Friday, April 9, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For me, it's the best time of the year. Yes, I know this is WAY overdue, but I still couldn't get enough of this years Oscars.  They were the most viewed ceremony in the last 5 years and the movies have definitely set a completely new set of standards. I thought last year's movies were more impressive all around, but I cannot forget the remarkable performances and incredible cinematographic visions of 2009.
Last year was the first year I really became infatuated with the Oscars ceremony, the hype, the movies, the performances, and the criticism. I hung onto the nominated films like my life depended on it, and i was determined to watch all of them prior to the ceremony. On the morning of February 2, 2010, I sprang from my bed and rushed to my laptop, hurriedly misspelled my password a few times, then finally reached the Oscars nomination page. I printed my ballot and stared in awe for a few seconds before picking each category apart. "OK! YES! Hmm... Interesting. BOO! YAY!"  As you can see I do NOT waste any of the ballot- I highlight, I tally, and I mark the winners with a red dot. (The orange highlight is for categories I have secured my vote and yellow is for the movies I have seen- all the way through.) I have a few corrections because I watched some after the ceremony (The Secret of Kells) and I've only seen part of Crazy Heart and Invictus.
My favorite categories this year were the Short Films. I spent one of my Friday nights at the movie theatre (5:30-9:00) watching the Live-Action and Animated Shorts. Yes! A local theatre- the Gateway Film Center in Columbus, OH- shows an array of movies and this is what I love about it. For $10 I saw all 10 short films (and I was the youngest member in the audience).  The night flew by, and I had left the theatre extremely satisfied with this year's entries. One short from each category stuck out in my mind: The New Tenants and Logorama. The New Tenants should be in a class of its own. It involved a large amount of gore, humor, irony, romance, language, and notable actors.  During the credits when they rolled the recipe instructions, I knew this was a winner. And how do I even begin describing Logorama. If you can name a label not mentioned in this film, you should win a prize because every movie, TV, video game, and business logo is featured in some shape or form. The Michelin men are the police, Ronald McDonald is a convict, the Xbox symbol begins destruction of the world, and Mr. Peanut looses his peanuts. If only the setting were 2012, this short would be perfect. There also is a large amount of strong language which seemed unnecessary and initially lost my vote. And let it be known, even though I have Wallace and Gromit winning, you can see a fainty erased X beside Logorama. Now I know never to listen to 'Critic's Pick' for Short Film because they got them both wrong and I trumped both! I could never be more proud.
The ceremony was note-worthy as well. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were amusing and playful in their humor. Yes Alec Baldwin, you pass this time around but I've got my eye on you. The frequent punches at George Clooney were one of the best, with Ben Stiller making quite a special appearance. He should be a Navi with his impeccable fluency of the language.
Regrets: I would have liked to have seen Inglorious Basterds take home at least one more award in the cinematic sense. Don't get me wrong- Christoph Waltz had every right to win his award, and the opening scene with him pointing his gun at Shoshana will forever be imprinted in my filmmemory.
Relief: The Cove winning Best Documentary. I saw this movie and immediately began supporting their cause.  It is such a captivating story heightened by Richard O'Barry's grief and the sickening Red Cove.  This film deserves the attention it has been getting; O'Barry and his team will not stop until these criminals see what they are doing to the world. I can't wait to see the worldly criticism when the film is released in Japan this summer.
Well Oscar season has come and gone, sadly, but next season is not too far away. My Grand Proposition: Create an ongoing Oscar ballot of nominees as you see deserving films in 2010. Then, come January or February of next year, we can all join the Academy as we pull out our pre-made and finalized ballots.
Let the countdown begin!

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