Nerdies for Best & Worst of 82nd Annual Academy Awards

Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Greg Shapiro. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Oh, man, I didn’t do so well this year in my predictions. Usually, I miss only 2-4 categories but this year I tanked by getting 7 wrong (17 right). I thought Avatar would win more technical awards but The Hurt Locker demolished it in the sound categories, too.

I assume you already know that Hurt Locker, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Christoph Waltz, and Kathryn Bigelow won the big awards. (For the rest of the winners, click here.) So I’m only going to discuss the moments which stood out for me for reasons both good and bad.

Most Confusing Guest? Host?: Neil Patrick Harris opening the show with a musical number. I like him and he’s a talented singer but he was neither Alec Baldwin nor Steve Martin. It felt odd that he was auditioning to be host of next year‘s telecast while this year’s was just beginning.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Best Agency Dis: Baldwin. At the beginning of the show, he said, “In Precious, Gabourey Sidibe is told she’s worthless, nobody likes her, that she has no future. Hey, I’m with CAA, too!”

Least Prudent Interruption: Elinor Burkett, producer of documentary short winner Music by Prudence, Kanye’d director Roger Ross Williams’s acceptance speech by hijacking the mike and talking over him, complaining that women never get to talk. Her rudeness and anger were ironic since the film is supposed to be uplifting. (Salon.com has the story behind the incident here.)

Funniest “Horror” Clip: Martin and Baldwin’s Paranormal Activity spoof, which shows Martin bitch-slapping Baldwin in his sleep, causing Baldwin to fall out of bed.

Most Welcome Close-Up: During the animated sequence featuring the nominees for best animated feature, Up‘s talking dog, Dug, went right up to the camera and licked it before saying, “This is not food.” I love Dug and his big, squirrel-sniffing nose!

Understatement of the Year: Julianne Moore. Regarding filming A Single Man, she said, “Three days is not nearly enough time to spend in the company of the magnificent Colin Firth.” Truer words were not spoken.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Best Nerd Representative: Sam Worthington. He whipped out thick black frames to read the teleprompter while presenting best score nominees. Holla! Sully (and the upcoming Perseus) is a cute myopic nerd!

Rudest Omissions from Memorial Tribute: Where were Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur?

Most People Thanked in Least Boring Speech: Sandra Bullock. Somehow, she managed to thank her fellow nominees, the Twohys, her husband, her late mother, all mothers, and her “lover Meryl Streep” while gettiing laughs and reducing her tough-guy spouse to tears.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Best “I So Deserve This” Award: Sandy Powell for best costume. She was decked out in a striking dress with impeccable accessories, right down to her sequined beret. If you saw her walking down the street like that carrying an Oscar, you’d know instantly what category she won.

Strangest Pop & Lock(er) Sequence: For The Hurt Locker‘s nominated score, dancers performed a pop and lock dance routine. How does that represent soldiers deactivating bombs?

Wrongest Place for a Stripper Pole: In the middle of the dance number to Up‘s nominated score, a pair of dancers cavorted around a pole that looked like one from a strip club. I can’t even think about Carl and Ellie in those terms.

Kevin Winter/Getty

Best New Contender for President: Kathryn Bigelow. Can we get her to run in 2012, please? Her arms alone could crush bin Laden’s head like a grape. The woman kicks butt 9 kinds of ways and looks like one of Wonder Woman’s Amazon sisters from Paradise Island.

Which moments were memorable for you? Did you like Baldwin and Martin as hosts? How’d you do in your Oscar pool? Make sure you check out my fashion slideshow here!

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Allison
    March 8, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Great article on the Oscars, last night. I was one of the unfortunates who didn’t have cable so I wasn’t able to watch it myself. Had to keep up with it via Twitter.. But I really appreciated your run down and own “best of”. Very nicely done!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks, Allison! If I knew you didn’t have cable (Cablevision?), I would’ve included even more details.

  • Reply
    Eddy
    March 8, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I really liked Sandra Bullock’s speech, her acknowledgment of her fellow nominees, and her discourse with Meryl Streep. It was funny that she was tearing up during her speech after telling Barbara Walters that her mom was always disgusted when people cried when accepting awards.

    I also liked Jeff Bridges’ speech except he didn’t thank Beau for giving him a guitar when he was a kid.

    I guess when you are on the spot and have 45 seconds, you can’t cover everything.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Did you notice how Bridges had WAYYY more than 45 seconds? He went on for at least 2 minutes. Guess the orchestra isn’t allowed to play off big-name winners.

  • Reply
    le0pard13
    March 8, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I enjoyed hosts Martin and Baldwin, for the times they got on camera (me and the kids laughed the hardest when they showed them backstage in their Snuggie™ blankets). Robin Williams had the best punchline (Governor’s Ball, etc.), but that Paranormal Activity clip was great. I really liked two very different acceptance speeches: Bullock’s for its class and Geoffrey Fletcher’s (Adapted Screenplay). Geoffrey had the deer in the headlights moment, but he came off like a regular person in an extraordinary situation. I was really glad when director Williams Kanye’d producer Burkett back at the end.

    Thanks, PCN.

    p.s., will you be doing a best/worst dressed on this?

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      The Snuggie bit was funny, and I did enjoy Fletcher’s win for Precious. I got to see him speak at a screening and he just seems so humble.

      How’d you do in your Oscar pool?

      Oh, and my fashion write-up is here, or go to homepage and scroll down to middle of page.

      • Reply
        le0pard13
        March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm

        Out of the 10 categories I choose on, I was either 5/9 or 6/10 (depending how one looks at it). I thought Julian Clarke (District 9) was deserving of Best Film Editing but that The Academy would choose anybody BUT him. Technically, I was right, but that’s not much of a pick. And, I was surprised like you that UP IN THE AIR would be shutout (I had them at least picking up Adapted Screenplay). Thanks.

  • Reply
    Christine
    March 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Oh man! Dug had a closeup at the Oscars and I missed it!?! Didn’t watch most of the broadcast, but I did see their replay of Lauren Bacall’s acceptance of her Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award from last November. Got a big laugh out her line in regards to Oscar statue, “The thought when I get home that I’m going to have a two-legged man in my room is so exciting.” Classic!

    From reports this morning, I’m sorry I missed Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr’s presentation for original screenplay. Not to mention a high school flashback with the tribute to John Hughes. Also heard this morning that NPH’s opening number was supposed to be a duet with Martin Short, but that Martin had to cancel last minute. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I got the creeps after the montage tribute to Horror movies. No going to bed right after that! From the little I saw, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were entertaining as hosts.

    Julianne Moore is obviously a woman of great intelligence and good taste. 😉 Happy for Kathryn Bigelow! Hopefully people will ease up on who she competed against and look at her abilities and talent!

    • Reply
      le0pard13
      March 8, 2010 at 10:48 am

      That was such a great line by Bacall, Christine. Good one! The Tina Fey and RD, Jr. bicker was also a great moment. I also agree with you re: Bigelow (and her ex). This morning among the pundits and the like, it seems too much of what Avatar didn’t get. KB won because what she did, not for what Cameron didn’t achieve. I really enjoyed Avatar, but Kathryn deserved it and should be celebrated without a comparison.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm

      I couldn’t watch the horror clips, either! Took that moment to go eat something.

      Didn’t know about Martin Short backing out, but that still would’ve been weird since he wasn’t a host, either.

      Fey and Downey Jr. were the only ones who could make the lame banter work. Love how RDJ got all diva, calling writers “sickly little mole people,” and Fey pretended she could barely tolerate actors while being an Emmy-winning one herself.

      Oh yeah, Bacall was hilarious! I swooned when they showed those b&w photos of her. Such a magnificent face.

  • Reply
    EIREGO
    March 8, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I keep recalling the Oscars of my youth where everything seemed more spectacular. Of course it could just be me and that I am a bit more jaded than I was as a child.

    Whoever came up with the idea of having Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin up there riffing should be given an Oscar. Haven’t enjoyed the host that much since Billy Crystal. The two worked so well off each other! They made it look effortless. They are now the new standard for me as far as hosts go.

    I did chuckle quite a bit and I am glad that Avatar didn’t sweep as predicted, but I still don’t agree with The Hurt Locker winning the big one. For me, Up In The Air remains the Best Picture this year. It was subtle and timely and the only one I would want to actually own.

    The whole animation bit was great. Loved seeing Dug up there.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Martin & Baldwin cracked me up. They were effortlessly funny, unlike Ben Stiller who was trying too hard for the second year in a row (remember his bearded Joaquin Phoenix bit last year?).

      I’m with you in thinking Up in the Air was best movie. Can’t believe it got completely shut out.

      • Reply
        Christine
        March 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm

        Oh yeah, Ben Stiller. Last year – a total waste of time and not funny. This year – could have been funny and effective if they’d kept it short and sweet like when he spoke in Na’vi and then translated to something like “This sounded like a better idea in rehearsal.” But nooo, they’ve got to string it out.

  • Reply
    Shane Gericke
    March 8, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Love your writeup, Nerdy! You covered the important stuff for me–who bitch-slapped who; whose mom blocked what producer so her son could get to the podium first; Dug licking the camera–so I didn’t have to spend three loooong hours watching all the filler to get to who won Best Picture. Bless ya for that!

    Shane

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      Aw, thanks, Shane! I knew you’d consider the bitch-slapping, licking, and tripping action more important than any sound mixing awards. Glad to save you the two hours; hope you spent them doing something fun that didn’t involve jumping in cold rivers nekkid.

  • Reply
    Bailey
    March 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I felt that the ENTIRE show was borrowed. The producers “borrowed” Neil Patrick Harris from the Emmys/Tonys. The producers “borrowed” the dancers from Shankman’s SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. And, the producers borrowed last year’s idea to have five actors preface/present this year’s winning actor/actress. Nothing was original……it was such a lackluster show.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Maybe because they already had something blue (Na’vi people), the Academy decided they needed something borrowed? (Insert groan here.)

      The wow factor was very low last night, I agree.

      • Reply
        Christine
        March 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm

        ba-dum-bum! ;0)

        • Reply
          Pop Culture Nerd
          March 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

          Hey, your emoticon looks like Dug’s nose!

          • Reply
            Christine
            March 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

            POINT! LOL, you’re right!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    March 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Love your take on all of this, PCN!! I enjoyed Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin together much more than I expected to {not sure why I didn’t expect to!}. Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr were wonderful and it was one of my highlights. Even though I’m not too keen on the format of having actors waxing lyrically about the Best Actor/Actress nominees {it’s lovely, but can go on a bit}, two of my other highlights of the night were Tim Robbins/Morgan Freeman and Stanley Tucci/Meryl Streep. I loved their humour and it brought a lovely ‘real’ touch to it, I felt.

    And call me competitive, but I like hearing the presenters say, “And the winner is…”

    I cleaned my teeth when the horror package was on. Euwwwwwww!!!!!! No way was I going to watch that. 🙂

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm

      The actors paying tribute to Actor/Actress nominees rambled as if they were thinking up anecdotes on the spot. I don’t mind it if they’re kept short but when it goes on forever, it’s rather embarrassing for everyone involved, including the nominees.

      I like “And the winner goes to…”, too! Did you notice Sean Penn saying it last night?

  • Reply
    Poncho
    March 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I enjoyed a lot of stuff in the show, but I wasn’t so psyched about the whole of it. I was actually bored quite a lot.

    I do think Baldwin and Martin were good hosts, but the NPH stuff at the start made me quite uncomfortable, and when B&M got to start I was annoyed and didn’t enjoy all of their jokes on their “opening number”. But they got so much better through the rest of the broadcast.

    I loved Sandra Bullock’s speech. She was classy and she’s one of the proofs that there’s still class in Hollywood (I also think of Meryl Streep’s speech in the Golden Globes as a classy one).

    I understood Christoph Waltz’s speech so much more than his others, and I think that’s saying a lot (and it’s not that I don’t understand his English, because he speaks clearly, but his speeches are weird).

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      It’s not just you—I couldn’t understand Christoph Waltz’s previous speeches, either. I’d look at my husband and say, “Huh?” Someone must have pulled him aside and told him to start making sense and the Oscars would be a good place to start.

      I liked Bullock’s speech but still think Meryl Streep was robbed. Robbed!

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    March 9, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Well, since I didn’t see any moments, thank you for sharing yours, PCN! And WHAT? Farah Fawcett and Bea Arthur seriously were not in the memoiral clip? WTF?

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    March 9, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Oh and I almost forgot…I’m completely in agreement with Julianne Moore, but hell, I’d give my right arm for those three days!! 😉

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      A producer said Farrah was mostly a TV star but she appeared in a bunch of movies. They had Michael Jackson in the montage and he acted in ONE movie (The Wiz).

      I know 3 days isn’t enough to spend with Colin Firth but I’d take them, too. Heck, I’d take 30 minutes!

  • Reply
    NORMAUS
    March 11, 2010 at 11:49 am

    HI PCN To answer your question about memorable moments, there were a few moments. I´m really happy for all the winners, they deserved their award. I admire every one of them, actors and directors and creative people. There´s so much work in every movie!
    But I have to say that in my country it was a special sensation of triumph related to the movie THE SECRET OF THEIR EYES o EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS (orignal name). It´s a good movie and everybody in the media showed images of the ceremony. The people here in Argentina was really proud I think. So many movies in the whole world and this was the recipient of such an important award.
    I tell you this also: the days before the ceremony there was some unconfort situation related to the people that were invited to the ceremony. I think there were invitations only for 3 or 4 people. So only the director and his wife, and one of the actors and another woman (his wife also I think) were present at the ceremony. The actors that played the leading role were not present. That was really disapointing.
    But still was a happy time for the whole country. I liked when the movie director remembered to send salutations “to our brothers in Chile” who are still having such a hard time. Solidarity in times of sadness or joy.
    Well. I tell you PCN I always try to be really brief in my real life too. But I think this took me just too long.
    I didn´t comment on the dresses or all the other things about the ceremony. Everything about interests me! All the women were beautiful.
    I loved everything about it. I liked all the nominees. It was a great night.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 11, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Norma,

      I’m so happy El Secreto de Sus Ojos‘s was cause for such celebration in your country! I was excited, too, because I predicted it as the winner. Thanks for sharing your joy from down there. It’s always great hearing from you!

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