The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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We’d like to thank the Academy

Ah, the Academy Awards. Widely regarded as the Super Bowl for the women folk, the Oscars aren’t just for ladies sitting at home scouting who’s wearing what. The Oscars are a celebration of the cinema and the talented people who make it possible. Fortunately for the movie lovers watching at home, this year’s Oscars were the classiest in recent memory.

This year marked the 80th anniversary of the Academy Awards ceremony, and the show was strong, despite producers having only 11 days to officially prepare for it, thanks to the recently ended WGA writers’ strike. The show was cluttered with montage filler, intended to take up time in case of an absence of written material. Past winners such as Sydney Poitier, Barbara Streisand, Steven Spielberg and even Elton John reflected on their Oscar wins in short clips played before each commercial break.

Host Jon Stewart was a pivotal part of classing up the Oscars. Stewart obviously felt much more at home than he did the last time he hosted the show. He was natural and funny, delivering an opening monologue that concentrated on the Oscars themselves and their recipients and only briefly delved into politics.

Stewart’s performance throughout the night was always refreshing between the dry presentations, from attempting to translate Javier Bardem’s Spanish acceptance speech to playing Nintendo Wii with the little girl from the “August Rush” choir to spouting the best one-liner of the night after the award for Film Editing was given: “Someone just took the lead in their Oscar pool based on a guess!” Overall, Stewart was a model host and a step up from clunkers like David Letterman and Chris Rock. His only misstep? A lame joke about Harrison Ford’s name sounding like a car dealership.

Although this year’s Oscars weren’t as visually impressive as last year’s (Who could forget those contortionists?), they made up for it in heart and class. The majority of acceptance speeches were genuine and heartfelt. Best Animated Feature director Brad Bird told an anecdote about his middle-school career counselor, Best Actor Daniel Day Lewis was poetic as usual and Best Actress Marion Cotillard was joyously flabbergasted, giving the most honestly grateful speech of the night. Best Supporting Actress Tilda Swinton said she was giving her Oscar to her agent and then joked about working with “Michael Clayton” costar George Clooney, whom she said wears his Batman suit under his clothes every day.

In the classiest move of the night, Jon Stewart led Best Original Song winner Marketa Irglova back onstage after the orchestra accidentally cut her off before she could speak.

Overall, the cobbled-together show was charming and distinguished. The stars managed to celebrate themselves without seeming overly preening and boastful. Stewart himself deserved an award for doing an outstanding job under pressure. In short, this year’s Oscars actually gave us a reason to tune in again next year by reminding us why we love movies and the people who make them.

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