Tuesday, February 24, 2009

GO SLUMDOG GO!: The alwaysmoretohear Oscar Review

Just in case you missed it, word on the street is that this 2009 Oscars awards ceremony was the most enjoyable show in a long time, with a few pitfalls. These are a couple of my favorite and not-so-favorite moments.

-Song and dance host Hugh Jackman was perfectly entertaining. Loved the intro. Loved Anne Hathaway.

-I am a big fan of the new best actor/actress format where five previous winners honor each nominee, it made every moment very special. Much better than showing out-of-context clips. I really hope they keep it this way.

-Could have done without the way they presented of "Best Score," I'm sorry, but that was boring and it all sounded the same.  Maybe they could have written a better arrangement. Maybe I just don't appreciate film scores. I dunno. I couldn't even find a youtube video of it, but honestly, I didn't try very hard...

-The "Musical is Back" medley number with Beyonce and a couple of those kids from High School Musical made my head spin. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but there were musical references flying at me so quickly I didn't have time to identify them!  And Beyonce is in everything. She's amazing. 

And since I haven't shut up about it since I hear that an A.R. Rahman film was coming to the American big screen, I should probably say something about Slumdog Millionaire and its big win over the weekend. 

You probably know that Rahman won the Oscar for Best Song with "Jai Ho." And if you haven't seen the movie, or love the song as much as I do, here's the clip from when "Jai Ho" appears in the the film. The Oscar winning song appears over the credits, while the cast performs a very typical, yet out of character from the rest of the movie Bollywood-esque dance in the Mumbai train station.  Love the Spanish, so random.

This next clip is what I've been excited about since I first heard Rahman was getting recognized for Slumdog: the live Best Song performance at the Oscars.  I loved this, even though the Oscars people crammed all three nominated songs into one number. Whatever, it was still cool. And this year, it seems as if it was a "world music" explosion! Bollywood dancers, what look like Kodo drummers, my favorite: the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa. And I love John Legend's voice.

It was also fun to hear Rahman sing. Did anyone else notice the weird mix of live singing over pre-recorded track?  Whatever. It was cool.  I wish M.I.A. didn't go and give birth right after performing at the Grammys last month, it would have been fun to hear her bit in "O Saya."

Go Slumdog Go! And congratulations to the people of India and Indian film lovers all over the world. This epic film industry has finally gotten it's international props. Hopefully this is only the beginning and there are many more amazing movies and awesome scores to be shared.

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