The Oscars 2012 - Wrap-up
We’re playing point counterpoint. I liked the show. I liked the pace. I liked Billy Crystal. A lot. Was it easy and comfortable? Yes. Will that be the criticism of it? Probably. But it felt...good. It felt like, as horribly corny as this sounds, if the Oscars refuse to revolutionise in one day, why not have an old friend come along to help it evolve...ever slowly. What are you talking about Lainey? What do you mean evolve? He did the same sh-t he’s always done. A song and a dance and a montage and it was clever and cute but it wasn’t new...
Well... bitch-slapping Christian Bale’s “eyeline” was new, wasn’t it? It was better than anything Ricky Gervais delivered at this year’s Golden Globes. And I don’t think Bale was in on it either. These are the small steps. And that was a member of the “old” guard putting it to the Dark Knight, the emblem film of the “new” guard’s discontent. Maybe I’m reading too much symbolism into it. But for all the sh-t the Academy has been taking over its archaism, I will always rather its archaism over the transience of a show like the Video Music Awards. I prefer the gravitas that comes with Morgan Freeman’s voice to open the ceremony. As such, the cheeky enthusiasm of Billy Crystal works much better than whatever poem within a film within a sculpture James Franco is trying to art on my ass.
In that sense, it was a recovery year. Call it a palate cleanser if you will, a transition move between the disaster that was last year and any freshness they may want to introduce next year. With that spirit in mind, the show to me was a success. I thought it was well paced and smooth. I thought it MOVED. When it was over, I was pleasantly surprised thinking that only 2 hours had passed when in fact we had clocked over 3. And I totally expected to hate the Cirque du Soleil and didn’t, although maybe that’s because I love the Beatles and Beatles LOVE is one of my favourite Vegas experiences. That said, the ratings will probably suck anyway.
I guess it all comes down to personal preference. Many of you tweeted at me and couldn’t believe I was enjoying the program. But I love the Oscars. I love my memories of watching the Oscars. Billy Crystal brought that back for me tonight in a way that made me feel like there was a connection between then and now...which...to go back to corny, is kinda how we each see the movies, isn’t it? Certain movies mean more to certain people than they do to others. For some reason, even though I didn’t much care about the actual movies that were featured, these Oscars ended up meaning more to me than the last few. And Billy deserves a lot of credit for that.
By the way...if we’re already brainstorming who should host and who would be a better host, a lot of you are saying Tina Fey. Sure. Of course.
But I am telling you, as I said last year, Justin Timberlake as an actor? Please no. Justin Timberlake Oscar host? YES. THIS.
Now for Duana’s counterpoint:
Billy Crystal coming back was going to be fine for me; I was good with it. I am not the type who looks forward to the Brett Ratner-type "reinvent the show" stuff. Nor am I into the reactionary "the young people sucked! Let's go for the olds!" philosophy. The show is supposed to be a big f*cking deal, and over the top and glamorous. Billy Crystal's always been a nice boy that mothers like, he gives it his all, and he's a multitalented performer.
And that should be enough. Elaine and I were talking earlier, and here's the thing: when we were young (and that's the collective we, if you're 19, go with it), we watched...what everyone else watched. Shows that kids could see included The Cosby Show and Family Ties...and Designing Women and Golden Girls. Eight-year-olds watched Golden Girls. And devoured it, and loved it. It wasn't just “for kids”; instead, it taught us to distinguish between what was good and funny, and what wasn't. It honed our comedy chops. Funny is funny, it doesn't matter who's delivering it.
But that's what didn't work tonight. Billy forgot that part. I...something about him coming back was tied to The Kids, and whether he was Still Relevant and stuff. None of which had mattered if he hadn't given a sh*t. But he did. Bad news.
He opened great and strong. But when a couple of jokes didn't land - when he wasn't getting the rave smiles he wanted - he started to falter. Looked a little sweaty. When he “rewound” after messing up that Angelina joke, my heart broke for him. But he was getting more and more anxious. By the end of the middle, he looked kind of tired. He just... wanted us to like him, which is often the most repellent property when you're forming an opinion. The great question was whether Billy Crystal still had it. And I think the truth is he did - until he started worrying about whether we thought so or not.
Shall we move on now to the clothes and the wearers now?
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