As you may already be well aware of, the Academy made some very significant changes to the format of this year's Oscars event. In addition to the usual attempts at cutting back on the "thank you" speeches and quickening up of the program, the ceremony this year completely removed the performances of the best song nominees. Yet it was curious (read: it didn't belong) to see interpretive dance routines in the presentations for Best Original Score.
In terms of the awards themselves, the biggest change came with the number of nominees for the most important category, Best Picture. Instead of the usual 5 nominees which always ended in negative feedback due to the non-inclusion of major hits such as The Dark Knight at last year's presentation, the academy saw fit to bump the number of nominees up to 10 rather than improve the selection process. So now, we're left with a few legitimate contenders and a bunch of filler movies that would never have been nominated in previous years.
We also saw an increase in the number of animated feature films that get nominated from three to five, meaning the majority of major animated movies are nominated for an Oscar by default. Also by default, the Pixar film of the year won.
Hosts & Presenters:
Hosting this year's show was the comedic pair of Alec Baldwin and previous Oscars host Steve Martin. The two did a great job of keeping the atmosphere light and no doubt, helping viewers not only tune in, but to stick around.
To kick off the event however was Neil Patrick Harris and his musical opening. Then we were introduced to Steve Martin and Adam Baldwin who came down together from above in a floating ball of sorts.
Throughout the ceremony we saw a wide variety of presenters which included notable Oscar winners of the past and currently-popular mainstream celebrities.
Some Notable call-outs:
- Robert Downey Jr. & Tina Fey were awesome. We needed more Robert Downey Jr.
- Miley Cyrus & Amanda Seyfried was not awesome. We need none of this next year.
- Ben Stiller as a Na'Vi from Avatar was hilarious.
- Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart were awkward and nervous - Zac Efron did well though right after with Anna Kendrick for the save.
The stage at the back of the audience was utilized for the geeky cool actors to present the ten best pic nominees throughout the evening. They included Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Bridges, Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves.
I'm not a fan of the desperate attempts at bringing out celebrities like Taylor Lautner and Miley Cyrus for the sole reason of bringing their fanbases in for ratings rather than their accomplishments. There were quite a few shots of Lautner sitting near the front when he wasn't nominated for anything (like we saw with Rob Pattinson last year). He has a better seat than those who were nominated or even winners of other categories.
All in all, the event was solid for an industry awards presentation but to the viewers at home, it wasn't that exciting or up beat. There were a lot of good movies to choose from this year and I think we all would of liked to see Quentin Tarantino and his Inglourious Basterds get a little more credit.
From all of us at Screen Rant, Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. It sure was an interesting year for the Oscars.
Share your thoughts on the winner selections, presentations and event format in the comments below.