makes the top of this list seeing how it opted to live blog the Oscars in a final blaze of glory. The Los Angeles version of its snarky flagship site Gawker met its independent demise last night. Expect all Defamer posts to show up on the Gawker
Hugh Jackman managed to work some surprisingly vicious showbiz digs into the show, including lines from Steve Martin and Tina Fey not-so-subtly mocking Scientology and Ben Stiller’s unsparing imitation of Joaquin Phoenix. There were some misfires, like the lengthy nominee tributes involving top stars giving overlong, wedding-toast-style speeches for each contender in top categories like Best Actor and Actress.
New York Time’s chief film critic A.O. Scott chimed in on the Carpetbagger
blog throughout the evening. And not surprisingly, the former book reviewer wasn’t all that impressed with the Academy’s offerings.
The musical is back, is it? I might have agreed until that medley, which Hugh Jackman made sure to attribute to Baz Luhrman, thus perhaps hurting Mr. Luhrman’s career even more than “Australia” did.
…this seemed not only like a relatively brief Oscar ceremony, but a small one. Maybe this is a harbinger of things to come.
The Hollywood Reporter’s year-around awards blog, Gold Rush
, found producers Bill Condon and Larry Mark on the ball for the most part.
Gathering some performers who can really sing and dance — like Beyonce, host Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, et al. — was a good idea, given that “The musical is back!” We’ll give you that, especially if you count “Camp Rock.”
As in years past, Variety
took to reviewing the telecast both from the Kodak and “from the couch.” As reporter Timothy Gray says, “it’s a very different experience inside the Kodak Theater.”
Memorable moments included the emergence of the five thesps to present the acting awards; the Baz Luhrmann-staged production number with Jackman and Beyonce; and the medley of best song contenders (musical numbers sometimes don’t translate on TV, but these two brought the house down at the Kodak).
threw its hat into the ring as fishbowlLA
took to commenting on the big night.
For all our complaining, we have to admit to getting caught up in the Oscars this evening. Hugh Jackman is dreamy. The comeback of Mickey Rourke is endearing. All those digs at “The Reader” were pretty funny. And oh, Angelina Jolie’s cleavage…
New on the block was The Wrap
. Sharon Waxman’s latest online venture sported a bevy of coverage, including a disappointed review by Charles Taylor.
The 81st Academy Awards suggested how, as an annual TV event, the Oscars could become extinct — and frankly, it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. And it wasn’t just that, from Hugh Jackman’s opening number, to the interminable tributes by past winners that preceded every acting award, to the shockingly bad production numbers, nothing — nothing — on this telecast worked.
And now a few honorable mentions for Oscar opinions. Hollywood Elsewhere
… “Mild Oscars, Too Predictable.” Harry Knowles of Ain’t it Cool News
… “Hugh is singing again – and this is why he’s the host… Now Beyonce. I really like this.” And a big kudos must be given to Tom O’Neil and Gold Derby
on LATimes.com. He and Paul Sheehan delivered more insight and Oscar history than any film buff could handle. My hat is off to you gents.