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Late to the Party

What to say on the Oscars, this late? Jon Stewart did a good job hosting, and I wasn’t too bummed that Crash won Best Picture. It was a fantastic movie, beautifully directed and acted despite its somewhat heavy-handed script. Other things to mention:

  • If they have to present all those interminable montages (although Stewart’s reaction was priceless), why can’t they use better quality film clips? They’re always all blurry and muddy looking.
  • Enough already with the “seeing films in a theatre is so much better” propaganda. Yeah, paying through the nose, sitting through too many commercials, and putting up with gabbing teenagers and cellphones is that much better than staying home with a DVD.
  • Fashion-wise it was an okay year with no real surprises. Even Charlize Theron’s much maligned huge bow looked classy to me. I’m glad the women are trending away from the tan/beige/gold look. The best gown belonged to Ziyi Zhang, followed by Michelle Williams’ macaroni and cheese-colored dress (at least it was different).
  • Loved that Wallace and Gromit won. Terrific movie. Also loved Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin together (they should do a stage act called Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin Together!). And George Clooney delivered a heartfelt speech that thankfully wasn’t the usual laundry list of names.
  • Animated short winner John Canemaker thanking his life partner in his speech was another highlight for me. That happens often at the Tonys, not so much at the Oscars.
  • Blowsy blonde lady who looks like a heavyset Priscilla Presley was in the audience again, seen briefly a couple of times. Who is that lady? She must be the wife of some Academy higher-up or something. Every time we see her, we’re like “Look, it’s not-Priscilla-Presley!”

4 Thoughts on “Late to the Party

  1. After listening to those loony anti-DVD screeds and Clooney’s nauseatingly self-righteous claim that Hollywood only seems out-of-touch because they’re so busy paying attention to REALLY IMPORTANT ISSUES that plebes like us have no clue about, I decided not to spend a dime in any of our local theaters this year, and only check out DVDs from our local library.

  2. Sadly, in my opinion, last night’s Oscar show signaled the absolute end of modern Hollywood fairytale glamour as we all once knew it.

    How much worse could the Oscars have been? Were there any touching, inspirational highlights? I couldn’t find any!

    It’s funny that the Hollywood “myth” (as a thing) still exists in 2006, when someone as non-essential as Jessica Alba can grace the same stage as Lauren Bacall (someone who IS essential) – surely the perverseness of it all should tip fans off to the fact that something’s wrong in Denmark (or at Dreamworks)

    I thought it was interesting that very light, airy orchestral music was played solidly under EVERY Oscar winner’s speech…but even the elevator music couldn’t make the speeches exciting.

    Has there ever been a more bumbling, sweaty and awkward Oscar speech than the one given by Phillip Seymour Hoffman? He’s one of the few really great actors left, but the guy couldn’t make a simple speech without rubbing his head with his sleeve

    The entire proceedings seemed (to me) like an excruciating episode of “Saturday Night Live” (Ben Stiller in a green body suit? NOT funny!) – – plus the whole “Jack Nicholson tripping-out in the front row” schtick needs to be put to rest and he needs to go away.

    I could go on and on…but the whole thing was silly and actually quite offensive…even the normally in-control Lily Tomlin was wigging-out during her R. Altman intro with Meryl Streep.

    Robert Altman was pretty much the only person who left the stage with some respect…he was actually witty and even a bit poetic.


    PS – there was a good article in the LA Times a couple of weeks ago (late Feb) about the demise of motion picture theaters in downtown LA

  3. Christopher on March 7, 2006 at 8:46 am said:

    While I draw a different conclusion than Kurt, I do not disagree with anything he said. However, I think all this is indicative of what has been wrong with Hollywood for (sadly) a long time: greater concern for commerce over craft.

    How else to explain that, for the first time ever, a huge majority of Oscar nominated films were small, low-budget, independents?

    We have long admired the work in independent and foreign film for just that reason: it seems everyone else making films cares about the story, while Hollywood seems to only care about the money.

    Maybe that is changing –note the number of large Hollywood studios with divisions that handle smaller films: Fox Searchlight, Focus Features, etc.

  4. Mass Bradley on March 7, 2006 at 5:35 pm said:

    1) Artistic “Contests” are inherently flawed; just ask Paris, Helena, Athena, et al…
    2) The Oscars, like Miss America, are best consumed by 6 to 16 year-olds. Where else can a small-town boy learn to be snarky?
    3) “Jessica Alba” is code for apocalypse.

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