My major Oscar complaint (so far)

27 February 2011

How does Black Swan lose Best Film Editing to The Social Network? Did you voters see these films? Do you understand what editing is? The editing of Black Swan was extraordinary — it made the film. Those claustrophobic shots quick-cut in rapid succession with the sounds of Natalie Portman’s ballet shoes hitting the floor and her breathing edited on top such that the film became a visceral experience. In contrast, The Social Network’s editing could have been done in any number of other ways without changing the terrific acting, dialogue, and directing.

One other note: the dresses were great this year. But on seeing Halle Berry’s gorgeous dress I couldn’t help but remember this great story in The Onion on the widening gap between best dressed and worst dressed from a few years ago. It explains that the Oscars show “in recent years a high concentration of couture in the hands of a few, with Halle Berry alone commanding over 57 percent of the nation’s supply of sexy yet exquisitely tasteful gowns.”

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7 Responses to “My major Oscar complaint (so far)”

  1. tamcho Says:

    Oscar show: dreary, safe, boring, 2 out of 10. No bhbbnjnmmmone even brought up Wisconson and the Unions!

    James Franco looked and sounded like he was phoning it in, or else he was stoned.

    The Hosts scripts were underwhelming. And as for the presenters, apart from the Helen Mirren/Russell Brand’s two-hander, the rest were crap. Oh, maybe Sandra Bullock was her usual witty self.

    • Didion Says:

      I spent half the show thinking, how is it possible they kept it so politics-free? And then I remembered the writer’s strike of a few years ago. Oh yeah: Hollywood has an issue with collective bargaining, too.

      And I’m surly because my optimistic list of picks was completely and utterly wrong. I managed to score 7 out of 24 picks right. I lost $1 in the process.

      Doesn’t James Franco always look like he’s stoned? It’s one of his qualities that left me so confused when I started hearing about his frenetic productivity — the poetry, grad programs, multiple film projects, etc — and I confess I sort of like the idea of a perma-stoned Franco better than a frenetic one.

  2. jmmnewaov2 Says:

    Loved her (Hathaway) – hated him (Franco)- hope neither are asked back as hosts.

    Hated the set – showing us clips framed within that back-wall set up (reducing the size of the clips) was ludicrous. And what was the point of the circle with the twinkling stars(stage center front). Initially when I saw it (the shot from far above the stage) I thought it was the orchestra pit with small lamps for the musicians to see their written scores.

    Also didn’t think the voiced over King’s Speech audio which played over the clips for 10 best pictures was a fair, smart, or a good idea. Wasn’t like a big, big clue.

    As for Didion’s opening comment about Black Swan not getting Film Editing – agree 100%. BlSw’s editing was not only thrilling visually for a viewer, but was astounding technically.

    Guess they loved awarding/spreading the Oscar gold out to multiple films.

    Last comment – despite all best efforts – the show ran long. Best I can tell – the world didn’t collapse due to some heartfelt and lengthy thank you’s. Playing the music while Aaron Sorkin was speaking seemed so petty. So what if the show would run past the allotted time. ABC could always make that time up between 230 AM and 430 AM.

    jmm

    • Didion Says:

      JMM, you’re exactly right about this. Yuck. At least Hathaway brought some enthusiasm to the job.

      I admit I did kind of like the long opening Inception-based fantasy sequence in which they wander through various sets with Alec Baldwin (who was better this year than last).

      Worst of all, some of the acceptance speeches just sounded disingenuous. I really love Melissa Leo, but that speech was cringe-making.

      • JustMeMike Says:

        I was 10 at 24.

        I hope they move the show to January next season. By doing so, the winners’ speeches would really be more heartfelt & meaningful. After the GGlobes, and the Guild awards – SAG, DG etc – how can they rev up their engines yet again.

        Also by extending the awards seasons – it seems like a strategy to boost ticket sales of the nominated films. Which is fine. I get it.

        But by the time the Oscars show is broadcast, the awards seems repetitive, not exciting, and all too clear cut.

        jmm

      • Didion Says:

        In retrospect, I see that some of my choices were ridiculously optimistic: Annette Bening for Best Actress, John Hawkes & Jackie Weaver for Best Supporting … but then I heard all the nominees for Best Song and thought, blecch — that’s the best they can do? Jeez.

        A girl can dream that the little movies get the love.

  3. Hattie Says:

    If it were not for you , my ignorance of film would be complete. I just watch the ones you recommend, and that puts me way ahead of the pack!


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