Disappointed by the Oscars

Each year one of my favorite teachers of all time, Mr. Starbuck, attempts to watch all the Best Picture nominees by the time the Oscars roll around. I love the idea, but I never managed to commit enough time and/or money to this endeavor. Not to mention that even Mr. Starbuck, I'm sure, is challenged by this year's whopping 10 nominees.

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you might have caught my own variation on Mr. Starbuck's tradition: following the Best Animated Short category. I can catch all of the nominees in an hour and best of all, it's free!

Ian and I perused the nominees last night. We watched the trailers (it amazes me they can make an intriguing trailer for a 5 minute movie without giving everything away) and read recaps at this site. It has all the info for both animated and live action shorts, but we stuck to animated because that's how we roll here at life on the green line.

Our next step was to find the full-length shorts. Of the five nominees, four are on YouTube. Of those four, our favorite was Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty. Below is a playlist of all the nominees on YouTube. Click the button beside "play" to select a different short. Logorama is in two parts. *March 13: They've apparently taken Logorama off YouTube.

We had trouble finding the Wallace and Gromit short A Matter of Loaf and Death which is unfortunate because it looked great in the preview.

After watching, we headed over to the New York Times web site to see the results.

To my surprise and disappointment, Logorama won. Sure, it's impressive and creative they made an entire world out of logos, but I was less impressed with the quality of the picture and the creativity in plot as compared to the other three shorts. Not to mention it seems a bit crass for no good reason.

The other three shorts had fresh story ideas and executed humor through both dialog and images. Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty and French Roast address stereotypes then turn them around. The Lady and the Reaper tackles a medical field bent on saving people even when they're ready to go. Logorama illustrates how over commercialized our culture is, but it turns into a game of "identify the logos" while we watch a lame episode of cops with a natural disaster thrown in. Instead of a good plot driving the story, the plot was manipulated to squeeze in as many logos as possible (i.e. North Face at the end).

Even though the Oscar voters left me feeling like the best short got shorted, we still had lots of fun watching "our" category, and hope you enjoy them too! If you get a chance to watch a few, leave a comment with your favorite and/or thoughts. Do you have any Oscar-watching traditions?