Well, we're getting ready for Oscar Night. So I figured I would try to do this Oscar Blog thing. I love the Oscars. That is probably because I love the movies. Lots of people are saying that this year people won't watch the ceremonies because the main nominees are movies that didn't make any money. That may be true, but I always watch them anyway. I think it is ridiculous that movies that make money are almost immediately disqualified from Best Picture. In the not too distant past, movies like Fugitive, Pulp Fiction, Beauty and the Beast, and Forrest Gump were nominated. They all made tons of money. And then you have Titanic and Lord of the Rings. It almost seems that since LOTR swept the Oscars a few years ago the Academy has decided it should only nominate small films. Hence this year - when the Best Picture nominees combined made less than Chicken Little. But, hey, what does the movie-going public know?
ABC is our pre-show of choice. Felicity Huffman is on now talking about her nominated role in Transamerica. And there is the completely unbiased ABC self-promo for Desperate Housewives. Huffman and William H Macy are married - is there a better married acting couple out there?
Philip Seymour Hoffman is up. Every time I see him I think that he should be wearing a green apron and asking me if I want a Tall or a Grande coffee. His next film is M:I:III. Have you ever noticed how a lot of nominees go straight from artsy fartsy to big budget role?
David Strathairn is up. I still think of him as the blind tech guy in Sneakers. How far he's come. From driving a van blind to the Oscars. Dreams do come true.
Did Jake Gyllenhal just say kissing a man is just like kissing a girl? Good Lord. What an imp. I would like to argue with him on that point.
Billy Bush. Wow. That's the guy that all the other Bushes look to so they can say, "Hey, at least I won't be as big of a dork as that clown." No matter how many elections or decisions they screw up, at least they are better than Billy. He's like Roger Clinton and Billy Carter. He just interviewed the President of the Academy about the show. "What can you tell us about tonight's show?" The response: "It will be great." That's some major investigative reporting, right there my friend. And by the way, I have gotten to the point to where I can't stand Jamie Foxx. Could he be more overexposed?
That was a pretty funny intro. I like it when the stuffed shirts at the Oscars can make fun of themselves and the fact that no one wanted to host the show. The George Clooney ending was a very nice touch. Ha.
Jon Stewart's monologue was painful. There were some funny points here and there (Walk the Line was a remake of Ray with white people). But it was pretty crappy. The saving grace was that Western montage of all the "non-gay" cowboy movies. I hope he gets better as the night gets along.
Best Supporting Actor – Nicole Kidman is presenting this award. She looks pretty nice. I was not a big fan of her intro – kind of had a bizarre cadence to it. And the winner is GEORGE CLOONEY for Syriana. “I guess I’m not winning Director.” That was absolutely hilarious. I love Clooney. He is just funny. Two Batman references in his speech. He is also just a classy guy – even his little political bit at the end didn’t bother me. I was disappointed that Kidman didn’t say, “The winner is my co-star in The Peacemaker – George Clooney.” With his amazing level of success after playing stupid side parts in 80s sitcoms, do you think that that people like Cockroach from The Cosby Show are saying, “Dang it, that could have been me.”
Oscar for Visual Effects. Ben Stiller is one weird dude. Was this planned? Or is he just a big goofball? I like the “I’m blowing Speilberg’s mind.” That of course was followed by The Great One shaking his head in the negatory. King Kong wins. Was there really any doubt? Narnia was a fun movie, but the effects were not that good. And War of the Worlds was just another sci-fi flick. The Kong crew created an entire character from nothing. I’m two for two in my guesses by the way.
Best Animated Feature. I love Reese Witherspoon. She is so classy and cool. Reminds me of my wife so much. So, there are only three nominees in this category. How did Madagascar not just get a nod to help fill out the five spots? Winner is Wallace and Grommit. Three for three. I saw that film and it was hi-lair-ee-us. Great stuff. They just put bowties on their Oscars. Ha ha. The one dude on the right looks like Wallace. Those guys are huge dorks. And what is the deal with Helena Bonham Carter? Does being involved with Tim Burton mean you have to become a screwball too?
Naomi Watts introduces Dolly Parton to sing her song from Transamerica. Talk about a contrast in bodies. You couldn’t tell where Watts ended and her dress began – it was like she went to Home Depot and showed them her skin and said, “Can you match this?” (And then took that color to the dress people? – man that didn’t make sense.) Thank God there are only three Best Song nominees this year. I hate having to listen to a bunch of songs I’ve never heard that aren’t good enough to get airplay just because they were in a movie. Although, I can’t wait to see how the Academy deals with Not Easy Being a Pimp. Probably with the same grace and composure that they had when Lose Yourself and Eminem won. That being hiding their head in the sand and openly weeping.
Jon Stewart takes a shot at the Baldwin brothers via the Wilson brothers. Hmmm, let’s be careful taking shots, Mr. Stewart. We don’t want to have to drag out your imdb.com page (The Faculty, Big Daddy). The Wilsons are announcing a category no one cares about and that no one has seen. Some “movie” named Six Shooter won the award. Wait, Brendan Gleeson was in it? Braveheart, Harry Potter, Six Shooter. If he adds too many more to that list, he’s gonna challenge Tom Hanks.
I hate these animated things where animated characters “present” the award. I take that back. That was pretty funny. I often wonder why cartoon animals don’t consistently wear clothes. Moon and the Sun wins. I’ve missed two guesses in a row. That’s because I have no idea and don’t give a crap. Pretty simple explanation. Kind of the same reason I didn’t blow my way through science classes in school.
Jennifer Aniston is here to present Best Costume. She’s so composed all the time. I’ve always been impressed by her. The winner is Memoirs of a Geisha. I’ve missed three in a row. I’m like the Orlando Magic. Right after I say Aniston is always composed, she clanks the Oscar against the mic stand and goes, “Oh gosh” before they can shut off the mic. But she was composed when she did it.
Russell Crowe. What a stud. How did he get to been such an amazing actor? He’s just great. Well, except in Virtuosity. But then we’d have to toss out Denzel too. What is the point of this montage? We’re honoring biographies? That’s interesting. I guess you could classify almost anything as a biography. Even Young Einstein.
Best Makeup. Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell. That’s a pairing you know is going to rock. The thing about both of them is their overwhelming dedication to subtlety. At least in that one clip. I didn’t know Marlon Brando played the Emperor in Star Wars III. Hey, Narnia won one. I think they deserved this one, but I picked Star Wars. I thought there was no way that the Academy would stiff the last Star Wars installment. Guess I was wrong.
The technological awards – zzzzzzzzz. This is when I usually go to the bathroom. “THANK YOU!”
Morgan Freeman is so cool he doesn’t need neckwear for his formal wear. Ok, I’m going to stop complimenting people because they immediately go do something stupid as he flubs his words all up. The Best Supporting Actress goes to Rachel Weisz. Picked that - I’m batting .500. I knew she had to win because she had won most of the other awards. She didn’t thank her husband (Heather pointed that out). I’ve always really liked her work – The Runaway Jury, Enemy at the Gates, The Mummy movies – even Chain Reaction. That must be why Freeman laughed – they both suffered through that movie together when Keanu Reeves plays a brilliant scientist. What the…?
Lauren Bacall – one of the greatest voices ever. I love hearing her doing commercial voiceovers just to hear her voice. Of course, in those commercials, she has multiple takes and doesn’t have to use a teleprompter. Wow, this is painful. Again – I’m going to stop complimenting people. Yet another montage – this time of film noir. And they honestly don’t know why this thing runs for four hours?
Stewart is back up with the statement “I’m a loser.” Truer words have never been spoken. Wait, is that Stephen Colbert’s voice on that joke political commercial? HA HA. Those are funny. The Judi Densch was absolutely hilarious. HA HA.
Terrence Howard coming out to introduce Short Documentary. I am fighting the urge to say how cool Howard is. We’re back into the “I Don’t Care” categories. Not that I don’t care about the topics of these films, because then I would be an insensitive jerk. I don’t even remember what I picked – I know it wasn’t the winner though – A Note of Triumph. George Clooney is just a hoot. You can tell everyone loves him in Hollywood.
Documentary Feature presented by Charlize Theron – who has decided to actually attach her purse to her shoulder so she can’t lose it. The Year of the Documentary – in any other year, every one of these films would have won. It’s like the year that Quiz Show, Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption were all nominated. Except these are all documentaries. And no one saw them. Except the penguin one. March of the Penguins wins. I of course, did not pick that. It was a slam dunk, which is why I picked Enron. Another guy without a tie – but he’s French and not as cool as Morgan Freeman – although they were both in that film.
Jennifer Lopez – star of “Skin Bronzers Gone Wild.” She’s presenting the second Best Song “In the Deep” from Crash. Why did they pick her? Because she can sing? Maybe it is because she has street cred or something. It looks like she got the same people who did Will Ferrell’s makeup to do hers. Nice song – the lady singing sounds like a cross between Annie Lennox and, well, Annie Lennox. I like the flames. Mmmm, fire. [Side Note: my daughter is a pyro in training. She keeps wanting us to light “candles” – which are matches. We grilled tonight and she was riveted by the fire. Awesome.]
Best Art Direction – How does Keanu Reeves get invited to these things? I guess it is because the Academy knows he is NEVER GOING TO BE NOMINATED EVER NEVER EVER NEVER NEVER. Memoirs of a Geisha wins. I have missed three in a row again. I picked Harry Potter. I guess this is one of those cases when you should have seen a movie to know how good it was. I really had no idea how Geisha actually looked. I’ll stop making excuses.
From Snakes on a Plane, Samuel L. Jackson is on stage to present another montage of movies that tackled important topics. By the end of the night, they are going to have addressed every major genre. How can you include movies about civil rights and the law and government corruption and AIDS and racism and then have a clip from Day After Tomorrow? I guess it is because it is about the environment. But it is like the old Sesame Street game of which one of these things doesn’t belong. “None of those issues were ever a problem again.” With one line, Jon Stewart minimizes every stand Hollywood has ever taken. Right on, my friend, right on.
The President of the Academy – he promised us tonight would be great, remember. He went right out on that limb. He wasn’t afraid to make that guarantee. Now he’s up here blabbing about storytelling and why we shouldn’t wait for the DVD to come out. He also said that no nominee ever said, “That will look good on the DVD.” He forgot that Matt Dillon is nominated tonight.
Salma Hayek. I’m not afraid to say that she is absolutely beautiful. That is because my wife does not read my blog. Ha Ha. She’s presenting Original Score, to be performed by a mystery special guest star …. Itzhak Perlman. He rocks. Well, not rocks. He violins. But he is good. I figure that this will be the one that gets Brokeback Mountain into the fray. But, I’m 4-6 so far, so don’t be surprised if I’m wrong. I like the cool little title screens before each category with the smoke and black and white pictures. The winner is…Brokeback Mountain. Wow. I got that right. I just had a feeling that this was where it was first going to show up in the winner’s circle. Then they cut to Philip Seymour Hoffman in his seat as the intro to the clip from Capote. He was bent over to the floor tying his shoe or looking for a Milk Dud or something. Pretty funny.
Jake Gyllenhal comes out to introduce epics and keeps his hand in his pockets – what a classy guy. Another push to have people come to the movies instead of waiting for the DVD. That box office slump last year really scared them I guess. Now, they have done biographies and epics. Braveheart was in both groups, as was Lawrence of Arabia and Ben Hur. I told you they were going to talk about every genre by the end of this. I question classifying some of those films as epics, though. E.T.? Jon Stewart then trashes it all with “Next, Oscar will honor montages.” Ha ha.
Jessica Alba and Eric Bana are out to introduce Sound Mixing award. Two good looking people who have both done comic book adaptations – I’m sure they are both proud of that. The winner is King Kong. I picked them. Basically, I picked Kong for everything it was up for since they were all technical awards. It was not a great movie, but it was a technologically great movie. If you are a betting person, when Peter Jackson puts out a movie, bet on them to win technological awards. I’m back to .500.
Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep to give a special award to Robert Altman. This is one of those bits that probably sounded great in concept, but is actually quite painful to watch. This I guess is supposed to be an example of how Altman’s films are. Maybe that is why I don’t watch his movies. I’ve seen two of them, and wasn’t that impressed. Hey, another montage.
Ludacris is introducing “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” to be performed by Three 6 Mafia. This should be fun. Hip hop has officially invaded the Oscars. I refuse to believe that this song will win. I just don’t think that the Academy is there yet. But what do I know?
And that is followed by Queen Latifah to present Best Original Song. Not at all to help ease all them stodgy white folks back into their awards show with a “friendly black face.” And I again prove I know nothing as “Hard Out Here for a Pimp” wins. This speech should be great. The funny thing is the announcer saying that “This is the first award for all of these guys.” Really? I thought they had won earlier for their stunning work on Titanic. I like how the camera people were cutting to all of the black people in the audience during their speech (John Singleton, Jamie Foxx, Ludacris). Jon Stewart so bad wants to cross that line, but he’s afraid Luda and Foxx are going to destroy him.
Sound Editing Oscar – I like the political ads. Jennifer Affleck will be presenting the award – and she nearly wipes out. That would have been fun. Sorry we missed it. King Kong wins it. I told you, take that bet to the bank. Tech=Peter Jackson. He is the new George Lucas. I’m at .500 again.
I’m getting tired, and here comes George Clooney to present the Dead People Parade. Good choice for that somber moment – the guy who jokes about everything. There’s always a moment in this thing when I go, “Man a lot of people died this year” and another when I go “That person died? I didn’t know that.” There are also about twenty or thirty moments when I go, “Who?”
Will Smith coming up to give out Best Foreign Film. And to make fun of non-English speaking people everywhere. I’ve gotten 8 right and 8 wrong and there are 9 categories left. The winner is Tsotsi. I, of course, did not pick that. So, I’m down one again. And a white guy comes up to thank everyone on behalf of Africa. I’m glad he gave us updates on what the warning light said. That actually bugs the snot out of me.
I think Jon Stewart hates the fact that Three 6 Mafia won the Oscar. And Ziyi Zhang is here now to give out Editing Oscar. Very sweet woman and very pretty – speaks very poor English. The winner is Crash. I picked that. So, I’m 9-9. That was just a educated guess because there were so many cross stories going on, and I thought there needed to be a lot of editing. Why haven’t they cut him off?
Hillary Swank to present Best Actor – kind of early this year. And Philip Seymour Hoffman wins. That is not a shock at all – everyone picked him. I even picked him. I’m over .500. He’s one of those guys who is just a great actor and you can tell even when he is in crappy films like Twister and small parts like in Nobody’s Fool. He’s just kind of a weird duck. And I don’t call people ducks.
John Travolta is here with his short hair wig. He is going to hand out the Cinematography Award. Here’s Batman’s only chance to win Oscar. It won’t win. And Geisha wins. It is my nemesis. That stinking film won three awards and I didn’t pick them at all. I’m back down to .500. I’ll have to see the film now – it must be gorgeous since it won all these art and film awards.
And Mr. Overexposed Jamie Foxx is here to hand out Best Actress. The fact that he crashed the Oscar party last year stinks – he gets to show up forever now. He’s like this generation’s Louis Gossett Jr. Actually, he and Cuba Gooding Jr. can fight over that. Cuba already has the Jr. going for him. The winner is Reese Witherspoon. Good. She’s great in that movie – absolutely amazing. I picked her too. I can’t believe that she and Joaquin Phoenix actually sang all those songs – they were incredible. She hasn’t thanked Ryan Philippe yet – she’d better. She just did. Very gracious speech. She’s cool. [Those were such insightful comments]
We’ve crossed the three hour point. And I am very tired of MasterCard. The day they finally pull the plug on that ad campaign will be priceless.
Dustin Hoffman is coming out to announce Adapted Screenplay. He is like the most awkward person when he isn’t acting. On screen, it seems like it comes so easily. In real life, he is such a wonk. The winner is Brokeback Mountain. That was also a no-brainer. I still can’t believe that Larry McMurtry wrote this – the same guy who did Lonesome Dove. It just doesn’t seem like something he would be drawn to.
Uma Thurman just came out to hand out Original Screenplay. I know I shouldn’t say this, but she looks terrible. Her makeup and hair makes her looks like a harpie. The winner is Crash. I missed that one. I had a feeling that it would win, but I had picked Clooney. Once he won the acting award, I knew he wouldn’t get this one too. And the orchestra cut off the second guy before he could talk. I love that.
Mr. Money Bags – Tom Hanks – has arrived to hand out Best Director. He’s still wearing that ridiculous long haired DaVinci Code hairdo. Ang Lee, the man who finally brought The Hulk to the big screen and ruined him by totally screwing up the entire mythos of the character, beats Steven Speilberg and Clooney. And he tells Oscar, “I wish I knew how to quit you.” So, he’s being gay with Oscar? I’m kind of confused. Holy cow – he just flipped out at the end. Oh, he was speaking Chinese. I’m tired and not paying the best attention apparently.
And we end it all with Jack Nicholson. I’m two up in the right picks. He’s just a stud – of course ever since 1989 he’s just been channeling the Joker. The Best Picture is…..Crash. HA HA. Take that Brokeback Mountain. That is a huge upset. Having not seen either film – and since none of you probably have either, who’s to say whether that should have happened. Wow. After how much Hollywood pushed Brokeback down our throats for months, how did they not vote for it? That’s the thing. This is their awards show – how did they not support their biggest film – the one that made their statement? Kind of strange. It also continues the bizarre trend where the Best Director and Best Picture are not the same. I don’t understand how those two don’t go hand in hand.
Including the pre-show, we’re hitting four hours. Overall, the show was very somber and kind of boring. They have cut back on speeches so much in favor of boring montages. I ended up 13-12 for the night. That’s pretty bad for me. I don’t think Mr. Stewart will be back. For all the hype about how this was going to be so controversial, it was very mild – actually one of the most non-controversial shows I’ve seen. So, after nearly 4,000 words, I sign off. If you made it this far, bring the code word “MONTAGE” to your local area Long John Silver’s for a free Buttered Lobster Bites. Good Night, and Get Home Safely.