Oscar is in the rear view mirror and here finally is the post I have been promising that provides a little insider information and reaction to what happened on Oscar night. I have mined my sources one more time to entreat them to share some of their thoughts concerning the Academy's soiree. My little group includes a producer, director, editor, a film student and marketing exec. It's a pretty diverse slice of the industry/Academy. Here are some of the comments they had about this year's Oscar party.
SURPRISES...NOT SO MUCH:
There was general agreement that the evening lacked much in the way of an upset. One member of the group said:
"2 big surprises: Dragon Tattoo for editing, and Meryl for Actress."
The Streep response continued withe another respondent:
"I love being surprised with unexpected winners, but I do feel bad for Viola Davis. She had all of the momentum she could get and still couldn't pull it off. I didn't see The Iron Lady, but I'm guessing this is just a "Sorry we haven't given you more of these" type of win for Streep. I heard The Iron Lady was not particularly great, but hey, she's pretty good in everything she does. I'm not shocked, but I really thought it was going to Davis."
The same person also was surprised by the editing Oscar:
"I am thinking Editing was strange. But TGWTDT was edited well, so I cannot complain that it won. I just thought for sure it would go to The Artist or Hugo, that were also both well edited."
They were also surprised at the Cinematography Oscar:
"Cinematography caught me off guard. I'm reminded of Haneke's The White Ribbon. Voters have had 2 chances in the last 3 years to vote for a black and white film in this category, and they haven't. I think The Tree of Life deserved it, but no big deal."
There was generally a warm response to the telecast itself, but not overly enthusiastic.
"I thought it was a good Academy Awards. While Billy Crystal can do the job, his ad-libs prove he's not Johnny Carson. The focus group sketch was a good time."
Another of my friends noted:
"Thought they should have let Dujardin do his curtain call a la what he did in the movie, after winning his Oscar. Could have been hilarious, but the director cut away.
Think they should either have the best song category with performances, or cut the thing out. Half-assing it is no fun for anybody.
Billy was good, but he's become the only host worth watching in this kind of format or style. If anyone else hosts it, they need to completely rethink the concept of the show."
THINGS THAT PLEASED THEM:
Each respondent had one or two events that they isolated as something that had made them happy about the night's results. To wit:
"I really thought Christopher Plummer's speech was classy."
"Personally, I was happy to see Midnight in Paris nab the screenplay statuette. I bet Woody Allen was at home watching the NBA All-Star Game."
"Sad that IN DARKNESS didn’t win but A SEPARATION was pretty outstanding in spite of a frustrating ending.
Very pleased about RANGO. The fact that they had an outstanding d.p. As consultant made all the difference."
And a couple of odd facts pointed out along the way:
"Tapley made an interesting note. Dragon Tattoo was first film to have Editing be it's only win since Bullitt in 1968."
"I am told that THE ARTIST was one of only two films shot in Hollywood last year. An ironic and interesting observation if true."
BACK TO TFF #39 BUSINESS...
Repeating what I reported yesterday: it appears that we know the identity of this year's TFF #39 guest director. This does not come from a press release or news account but the source seems solid. That person is British author Geoff Dyer.
Remember you saw it here first and nearly 3 months before the announcement of last year's guest director came from the Festival.
Of course, I'll look pretty silly if this turns out to be wrong...
Finally, here are links to two more spec pieces concerning film expectations for this year. One is a Cannes wish list and contains a good number of Telluride prospects. The other is an Oscar 2012 spec piece that focuses largely on Big Studio films that by and large are very unlikely for Telluride...but it's still kind of interesting.
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