Another Oscar season ends with a whimper. I can’t say I’m unhappy to see it end because it was a pretty weak year with few movies that really moved me and not even many Oscar categories with interesting races.

Much like last year we clearly don’t care enough to post our Oscar night thoughts in any sort of timely manner, but the internet could use a few more opinions and I’m here to give them.

The telecast producers intended to shake things up a bit this year and their efforts were mostly for the positive. Hugh Jackman’s recession-themed opening number was fun albeit a bit inside baseball. The overarching “storyline” of the night, following a film from inception to completion, was interesting, even if it did mean the first three categories were major categories. Some of the jokes were wickedly funny and edgy in ways Oscar jokes usually aren’t. Jack Black was even funny. The “yearbooks” were okay, save the hilarious comedy edition from Judd Apatow, which was a highlight of the evening. Things seemed to move along pretty well, perhaps helped by the close proximity of the seats to the stage so every winner was at the podium in less than ten seconds. But it still went 20 minutes over so that quixotic search for an Oscars telecast that ends on time will never end. I appreciated that no one was played off, even if I wished it had (see: lame Makeup winner who just read names from a list as fast as he could).

Introducing acting nominees with former winners really did not work for me. It was way too indulgent. Just show the clip of Anne Hathaway crying and move on instead of telling us how much we were moved by her.

The winners were all very predictable, with Departures winning Foreign Language Film the only major upset. Adam’s tally of 16 correct predictions in 2007 seemed like a great total, higher than what’s usually needed to win a pool. This year it took 19 to win the Grouches’ pool and I’ve seen people who picked as many as 22 correct. That’s just absurd. When you have to dig as far down as Sound Mixing to find a slightly off-the-wall winner you know it’s a predictable year. At least one major race, Actor, had some drama to it.

And with that we bid adieu to 2008 and get ready for 2009. God willing this year will be better. The million dollar question: by the time the big awards movies start popping up in the fall will any of us even remember Frost/Nixon?

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