Performances

Oscars 2009: Hugh Jackman to Heath Ledger – The Year’s Best

In the beginning it was all about Hugh.

This year’s Oscars were hosted by the ever fervent and effortlessly smooth Hugh Jackman, the Australian in Jack-of-All Trades attire: actor, singer, dancer and all around great personality.  I couldn’t wait for Hugh to light up the stage with his lustrous smile.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg, all of whom have hosted the Oscars numerous times.  But Hugh Jackman really made this years’ Oscars shine.  He not only took up the mantle, he hoisted it above the clichéd convention of previous Oscar shows.  And everyone celebrated him for it.

Hugh is a class act of the vaudeville variety with

an uncanny ability to polish any arena with his

unflappable appeal.

If you didn’t get to watch the 2009 Academy Awards, I hope you were able to record it.  Last nights’ ceremony was the classiest and most elegant production for the prestigious awards I have ever seen.  I started recording it, but couldn’t resist turning on the tube while I did the dishes.  You know, just to see where I’d come in.  Would it be during best Sound Mixing or Kate Winslet bestowing an ardently unforgettable acceptance speech for Best Actress.

No, It would be Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé Knowles stealing the stage in a musical number that would be the snare that secured my seat.  With a brilliant blending of famous musicals poured into one, I was instantly pulled in without hesitation and riding a grin the size of Mount Rushmore.  Hugh and Beyoncé burned up the stage with their magnificent voices, suave moves and ginger personalities. Their energy and eagerness enraptured the hearts of every star in the room.  The show immediately classed up an award ceremony that had been difficult to watch for years.

Of course, once the song and dance number were over they announced the Best-Supporting Actor nominees.  Perfect timing.  That was one third the reason I wanted to see the 2009 Oscars anyway.  This year, instead of showing 5 seconds of demeaning clips from each of the nominees’ performances, the writers actually composed some rather well written material.

Five actors, each of whom had previously won the Best-Supporting Actor award, individually spoke to each nominee.  The actors poignantly praised the nominees, elaborating on their characters, telling the audience how each made their performance soar and stand out from the crowd.  It was not only touching, but produced a very intimate setting between the actors as well as drawing in the audience.

He’s no ordinary clown.

He plays a mean Joker.

The most sensitive moment during the Oscars was Heath Ledger winning for Best-Supporting Actor.  It became a culmination of everyone’s mourning and disbelief for the young actor’s absence and loss of life. 

Heath Ledger has become only the second actor to receive a posthumous academy award, after Peter Finch, another Australian thespian.  Peter won Best Actor for his 1976 portrayal of the frenzied television anchorman, Howard Beale in the film Network.  However, posthumous nominations are not scarce and Heath Ledger was the 70th person to receive one.  Heath’s mother, father and sister attended the show, accepting his award on behalf of his daughter, Matilda.

The Return Of The King (2003) 3

The last time I saw the Oscars was when Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was nominated for best picture in 2003, becoming the first fantasy genre film to ever win the award and taking home an award for every category it was nominated for.  Folks, this is as close as I get to being an insanely obsessed sports fan.  I was cheering with them, crying with them and overwhelmed with a sense of satisfaction that Return of the King had beat the system and prevailed.  It seemed at that moment, the Academy had grown a soft spot and I wanted to revel in it.

I refused to watch the prevenient thirty minutes of red carpet drama, hearing that some of the stars start preparing for their Oscar entrance 6 months before.  I wasn’t about to get pulled into that.  And though I didn’t watch the red carpet, the gowns and suits I saw during the Oscar show were stunning and as classy as the show itself.  No one seemed to be Prima Donna and everything looked planned to perfection.

I watched the Oscars this year to witness Heath winning for Best-Supporting actor, Hugh Jackman hosting as only he could and as always, to see which soundtrack won for best film score.  I was thoroughly disappointed when The Dark Knight, co-composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard, was not nominated for best score.

the-dark-knight

It is a synthchord lovers dream, but nonetheless an excellent score worthy of recognition and praise. A high-rise thrill ride booming with Batman’s internal battles, his burning relentlessness to bring justice to Gotham soars through the score with a resounding mercurial cadence. I never tire of the quiet rumbling theme that aims for perpetuity and is balanced by the Joker’s calling card, a razor blade stroked guitar.  With two conflicting and uncomprising personalities, the score paints a perfect characterization of the Batman and Joker through contrasting colors.

The Oscars left me with a pleasant palette.

One I will not wash away too soon.

What was your favorite part of the Oscars?

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