Monday, March 8, 2010

Who are you wearing?

Another triumph for me. The major Oscar results turned out exactly as I predicted, except that Avatar, James Cameron, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Stanley Tucci didn't win.

(I'm joking, of course. I actually picked Quentin Tarantino. Unfortunately, I got confused and picked him for best visual effect.)*

First time watching the red carpet arrivals on high definition television. Who knew movie stars could look old?

The New York Times was fairly catty about the show, but I thought the clips of the nominated performances were, after all, what the whole thing was about.  And two minutes out of four hours to mention the technical awards is hardly excessive when you consider the stunning advances we see in what movies can do and show from year to year. If anything, cut the dances. The thousand or so in the auditorium don't really care about Vegas showgirls or street performers, they want to see famous people; and live performances across a wide stage never manage to transmit their energy to the television audience. If they did, we'd still have variety shows in the schedules.

Horror movies get their due in a very good montage. But we jumped from the Universal 1940s to The Exorcist. Where was Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, or even Vincent Price? Was there even one clip from a Hammer Studios film?

Wasn't till last night that I realized A Serious Man and A Single Man were actually two different movies. I was wondering why Colin Firth looked so different in some of the clips.

Ben Stiller . . . hilarious. Tina Fey and Robert Downey Junior . . . brilliant. Plus TV's Tina, who's nearly 40, is better looking than any movie star on parade last night, with the possible exception of the actress whom CG turned into a big blue space cat.

When will the Academy recognize me for my brilliant ideas about acceptance speeches? Go to every nominee in advance, get them to list all the people they want to thank, including their lawyers and their mothers-in-law, and run it as a crawl across the bottom of the screen. Then tell them to use their 45 seconds to say something interesting about the movie or their careers or their lives. And none of this "I wasn't expecting to win, oh, gosh, so I haven't prepared . . . I can't think . . ." crap, especially if you're part of a winning team and you get to the mike first. Write it down. And above all, don't tell your children to go to bed now -- that joke was already old when the Lumiere brothers filmed that train arriving at the station.

A quick check on Meryl Streep's 2-for-16 average. I think La Streep is the greatest American movie actress ever, but her 14 losses were pretty well all to very worthy winners. Except for 2002, when she was nominated as a supporting actress for Adaptation. But the crime here was the nomination process. Antipodean Viking Nicole Kidman won best actress for wearing a false nose for 30 minutes of screen time in The Hours. Julianne Moore's 33 minutes of chilling brilliance in the same movie got her a mere supporting actress nomination, only to go down with Meryl to Welsh bombshell Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago. But the amazing Ms. Streep was on screen in The Hours for 42 devastatingly heart-rending minutes and got nothing, zip, zilch, bupkis. Utterly shameful.

*That joke was funnier with Mo'Nique, but politically incorrect on so many fronts. Including the phrase "so many fronts." Sorry.

And in reality -- a rare condition these days -- I predicted all the major categories correctly and won the office pool. Since the office consists of me and the dog, I'm now up by three kibbles and a tennis ball. Mind you, those kibbles are pretty tasty after you've spent four and a half hours immobile in front of the the television.


  1. My favorite moment was when the red-haired lady pushed the other guy out of the way so she could give her own acceptance speech (I hear things are not-okay with them)

  2. Yeah, a brief, shining moment, the crowning event of a lifetime of passionate art, and you waste it showing a world audience that you're a graceless boor.

    There weren't enough moments like that.

    Here, feel better with Rob Lowe singing "Proud Mary" to Snow White: