How Do I Love Thee, Oscars 2009...

Let me count the ways! Hahaha. One note before you proceed to reading my post: easter egg/s alert! XD

It has been three days since I watched the Oscars and I still couldn't get off my happy train. This year's Oscars is the best, in my opinion, in more ways than one. Perhaps, even the coolest. The secrecy surrounding the ceremonies was worth it, although one segment leaked out to the delight of Twilighters here and abroad. But that is not the only reason why I love this year's Oscars.

Watching the Oscars (among many other award shows like the Golden Globes, SAG, Emmys, etc.) has been a tradition of mine as long as we had cable at home. Before, I was really into beauty pageants like Miss Universe. However, as I started working and can already afford to watch movies out of my own pocket, watching award shows became a must for me. The beauty pageants went to the sidelines of my watch list. Far too away from the sidelines to be honest about it.

Award shows in general, especially those that are voted for by an academy or guild, are really boring. Year in and year out, they always follow the same pattern: short production numbers and montages interspersed with awarding segments, which became predictable. What makes the Oscars a bit special than the other award shows is being the culmination of all guild award ceremonies. Consider it like Wimbledon for the showbiz community: if you are on that show, nominee or presenter, it solidifies your place in the industry, wherever that is. If you win, you will always have that "Oscar Winner" tag in every movie you make. Heck, even the tag "Oscar Nominee" is used too. Another thing would be the selected host, as you're expected to provide the entertainment and ease of transition for each segments. But this year, the production team behind the Oscars wanted to bring some new life into the show. And boy, they've done it.

Let's start with the most obvious of all changes: the presence of young, pop Hollywood. Finally, the big cheese is starting to recognize the presence of a stronger force outside of their high-calibre bubble that could give the show the life it needs. Why would they invite Robert Pattinson (I have to mention this guy first. It's a sacrilege if I don't. =P), Tina Fey, Miley Cyrus (who didn't do anything in the awards ceremony but was on the red carpet pre-shows), Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried if not to make that statement? I'm glad that the Academy is now recognizing the power of young Hollywood, as it's where the fans are. If the Academy want to get some more love/interest for their highly-acclaimed movies, then they were able to do so. Mentioning the movie titles in every category can elicit memory recall. I wouldn't be surprised if there are teens and tweens who will positively respond when they hear the words "Slumdog Millionaire."

The second obvious change, and one of my favorite parts of the show, is the montages. They didn't just stick with the regular In Memoriam and Best Picture film montages. For this year's Oscars, they added new montages to the previous two I mentioned, around six if I'm not mistaken, that gave a good snapshot on the year that was in all movie genres: romance, comedy, documentary, animation, musical and action. The great thing about this montages is that they were conceptualized by Hollywood's brightest and creative minds. Case in point, the musical montage was created by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Australia) while the comedy was done by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Superbad). The show's collaborative effort was apparent and it resonated in every segment.

The last change that I love was that they invited twenty previous Oscar winners to help acknowledge the nominees in the four acting categories. For the first time, being just a nominee didn't feel bad at all especially with the accolades and terms of endearment that you get from previous winners. I can empathize with Anne Hathaway's near-to-tears reaction: to be acknowledged beautifully by Shirley MacLaine (who I dearly admire), oh what joy can that be!

Now, hope you'll indulge me as I dish my fan girl faves during the show...

Allow me to begin with the one and only Robert Pattinson. I cannot stress how much I admire him for being there unlike some actress, although I love very much, who kind of acted like she's high and mighty when technically, by Hollywood standards, she's still a starlet. Doesn't matter if it was a rumor or not, she still wasn't there despite the invitation. Rob was gracious, self-effacing and humbled by the opportunity. Plus he looked absolutely gorgeous in his Dolce & Gabbana tux. And how strategic was his seating arrangement? He was in full view behind Mickey Rourke! Rob presented the romance montage with Amanda Seyfried; both looked really cute together. The montage featured the best romantic cuts from 2008 movies: I saw bits of Definitely, Maybe and Twilight among others. The man is such an eye-candy that I'm distracted by the pic I chose to add to this portion. And if reports or rumours circling were true, Rob enjoyed himself as well and was quite awestruck. He had a fan boy moment with Ron Howard. How's that for pre-departure endorphins before you go to Japan and Canada? Sweet!

Next up are the nominee addresses and the speeches. My personal faves for the nominee addresses are those by Robert De Niro, Shirley MacLaine, Whoopi Goldberg, and Cuba Gooding Jr. while for the speeches are those of Kate Winslet (more of that in a while), Sean Penn, Resul Pookutty, Dustin Lance Black, Penelope Cruz, Danny Boyle and Heath Ledger's family.

Speaking of Kate Winslet, her win is perhaps the only moment when I watched live that I jumped off of my seat and cried like hell. I want that woman to win, no offense to Meryl Streep whom I've love as well. But this has got to be Kate's time. I was already expecting Slumdog Millionaire to win big at the Oscars. However, it was the Best Actress category that scared me to death. When Meryl Streep won in the Screen Actors Guild awards for Doubt, the race for that category was now between her and Kate. I'm so happy Kate won. It's a nice cap to being acknowledged as the youngest actress ever to receive 6 career nominations, and now a win. Finally! That reminds me, I've got to read the book that I have on my shelf. Here's hoping The Reader would hit the cinemas; I can't wait to watch Revolutionary Road as well.

Finally, although mentioned already, are the montages. Again, I don't know why but I shed tears (as always) during the In Memoriam segment. Queen Latifah was singing beautifully while the faces of those departed showed up on the screens. I was surprised to find out that Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack were already dead. Capping it off with Paul Newman was heart-warming. However the montage that takes top spot for me would be the action. While I adored seeing some Twilight cuts, the music they used as a back drop to action montage was totally unexpected yet ultra-cool and unbelievable. That music is not the kind you'd expect to hear during the Oscars. What am I referring to? That would be Tick Tick Boom by The Hives! It is like one of my all-time favorite songs. Seriously. It's part of their Black And White Album which, for me, is a must-have for garage rock/punk revival enthusiasts.

Honorable mention, before I end this lengthy post, is the end credits montage of the show for a couple of reasons. First, it gave you a brief look into your must-see movies for 2009. Seeing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince there (with very revealing scenes) made me wish for July to come sooner! Last and not the least, which kept my audiophile's heart fluttering, is that they featured another surprising track as the back drop music. Here's the cool part: the song hasn't been released in local stores upon the airing of the show! Wow. Further research allowed me to discover that it is a cover of one of Bob Dylan's songs released in 1967 entitled Leopard-Skin Pill Box Hat. Who covered it? None other than Beck! Geez, I miss that guy! Loser is one of my favorite songs. This cover, among many others, is part of the War Child presents Heroes compilation album which is targeted to benefit the kids who are victims of war. The concept for the compilation album is even better. The producers asked several music/rock icons to select one song from their entire discography and choose the band who will cover it. The original song had a bluesy feel to it so for Bob Dylan to select Beck among all music acts is a risky but wise choice, given that their musical styles are almost on the opposite sides of the spectre. But I believe that Beck did justice to the song. I love listening to it, so much that I may have played it over fifty times already. I had moments where I almost did an air guitar with a bit of dance while I was listening to it. It's such a cool, cool song.

Whew! This is what happens when you haven't blogged in days. Overcompensation. LOL. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the post and the easter egg/s I shared. Cheers!


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