Oscar Thoughts…and there are a lot of them.

Okay, raise your hand if you’re upset about Quentin Tarantino getting snubbed. Thought so, there are more of you then I thought. I was very disappointed with the Academy Awards last night. It wasn’t only with the awards, and who won and who didn’t win, the production was just bad (maybe more bland, not bad). There were some high points, and I liked of some of the things they did – but that wasn’t enough to save the show. The opening musical number with Neil Patrick Harris was just so fucking atrocious, I couldn’t even believe my eyes. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are two of the funniest guys in show business and I thought they were going to hit it out of the park. They kind of did with some jokes and shorts, but I just thought they weren’t that good.

I was pleased with Christoph Waltz winning for Best Supporting Actor, and I absolutely loved his acceptance speech. I thought it was touching and heartfelt. When it came to Best Original Screenplay, I had a feeling “The Hurt Locker” was going to win (Peyton is my witness). I thought by “Locker” winning that award, it would help “Avatar” or “Inglorious Basterds” win Best Picture. We all know how that turned out. The fact that it has been fifteen years since Tarantino was nominated for anything is too long. The fact he went home empty handed is a crock of shit. What makes “The Hurt Locker” a good film isn’t its screenplay, or memorable dialogue – its Kathryn Bigelow’s direction, it’s Jeremy Renner’s solid performance, and its Anthony Mackie’s supporting performance, the three (distracting) cameos and the near perfect cinematography. It wasn’t the fucking screenplay! Think about “Inglorious Basterds” for a minute. Think about all the characters, the dialogue and the amazing universe that Tarantino has once again constructed! The characters of Hans Landa, Aldo Raine and his version of Hitler! Looking back I am amazed that the Academy didn’t reward the greatest writer/director of our generation. It’s unfair and bullshit. And YOU know it.

I did enjoy the extended acting clips for the supporting roles this year. I think the lack of clips takes away from the emotional connection the audience has with the winner. I am very glad they brought that back. It was truly a treat to see Waltz win. He deserved it hands down, everyone knew it. His speech was very gracious and very sweet. The

"Oscar and Penelope -- that's an uber-bingo!"

Academy sure got this one right. Finally, an actor won an Oscar for being in a Tarantino film. It’s perfect too, Hans Landa may just be Tarantino’s finest character yet. Welcome to America Christoph, enjoy your ride while it lasts. And as much as it pains me to admit it, so was Mo’Niques. I still think she’s a self righteous diva. It seems fair that the star of “Soul Plane” get an Oscar the same night the director of “Pulp Fiction” gets snubbed. Nice.

I was very disappointed with the songs nominated for Best Original Song weren’t played (but for Original Score there was some odd dance number?). I would have enjoyed seeing Ryan Bingham perform “The Weary Kind”. And listened to the other Randy Newman songs that were nominated, I guess they were more worried about showing tribute to horror films. What the fuck was that about? Horror is the most bullshit genre there is because there aren’t any good horror films. If I stretch myself, I can think of 20 good horror films. And I’m talking horror films, not thrillers or mysteries that have scary elements; I’m talking real horror films. I’m sorry but “Silence of the Lambs” isn’t a horror film, and what was with the clip from “Marathon Man”?

One of my favorite parts of the Oscar telecast has always been when they show clips of people from the film industry who passed away the previous year. The addition of James Taylor performing The Beatles “In My Life” was a very nice touch, although I think “Fire and Rain” would have been better. I have one small question, why wasn’t Farrah Fawcett in that montage? She may not have been the best actress in the world, but she was in an Altman film (“Dr. T and the Women) and Robert Duvall’s “The Apostle”. The Academy released a statement this morning saying, “It’s impossible to pay tribute to every star that has passed away.” You’re going to show Brittney Murphy, but not a huge pop culture icon like Fawcett. Really?

Those of you who read my blog and know me know that I am no fan of “The Hurt Locker” and it’s Godlike momentum. I think it drags and doesn’t have a lot of substance to it. I think it’s good, but not great. It’s very ironic that the one Oscar I think it deserved (Best Achievement in Cinematography) was won by “Avatar”.

The fact that Barbara Streisand presented Best Director was the biggest ploy ever and so utterly transparent. How is it possible that Bigelow has a Best Directing Oscar and Stanley Kubrick, Alan J. Pakula, Terrence Malick, Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino don’t have any directing Oscars? With “The Hurt Locker” winning Best Picture, it follows in suit with my opinion that the Academy keeps awarding the wrong film Best Picture. But that’s just my opinion.

There are a lot of things I like about “The Hurt Locker”. The shot of Renner pulling the six secondary bombs around him is great. The cameos are great. The greatest shot of the film is when Renner is home and is standing in the cereal aisle, and has no frame of reference of what to get. It’s just such a haunting long shot of Renner standing there and you know he’s thinking about Iraq. His character is a slightly more intense Willard from “Apocalypse Now”. Bigelow knew what she was doing, but putting gender aside, the film wouldn’t be as big of deal and you know it (at least give me that Kevin). I’ll say it again, “The Hurt Locker” is a good film, but it’s not Best Picture caliber.

I think the biggest upset of the night was Jason Reitman not winning Best Adapted Screenplay for “Up in the Air”. I thought since he was nominated for “Juno” (even though I don’t like the film) and was again nominated for “Up in the Air”. I almost like the fact that Reitman didn’t win because he is the embodiment of nepotism. But to his defense, he is extremely talented – more than his father Ivan Reitman – but still had every opportunity in the world to make films. I resent that.

"Thank you, mom and dad, for turning me on to such a groovy profession."

I am very happy that Jeff Bridges finally won his Oscar! Even though he shouldn’t have and Colin Firth should. It was a very sentimental moment, watching Bridges holding his Oscar up in the air. I was worried that Jeremy Renner was going to follow in suit with the Academy’s gushing for an above average non bias (but is anti war?) war film and win Best Actor. I would have lost my mind. Bridges’ acceptance speech was wonderful. I love how he is just a beatnik. Deep down inside, he’s more like the Dude than any of his other characters. I think Renner being introduced by his “Swat” costar Colin Farrell cheapened his nomination. They should have gotten Brad Pitt for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” or Charlize Theron or Richard Jenkins from “North Country”. If “Swat” is your best achievement next to “The Hurt Locker”, that’s pretty sad, although Colin Farrell was delightful as always.

I am getting extremely tired of Ben Stiller. I don’t think he’s as funny as much people. I thought it was somewhat humorous, but I think he dragged it a little too long. But I will give “Greenberg” a try.

The one thing that I really wanted to see was Roger Corman giving his acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Oscar. More than half of the people in the auditorium got their start from Corman. I don’t know why he didn’t speak. That’s pretty shitty.

I love Sean Penn. I think he’s a huge asshole, but a great actor and director. He didn’t let me down with shitting on the Academy. I believe when he said how he and the Academy share that they ignored a great actress the past two years, I believe he was referring to Robin Wright (Penn?). He didn’t thank her in his speech last year, and he thinks she should have been nominated for “The Secret Lives of Pippa Lee”. He’s just so great.

As for Sandra Bullock winning: why? She’s a one trick pony. Her Oscar will follow along the lines of Halle Berry’s and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Actress Oscar – people will look back and shake their heads. I feel bad saying this almost; because she seems like a really cool and fun lady, but I think she knows too, that she didn’t really deserve it. As funny as this sounds, I do feel bad for Meryl Streep. She should have won this year and last.

Tom Hanks running out and just announcing the winner was a nice touch. I liked that.

I liked the John Hughes tribute.  That was very classy, and very well done.  But Molly Ringwald scared me.

Maybe Bridges can pull a next year with “True Grit” and win back to back. Wishful thinking?

Did you almost feel like Streisand alluded to Bigelow winning just because she was a woman as well, or was that just me?

And for the love of anything that is holy, please Academy, don’t have ten nominations for best picture next year.

And why wasn’t Jack Nicholson sitting in the front row?

Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

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