I'm not going to go into my picks, because I only hit on a meaningless 12 of 24 thanks to The King's Speech taking both directing and Best Picture. And, of course, thanks to Portman over Bening, which I still feel is a travesty. I'd like to make a point, though, that the last 20 minutes were pretty worthless.
If the Oscars are going to INSIST on making Best Director the director of Best Picture EVERY YEAR, then they MUST put those awards back to back and stop giving away the ending! Only two times in the past decade have these differed; when Brokeback Mountain lost to Crash, and when The Pianist lost to the God-awful Chicago. In both cases, the best director directed the best picture, but that's neither here nor there.
This year, my favorite film was The Social Network. Last year, I don't know if I necessarily had an overwhelming favorite, but if I did it was probably Up (would've been the perfect year to give it to an animated feature for the first time). In 2008, none were my favorite, but I think they should've given it to Milk (not Slumdog). In 2007, No Country For Old Men was great, but There Will Be Blood was MUCH better. In 2006, The Departed was okay, but was certainly a make-up for that Goodfellas botch-job in 1990. In 2005, they could've literally given it to any other movie besides Crash and it wouldn't have been the collosal embarassment it was. In 2004, Million Dollar Baby was good, but I was partial to Sideways. In 2003, LOTR made me want to commit suicide in the theater (and it had NO business winning over Mystic River). Again, in 2002, Chicago was a joke (could've been Gangs of New York or The Pianist in my book). 2001 sucked.
To be perfectly honest, the last GREAT movie to actually win Best Picture was Platoon back in 1986. Followed by The Godfather movies in the early 70s.
The Best Picture is hardly anyone's favorite movies. They rarely withstand the test of time in the re-watchability scale. Are they classics only because they won the Oscar for Best Picture? Because I'll tell you:
The Social Network
There Will Be Blood
The Shawshank Redemption
Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Dog Day Afternoon
A Clockwork Orange
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
12 Angry Men
It's A Wonderful Life
The Wizard Of Oz
THESE are classics. THESE are important movies that will be remembered for generations to come. And these are all nominees who didn't win Best Picture.
No one will remember The King's Speech in 20 years. Or The Hurt Locker. They'll remember The Social Network because it perfectly captured these times we live in. It told the story of a world in darkness finally gaining light in the dawn of this Internet age. They'll remember Avatar because it was the first great 3D movie ever made (and the fact that the story is a little lame, the message a little ham-handed; the fact that it's not much WITHOUT its third dimension is irrelevant).
That having been said, I love a good movie with a dynamite acting performance, so I'm sure I'll enjoy The King's Speech for Colin Firth alone. The fact that Geoffrey Rush is also in it just makes it that much more exciting to finally see. His was the most obvious choice of Best Actor since Daniel Day-Lewis in 2007. Didn't even need to see the movie to know that.
And I guess I don't have a problem with Natalie Portman winning. I really wish I'd been able to see Winter's Bone, though, since it looked like Jennifer Lawrence really did a number.
I ended up nailing both of the supporting actor catagories (changed my mind and went back to Christian Bale for my official picks). The Fighter; HOW have I not seen that yet?
I was correct that Inception got thrown a bone in some of the technical catagories (including both sound, as well as Cinematography), making Nolan's exclusion from Best Director seem like a sick joke. I'll never understand that one; if there was ever a year to split Director and Picture, this was it hands down.
Finally, all anyone can REALLY talk about is how terrible the broadcast was. I don't know why people still complain about it being overly long; what are they going to do? Yes, some of the skits and musical numbers felt tacked on just to give the hosts something to do, but what do you expect? I'll thank the writers (for essentially NOT writing anything entertaining, funny, or remotely edgy) and James Franco (for being the stiff of all stiffs) because the Twitter feed was on FIRE with the mocking and the put-downs.
I didn't say it before and I probably won't say it again: Anne Hathaway's breasts were all this thing needed. You know what they say about too many hands in the pot