The Tina Fey/Downey Jr. was my favorite as well. I thought Martin and Baldwin did fine, but at the same time, the jokes I laughed at the most I probably would have laughed at regardless of who was telling them. There didn't seem to be anything "signature" about their hosting turn. My least favorite pair was Miley Cyrus, whose slumping shoulders and poor articulation come across not as "genuine" but as lazy, immature, and disrespectful of her good fortuneI kept shouting at the screen "stand up straight!". Either you go for awards shows or you don't; not watching because you're sure Mo'Nique has it in the bag or you're still upset over Crash beating Brokeback Mountain is much stranger to me than having a thing for montages.Agreed. The Oscars were a yearly ritual at my house growing up, regardless of what was or wasn't nominated or who may or may not win, and I've continued that tradition every year. The Oscars are the Oscars, and I watch as much (if not more) for the show than I do the films nominated. Also, I'm glad you found something stranger than having a thing for montages, because I totally have a thing for montages. Cram the ceremony full of them, I say! I'd be curious to hear more about your reaction to Waltz's performance. I simply adored it, though I felt the film, in general, while enjoyable and fun in its own way, wasn't as awesome as its near-universal acclaim suggests. For me, it was a film with great parts that never quite made a satisfying whole; it left me wanting more in a bad way.
I love me a good montage. As far as Waltz goes, I'm fading again and I was going to point you to my IB review, but I see it's no longer posted, so, briefly: For one thing, I have a hard time with "showy" characters; I know that Hans Landa was written as melodramatic, studied, and highly verbal — even for a QT character — but like Mamet dialogue that wears thin for me, and it's a measure of Waltz's ability that it worked for me as much as it did. For another, though, I was distracted by how much he looked and sounded like Martin Scorsese, injected with a dash of Woody Allen, playing a Nazi. For yet another, the whole plot point of Landa's surrendering was, even in the context of a film reimagining the end of World War II, ludicrous, but that's less about his performance or even the dialogue than overall script absurdity, something for which I couldn't suspend my disbelief as was done for much of the rest of the film.
Fair enough. I was very surprised by his surrendering as well, and I can't decide if that's just because it was genuinely surprising (I knew Hitler died before I saw the movie, so perhaps all my "did they just go there?" surprise was spent instead on Landa's surrend) or because it seemed so random and, as you say, ludicrous.