Oscar Roundup 2011: Anglophilia Trumps Technophobia


If the Oscars seemed long to you tonight, think about how drugs can stretch your sense of time and then imagine how long the show must have felt to the presenters. For those of you who didn't make it to the end of the broadcast, The King's Speech beat The Social Network for Best Picture. Apparently, Hollywood's belief that disabilities are ennobling and English people are classy is more powerful than its fear of amusements that compete with movies.

The Social Network didn't exit empty-handed: It won Best Original Score, because it deserved to, and it won Best Adapted Screenplay, because the Academy wanted to honor the man who provided the presenters with their shrooms. The shutout award went to True Grit, which walked in with 10 nominations and walked out with no Oscars at all. It had the disadvantage of being good.

The other big winner this year came when we saw a series of film clips that had been Auto-Tuned. My Twitter feed lit up with remarks that the technology had finally jumped the shark, but I prefered to think of the montage as a special award to Auto-Tune the News, which after all made more entertaining films last year than half the studios in Hollywood.

And the biggest losers? The audience, of course, but beyond that:

1. Dead Celebrities. It's not enough that all those actors and directors had to die. When they finally got their due in the annual death montage, the Academy insulted their memory with a song by Celine Dion.

2. Country Music. Under international law, Gwyneth Paltrow's attempt to sing country is casus belli for Nashville to bomb Hollywood.

3. Music in General. I love Randy Newman, but his Best Song winner was a paint-by-numbers rehash of every other song he's written for the Toy Story series. Even so, sadly, it really was better than the other nominees.

4. The President of the United States. In a surprise cameo, Barack Obama revealed that his favorite film song is "As Time Goes By." Oh, Barack. If you had picked "Shaft," I would've voted for you.