Wolverine "jacks" up 2009 Oscars ratings, can't quite slash the length
No, really, Wolverine should get an award for spicing up what is normally a drudgery of a show, punctuated by painful acceptance speeches, gratuitous shots of Jack Nicholson looking pissed and Ryan Seacrest. OK, so there was no Jack this year on the Red Carpet, but there was a lot of Ryan Seacrest and we'll address that tragedy in a moment. A preliminary report shows that the ratings for the 2009 Academy Awards were up 6 percent, which sounds like a lot, but isn't much considering the audience for last year's boring, bumbling ceremony was the smallest ever for an Oscars telecast. But, let's credit Jackman for making the Oscars watchable, again. He was cute, he was satirical and, in spite of the ridiculous musical number, he kept the show moving to a pace that was ever-so-slightly faster than my grandma (compared to last year's glacial pace, that's pretty good).
Here are a few of our favorite and not-so-favorite moments from the Red Carpet and beyond.
Malavika: Ben Stiller's Joaquin Phoenix impression. Eeriely reminiscent of Presidential candidate John McCain's wandering around the debate stage, Stiller perfectly captured the ridiculousness of Phoenix's recent appearances since his "retirement." Natalie Portman's line about him resembling a Hassidic Jewish meth head was a perfect zinger, and the whole thing came at the most boring part of the telecast.
Adam and Malavika: Danny Boyle's shoutout to Tigger from Winne-the Pooh in his acceptance speech for Best Director mostly because it's hilarious to imagine the director of "Trainspotting" and "28 Days Later" as Tigger. Also we hear the British-Irish director's bottom really is made out of rubber, and that the cast and crew describe working with him as "bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!"
Malavika: Peter Gabriel's refused to sing his nominated song from "Wall-E" actually kinda worked out. The John Legend (with the Soweto Gospel Choir) version coupled with the two nominated numbers from "Slumdog Millionaire" performed by A. R. Rahman was both a visual and listening treat. Jai Ho, indeed!
Adam: The "In Memoriam" segment always induces some cringes, given the audience's determination to clap louder for one dead person over another, turning the entire proceedings into a macabre popularity contest. The producers probably thought having Queen Latifah sing "I'll Be Seeing You" as the montage rolled would be a good solution, but it didn't help that they only showed the clips full-screen half of the time, and relagated them to the background the rest of the time to show Latifah belting out her song. And we could STILL hear the audience clapping more for their favorites. (Luckily there's this clip on YouTube of the entire montage.)
Earlier today, two of Channel Surfing's own blog crew and another Press-Gazette Oscar junkie dished out the best, worst and the Miley Cyrus of the 2009 Awards. Read the transcript here.
--Malavika Jagannathan, firstname.lastname@example.org; Adam Reinhard, email@example.com; Sara Boyd, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kendra Meinert, email@example.com