And the Oscar goes to...

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I haven’t written in this blog for a little while because what else is there to write about after you’ve attended the Academy Awards? Kidding! But in general, that was a totally amazing and awesome experience, and one I’d surely like to relive by luck of the Academy lottery in the future. Since no one reads this blog, I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the event, but I will comment a bit on general observations about it.

- The Academy takes incredibly good care of their bleacher creatures, I guess to make up for the fact you sit and roast in the sun at times, get splashed on by rain during freak five-minute storms, and have butt cramps that would rival any sort of PMS by the end of your 12-hour day. They gave us goodie bags, endless food, and invited us to an after party at the El Capitan theatre for more food and goodies and fun – and to watch the big show on the big screen.

- The two main questions I get asked are: A) What did you wear? and B) Where were you sitting in the Kodak theatre? The answers are A) it was the bleachers, so nothing fancy. As I told our national broadcaster that did a phone call radio interview with me the morning after, I wore a Le Chateau sweater dress to represent Canada, stay warm (almost too warm), and be colourful enough that my family would see me. B) The fans don’t go to the Kodak Theatre. Let me put it this way – we would scream too much, and this ain’t the MTV awards, and beyond that, for every single celebrity, there are about 100 ‘nobodies’ (at least faceless stars in their own right) that walk the carpet. There isn’t ROOM for us fans, period.

- The young stars were the hardest to photograph and get attention from. In fact the younger they were, the more spry they were at hurdling past our section of the red carpet (the arrivals area as opposed to the media tent). Anna Kendrick earned low grades from our section for not lifting her head or waving or anything when the carpet was empty and she arrived quite early.

- The older stars and the ones you’d expect to be more charismatic lived up to their name. They would walk right up to us (or in Clooney’s case, hop a velvet rope to do the boy band super fan hand grabbing thing), ask us how we were, say thanks, tell us to have an awesome time, and generally just be nice. The middle aged stars who’ve done the carpet walk several times were in between – they would give us a few obligatory waves but wouldn’t venture over for some true fan adoration (save for Clooney). Guess they don’t feel obsolete enough yet?

- Little known fact: the ‘live from the red carpet’ shows are likely almost never live. In particular the little half hour of stitched together red carpet segments that airs RIGHT before the show. Sherri Shepard was the host of it in our area, and did the majority of interviews that ran on that network’s feed (I saw it and myself on TV). Watching the red carpet special it’s not hard to tell that it’s edited together if you were there…our area noticeably fills up and thins out as the ‘afternoon’ goes on, but in reality it was empty – bursting at the seams – empty. Cameron Diaz was a late straggler so the carpet was empty, yet they slotted her interview in before Taylor Lautner when the carpet is noticeably fuller. Super weird but not surprising – the stars had basically stopped arriving by 5:15 PM (or was it 4:15…I can’t remember) but we were trapped in the bleachers till 5:40-ish. The red carpet special must have run somewhere in there, I presume 5:30 to 6:00 so when we settled into the El Capitan we just missed the beginning of Neil Patrick Harris’ musical number. OR…they put it on time delay for us. I haven’t figured that part out yet.

- Another weird fact. Those day after, the red carpet photos are totally rejigged. That shouldn’t be a surprise either, but it is when you’ve seen the dresses in person and taken the photos and open up the People magazine Oscar special only to see the saturation turned way up on Rachel McAdam’s dusty watercolour dress and the saturation completely edited on Sandra Bullock’s scary hot pink lipstick.

- For the record, the red carpet was a pretty consistent fashion ‘do’. Zoe Saldana and Charlize Theron earned the most consistent ‘don’ts of the night, and I agree with that with sadly, Sarah Jessica Parker also on that list. Zoe’s dress just overwhelmed her (TINY) frame and immediately drew “Errrs” from our section. Charlize was barely spottable but upon seeing photos I immediately recoiled. Her make-up was horrible, her dress was horrible, it was just no. Sarah’s dress was just unflattering and I’m not a fan of her severe, mega-bun hairstyle that she pulls out sometimes. SJP is very much someone that is made stunning or stupefied by her hair.

- In terms of best dressed? Maggie Gyllenhaal looked absolutely radiant, despite the negative commentary on her dress. Rachel McAdams also looked gorgeous and although I momentarily flip flopped on her dress I ended up giving it top marks. Cameron Diaz I think had the most immediate impact on the red carpet of being like ‘WOW’ – she looked awesome. It helped that the carpet was empty when we saw her. Sandra also made an immediate wow statement, although reviews have been mixed. She looked good but could have looked better, right?

I think that’s all to comment on. The Red Carpet is an insane and magical place and seeing the huge flux of people and the work that goes into the event was impressive. Like I said, if you can ever find your way onto the carpet, DO IT.

My thoughts on the ceremony? I won my family’s point-based Oscar pool without winning Best Picture (I have mixed feelings on Avatar and Hurt Locker, and believe Inglorious Basterds should have won), so it wasn’t a particularly surprise-laden ceremony. I liked the opening, thought Alec and Steve made for a good duo for the WASP-y middle aged person that is the Academy’s bread & butter these days, and enjoyed the quicker pace of the ceremony altogether. I liked that they still tried to inject some life into the lesser-cared-about categories through their little vignettes and the decision to continue with the stars talking to the stars worked well for best actor & actress, if not better than last year, because they picked people who had a personal relationship with them and not just past winners to induct them into the Academy fold (or at least one of them). That being said, the quality of the speeches kind of depended on who was speaking – Sandra’s speaker was pretty weak, considering she was the winner.

It wasn’t a standout Oscars by any means, minus the ten best picture thing (of which I am actually a fan for the record), but it represented a good continual progression of the show from being stuffy, overlong, and a simple show of award/winner/speech/award/winner/speech.

Till next time,

Britt’s On

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