Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars! They Say Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over and Expecting Different Results

No, Clive Owen wasn’t nominated for anything. And no, Children of Men didn’t win anything. Clive is just high on my “list,” so I like gazing upon him whenever possible.

Every year, I count down to Oscar day as excitedly as I if were a nominee preparing to walk the red carpet in an Elie Saab gown, which I couldn’t possibly be because a) I’d actually have to have been in a movie, and b) if I were, at about noon, I’d be getting a massage in my suite at The Four Seasons instead of wearing nineteen-year old sweats while having some post-workout hypoglycemic incident and almost passing out in the cereal aisle of the Quality Food Center next to the Kashi.

But regardless of my life’s lack of glamour, excitement, and fashion, Oscar day is a thrill and has been since I the first time I watched the affair in my parents’ bedroom as a kid. Amazingly, my father allowed some school night TV for special events, and the Academy Awards was one of those events. So, I have incredibly fond memories of gathering with my family, staying up late, and delighting in the celebrities, the heartfelt acceptances speeches, the clips of movies I had come to love, and the spectacle of it all.

Year after year, I still watch for the spectacle, but I think we can all agree, sometimes spectacle can be deadly dull when left in the hands of Academy Award producers. Year after year, since I started watching them in my own living room, I have come to realize that the Oscars are nothing but a rather tedious bore. But every year, my excitement swells, I watch every moment, and I am weary after the first ninety minutes—with about 250 more to go. But of course, I can’t miss the dresses, I must see who wins, and I have to keep watching in case one year, the show itself, the very production of the Academy Awards might knock my freakin’ socks off. It never will, but of course, I’ll never stop watching. So let’s get down to business and see how this year’s drudgery went down:

RED CARPET ARRIVALS

- I have a friend whose family is on the A-list in Spain and she claims that Penelope Cruz is a piece of shit as a human being. As an Oscar nominee, however, she looked quite the opposite.

- Oh Cameron…You looked far saner than you did at the Golden Globes. Your hair color is a much softer and more flattering brown and the dress was okay (not great, but okay), but what were you doing in those shoes? They looked like old-lady-dress-up footwear and your feet and legs appeared to be those of a fifth grade boy attempting to clunk around in old-lady-dress-up footwear.

- So glad Reese wore a long gown. She wore cocktail length dresses to the Golden Globes and the SAGs and while she looked lovely, especially sporting those new post-divorce bangs, it was time for floor length, and she rocked it.

- Kirsten Dunst…nonononono. The school girl collar, the metallic design, and the feathery hem did not work together as a team.

- I think Anna Wintour would not have approved of Anne Hathaway’s big bowed dress, however Emily Blunt’s fitted blue Calvin Klein was smashing.

- Jennifer Hudson, what happened? You looked absolutely perfect at the Golden Globes and the SAGs and you blew it on the biggest night of them all! Between the side swept hair, the Jetsons-esque shrug, and the billowy gown, something went horribly wrong. The red dress she wore during the musical number was far more flattering.

- I know Nicole Kidman need not follow Scientology now that she is no longer wed to one Mr. Cruise, but why is it she continues to resemble an alien life form? Too skinny, too blonde, too taught-skinned, and a ginormous red bow around her neck didn’t help matters much.

- I always cite Jennifer Lopez as one of my favorite dressers. Not tonight. With a body like hers, why would one opt for a shapeless Grecian dress?

- There’s a reason everyone wants to take Helen Mirren home. Please help me look that stunning when I’m sixty-one.

- I have no idea who Eddie Murphy’s date was, but her dress seems to have come from the Battlestar Gallactica collection.

- Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner, folks! Best dressed was Gwyneth Paltrow. Her dress was entirely unique and absolutely flattering. The only thing standing between Gwyneth and undisturbed beauty was her hairstyle. She obscured half the dress by wearing her hair over one shoulder, draped over one side of her chest. That gown required hair up and back.

- Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith looked polished and poised as always. That’s gotta be all Jada’s doing, right? She always looks like she’s ready to kick someone’s ass, including her husband. Is there a Napoleon complex for women?

- Thank god Meryl is lovely and the most divine actress in the world because that woman cannot dress herself to save her life. However, I give her mad props for replying to an interviewer’s question about her fourteen Academy nominations with her corresponding size fourteen dress size.

- Did John Travolta have to dye his hair to match Kelly Preston’s leopard print dress which was way too much print for one woman?

- Rachel Weisz looks glorious, but she and Cameron suffer from the same my-hair-is-loose-but-lightly-pulled-back-and-tousled look, of which I am not a fan. They should take a hair styling cue from Penelope Cruz.

- I adore everything about Kate Winslet and will likely never say anything bad about her anywhere, ever and no need to start tonight. Beautiful!


HOSTING DUTIES

I heart Ellen DeGeneres. I really, really do. I’m a long time fan of her stand-up, I faithfully watched her sitcom, and I think her talk show is deeelightful. However, while I think she gave the Academy exactly what they wanted in a host in the post Chris Rock/John Stewart years, she didn’t give me much of anything. I enjoyed her opening monologue—safe, but humorous, evoking her talk show style in content and attire—but after that, I kinda forgot she was there until she kept showing up.


WINNERS AND LOSERS (just the biggies or we’ll be here all night)

Jennifer Hudson/Best Supporting Actress: I gotta say, I was surprised that the Academy went with the first time nominee who lost on American Idol. Pleasantly surprised, but surprised nonetheless. She was poised to win after the Golden Globes and SAGs, but Oscar does love to pull that rug out from under.

Alan Arkin/Best Supporting Actor: I had a sneaking suspicion the rug Oscar was going to pull was going to be out from under Eddie Murphy, also perfectly lined up to win this award. I got the feeling he didn’t have the same suspicion when Alan Arkin’s name was called. I wasn’t a fan of Little Miss Sunshine (I know, I know, I’m like the only one on the PLANET), but I’m an Alan Arkin devotee so I was happy for his win, although I was kinda hoping for some classic deadpan Arkin in his acceptance speech and was not quite prepared for utter earnestness.

Helen Mirren/Best Actress: Did anyone not see this one coming a mile away?

Forest Whitaker/Best Actor: I was rooting for Leo cuz I’ve recently fallen in love with his acting again, but I knew Forest would take it, unless the Academy fell prey to its love of old white men who’ve never won an award after a hugely distinguished career. I was also worried that I might have to hear Forest public speak again, which might have caused me to rip my fingernails off, as I told a friend earlier in the week. Amen and hallelujah, he wrote his acceptance speech down and read it quite nicely. I was with him until about the last three sentences…

The Departed/Best Adapted Screenplay: I’ve become rather fanatical about The Departed and I’m rather fanatical about writing, so I just had to note my joy over this one.

Little Miss Sunshine/Best Screenplay: I’ve become rather fanatical about my dislike of Little Miss Sunshine, despite my love of Alan Arkin and pretty much everyone who appeared in the movie. This leads me to make it known that I think the script was the movie’s downfall. You know, for me, the one person on the planet who didn’t actually like it. I knew it would win this though.

The Departed/Best Director: Due to Departed obsession, I’m thrilled for Scorcese and thrilled for the movie. Needless to say, it was about time (although if he’d won for Gangs of New York or The Aviator, I would have gone all Britney Spears and attacked a car with an umbrella in a vicious rage), but my one complaint is this: how can Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola call themselves the Three Amigos? We all know that title belongs to Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short.

The Departed/Best Picture: I did not see this coming and it made the whole thing worth every damn minute. I’m still feeling the sting of Crash’s beating out Brokeback Mountain last year so I was certain The Departed would be overlooked for Babel’s multi-storied message. So glad the Academy got over that!


HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS

- “A comedian is the saddest man at the Oscars.” Brilliant.

- Um, why was it necessary to have a dance troupe form rather random movie logos? Sure some were nominated for best picture, but some, ah, weren’t. Did they just pick the ones with the best potential for human formation? A talented group, for sure, but I just don’t understand who hired Cirque du Soleil as Oscar entertainment (Please note that I am indeed aware that the dance troupe was Pilobolus and not Cirque du Soleil, as understanding a confusion as it might have been.)

- So did anyone else feel the lack of love during the Beyoncé/Jennifer Hudson duet? Hudson was dynamite without making it look like she was expending any effort at all, walking around like she knew she had Beyoncé beat cuz she was an Oscar winner despite being an American Idol loser. Beyoncé looked like she was out to remind everyone she was a Grammy winner even though her Dreamgirls performance was critically panned or ignored. She appeared to be singing her ASS off but could barely hold a candle to Hudson. I felt like Simon Cowell at the judging table, wanting to say to Beyoncé, “That song is too big for you. Please stop flipping your extensions around like this is the most intense performance you’ve ever given because your voice only supports your bad acting.”

- The evening was mercifully short on montages, but the necessity for the two that they did show was tenuous at best. I guess I could go for the portrayal of writers since I enjoy that sort of thing, but looking at America through the eyes of film? A bit on the vague side, wouldn’t you say? As for the In Memoriam montage, I go through the same thing every year: I get all sad again about the passings I remembered and then I get super depressed about the ones I had forgotten and I have to relive the pain as if it were new news all over again.

So until the pain of next year’s tedious affair, I will no doubt be looking forward to it with great and immeasurable expectation, counting down the days from nomination announcements to award ceremony when I will be planted on my couch happily bored for a minimum of four straight hours, no matter how many acceptance speeches they cut short.

6 comments:

Cowbelle said...

My theory is that JLo is preggers.

gigi said...

Hi cowbelle!
A few people have now come to me with this theory and while I agree that being with child might be the reason behind the shapeless dress, I still don't find it an attractive dress. Rachel Weisz was ready to pop at last year's Oscars and her dress was spectacular!

sianwu said...

omg, your oscar commentary is spot on! Nicole Kidman IS really scary--could it be that she's addicted to botox? I see no expression in her face. And funny, the first thing Jack said to me as we got in the car after our oscar viewing was, "Jada Pinkett Smith scares me." She's seriously kinda threatening to little people like us. Did you know she's seriously into death metal?

gigi said...

Thanks, Sian!
Actually, Spencer wanted me to post about Jada's metal band (not only is she into death metal, she's in a death metal band!), but, as you can see, the post was getting kinda long...And I don't even know what to say about Nicole. I think if she went back to her cute, curly, red hair, all might right in the world again.

JM said...

Hey Gig,
So much fun to read your blog! As you know, I am a huge Oscar (and school night tv) fan too and I couldn't even stay up for the BIGGIES this year...so sad. Even the dresses were a bit on the dull side for the most part...you know you are in trouble when Al Gore is the funniest part of the red carpet and the show!
luv ya, JM

gigi said...

Thanks for reading, JM!! Yeah, the whole thing was a bit of a snooze fest which is perhaps why wooden Al Gore (and I say that with great Gore love) finally stood out as being the liveliest thing. Doesn't say much for Hollywood! Try watching the Oscars on the West coast though. The whole thing is over by 9:30 which is delightful!