Feb 272011
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

After all the speculation, the grueling months of agony waiting for the Oscar results have finally come to an end. Ok, maybe that last sentence is only applicable to me.

The show had a strange dynamic with James Franco and Anne Hathaway as the hosts, and the awkward presentation with Kirk Douglas felt extremely out of place.

Also, the way they presented each award was drastically different than in past years. Usually they do a good job giving a solid clip of the nominees’ work at their best, but it seemed like the clips they chose did not accurately represent their performances as a whole.

As for the winners themselves, the awards essentially started off as planned. Melissa Leo won best supporting actress for her performance in “The Fighter,” “Toy Story 3” won best animated film, and “Inception” won for achievement in cinematography.

Then something strange happened when “Alice in Wonderland” won awards for achievement in art direction and best costume design. It felt like a dark force was twisting reality and I had no idea if I was watching the Oscars or the Razzies.

And the hits kept on coming, with “The Wolfman” surprising next for Best Makeup. Granted, these categories have never been known for their exclusivity, but I think the Academy should be more select in their choices of film nominations.

The results returned to normalcy as “The Social Network” scored wins for best film editing, best original score, and best adapted screenplay. Unfortunately, those were the only Oscars the film won last night.

The other acting awards all went down as predicted, with Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Colin Firth winning for best supporting actor, best actress, and best actor, respectively.

The first surprise of the major awards occurred in the best director category, where Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) upset David Fincher (“The Social Network”). And the biggest award of the night followed suit, “The King’s Speech” was awarded best picture of 2010.

Although I praised “The King’s Speech” on its victory —it was my second favorite film of the year—I couldn’t help feel a little un-kosher about the decision.

As a whole, “The Social Network” was the most well made film of 2010. “The King’s Speech” had it beat in acting, the component that I predict put Oscar voters over the edge.

The Academy has had a history of making decisions regarding best picture that they end up regretting when they look back on it. (See: “Forrest Gump” winning over “Shawshank Redemption”).

They allow themselves to become emotionally compromised and look at a film’s accomplishments by how well it can affect viewers on a sentimental level.
That, and their penchant for traditional historical biopics has a “King’s Speech” victory all over it.

While presenting the award for best picture, Steven Spielberg made sure to say that the films that end up not winning the award join an elite group that boasts such films as “Citizen Kane,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and “There Will Be Blood.” And you know what, “The Social Network?” I’m perfectly fine with that.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com and can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonberlinberg.

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