Monday, February 23, 2009

The 2009 Oscars

- Hugh Jackman seemed to have realized that he could never match up to the show's previous hosts like Crystal, Stewart, Goldberg, Martin and Letterman when it came to humor. So he cut down on the jokes and turned to song & dance. The first number did give the show a jumpstart since it came as a complete surprise. But the other numbers in the middle of the show were kinda boring. Jackman was onstage for such a short time that he seemed completely redundant though.

- With Jackman's monologues being rather low on jokes(his quip about Oscars going to actors with range was probably the best), it was up to some of the presenters to make us laugh. Jack Black, Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg were - quite obviously - the most successful at that.

- The usual format of 2 presenters reading out the nominations was changed for the Supporting Actor/Actress and Best Actor/Actress awards as five previous winners read out the nominations before one of them declared the winner. It made the process a bit longer but it did help all those who were nominated be in the spotlight for a bit longer than usual and that was nice. De Niro's speech nominating Sean Penn was the best and was both funny and classy.

- Can't say the same thing about the award recipients. There were no really memorable, fascinating or witty acceptance speeches and most of the speeches were little more than a shopping list of thank yous. So the few interesting moments - like the whistle from Kate Winslet's dad in the audience or the disappearing-coin magic trick by the winner of the Best Documentary - stood out just by not being run-of-the-mill.

- The special feature this time was a montage of clips from all films belonging to a particular genre. Wasn't particularly interesting.

- It was definitely Slumdog Millionaire's night as it scooped up most of the awards it was nominated for. Our first goosebump moment came as Resul Pookutty collected the Oscar for Sound Mixing for the film. He gave a really good speech(he was the only one to thank his teachers, I think) and though he was understandably excited, he definitely seemed genuine.

- Having been looking forward anxiously to Rahman's live performance, the performance of the nominated scores by the official orchestra came as a disappointment since I took it as a sign that his performance had been cancelled. I soon realized that it was premature but before that came the moment we were all waiting for as ARR's name was announced as winner for Best Score. Calm and composed as always, he made our night with a simple line - Ellappugazhum Iraivanukke!

He then came on stage to perform both his nominated songs - O Saaya... and Jai Ho.... The rousing and totally exhilarating Jai Ho... left us with little doubt that it would win the Oscar and that came true just a couple of minutes later as he came back onstage to accept the statue for Best Song. It was another short, simple but memorable speech about choosing love over hate and where that had landed him.

- Slumdog Millionaire continues racking up awards, including the two big ones - Best Director for Danny Boyle and Best Picture. It was nice seeing the whole gang up onstage for the latter award and even nicer seeing Anil Kapoor act much more restrained than he did at the Golden Globes!

Jai Ho!


At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The moment Resul Pookutty got the award I was sure Rahman will get two.
Rahman was as calm as ever. I too liked the Love-Hate line. Ofcourse the Tamil one :)

At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

enna sir, oru paragraph la Rahman win panninatha cover pannirkeenga. thought it deserved a blog on its own. He absolutely made my day when he spoke in tamil. I was even more ecstatic when he won the first award and was jumping (much to my wife's irritation!). Seriously thought that O'saya would win. Jai Ho in my opinion is similar to the "Ella pukzhum oruvan oruvanuke from Azhagiya Tamizh magan (a much more refined version that lacks the power!).

I did have a good time speaking about him in the office yesterday though with everyone asking me about his background. It really felt good that i'd been following his music from Roja.

At 5:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thought penelope's speech was incredibly heartfelt and sincere as well.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

was really delighted to see rahman win! awesome to hear him speak in thamizh...

what abt anil kapoor at the golden globes? ayya ena panaaru?!

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...


I'm delighted to see Rehman win. Did you notice standard of H'wood movies has gone down steadily for the past 3-4 yrs, there were good ones but for their standards it's plainly a bad year

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm can't say how happy I'm for A.R. Rahman! Me and my friends were all watching and praying for ARR and when the announcement came we all went crazy! His one line in Tamil "Ella Pugalum Iraivanukke" moved us all. It was a very touching and historic moment for India! Inspite of all his achievements, he is always as quiet as ever and one of the most humblest of all celeberities I had ever seen! God bless ARR and wish him many, many more pugal's and awards for the rest of his career!

Congrats ARR & the SDM team!

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to be honest, i really did not understand what he meant by the love-hate thing and choosing love over hate. what do you guys think he meant?

At 4:15 AM, Blogger Funtabulous said...

I am very happy that Rahman won the awards even tho there are other songs of his that are much better than Jai Ho.Yeah what is the fuss on Anil Kapoor.I never did like the guy...always thot him too pompous.

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous above

Unnikrishnan told in a interview to a news channel after the oscars that he refused to sing the Hello doctor song from kadhal desam...even after this rahman called him up to sing another song after 1 month...

this is choosing between love and hate..:)

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

parthi, since it was the oscars, i wasnt sure of anything. but my hope did increase with each award that SDM got :)

anon, size doesnt matter! whether its 1 para or a separate post, the elation i felt was the same :)

anon, yes it was :)

ram, he was just really hyper, jumping and clapping and grinning :)

srivatsan, can't comment on that since i've seen woefully few 2008 movies :)

stranger, thats exactly what happened at our house too :)

anon, i'm guessing he probably had several incidents in mind when he said that :)

funtabulous, just that he acted like a clown at the globes :)

pk, good one :)

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

congrats Rahman and SM!!
I was pretty thrilled and sooo proud:D

What is this about Rahman being calm though?? he was modest yes, but visibly nervous i thought .....and i also didn't get his love/hate speech...but loved his outfit and loved his shoutout to tamil:)

oh and i always meant to ask, what is the deal with him and Illayaraja?? what happened with them? sorry, i know it's kinda off-topic....

and finally, i thought Hugh did a good job:)

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish Anil Kapoor would be a bit modest - no matter what he says, it's hard to believe that he's genuine. I do, atleast, agree that he was a bit more restrained at the Oscars (thank God!).


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