Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brief Oscar Thoughts and Weekend Box Office

The 83rd Academy Awards were this evening and the festivities were relatively uneventful and as predicted. My quick thoughts on the evening:

- The opening sequence got the ball rolling in the right direction but also set the hosts up for failure. I didn't feel like they attained anything close to the same chemistry throughout the rest of the show;

- James Franco ran circles around Anne Hathaway throughout the night. Franco assumed his usual level of calm and comfort while Hathaway seemed just the opposite all night. I go back and forth on whether I like Hathaway or not and tonight definitely didn't help her cause;

- I've seen a lot of reports citing Kirk Douglas' presentation of Best Supporting Actress as the moment of the show. I found it to be painful, similar to the way Dick Clark makes me cringe whenever he appears on his New Year's Rockin' Eve these days. It's great that he's still willing and able to get out there and all, but it just felt awkward to me;

- Melissa Leo, really? The "I'm so shocked that I just said one of the seven words you can't say on TV" bit would have seemed much more genuine if she hadn't also acted just as surprised (and weird) at the Golden Globes. Also, not to be a naysayer, but of the four main performances in "The Fighter," I found Leo's to be the least authentic and the most cliche/over-the-top. I'm just sayin';

- The speeches of Bale, Portman, and Firth in particular all had touching moments. Firth was classy, composed, and organically funny, too. The best speech of the night, though, might have been the dude from "Toy Story 3" (I unfortunately forgot to make note of who it was). A well-thought-out speech that hit on everything important in a concise manner;

- It felt more than a little conciliatory but as a hardened supporter of "Inception", it was good to see it pick up as many technical awards as it did;

- If Trent Reznor hadn't won Best Score, I might have gone "Office Space" on the TV. This would have been doubly painful for me as I was watching a friend's house and would not have enjoyed buying him a new TV. Still, best score I've heard in years;

- Randy Newman now officially falls into the same category as Meryl Streep: we should just name the Best Original Song "The Newman" and stop nominated him every time he works on a soundtrack. I get it, he's awesome. After 19 nominations, maybe we just say "the top five original songs that weren't written by Randy Newman." I call this the "Michael Jordan Theorem";

- SHOCKED that Lena Horne was the final person shown in the Memoriam segment. They turned it into a cool moment but I would have put good money on Dennis Hopper;

- Having Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Wallach on stage at the same time to accept Lifetime Achievement Awards was awesome. Of all the magnificent work Wallach has done, it is his appearance on an episode of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" that sticks with me the most. Outstanding;

- I think it's now fair to say the Academy hates Christopher Nolan (said in only half jest);

- Biggest Mistake for me: Tom Hooper over David Fincher for Best Director. I'm okay with "King's Speech" beating out "Social Network" for Best Picture, though I wouldn't have voted that way myself and I don't think it will hold up the way "Social" will in five or ten years. But while I'm sure Hooper did a great job on "King", the work that Fincher did on "Social" is mind boggling. He created essentially a perfect film. I had resigned myself to the fact that Nolan wouldn't win but I truly expected Fincher to come away with the trophy.

Weekend Box Office Results
Dear Nicholas Cage,
You know you've had it when: your newest film's opening weekend BARELY cracks the top 10 in a week where a non-Pixar/Disney animated film that has never been number one tops the charts in its third week of release. Please stop.
1. "Gnomeo and Juliet" - $14.21 million ($75.15 million total)
2. "Hall Pass" - $13.42
3. "Unknown" - $12.44 ($42.84)
4. "Just Go With It" - $11.1 ($79.36)
5. "I Am Number Four" - $11.04 ($37.74)
6. "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" - $9.2 ($62.78)
7. "The King's Speech" - $7.62 ($114.51)
8. "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son" - $7.55 ($28.57)
9. "Drive Angry 3D" - $5.13
10. "The Roommate" - $2.05 ($35.93)

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