Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thoughts from the 84th Academy Awards

The biggest night of the year for the Every Oscar Ever project has come and gone, and though much of the night went as expected (The Artist winning the big awards and Hugo cleaning up on the technical side), there were also some surprises (Meryl Streep winning her first Oscar since Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister). My favorite moments of the telecast were Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis's presentation, Michel Hazanavicius's Billy Wilder shout-out, and Christopher Plummer's dignified acceptance speech. Billy Crystal was solid, if unremarkable, though I still would have liked to have seen Eddie Murphy as host, if he allowed himself to be the real Eddie and not the family-friendly Eddie of recent years.

2011 was a year with many very good films, but few if any masterpieces. My favorites of the year were Tree of Life, The Descendants, and A Better Life, and there were many more I found exceptional, if flawed. Moneyball was far better than I expected, Hugo was stellar in its first half but wandering in the second, and Bridesmaids and Midnight in Paris were two of the most enjoyable films of the year. The most fun I had in a theater all year was at The Muppets, and I'm still sad that "Man or Muppet" was not performed at this year's Oscar show.

15 films were awarded Academy Awards tonight, nine of which I have seen (I have seen Beginners, but have not yet posted my review of the film). The six remaining films (The Iron Lady, Saving Face, The Shore, Undefeated, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and A Separation) received seven awards, raising my total unseen count to 875 Oscars.

Each year's Academy Awards encourages me to see many more great films, but also makes the task of the Every Oscar Ever Project even more difficult. I'm looking forward to watching the remaining nominated films of this year as they are released on DVD, and hope to make significant progress in the Every Oscar Ever project before the 85th Academy Award nominations are announced.

Remaining: 3169 films, 875 Oscars, 5447 nominations

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