A few things to say after the fact
Working from notes hastily typed during commercial breaks…
1. I liked most of the opening montage, especially the fact that an image from “Brazil” was included alongside classic films like “Gone With the Wind,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” and “Animal House.”
But did anybody else think that the design of the montage made it look like the bumpers from “24?”
More importantly, I want to know who was sucking up to Spielberg by including images from three Dreamworks animated features, including Shark Tale and Polar Express. But only one from Pixar. You know, the guys who have been consistently kicking Dreamworks animated’s ass to the curb in both acclaim and box office.
2. I thought Chris Rock’s opening monologue was good comedy–not great comedy, but I don’t tune into the Oscars for great comedy. It did what it was supposed to do; it set a tone for the evening and let him put his stamp on it.
Speaking of setting a tone, “Clint Eastwood’s a star, OK? Tobey Maguire’s just a boy in tights,” was a great line that the rest of the evening went a long way to proving the truth of. I’m trying to think at what point it became apparent that Clint Eastwood was having a truly extraordinary career. I think it was sometime after “Unforgiven” but before ‘Mystic River.”
Rock also gets credit for a “Michael Moore fat” joke that I thought was actually funny. I usually hate “Michael Moore fat” jokes, most assuredly because they usually come from Bush-zombies who can’t attack Moore’s films on the merits.
However, I thought the Adam Sandler gag with Rock “playing” Catherine Zeta-Jones was a neat idea clumsily executed.
3. More importantly, here’s my completely biased choices for the best-dressed women at the Oscars:
Kirsten Dunt. Work that carpet, you sassy thing!
Kate Winslet. This one actually looked better moving, but that may have been because Kate Winslet was moving in it. She’s scrumptious.
Gwyneth Paltrow. This one surprised me, as I’ve never thought she was such hot stuff. But she looked great. Motherhood must agree with her.
No, that’s not a bigger cup size joke.
5. You’re telling me they couldn’t find anybody else beside Whoopi Goldberg to comment on how great an Oscar host Johnny Carson was for the tribute to him? People with experience of hosting the show and a great professional and/or personal connection with Johnny include Robin Williams, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, and Steve Martin. But no, they just kept cutting back to Whoopi.
6. I don’t care what movies he’s written. For speaking the words “Tabernacle of talent,” Frank Pierson has no goddamn business writing any dialogue ever again.
Thanks to Al Pacino’s accent, Sidney Lumet’s “The Pawnbroker” came out sounding a lot like, “The Porn Broker.”
7. It’s official:
A) I have no use for the singing of Beyonce. Moves nicely enough, but she ain’t no Kate Winset.
B) At first glance, I cannot tell Salma Hayek from Penelope Cruz. Until I remember that Salma’s the one with the awesome…
8. Nice moment when Jorge Drexler sang his acceptance speech.
9. As usual with events like these, Mark Evanier has some musings worth perusing. I’m a little more on the fence than he about the idea of presenting some awards from the audience. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it.
10. But I did hate the fact that they zoomed in on the faces of the nominees for the best live action and animated shorts rather than, say, showing excerpts of the work. Sure, we can see clip after clip after clip after clip of Leonardo in a plane…
11. Things I’m expecting somebody to tell me tomorrow:
A) WTF was up with all that noise? Was a live mike left on in the Academy carpentry shop or something?
B) How many directors have had the best supporting actor and best actor in their film one year, and best supporting actor and best actress in another film the next?