Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Grouch Oscar

I'm not live blogging because I wanted my responses to feel more like the Oscar telecast itself. And if you watched, you know what I mean. Jon Stewart was sporadically funny, but I prefer him in his night job. The way the show is set up, after the first ten minutes they could have Academy President Sid Gannis host the whole thing, or maybe one of LA's best maitre d's, since the evening's all about time management and having the dishes show up on time. Oh, and Sid, don't forget that your plea that film is only film on the big screen rings a bit hollow in the midst of a huge-worldwide TV broadcast.

*Can't they remember they're movies? Funny stuff is people falling falling down; I know this for sure having seen a magnificent triple bill of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd two-reelers yesterday. So why does the Oscars have to trot out Yo-Yo Ma last year and Itzhak Perlman this? (OK, they wheeled out Perlman, but I'm just trying to set-up my lack of tact in comparison to their faux class.)

*78 isn't just the number of years there have been Academy Awards--it's also the number of cosmetic surgeries Dolly Parton has had. I guess "Travelin' Thru" didn't get interpretive dancers because they might get knocked off the stage by her Botoxed lips.

*Actually, this broadcast they re-employed the recently rarely used mime-dancers. That's not quite Rob Lowe-Snow White delicious, but at least "burning cars light up my lame ballad" tasty.

*I don't even have to look this up: The Sound of Music is not an epic.

*Overall this telecast spent way too much time making Chuck the Hardest Workman in the Business. A biopic montage? A noir montage (and not to be too picky, but Night of the Hunter, one of my favorite films, is really more German Expressionism in America 25 years after the end of German Expressionism, which might be why it's Charles Laughton's only directorial effort)? A "this film vaguely had social or political import" montage? Even Stewart saw through that one enough with his, "And we never had any of those problems again" crack. Of course, that montage also buried the fact the many think On the Waterfront is reactionary (let's not even get into it as an apologia for Kazan), The Grapes of Wrath and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are sloppy populism, etc.

*That shot of Mickey Rooney made me think (no, not "he's still alive?') but how he and Tommy Lasorda are slowly becoming the same person.

*How is it that every audience cut-away to Jack Nicholson catches him with a look as if he's just debauched a 15--year-old?

*I was convinced Charlize Theron was going to present the Oscar for Visual Effects as I was sure that was a scale model of one of the space invaders from War of the Worlds on the shoulder of her dress.

*Trend of the night--hair not only up but also out and about. As Amy said, it looked like Sandra Bullock drove to the Kodak Theater in a convertible.

*And in a surprise, the gay movie to take home a big Oscar is March of the Penguins.


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