Monday, February 25, 2008

The Oscarzzzzz

The Oscars can make anyone boring. Even the self-consciously "wild" Diablo Cody -- whose idea of rebellious style seems frozen in 1994 -- stood up with her conspicuous tattoo, skull-and-crossbones earrings, and sixty-seven bracelets, and...choked up while thanking her parents. (It was actually a nice, genuine moment that momentarily allowed me to forget that Juno succeeded in spite of her screenplay, not because of it.)

Really, though. Can a single person say something interesting, please? Jon Stewart's a great host (always a thankless job), but otherwise the ceremony last night was...nothing. It wasn't even painful. The four hours actually passed pretty quickly, but by sometime this afternoon I won't remember a single moment from them.

Oh, and if I never hear another song from Enchanted, I'm fine with that. Honestly. In fact, if there's a way to go back and erase my having heard them in the first place, I'm game, even if it means losing a few other nonessential brain functions. When that noxious Calypso-inflected number by Kristin Chenoweth began, I started rooting for people to throw things at the stage, culminating in a vision of Philip Seymour Hoffman angrily hurling Helen Mirren toward the performers.

Thing is, it was a good year for movies. (I have to agree with the curators over at Very Short List that there was a glaring omission among the major nominations.) But I guess good movies don't lead to a good Oscars show. I just got done reading Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris, which ends with an extended description of the 1968 ceremony. That night was charged with genuine racial tension, inappropriate jokes about said tension by Bob Hope, and nominees that included Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Warren Beatty, Spencer Tracy, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, Anne Bancroft, and Faye Dunaway. I suppose reading about that got my hopes up for this year's version.

We had a couple of friends over to watch, and all of us ended up kind of slumped over as if someone had left the gas on. I lost our small betting pool because I stubbornly chose George Clooney over Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor. I still argue that Michael Clayton was as underappreciated as a multiply-nominated movie can be.


Anonymous Kevin Longrie said...

I thought Glen Hansard and Marketa both gave nice, humble, and somewhat eloquent speeches, but maybe it's because my heart was exploding with joy at that point, especially when Jon Stewart, awesome man that he is, brought her back out to finish the speech. Great guy.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I agree that Glen and Marketa made the evening for me. I'm not normally so personally invested, but I just loved that movie, and really feel it was one of the most deserved awards of the evening. One of the best Oscar "moments" that I can remember.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Mrs. White said...

Do I ever agree with your thoughts on the torturous Enchanted songs. You very well may get quoted today if I ever get up the energy to write something in my post-Oscar state of stupor.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Don't you have Tivo? Or are you just one of those people who has to watch every single moment lest you miss the slight chance of a streaker or wardrobe malfunction? Honestly though, cut out the commercials, all but one of the musical performances, and the second half of the 98-year-old's "somebody please help him" monologue (more unnerving than the first UK season of The Office), and the whole thing was quite managable. Plus I had an extra 1/2 hour to enjoy before settling down in front of the tube. Vive le DVR!

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

I agree with robert, tivo was a crucial element in my level of oscars enjoyment.

Into the Wild, sure, but what about Zodiac? No nominations at all!? Even Norbit got nominated...

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Josh. What about "Zodiac"? I remember when it came out last spring, there was talk it was the first Oscar-worthy film of the season. But by the time awards season rolled around, it was forgotten. My favorite movie of last year.

Three painful songs from "Enchanted", but Eddie Vedder doesn't get a nomination for any of his great songs on the "Into the Wild" soundtrack? That's BS.

John, you are an old friend, so please take this comment in a lighthearted way. But what is wrong with you? How could you not see Daniel Day-Lewis winning Best Actor? The only thing that was more of a sure thing was Bardem. I wish I was in your Oscar pool.


9:13 PM  

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