My response to the Oscars this year was some of the most entertaining of the Academy Awards in many years. A surprising host, a completely new theme, structure, and the predictable results gave the show a plethora of emotions.
Hugh Jackman was probably a surprising choice to most people to host the Oscars, but a Broadway veteran who boasts being a triple threat was a natural choice. No one’s opening monolouge or routines compare to Billy Crystals, but Jackman was charismatic, energetic and fun. The mix of music, dance, and singing throughout gave the show a much younger and vibrant feel and demanded attention rather than some of the past Oscars that become snoozeworthy.
The set itself was fantastical. It was absolute eye candy. Even Danny Boyle commented on it in his acceptance speech. It was truly breathtaking, along with the upbeat and fun orchestra.
When the annual death toll was accounted for, it was much more palpable having Queen Latifah (who looked stunning btw) sing with it, rather than the orchestra play alone.
Will Smith introducing the post production category made sense and was more entertaining as well. These small changes made the show seem quicker paced and more geared towards the viewers.
Some of the most funny moments were lines and scenes delivered by Jack Black, Whoopie Goldberg, and Steve Martin. Ben Stiller’s mockery of Joaquin Phoenix wasn’t funny, it was rude and childish. Bill Maher was the worst with his joking about his own documentary film while presenting the award for documentary film.
The Awards themselves were rather predictable, and it was pretty disappointing in a way. The only truly shocking moment was Sean Penn winning Best Actor over Mickey Rourke, but otherwise most was expected. It was wonderful to see Danny Boyle (though I would have prefered my hero David Fincher), Kate Winslet, and Penelope Cruz onstage. Each have 100% deserved their awards and were all incredibly gracious.
It was a pretty intense Oscars with some sad moments, such as watching Heath Ledgers family accept the award for him, but there were many happy and fun ones as well. Congratulations to Slumdog Millionaire who won just about everything it was nominated for.