The 89th Annual Academy Awards ceremony celebrates the film industry's best and biggest in cinema for the year 2016 with host Jimmy Kimmel, including awards for best actors, directors, songs, original screenplays and motion picture.
I don't wanna hear another word about The Lord of the Rings!
Seemingly endless repetition can make things grow rather tiresome, like when you hear a great song on the radio a few hundred times, you start to hate it. I still love all of the Lord of the Rings movies and remain immensely impressed by them, but I have to admit that by the end of the 76th Academy Awards, I was getting a little tired of hearing about it. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that the last movie to sweep the Oscars like that was the ridiculous Titanic, which certainly deserved some of the awards that it won but it is absolutely ludicrous to call it the Best Picture of 1997. The second sequel in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the third in an absolutely spectacular trilogy, I guess it just takes away a lot of the appeal of the awards when you hear the nominees and know immediately which one would win just because of the simple fact that it was nominated. The only thing more repetitive by the end of the night were those incessant Cadillac commercials ooh yeah, ooh ooh yeah.
That being said, I was highly impressed with this year's ceremony. The opening sequence wasn't quite as side-splitting as Jack Black's Lord of the Piercing from last year, although I loved Michael Moore's good-natured appearance during the battle scene from Return of the King, in which he rants on and on about the fictitiousness of that war before being stomped on by a gigantic beast. Billy Crystal, one of the best hosts of the Academy Awards, returns for the evening, making lots of jokes about how long it's been since he's hosted by far my favorite of which was that, the last time he was the host, George Bush was the president, the economy was tanking and we had just finished a war with Iraq.
But overall, my favorite thing about the Academy Awards this year were things like the In Memoriam sequence and the lifetime achievement montage for Bob Hope, because they showed all those clips from all those classic films, and it really reminded me how little I know about movies. It has inspired me to start going back and watching the classics, especially since lately I've been on this weird kick where I've been watching all of the new horror movies that come out, arguably the worst of all movies released. What a waste of time. The presenters, although mostly Academy Award winners themselves, came on stage and, as always, delivered a few wooden lines of speech before naming their respective nominees.
I'll never understand why the ceremony that awards the best of the year's films and film-making is incessantly peppered with dumb jokes and stiff delivery like that, and strangely the one exception was from one of the more controversial winners last year, Adrien Brody (no, not Michael Moore). Last year he gave a teary speech about the sadness of the war in Iraq (a violation of the sort of unwritten agreement to leave your feelings about the war on the back burner during the ceremony), but even more, he planted a not-so-welcome kiss on Halle Berry on stage last year, about which he joked this year. He comes on stage, telling people not to worry because of a restraining order that has been served to him, and then sprays breath freshener into his mouth just before announcing the winner in the Best Female Actor category. I love it when people can poke fun at themselves like that.
As for the winners, Sean Penn was finally awarded the elusive Oscar for his performance in Mystic River, as did Tim Robbins for Supporting Actor in the same movie, Charlize Theron won Best Actress for Monster (silencing cynical critics who credited her performance more to make-up than acting), Renee Zellwegger received a much-deserved Supporting Female Actor for Cold Mountain, and I'm pretty sure The Lord of the Rings won just about everything else. Sophia Coppola, in fact, would surely have been snubbed had the Return of the King been an original screenplay. And then, of course, there are the awards like Best Documentary Short Subject, Best Animated Short Film and Best Live Action Short Film, but I won't get into those because no one's seen them anyway. Where do you go to see these movies? I don't even know where they come from.
Steven Spielberg announced a clean sweep as he opened the envelope for Best Picture and gave the Oscar for Best Picture to The Lord of the Rings, the movie's 11th Oscar of the night. I saw all of the Lord of the Rings movies, and I've been saying since 2002 when The Fellowship of the Ring was nominated but didn't win that if The Two Towers was also nominated and didn't win, The Return of the King would certainly win. I based my prediction on the idea that it was simply too far-fetched for all three films in a trilogy to be nominated and none of them win. I don't think that's ever happened before, but I had no idea how right I would be. I definitely didn't see 11 Oscars headed to The Return of the King, but at least they were granted to a worthy film.
I'm still bummed that Big Fish was so tremendously overlooked though. It may have earned itself the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most underrated films of the last decade or so
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