08 March 2010

Oscar's Glass Ceiling


As predicted, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in movie history to win the Academy Award for Best Director last night for her film "The Hurt Locker," besting her ex-husband, James Cameron, who was nominated for "Avatar," a film that has broke all records to become the highest grossing film of all time.

Bigelow's statuette was presented to her by Barbra Streisand, who has long desired the directing Oscar herself. "Well, the time has come," Streisand exclaimed before reading the name in the envelope.

The rest of the evening went pretty much as planned, with the only real upset coming in the Adapted Screenplay category, where Geoffrey Fletcher's "Precious" bested Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air," becoming the first African American to win in the screenwriting categories. My out-of-nowhere prediction that Carey Mulligan would upset in the Best Actress category was unfounded, as Sandra Bullock walked away with the prize.

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were hilarious as co-hosts of last night's ceremony, which clocked in as the shortest Oscar telecast in history. (I've always said the producers could shorten the show by getting rid of the lame musical numbers, and, save two brief numbers, they did just that last night.)

Major Oscar Fail: The "In Memoriam" segment, celebrating the lives of film industry insiders who passed away this past year, didn't include Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur. TV actresses, to be sure, but both worked in film as well, and the Academy should hang their heads in shame for leaving two highly celebrated actresses off the memorial.