East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Unavoiding the Oscars: The Last Temptation of Martin Scorsese

  • And what way of getting the ball rolling could be less auspicious than Oscar commentary? Red carpet coverage hosted by ABC's bunch of nobodies, including this unfortunate young woman who's telling Hilary how $1M Bebe was about achieving your dream. Wow, Warners really did a great job of stopping the spoilers from getting out. Annette seems tense. Jamie gives a cute little description of being up last night singing old Ray Charles songs - he won't forget the guy who gave him a role to play, unlike certain past winners. Halle is the best clotheshorse in the biz today. Oh man, I think they're gonna show "classic acceptance speeches." I'm out just in case they show Julia's...
  • I'm back in time for the main event. Rock gets the standing O; he's not gonna need to work hard tonight. Stop shouting, Chris. Love how Chris marvels at the number of black nominees this year and the camera cuts to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM (all four, out of a hundred and something). Pretty tame so far... oh wait, here's the political stuff. He's taking the "well you gotta admire Dubya because he's a punk and still got reelected" approach. Jeez, if you're gonna go that far you might as well come out and call Busch a wiener... Dang, that Passion joke was way too safe. If the audience wasn't on his side that would've stiffed... Not a great monologue, though I admire his being able to work in a Pootie Tang reference. Hardly William Buckley in any case... Art direction is first up; yes, having the nominees stand together on stage looks straight outta amateur hour. The Aviator deservedly gets the gong... Is it time for the Morgan Freeman lifetime achievement award already? Thomas Haden Church was better, but you can't say Morgan doesn't deserve it.
  • Giving Shark Tale a nom for animated feature is an embarrassment. The Incredibles is a lock, but I'm not quite sure why it's rated so far ahead of Shrek 2, although it's certainly cleaner in every way... Cate rocks in yellow. Giving out awards in the seats isn't as bad as having nominees stand in a police lineup. I don't have a dog in the makeup fight... which goes to Lemony Snicket... Beyonce does Franglish! The Frenchies where I'm watching are totallly cracking up.
  • Presenting Best Costumes: some guy who's lost his voice and Edna Mode. This makes my night worthwhile. Maybe I'm a sucker for Brad in armor, but I'm rooting for Troy here... instead it's another win for The Aviator... Scarlett looks hotter in the footage from the scitech ceremony... Can Cate hold off the love interest from Highlander II: The Quickening? Yes she can! She shout-outs the Even Greater Kate, bless her.
  • They were doing "we are now into the 161st day of the Academy Awards Broadcast" jokes back in Carson's time?... Born into Brothels takes the doc award, which I'm very pleased at - more people should see that movie... Editing: Go Collateral... but it's another one for The Aviator... Hell's temperature plummets, as Mike Myers quotes Bazin and Godard (who, Martin Scorsese note, have a total of zero Oscar noms between them.) Oh wait, it was just to set up a fart joke... This is the first time in five years I've been glad to see the Counting Crows.
  • Whoops, stepped out for a tick and missed Payne & Taylor collect for what's likely to be Sideways' only award for tonight. Before Sunset shoulda won of course, but "Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ethan Hawke" is too head-exploding for some to contemplate... Visual FX should go to Harry Potter... but instead goes to the more ostentatious Spider-Man 2... Yeah I know I'm outta touch when I complain about ostentatious FX... Al Pacino gives the lifetime gong to Sidney Lumet. At what point do they give up and give Marty one of these?
  • "The 77th Academy Awards: Where You Can Never Get Too Much Beyonce." If I had only one "anything but", it would go to that Lloyd-Webber song, which is so boring that it puts one of the short film nominees to sleep. Your never-to-be-seen-again shorts winners are "Ryan" and "Wasp"... I really don't see how anyone could not pick House of Flying Daggers over the other cinematography nominees... but once again, The Aviator comes up trumps.
  • I'd pick The Incredibles for both sound awards... Sound goes to Ray, which is fine with me, although how hard is it to make Ray Charles sound good? The Incredibles gets sound editing. The unholy alliance of Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana is under par for painfulness tonight.
  • Best short doc is "Mighty Times: The Children's March." I can't even guess what that's about... I was uncharacteristically fond of John Williams's score for Harry Potter; instead, the award goes to Finding Neverland. Friends of that movie sigh in relief at avoiding the shutout... Marty gets present the Humanitarian Award to Roger Mayer, supposedly for providing health care for washup-up actors, although both Marty and Mayer seem more interested in his film preservation work... It's "I see dead people" time, set to Yo-Yo Ma. Canny decision to put Reagan up first... and Brando last.
  • My complaints about Beyonce have aggrieved the gods, as they send her out with Josh freakin' Groban. If I had to pick a best song it'd be the Crows', though I'd just as soon have all five Lacunaed outta my memory. The song from The Motorcycle Diaries wins, and the composer promptly delivers the best singing of the night... Best Actress! A fine bunch this year, I'd go Winslet-Staunton-Bening-Swank-Moreno. Since Hilary will win, the real battle is for "loser who looks the most genuinely undisappointed" (or the Nicole Kidman award, as Chris Rock would have it.) That award goes to... Kate Winslet, showing who's really the best actress around at the moment. You'd think Hilary Swank would've given a better speech on the second attempt.
  • Rock's presenter intros have been much, much better than his monologue, as he introduces the first woman to breastfeed an Apple: Gwyneth Paltrow. She gives the foreign gong to The Sea Inside... All of the original screenplay nominees are good, but Eternal Sunshine is better than the other four put together... Charlie wins! And he manages to get on and off stage without falling over. Good for him.
  • Time for Jamie Foxx to join the A list... Wow. That acceptance speech is gonna lift his standing even more.
  • Right, it's time: head says Clint, heart says Marty. And it's... Clint. Well, that sews up Best Picture as well. Hard not to like him when he's pointing to his 96-year-old Mom in the audience. Don't go yet Clint... Dustin and Babs are presenting Best Picture - is that why they've been cutting to Dustin all night? He seems extremely disinterested. Your Best Picture of 2004: Million Dollar Baby. Geez, they nearly cut off the third producer guy. Clint won't stand for that nonsense.

The big winners: The Clintensteins; Saint Jamie's grandma; Queen Cate - best dressed; Chris Rock - everything after the monologue was fun; Jeremy Irons on hearing a gunshot-like noise: "I hope whoever that was, missed."

The big losers: Marty, who, need I remind you, made the best boxing movie ever; Actresses over 40; Sideways - only one gong, once more proving that critics don't win you Oscars; Me: I'll get funnier in a few weeks. I'd better.


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