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The Best Song nominees will not be heard from at this year's ceremony.
Instead, to streamline the show, the songs will be played in short clips set to footage from their movies.

Mixed feelings about this.

Yes, it's according to how they do it. Mainly, if the 'short clips' aren't too short, and don't give the impresion that they don't much care about it. If they're long enough and in their original form, even if just overlaid on some film footage, you might be able to tell more about what the songs are really about than with 'guest stars'. In the years i watched the Oscars, I only ever saw one memorable performance, and that song didn't win, although that's neither here nor there to me. I wonder if there's still a 'best original movie score', there used to be but I'd forgotten all about it. Mancini would win these, and I'm sure Elmer Bernstein, Max Steiner, in the old days Virgil Thomson's beautiful score for 'louisiana Story' won it, but this last even shows the way that may have evolved, as Thomson didn't care for Korngold scores (he probably won an Oscar or two as well, Copland may have won for 'Red Pony', I don't remember, etc., and a lot of people think movie music 'tells you too much of what to feel'. I don't see this as a problem in most cases, but it sometimes is.

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Yes, it's according to how they do it.

Very much so.

Yes, there is still a Best Original Score category. The Best Song performances tend to be hit or miss, but when they hit they’re often entertaining - A.R. Rahman’s appearance was a highlight of last year’s show and there was Hansard and Irglova’s rendition of “Falling Slowly” a couple of years back. This year, Marion Cotillard could have stopped the show with “Take It All,” which was easily the best number in “Nine.” On the other hand I won’t miss those Disney production numbers.

The Best Song performances really did consistently suck back in the days when they didn’t invite the original performers to do the song but brought in somebody else, usually with disagreeable results.

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The Best Song performances really did consistently suck back in the days when they didn’t invite the original performers to do the song but brought in somebody else, usually with disagreeable results.

The music and especially dancing were particularly bad this year.

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The Best Song performances really did consistently suck back in the days when they didn’t invite the original performers to do the song but brought in somebody else, usually with disagreeable results.

The music and especially dancing were particularly bad this year.

As always, my mantra is "dancers are working and being paid."

And was that Mr Wiggles in there?

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Sandra Bullock's dress was gorgeous, and Helen Mirren is a goddess.

Agree with the first, she looked stunning. Glad you said the second anyway, because it brings up that I don't think there are goddesses in Hollywood anymore (gods either, for that matter). That kind of aura around film actors and actresses really seems to me to have been stripped away, even though it's said that acting standards themselves are higher. For me, there's not a single man or woman in film who have that kind of aura (including an old one here and there who used to have it) . There are beauties, sure--Michelle Pfeiffer, Viggo Mortensen--but none who have enough inaccessobility and aloofness not to seem basically mortal. Not that I think this is not normal evolution, but this is why movies are not magical to me in the way they were still even as recently as the 70s (occasionally--even then that aspect was disappearing).

There are many celebs living in my neighborhood. some of whom I pass quite frequently and one whom I admire greatly, but the one I find to have the most aura is Elliott Carter! who is 102 (or 103) hears old...

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Two of the so-called "worst" dresses I actually rather liked. Charlize Theron's pink Dior looked like something Dovima would have worn while posing with the elephants. It looked beautifully made and fitted.

Diane Kruger's Chanel was interesting in a good way. I think it would have come across better though with a more decent fit.

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Sandra Bullock's dress was gorgeous, and Helen Mirren is a goddess.

Agree with the first, she looked stunning. Glad you said the second anyway, because it brings up that I don't think there are goddesses in Hollywood anymore (gods either, for that matter). That kind of aura around film actors and actresses really seems to me to have been stripped away, even though it's said that acting standards themselves are higher. For me, there's not a single man or woman in film who have that kind of aura (including an old one here and there who used to have it) . There are beauties, sure--Michelle Pfeiffer, Viggo Mortensen--but none who have enough inaccessobility and aloofness not to seem basically mortal. Not that I think this is not normal evolution, but this is why movies are not magical to me in the way they were still even as recently as the 70s (occasionally--even then that aspect was disappearing).

There are many celebs living in my neighborhood. some of whom I pass quite frequently and one whom I admire greatly, but the one I find to have the most aura is Elliott Carter! who is 102 (or 103) hears old...

Whereas for me, if I passed Helen Mirren on the street, it would be like in the first minute of Star Trek, where the unnamed crew member would be turned into a pile of minerals. Pfeiffer, Mortensen, et. al. I'd say, "Oh". (They're all way too skinny in real life.) Meryl Streep or Stanley Tucci would be a big "Wow!"s.

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Two of the so-called "worst" dresses I actually rather liked. Charlize Theron's pink Dior looked like something Dovima would have worn while posing with the elephants. It looked beautifully made and fitted.

Diane Kruger's Chanel was interesting in a good way. I think it would have come across better though with a more decent fit.

I liked Theron's dress, too, and Zoe Saldana's, both of which seem to be getting panned. But then I like risky frocks. (Sarah Jessica Parker took a risk last night that didn't pay off, though.) Bullock's dress was gorgeous, despite the poor lipstick choice. Better than the performance she won for, in fact. Didn't catch Kruger. Liked Samuel L. Jackson's tux.

Very nice speeches from Christoph Waltz - couldn't be more pleased for him - and Michael Giacchino, who won for Best Score.

The music and especially dancing were particularly bad this year.

The dance to the original scores was bad but it fell short of the camp awfulness of, say, the "Night of the Living Dead" interpretive dance routine they did for "Crash" a few years back. Although this one had its moments - as the music from The Hurt Locker played a "bomb" went off and a bunch of dancers all fell over. Since they cut all the Best Song performances, for musical diversion we got Neil Patrick Harris and James Taylor instead of Marion Cotillard, a very poor exchange in my view.

I had a feeling it was going to be a bad night for Avatar when during one of the pre performance shows one of the commentators plugged Hurt Locker for the win, with the observation that this wasn't the People's Choice Awards, and I thought, hmmmmm. Then it won Best Original Screenplay, the writers having been shunted to the early part of the show along with supporting actors and animated documentaries, and I thought, uh-oh. Avatar did not sweep the tech awards for sound editing, etc. and I thought uh-oh, again. Then Streisand came out to present the Best Director Award. (Oh, and it was a great touch to have the orchestra play "I Am Woman" after Bigelow's speech. I mean, really, fellas.)

Classless move of the evening - giving Roger Corman, Lauren Bacall, and Gordon Willis honorary awards before the show and not letting them onstage.

What was up with Clooney?

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.....especially dancing were particularly bad this year

I couldn't disagree more. I thought the dancing was fantasic. Truly creative, reflective of the what the "real" world is doing out on the streets with dance, and refreshingly not what I expected.

I'll clarify, b/c I don't disagree: the dancing was good, but I think it was poorly presented for TV. As one dancer I know put it, "That was dancing, but not choreography." As far as being "from the streets," though, I'm not so sure...I think those styles have been commodified for a while now...

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As far as being "from the streets," though, I'm not so sure...I think those styles have been commodified for a while now...

I'll clarify too. I didn't mean freshly from the streets, but I really liked the "break dancing" (or whatever the proper term is) theme to the dancing -- be it brand new or old hat. (BTW, I am only taling about the big dance number near the end, I don't remember seeing any other dancing.....but then I didn't tune in until they started the animated feature awards.)

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Did anyone else think that Melanie Griffiths looked like she could barely move her face due to way too much plastic surgery? By the way, I think Demi Moore had one of the most exquisite dresses of the night.

Everybody gets Botoxed for Oscar night. I only saw Griffiths briefly but it wouldn't surprise me if she's Gone Too Far. I think Demi has had work done on all body parts where it’s possible to do so, speaking of plastic surgery. I tuned back in as she was finishing up so I didn't really get a good look at the dress, unfortunately.

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.....especially dancing were particularly bad this year

I couldn't disagree more. I thought the dancing was fantasic. Truly creative, reflective of the what the "real" world is doing out on the streets with dance, and refreshingly not what I expected.

I'll clarify, b/c I don't disagree: the dancing was good, but I think it was poorly presented for TV. As one dancer I know put it, "That was dancing, but not choreography." As far as being "from the streets," though, I'm not so sure...I think those styles have been commodified for a while now...

Sorry, but I agree with Ray's friend..."dancing, not choreography". They seemed to be dancing 'through the music', rather than 'with the music'; certainly not that paraphrase of/by(?) Mr. B of "making the music visual." Hip-hop can be interesting, but it can also be like watching a gymnastic 'floor exercize' program--ie. 2-3 small dance steps and a lot of tumbling. (I was kind of amazed by some of those skills, however, if still not crediting it as dance.)

Otherwise, ditto Sandra Bullock's and Helen Mirren's attire. AND maybe now I can finally respect the Academy for realizing that a LOT of women contribute to this industry behind the camera--and most especially as directors.

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Sorry, but I agree with Ray's friend..."dancing, not choreography".

I guess I agree with that too.

However, I don't really think that distinction means much. We're talking the Academy Awards here after all, not some dance festival :clapping:. Sure there had to be a choreographer, but to expect a serious attempt that such choeography would somehow illuminate the music is not realistic. That it be entertaining and have something to say (whatever) is pretty impressive to me. Frankly, I would have expected total garbage, and instead I think I got something worth watching.

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Sure there had to be a choreographer, but to expect a serious attempt that such choeography would somehow illuminate the music is not realistic.

There's no reason why dances at the Oscars have to be mediocre or bad, although that's usually the case. Choreographing to the original scores is a tough business as the music isn't usually intended for dancing for one thing and as in the case of The Hurt Locker (and Avatar) attempts to make the dance fit the subject of the movie can lead to unintended chuckles. (I could just imagine Lauren Bacall sitting in the audience thinking, "I got bumped for this?") Well, as sandik said, it was gainful employment for the dancers.

Abatt, I pulled up a picture of Demi. Couldn't agree more about the gown. Lovely.

The costume designer Sandy Powell, who won for The Young Victoria, looked terrific. Nice speech, too.

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