Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Night '09 aftermath

Last night's 81st annual Academy Awards show was rather successful on many levels and not just for the lucky few who got to take an Oscar home with them. Right off the bat,Hugh Jackman made a great impression as the host,with moments of witty banter and a opening musical number that ranks up there with any of Billy Crystal's "Oscar,Oscar" bits.

I've heard about Jackman's song and dance prowess(especially on the Tonys)but this was the first time that I got a chance to see him strut his stuff. He needs to make a major musical film-Hollywood people,are you listening? Talking about serious money to be made here,folks! Plus,how cool was it that the last line of his "Oscar Recession" song was "I am WOLVERINE!"?:

Most of the winners were the expected ones and congratulations are in order to Kate Winslet(like Hugh Jackman,I'll rent The Reader),Sean Penn,Penelope Cruz and a extra cheer for Dustin Lance Black for winning Best Original Screenplay for Milk and to A H Rahman for getting both Best Score and Best Original Song from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack(take that,Peter Gabriel!).

Some of the proposed new changes to the Oscar ceremony were well done,like the Gang of Five intros for the acting categories. Imagine being nominated for such a big award and having the likes of Sophia Loren,Robert DeNiro or Sir Ben Kingsley sing your praises in front of a live,international audience.

While a few might regret the loss of seeing bits from the nominated films,it was a relief not to sit thru another viewing of "I WANT MY SON BACK!!!"(plus,those emeralds that Jolie were sporting looked larger than life. No doubt that they were real but that rock on her hand alone appeared to be as authentic as a Ring Pop,honestly!).

While I am happy for Sean Penn's win for Milk,I do feel that we were deprived of a great acceptance speech from Mickey Rourke. Rourke more than earned his shot at the gold,not to mention that he wore a picture of his recently departed pooch,Loki,around his neck. How can you not want such a cool guy to not get up and say his piece to a worldwide audience?

They did have the usual number of clip sequences to fill up time(which wasn't wasted at all-the show only ran about 25 minutes over)but one of the best montages of the night was the one for the Best Picture nominees. The editing of scenes from classic Oscar winning films that tied neatly into the themes of the current contenders was beautifully done and a real tribute to the skills of film editors:

The big winner of the night was Slumdog Millionaire,with eight awards that include Best Adapted Screenplay,Best Director and Best Picture. Good to see a cinematic nice guy finish first for once. Slumdog is already on my Netflix queue and will be added on to many others by the end of the day:


Oscar Night of 2009 was rather memorable and gave a good start to the new year of films yet to appear before us. We may be facing some tough times ahead but as always,movies are there to guide us down the harsh edges of the garden path to show us the way towards a better world to come(or at least,distract us from our troubles for a little while).

Perhaps Slumdog Millionaire is more than just the indie favor of the month;it may be the hopeful hint we need, that no matter what woes befall us,there is still the chance of a reasonably happy ending(dance number not included,but bonus points if you get to do one):

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