The awkward gospel number was the first big tip off. Then there were those awful interpretive dance routines. Whose bright idea was that? And those lazy montages (from Nancy Meyer's uninspired tribute to "the writer," to a foreign-language collection dominated by "Rashomon" and "The Bicycle Thief," to Michael Mann's clumsy ode to the diversity of "America" and then poor Ennio Morricone). And how about that utterly idiotic sound effects choir? And there's nothing like Celine Dion to really put an Oscar show over the edge.
While Errol Morris' opener and the Jack Black/Will Ferrell comedy musical number showed promise, the rest of the evening was bland, bland, bland... I have never been so bored with the Academy Awards in my entire life. Was there a single suprising speech, just one glimmer of originality? All was overly rehearsed, from Helen Mirren's victory cry to Ellen's middlebrow jokery.
What happened to the anti-war speeches? Replaced with lame nonpartisan calls for climate change activism. What happened to the precious ad-libs, the glamour, the craft, the unexpected? It's all so rote and safe. Just like the movies they honor, I guess. "Little Miss Sunshine" for best original screenplay? You've got to be kidding.