Here’s my Oscar recap, blow by sordid blow:
We’re off and running with “The Road to the Oscars,” the 30-minute preview special in which we celebrate fashion and hairstyles. The thing that annoys me most about these types of programs is the complete and utter inanity of the red-carpet interviews. Gee, Leonardo DiCaprio is falling all over himself to kiss Martin Scorsese’s ass and praise his filmmaking talents? How very… expected.
And now we need to interview the head honcho of Vogue magazine? A certified film expert, I’m sure.
Best inane quote from a red carpet interview so far:
“Little Miss Sunshine takes a family of dysfunction and gives us lemonade.”
Helen Mirren looks fantastic, as does Kate Winslet. Me, I’d show up with a dead Bjork draped around my neck.
Okay, Ellen’s pretty funny after all. She’s not Jon Stewart… but on the other hand, she’s not Billy Crystal either. I’ll take her. And now, the first award.
Best Art Design.
The Good Shepherd
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Winner: PAN’S LABYRINTH! Yay! It’s a promising start, as the film was one of the most unshakable viewing experiences of the past year for me.
Will Farrell and Jack Black duet on a song about how much it sucks to be a comedic actor at the Academy Awards. We’re not worthy, folks.
Achievement in Make-up.
The winner: PAN’S LABYRINTH. (Again!) I’m sensing a happy trend. At least it’s a good film that’s sweeping the awards this year.
After a few minor awards, we’re treated to a montage showing us how very important Letters from Iwo Jima is to the grand fate of the world. *sigh* I love this film, but hate this kind of pretentious Oscar showboating. Unfortunately, every other Best Picture nominee will receive the same treatment later in the program, including the trivial Little Miss Sunshine.
An acapella performance by The Sound Effects Choir? Bizarre, but interesting. Can’t imagine how much effort it took to mic all those people. Not a fun soundcheck, I’m sure.
Best Supporting Actor.
Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
Winner: Alan Arkin… by far the least deserving performance. And it’s funny that the narrator specifically mentions Jackie Earle Haley playing a pedophile in Little Children, but never mentions that Alan Arkin plays the same damn thing. And no, you won’t convince me otherwise, so don’t even try.
Ellen stages a skit, pretending to pass an original screenplay to Martin Scorsese (who looks disturbingly like Woody Allen). The script is supposedly a cross between Goodfellas and Big Momma’s House. The name? Goodmommas. A groaner of a joke, but still amusing.
James Taylor sings “Our Town” from Cars. I can’t bring myself to care.
Melissa Ethridge sings “I Need to Wake Up,” from An Inconvenient Truth. It’s a song I liked a lot when I saw the film, but it sounds like ass live. Did they forget to EQ her vocals? She sounds muffled and overly bassy.
Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio wax philosophical about saving the environment. WTF? Should Scorsese get equal time to plug violence and gunplay? Still, I loved Gore’s fake presidential announcement. Al’s actually a funny guy when he wants to be.
A tribute via montage to the craft of the screenwriter. Pointless… we’re all hacks, right? It doesn’t take talent to write, merely an unquenchable lust for lucrative paychecks. That’s why I’m so rich.
So, Bryan just walked in the room and asked why all these people on TV were being given statues of C-3PO whenever they win a prize. I love my kids.
Before announcing the nominees in the category of Best Foreign Language Film, we’re treated to a ridiculously long montage of clips from other non-English films, nearly all of which are presented silent. So what, er, is the point exactly?
Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza, Babel
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi, Babel
Winner: Jennifer Hudson! WOW… despite the fact that many predicted her to win, I was actually surprised. (I’m guessing Babel split the vote.) At least Hudson was sincere and humble in her speech, which made me like her more than I did previously. And she was tons better than Halle Berry’s borderline incomprehensible ramblings for a few years ago. (“I am the vessel through which God is channeling this blessing?” WTF?)
Poor Clint Eastwood. While introducing a lifetime achievement award for his friend Ennio Morricone, Eastwood doesn’t seem to know where he is or what he’s saying. My wife hypothesizes that he’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Even if it’s not true, he was at the very least tremendously off his game tonight. Still in happier news, it was nice to see a “mere” composer get a standing ovation.
Best Film Editing.
Children of Men
Winner: The Departed
I enjoyed Thelma’s S.’s acceptance speech for The Departed. It was essentially a (tactful) guilt trip on the industry based on the fact that she’s won three Oscars for cutting Scorsese’s films, while the man himself has won none.
The annual Roll Call of the Dead. Nice to see it end with Robert Altman.
12:10 am –
Letters from iwo Jima
Winner: Martin Scorsese for The Departed. (There. Now everyone PLEASE SHUT UP ABOUT IT.)
Little Miss Sunshine
Letters from Iwo Jima
The winner: The Departed
It could’ve been worse… at least The Departed is tight and suspenseful. I can live with that, even if Letters from Iwo Jima was, for me, the best film of the year.
All in all, a satisfying and entertaining show.