Monday, February 25, 2008

Witz Pickz: The Academy Awards

Let's start by assuming that The Academy Awards are entirely useless, sketchy at best, and way way too long. Now, with that assumption as our basis, let me say that I pick this year's Academy Awards. Plus, I was special requested to blog about it, and that's enough in my book.

Obvious Pros of this year's show:

Jon Stewart-- I thought he did a great job riding the line between Hollywood in-guy and Hollywood Cynic/counter-culture. He made fun of the oscars just enough for everywhere there to feel comfortable with their self-congratulation. He had some great one liners and the monologue was short and sweet and was thankfully without any song or dance. My favorite line was after a technical award was announced and he said, "Somebody just took the lead in their oscar pool based on a guess..." So very true (including for me). The only thing weird about Jon Stewart was that I didn't believe him at all when he was being positive and uplifting. He'd say something like, "what a wonderful actress" or "what an amazing child, isn't she?" and it would sound fake. I think he meant some of the positive stuff he said, but he sounded awkward doing it-- probably because it was what he was EXPECTED to say.

Marketa Irglova Bonus Time: I was super happy when Once won for Best Original Song, as it was a terrific movie and a great soundtrack, but felt horrible for Marketa Irglova when Glen Hansard used up all the time and she didn't get to say anything (they turned off the mic?). Then they did something awesome and unexpected and came back from commercial to bring her back onstage and let her give a short speech. I think everyone appreciated it.

98 Year Old Honorary Oscar: I'm a little mixed on this. Production Designer Robert Boyle was given an honorary oscar at the past ripe age of 98. On one hand, it's good that they gave him an award I guess, but as my friend Beantown Green Light said, "Really? They didn't think to give this to him when he was NINETY-SEVEN??? Or maybe when he was 80 and could walk unassisted?" Seriously. I think the guy was even wearing a prayer shawl in case he dropped dead at any minute. By 98, isn't the award a little awkward? I mean, that's like saying, "Sorry you weren't able to win an actual award in your ninety-seven years on this planet, so here's an honorary one because you've lived for a long time." I'm not sure I would feel great about that. I did enjoy his speech, however, where he thanked "Hitch." As it turns out, he was referring to Alfred Hitchcock, but I enjoyed the few minutes when I thought he was referring to the Kevin James/Will Smith film. Something about the idea of the 98 year old man thanking Hitch for the laughs made me happy. Other than that, I don't remember what he said, but if I know old people, he told us all to brush our teeth and listen to our mothers.

Steve Carrell, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, (and Jon Stewart): I feel like starting with Little Miss Sunshine, some kind of indie non-hollywood circle has infiltrated the ranks of Hollywood. Steve Carrell, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, and to some extent Jon Stewart, are all genuinely funny people who feel very grassroots and don't seem to quite fit in Hollywood. When Jonah and Seth presented that award, it was like they didn't quite belong there, but in a good way, and it was as if the oscars were usurped somehow for a minute or two. Very strange and I don't exactly know how to describe it. Somehow, this is connected to Juno and how much success it's had.

Cons (Some More Obvious Than Others) of this year's Oscars:

The Montages: Holy crap! For a show that made fun of the fact that they were going to have to show a lot of montages, they sure showed a freakin' lot of montages!!! They even made fun of the montages they "were going to have to show" by showing a Binoculars and Periscopes Montage and a People Waking Up From Nightmares Montage, but then they actually went ahead and fairly legitimately showed a BEES IN MOVIES MONTAGE via Jerry Seinfeld and his damn Bee Movie. Incidentally, is that movie even coming out?? Bee Movie has to be the most plugged, overhyped animated movie ever at this point, and I STILL haven't heard even a single person say, "I'm gonna see that when it comes out." Are tensions with bees particularly rough right now so they have to keep pushing back the release date? What the hell is going on? There were Bee Movie plugs during the WORLD SERIES (HP commercials?). Anyway, I was shocked that they didn't have a "Montage of Montages" joke at the end there, but when you watch the oscars in fast forward on dvr, that's pretty much what you get.

Those Two Enchanted Songs: I'm not saying I hate musicals, but how come every time a tea pot sings about happiness, Oscar comes a callin'? For best song, two different songs from Enchanted were nominated. One was about happily working and the other was about love. Eddie Vedder's Into the Wild soundtrack wasn't allowed to be included because it wasn't done specifically and solely for the film apparently, so I guess this is what we're left with. Now, as you know, I wanted the song from Once to win, and it did, but not before I had a conversation with Beantown Green Light.

"I want Once to win."
"Enchanted has better odds."
"Oh, I didn't realize I was speaking with a math wizard."

I recognize that Enchanted had a 40% chance to win vs. 20% for everyone else, but that stat doesn't mean those Enchanted songs don't SUCK any less. Thank goodness Once took it. Sidenote: was it just me or did Patrick Dempsey talk like an idiot robot when he presented? Maybe he IS a robot with limited vocab programming, and that's why they have to keep recycling the same exact plot on Grey's Anatomy. Zing.

Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman were in attendance: I didn't really realize it until last night, but Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman are my two most hated people in Hollywood. Laura Linney annoys me more by far and has never had a role that I've liked her in. People love her and think she's great, and maybe she's great, but she's great at playing characters I loath. She plays the same damn uppity, self-involved, done wrong by the world, woman in every role and yet every time I see a movie she's in I think, "oh, hey, Laura Linney is in this..." before remembering how annoyed she makes me. The Truman Show, The Nanny Diaries, The Hottest State, the Squid and the Whale, You Can Count On Me, Love Actually....the list goes on. The only movie she didn't drive me nuts in was Mystic River, and the only difference there was a thick accent. As for Philip I-Need-to-Sey-Less-Of Hoffman, he's got the gross market cornered, and while I haven't seen all of Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, I saw the scenes that have scarred me for life and made even Marissa Tomei seem gross. I won't deny that he's a TREMENDOUS actor who has done a ton of great great stuff, but his snivelling, understated talking style has surpassed my acceptability level. Happiness didn't help any.


Denzel Washington: Am I crazy or did Denzel Washington look and sound ripshit that American Gangster wasn't up for anything? From what I heard, it was a great movie, and it didn't get a single nod. Denzel looked disgusted to be reading the other people's names, especially when he read Juno and paused momentarily to scratch his face and put a finger over his mouth. I can imagine feeling a bit upset having made an epic gangster movie about a prolific black gangster and then having to read the name of a movie about a quirky girl who got pregnant but it was ok. Probably a little upsetting.

Owen Wilson: You just KNOW that Owen Wilson's publicist made him go, because there is NO WAY he wanted to be there. He didn't pause, smile, or acknowledge the crowd when he presented, he simply got to the mic, read his lines, and backed away. Maybe he'll feel better after Drill Bit Taylor comes out....uh oh.....

Forrest Whitaker: How did his eye not get a nomination this year? Shocking. Anyway, I'm pretty sure he was hitting on Marion Cotillard as he walked her off the stage. Sidenote: Great moment at the beginning of the show when Jon Stewart made a joke that Barrack Hussein Obama has the worst name since Gaydolf Gitler in the '46 election. Cut to a shot of Marion Cotillard shaking her head "no" and rolling her eyes a little. You just KNOW that whoever was next to her just asked, "Is that true?" Classic.

Well, much like the Oscars, that went on far longer than it had to. I'm sure I'll remember more right after I finish posting, but that's what the comments section is for. Make me proud people.

Puff Daddy Thinks He's Gonna Win An Oscar Someday,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


1. Enchanted was actually nominated for 3 best songs thus making the odds 60/40.
2. It's actually Gaydolf Titler.

- Beantown "get it right" Green Light