Is it me or were the Oscars really boring? It seems that Ellen was trying to be the anti-Jon Stewart, who got a lot of flack for making fun of Hollywood last year. The beginning montage with all of the nominees who have never won an Academy Award was pretty good, but it wasn't as good as the filmed spoofs that Stewart or Billy Crystal have done in the past. And what was up with the gospel choir? That might make a good American Express commercial, but it seemed a little forced for an Awards show.
The best joke was by Robert Downey, Jr. who made fun of his drug addiction. Written with a little help from Carrie Fisher? I love Fisher's writing. She's actually one of my favorite novelists. If you've never read Postcards From the Edge, do so.
OK, the best parts of the Oscars were the wins for Scorsese and The Departed. I would have been a little upset if the National Lampoon Vacation wannabe Little Miss Sunshine had won - not Crash over Brokeback Mountain upset, but close. However, Alan Arkin was very good in that movie and deserved his win. I wonder if someone had a peek at the Director's envelope before the show since three other so called "Movie Brats" of the 1970's were chosen to hand Scorsese his Oscar. For those who aren't familiar with the term, when the old studio system was in crisis at the beginning of the 1970's, a new generation of filmmakers came in and revolutionized Hollywood. Those directors were: George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppolla, Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese. If De Palma were up on stage then we would have known that who would win had been leaked.
Oh, and the backlash that Scorsese win was with one of his lesser films is bullshit. The Departed was fantastic.
Writer William Monahan and editor Thelma Schoonmaker also deserved their statuettes.
Some of the awards I was disappointed by: Best Original Screenplay to Little Miss Sunshine over Pan's Labyrinth. Labyrinth's loss in the Best Foreign Language Film category (it's three wins were pretty cool, though). Jennifer Hudson's win (Enjoy the high because your journey to oblivion began once you stepped off that stage).
Highlights: the Pilobolus dancers. Michael Mann's montage film on America in the movies (I need to see that again. Even such a short film Mann shows his brilliance). Will Farrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly's song and dance.
Overall, boring show, but most of the wins went to deserving reciptients. Now, speculation for the 80th Academy Awards... and let's hope they talk Crystal into coming back.