Monday, February 23, 2009
jackman is a showman
image credit: justjared
i watched the oscars last night and was once again enamored with hugh jackman. smart, funny, eloquent, with a natural ability to sing and dance. the underwhelming number with beyonce, and the cast of many aside, his appearance was warm and professional and enjoyable. additionally, i found this year's academy award show contained many elements that brought a smile or a tear to me and reinforced my allegiance to the whole televised enchilada.
i absolutely loved the "club" feel that the producers gave the show. it seemed to have a huge impact on (at least) the viewer's perception of having an insider's view. the shiny floor doubled the impact of the movie clips being shown. the pairing of presenters added to the "theme" of making a film was not seamless, but worked and added framework. and the addition of bringing out 5 previous winners to highlight the 5 new nominees in the highly coveted actor/actress categories is brilliant. for me, it completely shifts the dynamic from a competition to a recognition and was my favorite shift in the rituals.
with regard to individual moments, there were a couple that really stood out for me.
the posthumous award for heath ledger was handled with sensitivity and genuine human dignity and panned shots of the audience listening framed the process nicely. ben stiller's impression of joaquin phoenix made me feel slightly uncomfortable and laugh to relieve that feeling. jerry lewis's acceptance speech brought a tear to my eye, and reminded me that life is a journey and is finite. i was reminded once again, as with the golden globes, that sometimes a film can embody a spirit and carry that spirit out into it's viewers world with amazing grace- slumdog millionaire has done just that. it's charm goes well beyond the "craft" of that film. finally dustin lance black's personalizing the "hate the gays" issue, and sean penn so visibly having moved from apathy to activist on the prop 8 and equal rights for lgbt issues were undeniably moving for me. sean demonstrates that he is becoming comfortable with peer appreciation and seems willing to accept the responsibilities of just that.
and it all started with hugh jackman, consummate showman, donning a tuxedo and white tie, and singing and dancing in a style that opened our hearts.
today's sound choice is another 80's classic lovingly offered. taco performing "puttin on the ritz"