The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Oscars Promise Excitment Entertainment & Glamour

Brandy Cerne | Thursday, March 4, 2010

For those students not traveling to a warm beach or exotic location for Spring Break — yes, some people actually go, gasp, home — the highlight of break may just be the 82nd Academy Awards. Airing on ABC at 8 p.m. on March 7, this year’s show promises all the glamour, glitz, and prestige of before, but also a new sense of fun and levity. This is thanks to producers Adam Shankman (“Hairspray” director, “So You Think You Can Dance” judge) and Bill Mechanic (chairman and CEO, Pandemonium Films), who vow to lighten up the show that sometimes takes itself too seriously.
Co-hosts Steve Martin and Alex Baldwin should also assure some quality comedy at the Oscars this year. Both will bring a comfortable stage presence: Martin has previous experience hosting the Academy Awards, and Baldwin is always a hit when he hosts “Saturday Night Live” — which he has done 14 times. The potential for the comedic interactions between the two hosts is one of the biggest reasons to tune into the awards show.
But let’s get to the most important part of the Oscars (well, to some people): the awards. Most of the winners should be quite obvious, as they have been picking up every award in sight for the past few months. This is especially apparent in the Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress categories.
Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”) will rightfully win for his turn as a cunning Nazi who spoke an impressive four languages in the film. For Supporting Actress, comedienne Mo’Nique is a shoo-in for her portrayal of an abusive mother in “Precious.” What adds to the impressiveness of her performance is that before this role, Mo’Nique was mostly known as the host of several trashy reality shows.
The Best Actor award will likely go to Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) as the Academy will want to honor a respected actor who has never won, despite being nominated five times.
So, why tune in if all the winners have basically already been chosen?
Well, there is still debate about who will take home the Best Actress prize. It is a tight race between Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and Meryl Streep (“Julie and Julia”). Both actresses have managed to stand out in films that received only so-so reviews (despite “The Blind Side’s” Oscar nomination for Best Picture).
Bullock stretched her acting chops by taking on a role much different than her usual romantic-comedy leads, which many voters will want to reward her for. On the other hand, Streep disappeared into her portrayal of legendary chef Julia Child, and she just so happens to be the most-nominated actor in Academy Award history.
Another close call is for Best Picture and Best Director, between “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker,” and their respective directors, James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow. One is a little-seen but much-acclaimed film about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq, and the other — well, let’s just say basically everyone has seen it.
If Cameron wins Best Director, it even further establishes his claim that he is “King of the World.” If Bigelow wins, it would be the first Best Director win for a female, which is a huge accomplishment. Adding to the stakes is the fact that Cameron and Bigelow actually used to be married.
If awards and competition aren’t really your thing, then watch for the endless amounts of Hollywood A-list sightings. Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kristen Stewart and Miley Cyrus have all been scheduled to present, even if some of them do not deserve to be anywhere near an awards show celebrating acting ability (I’m talking to you, Stewart and Cyrus). Past winners are also sure to walk the red carpet in beautiful couture gowns.
The Academy Awards on Sunday are a must-see for any film-lover or pop-culture addict. Unless you are lying on the beach in Florida, of course, and then you are totally excused.