As per usual, Hubby and I went to Selene’s house to join up with her, Mr. Selene and Pamela for the Annual Oscar Watch. And as per usual, she had a scrumptious and hilarious spread. Here is the menu, verbatim:
For your snacking pleasure:
There Will Be Blood …Olive
Michael Clayton … French bread
No Country for Old Men … Powdered sugar and fruit (they were out of Geritol)
Sweeney Todd … Meat Pies (3 flavors: vicar, poet, and president)
For your drinking pleasure:
Eastern Promises … Vodka
La Vie en Rose … Red wine
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly … Water
Inside your Bag of Swag:
Juno … Orange Tic-Tacs
Atonement … Hershey Bars
We were so glad there was actually an awards ceremony instead of an excruciating Billy Bush newscast a la the 2008 Golden Globes. Of course, the writers got working on it a little late which left it lacking in parts. But more on that later …
What was with all the red dresses and the I’m-not-wearing-makeup makeup? Looked as if everyone was headed to a fancy Christmas picnic. After scarlet gown number twelve, I found Rebecca Miller’s eccentric grandma-of-the-bride ensemble positively refreshing. Poor bland Cameron Diaz (and …why was she there?) resembled a ten-year-old playing dress-up. And I love Tilda Swinton—I do, I do, I do. Only last night it seemed like she’d just popped over after performing with Mummenschanz. But hey, at least she had color, having apparently poured tangerine nail polish on her hair.
Best dressed: For the women? Cate Blanchett in pregnant plum.
I don’t know what Wolfgang served at the Governor’s Ball, but some sort of crepes, champagne, and chocolate éclairs would have been appropriate.
Another French-themed film that I enjoyed this past year was Broken English, with the always amazing Parker Posey. Why was her performance overlooked? It wasn’t a perfect film, but it was a chick flick in the best sense. She perfectly captured the character of a single woman caught in a lonely rut—grappling with feelings of abandonment after the death of her loving father, her shameful envy of happily married friends, and the injustice of having to constantly validate her solitary situation. I ached for her.
I suppose Parker Posey is just too offbeat for the Academy, and that she will continue to be underappreciated until she plays a famous musician/activist/scientist/ ruler of a Western nation who overcomes drug addiction/mental illness/physical deformity/the ravages of war in a “heartfelt drama about the triumph of the human condition.”
Ah, but I ramble and froth. Back to themes …
The only other motif I spotted in last year’s films (besides France and homicidal mania) were movies with numbers in the titles (3:10 to Yuma; 12:08 East of Bucharest; 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days; 2 Days in Paris; 28 Weeks Later; 27 Dresses; 12; 30 Days of Night; 300; The Nines). I’m not exactly sure what that signifies, but I thought it worth mentioning. At least Once. (Ar, ar.)
Because of the writers’ strike, this year’s ceremony could have been more stripped down, classy and heartfelt than in the past. The Academy could have taken all the minutes they waste on lame banter or comedic stunts and given them directly to the winners. In short, they could have allowed the little people (including the once-again employed writers) a chance to give their entire acceptance speeches for a change.
Am I the only person in this country who wants to hear what these sound mixers and costumers and directors of short, barely-to-be-seen films have to say? Instead of thanking agents and publicists, these winners give tearful shout-outs to friends who lent them money for their documentary … or to buddies who let them crash on their sofas while they completed voice-over work on their animated short … or to long-suffering spouses who are seeing a red carpet event for the very first time. These are the people who make film because they truly love it. To me they are more deserving, rather than less so. Would it hurt us to give them the same glory we lavish on movie stars?
Selene was reminiscing about the good old days, when the preshow simply involved watching the stars parade down the red carpet in their fancy duds. No one was assaulted by an overly botoxed babe wanting to know if it was “hard to play a bad guy.” Back then viewers could dish the dirt in the privacy of their own home. There were no online comments, no style-meters, and no reporters on the roof of the pavilion telling you via live TV who looked fabulous and who made fashion boo-boos.
Well, apparently the Academy was also reminiscing. So much so that they had to precede every award with a *&%$# montage! I’m sure they meant for us to swell with nostalgia, laugh at the silly outfits of yesteryear, and sniffle to see dear departed Oscar winners. But to me all it said was, See? See how we screwed it up in the past? Schmaltzy Dances with Wolves won! John Cameron won and gave the worst thank-you speech in history!
We can only hope that next year the film editors go on strike.
I hardly ever like the set. This year the Oscar stage looked as if the Queer Eye guys made over Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. It was Dr. Frankenstein’s lab goes modern loft. What, exactly, was that space-age tube thang? Was it some sort of chute that sucked presenters out of their seats and onto the stage? At any moment I kept expecting some Spinal Tap-esque faux pas. Poor Martin Scorsese stuck in mid-pipe, cursing his
Oh, the Disney Horror. Why were there THREE nominated songs from Enchanted, but only one from Once? It should have been the other way around! Pamela astutely pointed out that Disney is probably working on a stage show version of Enchanted, which is why they were all set with the schlocky dance numbers. The music was dull, the choreography was charmless, the costumes were pointless. Even the singers didn’t seem to want to be there. (Speaking of … None of us could identify the guy in the Swiss dot suit. Was he an actual performer? Or some animatronic contraption from one of the theme parks?)
OSCAR HIGH POINTS
Jon Stewart was spot on. His jokes were clever and current, his monologue wasn’t too long or showy, and he seemed genuinely thrilled to be there. And I wanted to hug him when he brought out Marketa Irglova to give her acceptance speech after she’d been pompously played offstage by the orchestra.
It was also refreshing to see a
Favorite winners? So glad Glen and Marketa won—especially after the absurd extravagance of the Disney numbers. Thrilled for Javier and his adorable mamacita. But overall, there were so many deserving nominees this year, it almost didn’t matter who went home with the butt-naked statue.
What a night. Who needs to ooze into a silk gown and nibble on smoked salmon mini pizzas when you have friends like Selene? I got silly on red wine, stuffed my face with cheese and chocolate, made snide comments, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I’m just sorry I didn’t film the festivities or I’d make you a montage.