First of all, some impressions of the show:
-Was James Franco snorting lines of Ambien backstage? He looked like he was about as excited to be hosting the Oscars as I would be to go jeans shopping with my wife.
-Was anyone else relieved when Kirk Douglas didn’t die?
-Anne Hathaway was great, but she would have been much better if she were naked the whole time.
-That Coke commercial with the awesome Temper Trap song inspired me much more than anything else the entire evening.
-I didn’t see Biutiful, but I cried during the clip they showed for Javier Bardem’s Best Actor nomination, so he gets my nod.
Now, my thoughts on the year’s best films, or at least those nominated by the Academy. (Please note, I only saw five of the ten films because I’m not buying into the Academy’s new 10-film format; I know it’s just a ploy to raise ticket sales and it puts way too much pressure on a guy who just wants to be part of the conversation.)
-The most interesting part of the movie Winter’s Bone is that John Hawkes got nominated for Best Supporting Actor while giving a performance in which I only understood about one sixth of his lines. I guess Daniel Day Lewis won for less when he played the guy with a well-developed left foot, but I don’t think it helped Hawkes' cause.
-Toy Story 3 gave me some thrills, but come on, best picture? I need actual actors acting for a best picture nod. Who Killed Roger Rabbit would have qualified, because it was only partially animated, but unfortunately it was never nominated.
-Inception was a movie that made me made me fall asleep and dream about a movie where I gave a crap about the characters.
-The King’s Speech. Yes, it was good. Yes, we knew it would win, because Academy members all believe British films are inherently more important.
But no, I still don’t like boring British movies that only serve to stroke that nation’s ego with regards to an old world order. Remembering the past is great, but only as it pertains to the here and now. Here and now is not really addressed. Is it? Sure, there is the universal theme about man’s indomitable spirit, but really the movie isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know.
-The Social Network is far and away my winner; I don’t give two shits what the Academy says. It is the seminal film of our times. It’s a movie that shows us the possibility of taking the ideas in your head and bringing them to billions of lives. Ideas building on ideas building on ideas, all creating a more connected world.
It raises issues about privacy, and our right to it. About business ethics and whether that’s an oxymoron. About having bold ideas and believing in them, and believing in a world where such ideas can come to life. The fact that all these themes are present in our every day lives, and that the story of Facebook is still unfolding upon our very own screens, from Egypt to Wisconsin, is testament to the vitality of this film. If they only spoke with British accents, I'm pretty sure it would have won.