28 February 2011

Helena Bonham Carter Wins- 2011 Oscars Postmortem

Another night of eating Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes and chicken burgers until 4.30am was topped off with a clean sweep for Helena Bonham Carter. Sure, she didn't win in the category she was specifically nominated for, and The King's Speech only won a trifling four Academy Awards, which was just as many as Inception, but let's not forget that Alice in Wonderland won two as well, which places the entire ceremony as a celebration of Tim Burton's missus and occasional psychotic Death Eater.

The film won Best Picture and, predictably, Colin Firth got a deserved Best Actor nod. The award for Best Director was also hoovered up, and surely Helena's Fight Club director David Fincher hasn't been fucked like that since grade school. I can't say that Tom Hooper was undeserving though, even if Christopher Nolan clearly deserved it for Inception and wasn't nominated at all, bizarrely. Nolan also lost out to The King's Speech in the Best Original Screenplay category, which did give David Seidler a chance to take the stage and give a fantastic speech.

The Social Network stands, as I have said before, as an important film, and one that is of more significance in the 21st century than the film that eventually won Best Picture today. Films like that have a habit of being underestimated in their day, like Network in the 1970s and Fincher's own Fight Club in the 1990s. The film still picked up a predictable gong for Aaron Sorkin's script, as well as winning Best Original Score and Best Editing.

The Fighter also made a decent showing, picking up both of the Supporting awards for acting. Christian Bale did a great rendition of a chimney sweep, and I'm looking forward to whatever accent he settles on next- I'm hoping for Geordie. Melissa Leo went and dropped an F bomb as part of what was inarguably the most interesting sequence of the three hour ceremony. This year's outing was more of a boring affair than last year, but here are some things I learned on my all-nighter.

Christopher Nolan always looks the same.
It had never occurred to me until I had to sit through the drudgery of the red carpet coverage and I was looking for something, anything to latch onto, but Nolan always seems to dress the same. He has the same hairstyle, he wears that same suit. Not that I hold it against him, because he's a stylish motherfucker. But better yet, he is the anti-red carpet man- permatanned fashion Orcs quail in terror at the sight of this modern master! Now someone actually give him a fucking Oscar!

Christian Bale should keep his beard for The Dark Knight Rises
The story for some was the accent, but come on, what else could possibly ramp up the stakes after The Dark Knight? It might be that the "BLADDY 'ELL" inflection was a test run of the replacement Bat-voice, but what the Caped Crusader could really use is A GREAT BIG BUSHY BEARD, as Frank Butterman might term it. Get the Bat-beard in. If anybody makes a joke about Batman and Robin, and Catwoman being Batman's beard, then you're dead to me.

Kirk Douglas and Melissa Leo must surely host next year's Oscars.
I didn't outright hate James Franco and Anne Hathaway's efforts, but it was very much the Academy's attempt to be hip and relevant to young Americans, as lampshaded throughout. You can't quite carry it off when you give the Best Picture award to a period piece about British royalty, so why not go back to basics? It would be lovely to see Billy Crystal have a go next year, because his brief appearance this year was a highlight, but for proper intriguing television, they should reunite Douglas and Leo, who enlivened proceedings and made the ceremony as unsafe as it could possibly get for two or three minutes.

True Grit is appealing even when nobody loves it.
10 nominations and no wins for the Coen brothers' latest Western, after previously doing well at the Kodak Theatre with No Country for Old Men in 2008. Saddest of all is that a well deserved win for Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister was marred by the fact that it meant Roger Deakins still didn't win, on his ninth nomination. It still appeals though, because the coverage reminded me that I really need to see the film a second time, and so I'll do that this week. You won't catch me doing that for The King's Speech this week!

For three hours, it's still padded out!
The whole she-bang opened with Tom Hanks giving a tribute to Gone with the Wind and Titanic, which seemed random. Then the randomness continued all through the night, in much the same way as last year brought us sporadic asides about genre and the year before was musical-tastic. Sometimes, the asides were amusing, as with the Autotuned dialogue scenes from Harry Potter and Twilight. And other times, they involved James Franco in drag. At the point where a choir of kids from New York's PS22 were brought out to sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow at the end of the show, the mob from The King's Speech could be seen leaving quickly, to angered shouts of "HEY, WE STAYED FOR YOUR KIDS!"

There's not really a lot else to say- there were few surprises, Toy Story 3 didn't win Best Picture like it should have done, and the Academy invalidated themselves by failing to notice Never Let Me Go. But if you want to follow the excitement of the night as it happened, with excitement ('Once again, I will shit myself and die if Aaron Sorkin doesn't win this.') and resignation ('"The sky has become the limit"- I know there's something grammatically wrong with that'), you can look through my tweets from the night.

I'm Mark the mad prophet, and I for one welcome our new Bonham Carter overlord/lady...

No comments: