This blog having been sadly neglected, I’m going to put up a few quick posts tying up loose ends. First is the Oscars. My quest to see all ten Best Picture nominees having met with success, all that was left was to watch the ceremony and test the quality of my powers of prognostication.

The ceremony itself was certainly marred by the choice of host. Anne Hathaway is a perfectly charming presence, but was rarely given anything funny to say. James Franco, such a charismatic and fearless actor seemed to be playing the part of stiff and gauche neophyte out-of-his-depth and made me feel rather uneasy watching him moreorless throughout.

On the upside, some of the dopier decisions of ceremonies past had been quietly reversed. Gone was the shepherding of multiple technical award winners on to the stage simultaneously. Gone were the ponderous personal valedictions from five presenters to five acting nominees. Back were the individual musical numbers for Best Song (sort-of).

The awards themselves were fairly predictable. In the technical categories, both Inception and The Social Network did slightly better than some had predicted, raising a question mark over The King’s Speech‘s chances at the top prizes. But stuttering Bertie eventually scooped up Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay as it was always bound to. Apparently, my choice of Tom Hooper was anti-consensus, but honestly I only picked him because of the momentum of the movie itself.

Truth be told, it almost certainly wasn’t the best-directed movie of the year – certainly 127 Hours and The Social Network both have stronger claims. Yet, I don’t think it’s fair to right off Tom Hooper’s contribution entirely. Hooper does use the camera and the sound design in interesting and compelling ways. The movie neither looks nor sounds like a TV movie (as An Education did last year, for example) and if, as is generally agreed, Colin Firth pulled off the performance of his career, then surely some of the credit for that can be given to the director?

My only other anti-consensus call was picking Hailee Steinfeld for best supporting actor, which I had serious cause to doubt after watching Melissa Leo in The Fighter but if you make an out-there prediction, and you stick to it, and you’re right – then you’re a genius. Whereas if you dither about and pile up caveats and codicils, then who cares? Of course, Steinfeld did not prevail and Melissa Leo fucking did, not undeservedly.

That’s it till next year. If this blog is still here, we’ll do it all again then.

Oscars Update
Update #2: iPad