Well, I’m a bit sad about the lack of recognition for Boyhood‘s director, Richard Linklater. For those of you who may have seen the Honest Trailer for Boyhood and are still chuckling about its many truths (short on storyline, slow paced, etc.) the film succeeded in engaging us with the story of its protagonist who grows from 6 to 18; the same actors play their roles throughout the 12 year shoot and time period of the movie. I felt that Birdman was a terrifically original film and I loved the performances, especially Edward Norton who as the actor’s actor stole every scene he was in. However, I didn’t feel it had the heart of Boyhood which I loved for its humanity.
As for the Oscars show itself, it kept up the tradition of spectacularly misfiring comic bits; Neil Patrick Harris who always carries off the Tony Awards with such aplomb, somehow missed the mark on this show, despite a great opening number. His running gag about his predictions for the show and enlisting Octavia Spencer to watch the box was just plain lame and unfunny. His “everything sounds better with a British accent” bit with David Oyelowo totally sucked and managed to demean films with black casts (the recent remake of Annie) as well.
John Travolta provided the icky moments of the show as he cradled Idina Menzel’s face (trying to redeem himself for his mangling of her name – Adele Nazeem – at last year’s show); apparently this was totally scripted, as I’m sure most of the attempts at comedy were. Apparently, the script goes through several layers of vetting by the presenters’ managers, agents, etc. before the presenters actually perform their introductions, so perhaps the whole process needs to be re-examined.
Their were real moments of sincerity from some of the award winners who disclosed painful moments and heartfelt agendas. The slow pace of the show wasn’t helped by the Lady Gaga medley, performed rather well, but completely unnecessarily, as the 50th Anniversary of The Sound of Music had already been celebrated in a series of film clips from the movie featuring the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs. The nominated songs this year were a travesty of uninspired performances with the exception of the song from Selma which had the audience on their feet because of the emotion it evoked. The inclusion of the nauseatingly repetitious song, Everything is Awesome, from The Lego Movie, was just plain ridiculous. One hilarious blogger noted that the cameras never focused on audience reactions to the song, as everyone was vomiting.
Anyhow, just another overly long and somewhat boring Oscars show. Nothing really stood out. Very little old Hollywood glamour, no crazy outfits (how we miss Bjork and her swan outfit).
Anyhow, the really bright point of my TV watching week has been the opportunity to binge watch Season 3 of House of Cards which debuted on Fri. Feb. 27. I am up to Episode 11 of 13, so not bad, considering we have had company this weekend! It’s as dark as ever. You might want to watch a recap of Season 2 to refresh on characters and dangling plot lines from the previous season. This year the marriage between the Underwoods comes under very close scrutiny. Claire’s ambition comes to the fore as she forces Francis to name her as the US Ambassador to the UN. Francis continues to manipulate and maneuver through a sea of naysaying Democrats who refuse to nominate him as the Democratic candidate in the upcoming election. The Russian President (amazingly Putin-like) is Underwood’s nemesis throughout and the situation room activities are mesmerizing. Politics (whether on the world or national stage) is portrayed as a nest of vipers, where only the strongest survive. This is possibly the most Darwinian of all TV series. Nasty and cruel, but somehow as engaging and entertaining as hell.
I believe, tonight is the last episode of Downton Abbey. I loved this season and its focus on romance. Social change was also a major factor with Rose marrying a Jew, Edith bringing her child into the family, the downstairs staff making retirement plans for themselves, etc. Enjoy until the next season!
Returning tonight is The Good Wife, my favourite show on network TV. The Walking Dead continues. A new crime show Black Creek focusing on the FBI debuts starring Josh Duhamel (married to Fergie of The Black-Eyed Peas).
Enjoy the week everyone! Off to take my company to the major shopping spots of Naples.