The 83rd Academy awards – YAWWWWNNNNN!

It could have been the drugs I was on, but this was simply the worst award show I ever saw on TV. The hosts lacked talent in extemporaneous acting, and were too young and unestablished to really be in your face or iconoclastic. So she took to costume changes at the drop of a hat (reportedly advice from Shirley McLaine) while he probably took tranquilizers (no other way to explain that bit in the dress).

That was hardly all that was wrong with the show – other than one beeped out moment, all was PC and hunky dory in Oscarland. The musical numbers were inane and took more time to set up than was spent in the performance. I am sorry Rahman fans, but his rendition of If I Rise was sleep inducing, and not helped much by the woman in the orange hair.

The awards themselves were exactly what one would expect from an academy full of fuddy duddies who date back to Citizen Kane (or maybe even earlier). The best foreign language film was a lock as soon as I saw one film with a clip of little black children running behind a truck with white people in it! And we expect them to honor our strides in film-making in out country’s context? Arre forget it yaar – they are still stuck in the holocaust and colonialism! If you want to wow THEM stick to the colonial oppression script, if you want to make your own kind of films, forget about them.

The actors and actresses were all awarded as scripted and predicted for days – no surprises. The King’s Speech won all the major accolades, telling us yet again that while the Americans gained independence a long time ago, it may take another couple of hundred years to get them mentally free of the British.

The audience was worthy of some notice. Darren Aronofsky looked benign, but David Fincher looked like he was waiting in the dock for a sentence to be pronounced. Warren Beatty looked suitably proud of his wife, while the only crowd looking suitably smug and satisfied was the King’s Speech gang. A brief glimpse of Penelope Cruz showed us a radiant confident woman, and Scarlett Johanssen in that lace gown looked divine. Of the people who came on stage – three managed to look alive and sentient. Sandra Bullock did a good job calling out the leading men nominees, and Jeff Bridges did the same with the women. Kirk Douglas did a wonderful wolfish look at Anne Hathaway – Dil Toh Bachcha Hai ji all over again.

And the Academy continued its myopic view of scifi or films with unusual content. How else can one explain the blindness to Inception or The Social Network? Maybe one day they will get Facebook accounts and all will be revealed to them?

I wonder what Ms. Anupama Chopra is thinking now about that ode to the Oscars she wrote not so long ago. It is not just this year, the story continues year to year, same dullness, same unworthy awardees for the most part.

As I sign out I have to say that three hours spent watching Filmfare or Starscreen or ZeeCine awards is MUCH more fun that this snoozefest that was the Oscars. I will remember to tune out next year.


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