Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Thoughts

A few brief impressions from the Oscar party I attended with about a dozen people (which was fun, but made it tough to hear what was going on at times):

Al Gore: I'm sorry, but he's still a dweeb. . . . I thought Forest Whitaker acquitted himself well after stammering through previous acceptance speeches this season. . . . I haven't seen The Departed. My dad saw all the Best Picture noms, and ranked it fifth out of the five, but seeing Scorsese win was fun. He certainly added a New York flavor to the night, but a friend rightly marveled that after all this time waiting for an award, he finished his speech on one of those "go to bed, kids!" notes. Lame. . . . After watching just those brief clips for Best Foreign Language Film (and I thought The Lives of Others was a deserving winner), I'm still stunned -- how did Volver not get nominated? I'm serious here: is there some loophole I'm missing or something? A couple of those movies looked pretty amateurish, and I thought the Academy normally loves Almodovar. The whole thing makes no sense. . . . The montage of those who passed away last year is always a highlight, always moving. This year's was made that much better by someone in the room who called out, earnestly not sarcastically, as Peter Boyle was shown: "Why did he die?" We all gotta go sometime. . . . The other montages throughout, as always, were a mixed bag. The ones about writers and foreign films were decent, but the one about America was quite strange. It seemed to reduce the country to westward migration, the KKK, the mafia, and Superman. And I guess that might be poetically true in some way, but it seemed like they didn't make the most of a pretty big subject and a lot of films to choose from. . . . I thought Ellen did a good job hosting. She's not as strong at the monologue-type stuff as Jon Stewart, but her shots in the crowd struck the right tone, I thought. Funny and warm. Of course, by the end, when they'd come back from a break to show her vacuuming for a full minute or something, I was thinking, "Is it ok if I'm in bed by 4 a.m., Hollywood? For the love of God." . . . Lastly, I felt the best moment of the night was Beyonce's performance. I think she was inspired by whatever rivalry exists with Jennifer Hudson to really belt the crap out of her song, seeming much more soulful and less polished than she usually does to me. Maybe more singers should have feuds, like professional wrestlers. I was kind of hoping that at the end of the medley, she would turn and devour Hudson whole, python-style. Just thought it would've added some spice to the night. Can't have everything, I guess.


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