Well, so that happened! Was it just us or were these just the most tediously boring Oscars in ages? And who should we blame? Maybe we should start with the very strange stage design, which we’re guessing was intended to be a nod to old Hollywood glamour, but felt more like an early-’70s set that was dusted off and given a quick polish (and please, we’ll give a prize to anyone who can reasonably explain the lampshades). The last half hour of the show almost made up for it all, what with the history-making win of Kathryn Bigelow and the surprise shut-out of Avatar (yes, we know it won a bunch of technical awards but it didn’t crack any of the biggies).
So here are the top five moments of the night, as far as we can recall, though to be honest it is already beginning to fade into hazy memory. Oh, and not for nothing, that death montage was the worst! (And hey: did they forget about Farrah Fawcett? ‘Cause that’s just wrong.)
1. The ever-classy Bigelow goes down in history: the 58-year-old looked nothing short of fantastic as she became the first female to win best director, and was dignified and elegant during her acceptance speech. Take note, certain (cough) ex-husbands!
2. Best speech of the night? Probably a draw between Mo’Nique, who got an excellent dig in at all of her critics (“I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics.”) in addition to a heartfelt thank-you and to the surprised-even-if-we-weren’t Sandra Bullock, who took the time to personally single out each of her fellow nominees (also, she may have very well won best dressed) and emotionally thanked her mother, “for not letting me ride in cars with boys until I was 18 because she was right. I would’ve done what she said I was gonna do.” Honorable mention to Jeff Bridges, because he just seems like a class act.
3. The John Hughes tribute: after getting past the holy-bananas-is-that-really-Molly-Ringwald of it all, seeing the well-chosen clips from She’s Having a Baby, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Vacation, The Breakfast Club, and more, really showed just how influential a writer and director Hughes was. But oh my god, how strange was it to see how those actors aged? My god, Judd Nelson. The horror!
4. The general WTF moments: the dancing (oh, the dancing). The tribute to horror – who, what, where, and most importantly, why? The American Idol-like opener. The woodland creature Paul N.J. Ottosson who won all those sound mixing awards. Love that guy!
5. Did Tom Hanks run out of time at the end or what? Didn’t it seem like he just got up there and yelled Hurt Locker and that was it? And isn’t it weird that while Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were charming every time they were on stage (loved the Paranormal Activity sketch) but this thing just seemed to drag? What the heck, movies of 2009, we think you’re better than that.