Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Peanut Gallery: Some thoughts on the Oscars
Okay, I admit, I didn't crash the Oscars and steal an Academy Award for Leo DiCarpio (obviously). Besides, I thought that might have been a little too Kanye of me. But I watched them from home and had mixed feelings (as per usual). I've been seeing a lot of hate going around about them, both for reasons I kind of agree with and those I don't, and I thought seriously about writing a post about it all, especially about this year's host, Seth MacFarlane. Then I though, "nah." It would probably just turn into a grumpy word vomity post that would either make me sound like a misandrist or like I can't take a joke, when really I just didn't find Seth MacFarlane that funny. But I don't find a lot of things funny and just because I didn't like it doesn't mean I'm right. I did take an entire course on humor last spring and, let me tell you, it was the most unfunny class I've ever taken. It taught me one thing - humor is super complicated and ambiguous. So, instead of arguing about whether MacFarlane and/or his writers are replicating stereotypes and being sexist and so forth, or rather that he's bringing up these stereotypes only in order to make us uncomfortable and to recognize they exist (with humor, it's often hard tell), I thought I'd talk about some positive aspects (but, if you want to know some of my reservations about the Oscars, check out this article. They do a really nice job of presenting some overlooked aspects of this annual tradition in ten different parts). I just figured that, with all the negativity out there, maybe I'd talk about something positive for once. :P

1) The ode to movie music: As a lover of Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, and just anything vaguely melodic sounding, I was really pleased with this. Apparently this was the first year for the Oscars to have a theme and I'd kind of like to see them keep this up. The shout-out to the orchestra that plays was really wonderful too. As a former pit musician for musicals, playing music live around a show is not easy. So this was really, really lovely.

2) Multi-talented, awesome people: I got to hear Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt sing, see Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum dance, and learned that Scarlett Johansson sings (which means Avengers: The Musical should really happen pronto. Seriously, the entire cast sings. Why the hell not?). Basically, I got to see awesome people be awesome. And that is always a plus.

3) Students working backstage: So this year, instead of having models help present the awards this year, six college students who are aspiring filmmakers assisted backstage. (Here's a short article on it, if you're curious about it.) This was the best moment of the Oscars for me, it really was. This was the closest the Academy has ever come, as far as I know, to acknowledging in the flesh the fans and those who yearn to be working in Hollywood. The Academy has disappointed me many times over but this nice little reflection on those who support them was a wonderful touch (and made me feel like my ranting about needing this was somehow abated a bit).
4) Beasts of the Southern Wild: So this film didn't win but just seeing it acknowledged by the Academy is a wonder. I love this film. SOOOOO MUCH. And I just wanted to take a moment to point out that this film, for the most part, does not have professional actors in it. It is a beautiful little indie masterpiece and I'm so glad to see it represented amongst bigger films and blockbusters. Also, I really love the soundtrack. Okay, I pretty much love everything about it. Especially Quvenzhané Wallis. You are my hero, little one. I hope you keep being awesome and follow your dreams. I hear you want to be a dentist - with a smile and a personality like yours, you'd be an awesome one.

That's that; just some quick live-blogged thoughts. So while Seth Macfarlane and Kristen Chenoweth sing for the losers tonight (rock on, losers - you're in good company), I'm going to leave you here and bid you all adieu.

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