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What Did You Think of the Oscars?

On Sunday, March 7, the 2010 Academy Awards were handed out at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, and like 41.3 million other viewers around the world (including 3.1 million New York Cablevision subscribers who almost didn't get to see it due to a dispute with ABC), my wife and I watched the spectacle live as it unfolded only a few miles from our house. Well, okay, we didn't watch it live, exactly—we waited a couple of hours so we could skip through the commercials and acceptance speeches thanks to TiVo. So what I'd like to know from you is...

What did you think of the show?

I thought it was excellent. A clear return to Hollywood's glamorous roots, the stage was awash in glittering crystals and gowns, and the tuxedo made a distinct comeback after years of casual chic from the men. Hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were fantastic, though Martin's timing and one-liners were a bit better than Baldwin's. And despite a few underprepared presenters, the overall pacing and flow were superb.

I was disappointed that there wasn't nearly as much live music as in years past—usually, the Best Song nominees are performed live during the show, but not this year. The opening production number was pretty good, even though Neil Patrick Harris left something to be desired, and the dance troupe that accompanied clips from the nominated music scores was incredible. I also really enjoyed James Taylor's performance of "In My Life" during the memorial segment.

As for the awards themselves, I was glad to see that Avatar didn't make a clean sweep—it won the Cinematography, Art Direction, and Visual Effects categories, as it should have, but not Best Picture or Best Director, which it didn't deserve in my view. Overall, the awards were well-balanced among several worthy contenders, though The Hurt Locker managed a mini-sweep. (I haven't seen it, so I don't know if it deserved to win six out of nine nominations.)

I clearly disagreed with only two awards—Short Film (Animated) and Music (Original Score). In the first case, I haven't seen any of the nominees, and the winner, Logorama, looked very creative from the clip that was played during the show, so I can't really begrudge that one. But I'm a big Wallace and Gromit fan, so I was rooting for A Matter of Loaf and Death.

As for the Best Music award, Michael Giacchino's score for Up was charming, but it consisted mainly of variations on a single song, which I was fairly sick of by the end of that movie. Avatar and Sherlock Holmes had much better music overall, and maybe The Hurt Locker did, too. (I thought the music in Fantastic Mr. Fox was interesting but a bit thin, as was the movie in general.) In any event, there were better candidates than Up in my opinion. (BTW, I don't dispute giving the Best Animated Feature Film award to Up, though Coraline was also deserving.)

I'd love to know what you thought of the show and the winners, so please post a comment here. I look forward to reading your responses!

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