March 1, 2007

Belated Oscar Thoughts

- There needs to be a global ban on commenting about how long the Oscarcast is. We know it's long. It's always long. Enough already. No writing about the running time until the day they come in under 3 hrs. In other words, no writing about the running time ever again. If you're not sure it's intentionally 4 hours long, consider how much time could be shaved off by losing the parade of inane montages (except for the people who died; I'm all right with that one). Most of the viewing audience knows this, and they stay up anyway, then they bitch. It's been almost 80 years: you know the drill, so shut up already.

- Ellen did all right. Not great, but she certainly wasn't bad. To me, though, she was less host than featured performer. Her opening monologue was more stand-up-ish than I would have preferred, but it was funny. I did really like the bit with Clint, though, especially once she handed the camera to Spielberg. One of the best directors possibly ever, and she hands him a dinky digital camera to snap a photo with. Nicely done.

A couple of critiques I read commented on how the event seemed to overwhelm her a bit, as it has many of the hosts before her, and I thought there was something to that. I do think it says something that some of the best comic minds of the past couple of decades (Steve Martin in particular) have been mediocre at best under that particular spotlight. Then again, Bob Hope and Johnny Carson set a bar that may never be matched, and everyone else is just trying to tread water by comparison. Seinfeld might be all right, but I'm not sure his style could really carry a four-hour broadcast. He was excellent in his spot the other night, but that was a sprint compared to the awards-show marathon. Personally, I'd like to see John Stewart get another crack at it, but that's just me.

(Actually, what I'd really like is to see Robin Williams host. Sure the telecast would be seven hours long and they'd only give out three awards in the process, but it would be the most entertaining Oscarcast in history.)

- You can count me among those that are glad Martin Scorcese got an Oscar, but are a little puzzled that it was for this movie. Not that it isn't a really good movie; I've already written my thoughts on it. But I don't know that I think it's his best movie. Does anyone actually believe that The Departed is a better movie than Raging Bull or Taxi Driver? I'm thinking probably not. But then I guess it's less whether this was his best movie than whether it was better than the other movies nominated, and since I've been exceedingly slack in seeing the nominated films I can't really vote one way or the other on that. This does seem to be one of those Oscars given for a body of work rather than for a single film. It's like: Marty, we know this isn't even your best movie, but here's your Oscar, even if it is 20 years or so late.

And by the way, I laughed out loud at the presentation for the Director award. First, you have Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas roll up to the stage like they were going to bust out with some barbershop harmonies, which was funny enough, but then you had the schtick with Lucas and his lack of Oscars. If there was any justice in the world, Spielberg would have looked at him and said, "You wanna know why you don't have one? Three reasons: Episodes I, II, and III. They pretty much guarantee you'll never have one. You're only up here because we needed a tenor."

(And really, wouldn't it have been awesome if Marty had wandered up there, accepted his award, and then the four of them broke out in to a rendition of "Blue Moon"? Maybe it's just me, but that would be classic.)

- Forest Whitaker: hell yes. I didn't even have to see his movie to know he should win the award. Simply one of the best actors of his time, usually flying just below the radar in some excellent roles. You could tell he was going to win just from the trailers for the film.

- On the other hand, Jennifer Hudson: meh. Good story, seems like a nice enough girl, but you will have a hard time convincing me that she did a better job than Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal. I'm sure she was good, maybe even great, but Cate was amazing. Watch the movie. She and Judi Dench are both incredible.

- Joan Rivers, Mme Tussaud called to say that they're canceling your statue. With all that botox, you've done a better job than they could possibly manage. Bravo.


Miss Scarlet said...

Yeah, I agree about Jennifer Hudson. Blech!

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