dramatic, though less important version of the electoral colleges.
Nevertheless, they are the night for me. I don’t watch sports, but this is essentially my Super Bowl or World Cup or whatever. Granted, though, after having watched and read so much Woody Allen, always a no-show at the Oscars, I’m starting to kind of hate them. Same reasons: “Why award one thing over the other and call it the ‘best’?” I think there should be some sort of large panel for each category, and each memeber of each panel lists off their favorites, and then they send out certificates for those of whom that were listed. Yay, win win for everyone!
I spent my pre-Oscar weeks prepping by finally watching The Tree of Life and then watching Midnight in Paris another dozen times. I had planned to watch Moneyball the a couple days before with my friend, who understands baseball jargon much better than I do, but we got caught up in watching Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Drive, just before people arrived for my party. (And then we watched Pulp Fiction and it was the best day ever.) The following day, Oscar Night, I ended up going to a friend’s house to watch the ceremony. It has, I suppose, become somewhat of a tradition. Cory June Vigants, one of my best friends, has an Oscar party at her house every year (now), or at least her parents do. I met her in my freshman year of high school, and her parents are unbelievably kind to me and invited me last year as well.
By the time the red carpet was on, I had my laptop open, my iPod by my side, and I was ready to live blog the night away. Granted, though, I did not live blog anything about the Red Carpet. I’m a strictly ceremony guy. And come 8:30, I was as ready as I ever would be. So, here are my thoughts on Sunday’s Oscar telecast:
- I’ve never actually been a huge fan of Billy Crystal. He was great in the TV sitcom Soap and I love Nora Ephron’s/Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally…, but I’ve never loved him that much. Therefore, I didn’t have high hopes for him anyways. Regardless if he’s hosted the telecast nine times, he just seemed too corny for my taste. Granted, I’m probably the only person who kind of enjoyed James Franco and Anne Hathaway floundering at last year’s ceremony, but so be it. It has nothing to do with me being younger; I just don’t care for Crystal’s brand of comedy.
- The beginning montage. Didn’t see that one coming.
- Billy Crystal singing. Didn’t see that one coming.
- The only presenters I enjoyed were Emma Stone and Ben Stiller (for Emma Stone), Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow (for Robert Downey Jr.), Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper (for Tina Fey), Chris Rock, and Angelina Jolie and her leg (for her leg).
- I’m glad Sasha Baron Cohen thinks he’s funny. It must be lonely at the top.
- The Cirque du Soleil thing was cool. I guess.
- I was most impressed with the way the Original Song nominees were presented. Nice animation.
- My favorite part of the night: Scorsese shots!
- The In Memoriam was very tasteful this year. That, like, never happens.
And now some bitter comments about the winners, things you’ve probably already heard and are already tired of:
- So, The Tree of Life lost Cinematography. Everyone can go to hell now.
- Hugo was basically this year’s Avatar.
- And, boom, Drive loses its only nomination. Thinks to self, “Okay, why am I still watching?”
- Christopher Plummer’s speech was cute.
- When The Artist took Original Score, I thought I could hear Kim Novak screaming.
- The highlight of my night was Woody Allen winning Original Screenplay for Midnight in Paris, basically the only think I was happy about.
- Meryl Streep wins her third Oscar after three decades. As happy as I am for her, I’m just surprised that it was for this movie.
- I guess I need to see The Artist now.
- Honestly speaking, I wasn’t wowed by the Best Pic nominees this year in general. As much as I love Midnight in Paris, I don’t think it deserved Best Picture. Out of all nine, I would have said Tree of Life, The Artist, or (I guess) Hugo. Would have liked something like Drive, Melancholia, or Shame to be in there. They were very safe picks this year.
All said and done, I found the ceremony kind of boring, the winners pretty predictable. I managed to get 18 out of 24 correct. Hopefully next year’s ceremony will be a bit more interesting and especially funnier.