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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Oscars did not shine this year

    My annual night with the Oscars is, without a doubt, one of my favorite of the year. The actual decisions of the elite, mysterious Academy don’t actually hold much water in my opinion, so what is it that draws me so? I suppose I’m drawn to the glamour, the stars, the fashions, the tears of joy and the good loser smiles. And this year’s Oscars didn’t completely disappoint in some respects. However, it didn’t deliver greatness by any means.
    First, Chris Rock replaced Billy Crystal as host. He did have a pleasant enough opening monologue. I especially enjoyed the playful jabs at Bush in comparing him to a Gap employee, but I found myself missing my favorite host, Billy Crystal. Hosting the Oscars calls for a classic actor-an older, more experienced star of the screen with a little dignity. Not to say that Crystal is fit to be donning an ascot and monocle, but his song and dance routines recapping the year’s top films were always delightful, and he was simply classic. He could both poke fun and be serious. Rock looked rather out of place sharing the stage with Hollywood greats like Sidney Lumet and Roger Mayer. Leave Rock to the MTV Movie Awards.
    I had a few qualms with winners as well. I felt that “Sideways” was gypped in most categories, and it was a veritable tragedy for Paul Giamatti not to have received a Best Actor nomination. It won for Best Adapted Screenplay, and I can’t help but feel that “Million Dollar Baby” swept Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Picture simply because of the names, mainly Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. “Sideways” was filled with up-and-comers, sure, but it was a beautiful film that reached every end of the emotional spectrum, and was my favorite for Best Picture. I also disagreed with “The Aviator” scooping up wins in the artsy categories. The fact that it won Best Art Direction over “Finding Neverland” and Best Cinematography over “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” which wasn’t even nominated in the category, was an eyebrow-raiser.
    The musical performances were, in a word, confusing. Beyonce performing every other song? A very greasy Antonio Banderas making a very poor attempt at crooning a Spanish ballad? In my opinion, Beyonce should’ve left “Believe” to Josh Groban and Banderas should’ve left the song to Santana, whose guitarwork very nearly took the focus from Banderas’s slick flamboyance.
    Lastly, the new supposedly timesaving format of giving the awards saddened me. Parading the nominees of behind-the-scenes categories (Sound Mixing, Visual Effects) onto the stage like beauty pageant finalists was unnecessary. Presenting some of the “lesser-than” awards in the audience was degrading. And most of all, the fact that clips of the nominees of some categories, such as Documentary and Short Film, weren’t shown was a huge disappointment.
    Now for what I did like about the show. Some wins were well-deserved, such as Jamie Foxx’s Best Actor win for “Ray.” His performance in the movie was stellar. He became Ray Charles and left Jamie Foxx far behind. My jaw dropped to the ground when “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” won Best Original Screenplay. I was keeping my fingers crossed for it, of course, but the Academy doesn’t often recognize the artsy and innovative. It usually leans more toward the universally likeable (think “The Aviator”).
    I loved the glamour. The classic looked adopted by most of the actresses that graced the red carpet was flawless. Only a couple missed the mark, namely Hilary Swank, whose backwards, backless number reminded me of some 1980s women’s suit, complete with shoulder pads. I’d give Best Dressed to Kate Winslet, who looked stunning in blue, and runners up to Cate Blanchett, Drew Barrymore and Catalina Sandino Moreno. Though attire for the men is much less interesting-tux, tux, tux-I have to at least mention Johnny Depp, whose bizarre ensemble could only be pulled off by such an eccentric actor. If I didn’t like him so much, I’d have to say something bad, but I just can’t.
    So, yes, I was a little disappointed with the 77th Annual Academy Awards. Enough to make me not tune in to next year’s show? Of course not.
    Erin Clyburn is a sophomore English major. She can be reached at [email protected].

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    Oscars did not shine this year