I know. All eight of you had rushed to this site hoping my Oscar blog was up. Well, here's what happened. I sat down prepared to watch Oscar. I had my computer ready, and then it happened. I had been feeling somewhat ill the whole way back from Tennesse. My stomach was hurting really bad. Once I sat down and relaxed, it was like my body let the stresses of the last two weeks go and I crashed. I got very cold, and very disjointed. When eight o'clock rolled around, the last thing I wanted to do was watch the ceremony. So, I waited until Heather got home (9:30pm) and started then. I saw the whole thing, but I didn't feel up to doing a play-by-play job. Instead, here are my thoughts about the show.
- The ratings were 39.1 million - just a smidge over last year. I called it. No one cared abot this year's ceremony or films - and so they didn't watch.
- Almost four hours? Are you joking? Every year they try to cut the speeches shorter and shorter, but they they insist on inserting meaningless bits. They could have left off the 50 Foreign Film video, the Actors playing Writers video, and the Human Sound Effect Symphony (which was cool but pointless). The shadow dancing troupe was okay, and their stuff was short. The other time suckers are the Humanitarian Award and Lifetime Achievement Award. First, some big shot announces the person, then we see a video about that person with the same stuff we just heard, and then we hear the recipient talk about the same stuff. This year they threw in Celine Dion to drag it out more.
- I always find it ironic that the Academy is so unrewarding of comedy, but then relies so heavily on it during the Oscars. The song with Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C Reilly was absolutely hillarious. Jerry Seinfeld was incredible in announcing the Best Documentary category. And Ellen, well...
- I laughed much harder at most of Jon Stewart's stuff. EW.com pointed out that Seinfeld was so good, that it looked like an audition for hosting next year. I looked over at Heather while he was on stage and said, "Why hasn't he ever hosted?" Ellen was fine, but her monologue was just like her opening to her show. It wasn't big like the Academy Awards should have - and the song & dance routine was very disappointing. Some of the bits worked, but so did some of Letterman's.
- How did Alan Arkin win over Eddie Murphy? I thought that award was almost cruel. Everyone had been telling Murphy he was going to win for months. He had won everything else. And then out of nowhere, WHAM. Some guy wins for playing a crotchety old man. I saw Arkin's performance and didn't think it was any better than one of a dozen "old guy roles" I have seen. Murphy seemed like they had just been jerking him around. I kind of think they were.
- Happy Feet over Cars? I don't think so. That was just plain stupid. There is no way that should have happened. Cars was one of the ten best films of the year. There is no way that it should have lost. It was bettet in every category of judging - most ground-breaking, better animation, better story, better movie. At that point, I was furious.
- Forest Whitaker has always been a solid actor, with a good nature. But please, don't ever give him a mic again. What the heck was he talking about? I can't even begin to understand.
- First the Red Sox win, then the White Sox win, then Peyton Manning wins, then Martin Scorcese wins. Man, the universe must really hate Cubs fans.
- I was really expecting the show to run a disclaimer at some point, "This broadcast is a paid advertisement for the Democratic National Convention." Or have Al Gore pop up after one segment to say, "I am Al Gore and I approved this message." Good night, nurse. I knew that he was going to win Best Documentary. But the whole Leo & Al Love Fest 07 bit was kind of ridiculous.
- The bit with Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep was very very funny. It was crazy to see Streep instantly transform herself in her movie character in the audience with just a stare. She really is a great actress. But if you saw her pre-show interviews, she also appeared to be on some kind of illegal substance -- totally zoned out.
- The pre-show was excrutiating. The four interviewers for ABC made the E! team look brilliant. Speaking of E!, it is funny how badly Joan and Melissa Rivers would get slammed for being so ignorant of stuff - part of the reason E! canned them. Because Ryan Seacrest screwed up everything while talking to the people. He was funny and witty as always, but just as dense.
- When exactly did Mexican cinema go from being a joke to being the toast of the town? It was really interesting to see the trio of Mexican directors (Del Toro, Cuaran, Inaturru) before the show. That was the only insightful interview, when they were likened to Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas - who then came out later to present Best Director. Well it would have been insightful if the interviewer had not said, "You all remind us of another trio of directors from a few decades back - Coppola, Ford, and Lucas."
Those were my quick opinions. Hopefully this year of movies will be different. I am excited about a lot of the films - this summer looks absolutely insane. My prediction is that 2007 will be the biggest box office year ever - by far. I think we may see four $300 million films, with a chance that some or all of those could bump over $400 million. Maybe the Oscars will be able to gain some relevance again on the heels of what should be a huge box office year. Of course, that will require them involve some movies people watched.