We ended up having to put ourselves to bed at 11pm on Sunday, and missed seeing the bulk of the major awards handed out to their expected recipients. Given that we had successfully called the triumphs of both "Happy Feet" and "The Lives of Others," we felt a reassuringly smug warmth that we’d turn out to be correct on most of our other predictions, though that might have just been the rather high fever we were running. Sadly, post-Oscar coverage is lacking in any similar smug warmth, and seems instead, after an admittedly deathly boring ceremony, to be suffused with a decided end-of-season melancholy â€” a sense of "we spent so much time talking up… that?"
"On this broadcast of ‘the most international of Oscars,’" sighs Stephanie Zacharek at Salon, "PenÃ©lope Cruz was mistaken for Mexican, the Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs" was cited as being Japanese, and George ‘Turkey Neck’ Lucas called Stephen Frears ‘Stephen Fears.’ Film: It really is the international language, but some of these names are damn hard to pronounce." "What a damp squib of a night for Britain," writes the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw, who’d been hoping for "monumental British renaissance in Hollywood."
"The letdown began long before the evening wrapped up, but that was to be expected," posits Alessandra Stanley at the New York Times. "Oscar night is the new Christmas, a commercialized tinsel-and-treacle holiday for adults." And her colleague Dave Carr has composed a piece suffused with even more forlorn, "A Charlie Brown Christmas"-style sentiments:
Out of a mutuality of interests â€” we both serve our publics â€” the stars smile, I smile and we call each other by name. But the pantomime is difficult to sustain. I remember walking outside for a smoke during the Screen Actors Guild Awards show and seeing the carpet that just a few hours ago had hosted all manner of glamour and star-power. Already the ropes were down, the bleachers had been struck, and the carpet was being rolled up for the next event. The moveable feast is so, so fleeting. Very little was left besides the empty water bottles.
Sarah Rodman at the Boston Globe darkly prophesies obscurity for Jennifer Hudson: "Try to imagine for a moment Hudson in another role, especially a non-singing one. Take away the parts played by Queen Latifah over the last few years and what can you picture her in?" Patrick Goldstein at the LA Times, on the other hand, halfway argues for a place in the canon for "The Departed" on the basis of its not often award-friendly genre nature. As happy as we are that Scorsese won, we can’t see "The Departed" sticking around as more than a footnote in his career. Goldstein may be right in arguing that genre films age better, but "The Departed" just lacks that spark of life that gives so many of the films he namechecks in his article lasting appeal.
Finally,Tim Teeman at the London Times found Ellen DeGeneres‘ hosting to be more than a little off, writing that she "seem[ed] neutered by the demands to act as respectably as possible while also mocking the audience and the absurdities and excesses of the world of film." You must admit, it’s a thankless job.
+ Regarding Oscar (Salon)
+ The Oscars: a final verdict (Guardian)
+ Bringing a Touch of Daytime to Hollywoodâ€™s Biggest Night (NY Times)
+ Red Carpet Confidential (NY Times)
+ Will ‘Dreamgirls’ song stop their show? (Boston Globe)
+ Welcome to the club (LA Times)
+ A rush, a crush and … a par-tay? (LA Times)