Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oscar Bliss

I am still coming down from my Academy Award Night high.

It really is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. I enjoy the entire event start to finish. Embarrassingly I even watch the pre-red carpet coverage, which is sad because it is just the E-channel "reporters" telling each other how good they look that evening.

I always, by choice, watch all by myself. The thought of having to listen to chatter and comments from the peanut gallery is too much. Though I do enjoy texting with my friends throughout the show about the dress choices and speeches.

All I need for Oscar night are my pj's, Oliver, some sort of take-out ordered en mass for lots of seconds, and a cozy blanket . This year I strongly believe an unlikely character stole the show. Not Neil Patrick Harris, although I thought his dance number was fantastic. And that sequin blazer....perfection! And no, not Alec and Steven.
I feel the stage stole the show. It was a perfect blend of Old Hollywood sexiness meets a clean and modern edge. I loved it!

I became obsessed with how it turned and changed. The floor was new this year and it glimmered in all white. It was reflective and glitzy. Also new were the 3 circular revolving platforms that worked in combination with the always changing backdrops and staircases that moved in and out.

The metal fretwork was so dramatic and while I looked desperately to no avail for a photo of it, I loved, loved, loved the lampshade backdrop. It was a screen of hundreds of illuminated lamp shades that dropped down as a background. It sounds bizarre describing it, but it had the most wonderful warm effect.

David Rockwell returned as the set designer for the 2nd consecutive year. He is a man of many trades; architect, designer, set designer. He designed the actual Kodak Theater, where the Oscars are held, a few years back. He has done W hotels and Nobu restaurants across the world and has offices in NYC, Madrid, and Dubai.
He repeated some things from last years Oscars, but with subtle changes. One dame making a repeat performance was "Crystal" as Rockwell nicknamed the 100,000 Swarovski crystal curtain. For this year he added 16" of topaz crystals to the end of each strand. It put a finishing smokey touch on the already fabulous curtain
Another repeat was the Supper-Club like seating in the lower part of the theater. This involves removing all of the existing seats from the lower half of the theater and replacing them with the new layout. It made the usually cavernous feeling 3,400 seat Kodak feel more intimate. Much more like a cabaret!

The stage was always changing throughout the awards and it aided in moving things along. Rockwell acknowledges that he made changes to allow for the fact that two comedians were hosting. The timing was faster and the stage needed to accommodate that.
Above is another example of the metal fretwork used in the scenery behind Jeff Bridges, winner of Best Actor for Crazy Heart. (He was fantastic if you haven't seen the movie.)

Next to the lovely "Crystal" this little detail was my favorite part. The way the steps illuminated to show the interconnecting circles. Just beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did and I am already counting down the days until next year. 363....

image of Neil Patrick Harris from Washington Post, Set mock-up AMPAS, image of dance from Washington Post, image of Metal Fretwork from Al Seib/LA Times, Stage mock-up AMPAS, Image of Jeff Bridges Michael Yada/AMPAS, image of Chritoph Waltz from Washington Post, and image of stage Al Seib/LA Times.

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