Sunday, March 05, 2006

Academy Awards Notes

First, answering the question: why is David watching the Oscars? Still too damned tired from the trip to get up and start working, lazy enough that I don’t want to change the chanel, and, damn, that Nicole Kidman is hot.

Second, answering the question: will Jon Stewart suck? Well, let’s just say that it’s been a rough start, but that Bjork outfit/Cheney hunting incident joke actually made me guilty. I did, however, have the good sense to feel guilty.

So, Clooney wins the Best Supporting Actor and takes the moment to really cement the theme for the evening. Hollywood: Proudly out of touch with the rest of America. Clooney can be something approximating gracious, he can be funny, he’s talented, and he is certainly a good looking man. What he isn’t is subtle or nuanced concerning his political beliefs.

Much more enjoyable was Ben Stiller’s moment in a green screen suit, moving disturbingly across stage, in the “belief” that he was moving against a green screen and appeared to be a disembodied head to the people at home. Funny stuff from a guy who can sell a moment beautifully.

Oh, and then he gave out an award for something or other to somebody or other. Wasn’t very interested in that part.

Wow. Naomi Watts is strikingly beautiful. Her dress, though, was terrifying. Ugly in cut, color, and little, sewed on bits of mangled fabric.

Now, a third question for the night (with no answer in hand): does the crowd in Hollywood ("Proudly Out of Touch With the Rest of America") think, “Oh, isn’t that a quaint song? And, my, what large breasts,” when Dolly Parton comes out and sings about Jesus? Just curious.

Hilariously, the John Stewart Scientology joke may not have been greeted warmly by some members of the academy. I wonder if they’ll burn any theaters down, stab a few straggling actors, or riot in hopes that L. Ron Hubbard’s religion be handled more kindly in the future.

And then some stuff happened. Most of it best missed, even better forgotten.

Oh, and if you want to read funnier, famouser, and, probably, cuter people talking about the awards, check this out.

And then some more stuff happened.

jOh, and if you want to read a funnier, famouser, and, I’ve seen the pictures, slightly cuter guy talking about not talking about the awards, check this out.

So, the first time I’ve actually watched the award in some time, and I not only can’t get into the show, but I have no idea what’s going on. But Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell make it almost worth staying awake during the Best Make-Up award that goes as sort of a consolation prize to one of the actual, honest-to-God, popular movies of the year, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

And then some more Jon Stewart happened.

Michelle Williams deserved the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, by the way. Her performance in Brokeback Mountain was phenomenal--truly moving. Rachel Weisz, unfortunately, won the award for the “We Hate Big Pharma” movie, Constant Gardener. Weisz was good, though the movie failed to move me, but she wasn’t as good as Williams. At least, she certainly wasn’t as believable.

And then some Lauren Bacall happened. And it was bad. Embarassingly, sadly bad as she stumbled and groped her way through an introduction to a short tribute to film noir. Which brings me to my non-Oscar moment for the moment: go see Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang when it comes out on DVD.

More Jon Stewart happened, more light politics happened, more masturbatory self-congratulations…

Then penguin flick won Best Documentary Feature, a deserved win for a movie about how much “God hate’s penguins.” That, unfortunately, gave ‘way to J Lo talking about Crash. Irritating.

And then some music happened.

And then some Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves happened.

As more time and more presentations go by, there is really only one thing to say about this year’s Academy Awards: damn, this show sucks. It is boring, filled with pasted on glitz, and utterly removed from “glamorous.” Certainly, there are beautiful people wearing clothes enough finery to fund the entire New Orleans re-building effort. Yet, while wallowing in their wealth and fame, they preach, sneer, and condescend, so sure they are that they are better than us. So sure that they are more intelligent, more moral creatures with the right answers to the world’s complex problems.

Fame is a religion and its greatest adherents worship themselves powerfully.

From Patrick (in the comments):

Have you noticed the number of times they have claimed that you just can’t experience a movie the same way at home on DVD? Nervous much?

Indeed and stuff.

On a positive note, Lily Tomlin is still hilarious, still sharp, and still wonderful.

“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” was, by contrast, the worst musical performance of the night. Not that the others were spectacular, mind, just that this one was a little lower down the list. Which is, of course, why it won Best Original Song. At least the incoherent acceptance speach was a passionately and honestly happy thing without the normal trappings of Hollywood elitism.

And then Jennifer Garner’s boobies happened.

Wow. I mean, definitely the high point of the evening for me. Wow. Jennifer Garner’s boobies deserve an award of their own.

Okay, enough of that…

Although, I can’t help but note that it’s a serious downer to have George Clooney come back out and then talk about the year’s deceased, some of whom had passed without my notice.

Luckily, shortly after, the director of Tsotsi enlivened things again. Another wonderful, heartfelt--if overly short--speech.

For Best Actor, I was pulling for Heath Ledger since his was the best performance I personally saw this year. Having not seen Philip Seymour Hoffman’s turn in Capote, I’m not willing to comment on how deserving he was of the win. I will say, though, that he has been consistently exceptional throughout his career--so good for him.

Yeah, so John Travolta. Used to have a career, right? Then he didn’t, then he did, then he didn’t…

Shut up, Reese.

Ang Lee’s win for Brokeback was, I believe, well-deserved. In many ways, this was a political win, I’m sure; still, his direction and artistic vision was well worth note.

The end.

After the end bit: Check this out.


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