1. Why were all the tween stars invited to participate? - Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Miley Cyrus, Robert Pattinson...sounds like I'm listing the nominees for the Teen Choice Awards, but no they all participated in the Academy Awards (actually I don't remember seeing Miley on stage...did she actually have a purpose for being there?). I realize the Academy is trying to entice younger viewers to watch the show, but in the end I think they just embarrassed themselves and the teens that love them. Case in point: 1. Vanessa Hudgens refers to herself as a "young Audrey Hepburn" when asked about her dress - Um, keep dreaming honey. Besides the fact that she is in no way resembling the icon, I believe she meant to say "a modern Audrey Hepburn." 2. Miley Cyrus says that she wants to meet Angelina Jolie because "Angelina is my favorite person of all history". She is also delusional enough to believe that she could get a nomination for her performance in the upcoming Hannah Montana movie. These are the role models of thousands of teens around the world. Are you as scared as I am?
2. Why were all the women dressed for their wedding day? - Penelope Cruz, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Beil, Jennifer Aniston, Marissa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Nicole Kidman...I'm sure the list is even longer...ALL wore white/neutral dresses. Penelope Cruz was the most offensive because she looked like she belonged directly on top of a wedding cake. What happened to the WOW factor, setting trends and trying to stand out in a crowd of beautiful women? The 2 best dressed women were Amy Adams (that necklace!) & Halle Berry and even their dresses were kinda bland. What happened? Even Reese Witherspoon (the usual trendsetter at these events) looked absolutely horrid and SJP (although usually looks horrid, but at least surprises us) in her "barely mint" dress looked like an aged princess whose breasts had to be in an extreme amount of pain. I do appreciate that the actresses seem to be going by way of Nicole Kidman and that is extremely pale. I know everyone says a nice tan makes you look healthy, but I completely disagree. Anne Hathaway, Evan Rachel Wood and Amy Adams looked divine with their milky complexions. I am envious.
3. Why was E!'s Live from the red carpet so boring? - I appreciate all that Ryan Seacrest does for entertainment, but why does he feel it necessary to host this event? I agree that he is better than Giuliana DePandi at doing interviews. Giuliana's interview with Brad and Angie at the SAG Awards was proof she needs to be fired already! (and on a side-note: was she supposed to look like a bland version of Kiera Knightly?) Back to my point: Ryan is sooo blah. At least back in the day Joan & Melissa Rivers provided some controversy even though they were completely obnoxious. Is it that hard to find someone charming, entertaining and knowledgeable to do these interviews? Obviously Ryan is way to busy to even do his homework - he asked Marisa Tomei how it feels to be at the Oscars because she hasn't been there since 1993 (she was nominated for 2001's In the Bedroom). And they didn't even give worthy screen time to worthy nominees - Melissa Leo's interview was shoved to the corner of the screen to show Robert Pattinson arriving. Last year he got lucky with Gary Busey's attack, but this year there was nothing worthy to talk about.
4. Why did the show feel so long? - The show was revamped this year and the changes were refreshing, but I found myself yawning by the middle of the show. Hugh Jackman was full of energy in the beginning, but then seemed to loose his mojo by the middle. I enjoyed the opening number, although the lyrics weren't very imaginative - the energy was there and bringing Anne Hathaway on stage was delightful. That being said, the other musical number was absolutely horrific and LONG! Hugh, Beyonce, Zanessa, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper claim the "musical is back" although this year musicals compared inferior to the musicals of recent years (Dreamgirls, Chicago, Moulin Rouge). They were box office successes no doubt, but High School Musical & Mamma Mia garnered mixed reviews and certainly did not deserve any recognition during the Academy Awards! You could tell they were expecting a standing ovation - how sad. After this ridiculous and unnecessary performance the show just seemed to drag on forever. They should have saved the funny stuff for later in the show (Tina Fey & Steve Martin "nobody wants to hear about our religion -that we made up" and the Apatow clip - but why didn't they show the funniest movie of the year Baby Mamma during the comedy's of 2008?).
5. Why didn't they think of these changes before? Every year, the Academy promises some sort of change to entice the audience, but this year they went extreme. The stage was small and cozy, the nominations for acting were presented by 5 previous winners and each nominee was introduced with a reason for why there were nominated to begin with. The other categories were clumped together (pre-production, post-production, music, etc) and presented by the same person which cut time on introducing presenters and gave each presenter more stage time (Will Smith - "Yes, they still have me here". ) They also cut the individual musical performances and combined them into one number, which I appreciate (It's not the Grammy's!).
6. Why were there no surprises? - Usually there is one "oh my god!" win - usually in the Supporting Actress category, but this year everything seemed to go according to plan. Slumdog walked away with Best Picture along with 7 other awards, Benjamin Button won a few in the "other" categories (Makeup, Art Direction), Penn beat out Rourke in the Best Actor category (He deserved it...and I love his comment "I know how hard I make it to appreciate me..often"), Wall-E won Best Animated Feature, Milk won Best Original Screenplay (and Dustin Lance Black's speech is the only that brought tears to my eyes.), and of course Ledger won for Supporting Actor.
7. Who's coming with me to see "The Proposal"? - Seriously. I am a huge Sandra Bullock fan.