February 23, 2009 · 1:50 am
Song, Dance, and Commendation:
Turning the 2009 Oscars into a Television Event
When the Academy Awards brought on a set of new producers, there was the usual buzzwords: on time! Big surprises! Excitement! On time! Thrilling! And yet, we all doubted that it could live up to the expectation, especially after the year’s most populist films were all but shut out of major awards, and the chance for big surprises was more or less out the door the second that the runaway train of Slumdog Millionaire pulled into the station. The odds were stacked against this show from being something that felt like a real television event, which is really the point of this whole affair.
Or, well, one of the points. In reality, this is an event that is about celebrating the best in the year of film, but that is an idea that is always so subjective and often disconnected from what the movie-going public actually experienced. At the very least, then, it’s supposed to be a celebration of the talent in Hollywood, something that is always tough with the red carpet affairs and the grasps at star power drive attention towards those with the most cache. And all the while they have to be entertaining, keeping us moving between awards and keeping our attention.
And while it didn’t run on time (who ever expected it to?), and there weren’t many major surprises (here’s a full list of winners), tonight’s Academy Awards will go down in the books as one that provided entertainment you’d see nowhere else, a celebration of the year in movies and not just those movies which happened to be nominated, and one where the fine line between indulgent self-aggrandizing and commending the year’s finest actors was walked with great control. And that, at the very least, created three and a half hours of engaging television.
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Tagged as /Film, 2008 Yearbook, 2009, 2009 Academy Awards, 2009 Oscars, 81st Annual, Acting, Anne Hathaway, Beyonce, Cinema, Entertainment, Frost/Nixon, High School Musical, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Kate Winslet's Father, Mamma Mia, Montages, Musicals, Nominees, Oscars, Reactions, Reviews, Sean Penn, Slumdog Millionaire, Song and Dance, Television, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Wall-E, Whistle, Winners
January 12, 2009 · 1:05 am
Credit Where It’s Due:
The Golden Globes are not (entirely) Irrelevant
It is often very easy to discredit the Golden Globes for being one thing or another, or for not being one thing or another. It is not that these are all false: the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are not cinematic or television authorities, and it is often very clear in their choices that their criteria is both highly erratic and highly suspect on most occasions. The 2009 Golden Globes were in part a testament to this particular part of their mystique, with a variety of winners which felt like they were entirely unrelated to the film or television series beside their name.
But we have to admit that there are certain points where this type of crass favouritism can actually intersect with what we as both award show viewers and as appreciators of good film and television considering to be something approaching justice. While I could easily speak to how Slumdog Millioniare’s numerous wins are a result of its international production (Always a big thing with the HFPA, see Babel defeating The Departed), or how Tina Fey’s victory is only the result of her time in the mainstream as Sarah Palin, does this really override the fact that I loved Slumdog Millionaire and that Tina Fey is a comic sensation on 30 Rock?
While the sheer cynicism with which we view the subjectivity of the Golden Globes is not wholly unique within the major awards circuit, I nonetheless feel like it is sometimes overstated in the case of the Globes for the purpose of focusing on those winners that we don’t like while choosing to view good decisions as the exception to the rule. This isn’t going to stop me from attacking the HFPA for being irrelevant with some of their choices, especially as it relates to nominees, but when it comes to the winners I think it’s safe to say that they might have actually paid attention to what they were watching in the past year.
Even if it was, per usual, for the wrong reasons in some instances.
[For a complete LiveBlog rundown of the show, click here!]
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Filed under Golden Globes
Tagged as 2009, 30 Rock, 66th Annual, Alec Baldwin, Anna Paquin, Anne Hathaway, Award Shows, Cinema, Colin Ferrell, Danny Boyle, Entertainment, Gabriel Byrne, Globes, Happy-Go-Lucky, HBO, Heath Ledger, HFPA, Highlights, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, In Bruges, In Treatment, January Jones, John Adams, Kate Winslet, Mad Men, Mickey Rourke, Movies, NBC, Recap, Revolutionary Road, Ricky Gervais, Slumdog Millionaire, Steven Spielberg, Television, The Dark Knight, The Reader, The Wrestler, Tina Fey, True Blood, Vicky Christina Barcelona