Watched the 86th Academy Awards tonight, and, well, they were a bit disappointing. There were no surprises, and Ellen DeGeneres, hosting for the second time, was flat, well off her game as the pixie/tomboy.
Just about the only thing that held my interest during the broadcast, other that Martin Scorsese's eyebrows, was the epic foreshadowing of the eventual selection of the Best Picture winner. The start of the Spanish/American war was not as well telegraphed.
Of course, Best Picture is always a contrived toss-up. There are usually 3 or 4 films every year that deserve the award, and usually it's sentiment or political mood that has the final say - Oscar history is rife with glaring omissions and films that won due to patronage or politics.
Take tonight for instance. The single most entertaining film of 2013, and not just in my opinion as it earned almost a billion dollars at the international box-office, did not win a single award.
The film? Despicable Me 2, which, even though it was a sequel, was still a terrific film. It did not illuminate a horrible transgression against humanity that occurred 160 years ago, it did not feature dramatic interaction between family members who possess polar opposite personality traits, it did not fictionalize (and fabricate an alternate reality for) an FBI investigation into corruption in 1970's New Jersey, it didn't explore a worst case scenario for an astronaut, and it didn't plagiarize a Twilight Zone episode about a person falling in love with a computer (albeit turned inside out).
It was just entertaining.
Which is all I want these days. Hell, half the rational for watching the Academy Awards show is the entertainment derived from the missteps and miscues.
And the low-cut dresses, of course.