Monday, February 28, 2005

Oscar blah blah blah

Last night was the first time I watched the Oscars in four or five years, and I'll admit I only watched the 2nd half of the show. Any reasonably sophisticated adult must realize that the oscars are by no means some kind of oracular measure of quality, just a measure of the face that Hollywood wants to show the world, a sort of So Cal county fair, only ritzier, and they frown if you dig in to the blueberry pie too voraciously. That, and a statistically unlikely number of the farm girls have plastic surgeons on their speed dials. But I can't sleep and have to do something, so here are some impressions:

1. I don't know if this was the first year they've done this, because as I said I had tuned out since 2000 or so, but I noticed that with many of the awards they had the "contestants" lined upon the stage waiting to hear who won, then one or one group walked forward to accept their tiara statuette. It reminded me of beauty contests, or "reality" tv. Also,

2. One of the recipients, I think it was the short film winner, was given his oscar in the audience by one of the oscar girls and not by the presenter onstage, and he walked up to a microphone that was waiting for him in the aisle. So I guess they were saying he wasn't good enough to walk on the stage like the bigshots. More than a little uncouth on the part of the oscar people, if you ask me. Same goes for the lineup on stage. I don't care if it speeds the show up, these are tacky developments.

(Of course, If they really are so concerned about declining ratings for the oscar telecast, they should've let Chris Rock emcee like he was Chris Rock, although I suppose the FCC would've fined ABC 2 or 3 million dollars...)

3. Why did Hillary Swank kiss her husband on the cheek and her director Clint Eastwood on the lips?

3b. Speaking of Eastwood, why does he deserve two directing oscars and Scorcese deserve zero at this point in their respective careers? I haven't seen Million Dollar Baby, but I did see Unforgiven, and frankly it was one of the most overrated pieces of junk in US cinema in the past 15 years. I liked The Gauntlet and Outlaw Josie Wales and Tightrope a lot better, but what do I know.

4. I was glad to see Sidney Lumet get his honorary oscar. Years ago I had a Francophillic friend whom I occasionally miss who insisted on pronouncing his name "looh-MAY". I thought of him last night and wanted to call him up and tell him, "see? I told you it was "loo-MET!"