I don’t want to complain like the grouchy old Oscar Madisons below. Seth MacFarlane was fine: At least he can do stuff — sing ’n’ dance and whatnot. And, at the risk of sounding so gay I get bounced from CPAC, it was great to see Dame Shirl giving it some wellie on “Goldfinger,” and Barbra doing a rather tender and understated “Way We Were” for dear old Marvin Hamlisch. (My daughter said she’d like to have seen Shirley do “Skyfall” and Adele do “Goldfinger,” which would have been fun.)
But, honestly, the 007 50th-anniversary montage that preceded Bassey is everything that’s wrong with the Oscars. It was technically very accomplished. Someone had taken the Bond theme and the faintly cheesy instrumental bit from Live And Let Die and brilliantly edited to them a half-century of shootouts and explosions so seamlessly that one could scarce tell Roger Moore from Pierce Brosnan. In doing so, they completely missed the point of 007. The Bond franchise has been running for near half the length of the entire history of motion pictures. If it had been just been about scary bangs and car chases it would have ended 45 years ago, like every other series that blazes for its moment and then dies. Where were all the non-explosive conventions — the quips to Moneypenny et al.? The montage took 50 years of Bond, and drained all the wit and style out of it. Bond formula got clobbered by Oscar formula, which isn’t as good.
(P.S. My own salute to 007 can be found here.)