Final Take: The Biggest Oscar Surprise Wasn't Really That Surprising

There weren't many surprises Sunday night. Hugh Jackman delivered nicely (you can get our rating of his performance right here). But that was not really a surprise. The surprise was him being picked to host. For the most part, the night went as scripted, and with each passing year I find the Oscars more dull. It was a Slumdog night. Yawn. Kate Winslet won. Yawn. WALL-E took it home. Yawn. Penelope Cruz. Yawn. The sky is blue. Water is wet.

Okay, I have to admit I was a little taken aback by Waltz with Bashir not taking the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. But there were murmurs that Departures was neck-and-neck.

The only other semi-surprise of the night was Mickey Rourke's run at an Oscar ending Randy "The Ram" style: in disappointment. No doubt if Rourke was going to fall to someone, he'd prefer it be to his "brother," Sean Penn. Yet America's favorite dog owner seemed like a runaway train ever since that pesky Golden Globes show. And after his speech at the Spirit Awards, was there anybody left in America who didn't want to see this guy win?

In fact, there was. It wasn't just the "commie" Academy who didn't want to see Rourke win, apparently. Even my mother -- no Sean Penn fan -- was happy Penn won over Rourke. She texted me after the show was over to tell me so. I didn't even know my mother stayed up that late! I guess Mickey still rubs some people the wrong way. That isn't so much of a surprise either. It just seemed like the stars were aligned. He was unstoppable. He was bringing it home for Loki. This was happening. It is written.

Or not.

So yeah, it was a little surprising Rourke's buddy Sean Penn won, but didn't we all know it was coming down to one of those two guys? And this is the biggest problem the Oscars face these days: Everybody's got these things down to such a science, we are rarely surprised by the winners. The Oscars just aren't exciting anymore. There's no suspense. If you don't fall asleep, you're doing pretty good. Wouldn't it be amazing to watch an Oscar show and have no idea who was going to win the top eight or so awards? If we find ourselves in such a position next year, color me surprised.

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Dre writes two times a week for Film.com. Email him!