Monday, March 06, 2006

George Clooney is the new Jack

Sure, Jack Nicholson had his usual front row seat (I think it comes with the Lakers courtside season tickets), but it was Clooney who everyone kept shouting out to all night long. Sure, they gave him the consolation acting Oscar he didn’t deserve instead of the directing one he did, but they’re signaling to him that all is forgiven after “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” a movie that managed to be really wonderful in spite of the presence of the bad-acting double whammy of Julia Roberts AND Drew Barrymore, but was universally and inexplicably hated in Hollywood. But everyone, it seems, wants to be Clooney now, and why not, right? Even Jon Stewart fantasizes about him.

Oh. Excuse me. I was just thinking about being in the middle of a Clooney/Stewart sandwich. Oh. Oh, yeah.

Is it just me, or did last night’s telecast actually go by kinda quickly, I mean, compared to other years? Usually, by the time they get around to the “In Memoriam” section, you’re already daydreaming about the sweet release that death would bring. But I gotta say that if Jon Stewart keeps hosting the Oscars, it might become slightly less easy to ridicule them.


On the other hand, now long can you last in Hollywood after making a Scientology joke on live tv? Fucker should be glad that Cruise wasn’t in the room, man, or else he would have been bombarded with body Thetans from one bad-ass OTVII!! Yeah!!

But back to Stewart. Okay, so funny, self-effacing opening skit: check. Funny, self-effacing opening monologue that no one laughs at because they’re too busy shitting their pants: check.

Okay, the monologue could have been funnier, but at least Jon understands the importance of ridiculing yourself above all others from the get-go. Otherwise you just look mean when you make fun of Jude Law, and then Sean Penn gets his panties in a bunch about the craft, and then the whole evening just goes to hell in a handbasket, right Chris Rock?

The Academy’s theme of the evening was “Movies are so great, right? Don’t believe us? Here’s some clips!” Jon and his team of writers seem to have anticipated this theme by starting off with a montage of clips from movie westerns designed to demonstrate that the genre has always been pretty fucking homoerotic, and they succeeded - although I think using more than one clip of Montgomery Cliff was really kind of cheating.

Throughout the evening the Academy presented 6 montages of movie clips on different themes:





It was typical Academy fare: a good idea gone way too far. Who needs a montage every half hour in a 3+ hour program? Sensing our pain, at one point Jon declared that they were, officially “out of clips.”

Oh, if only it were true.

In fact, never was the schism between the host’s material and his team of writers and the Academy’s material and its team of writers more obvious than it was last night. Jon and his guys skewered the industry practice of lobbying for Oscar votes by presenting lobbying commercials for the Best Actress Award done as if they were negative political campaign commercials. It was hands-down the funniest thing on an Oscar telecast ever.

The Academy left Dolly Parton to her own devises to sing her nominated song, to which I say, THANK YOU JESUS. In a room full of people desperate to achieve the pinnacle of elegance and understated glamour, Dolly Parton is a breath of cheap air. Dolly doesn’t care if they make fun of her on the red carpet fashion shows, and she doesn’t lie about all the work she’s had done. Hell, I don’t even know how she even manages to move and walk around at all, given her center of gravity and the massive weight of fake hair on her head. God bless you, Dolly. And you know sweetheart, you might want to get your surgeon to let down your forehead just a little bit. Nobody with breasts that big should look so surprised all the time.

Unfortunately, although the Academy resisted the temptation to pair up the nominated songs with wildly inappropriate vocalist choices (Antonio Banderas, anyone?) they couldn’t resist monkeying with the presentations. The song from Hustle and Flow, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” brought back the heinous Debbie Allen-fueled choreography of award shows past -- with a vengeance. The performers, Three 6 Mafia, did a fine job, but the dancers hired to gyrate around them looked like they dropped out of the “Fame” School of Street Cred. All that was missing was La Allen herself in her standard hooker-issue feather boa. Sheesh.

The nominated song from Crash featured a backdrop representing, as far as I can tell, a typical evening commute on the 405.

Seriously, I believe the burning car and the anguished, slow-mo crawling and running and pleading to the heavens was supposed to represent the action of the movie itself. And, seeing as how it hit all the major plot points of the movie, but without the bad dialogue and unlikely character revelations, and in a small fraction of the running time of the actual movie Crash, I think the production number should have won the Academy Award instead.

I fucking hated Crash. There, I said it. If you ask me, it’s the biggest stinker of a winner since Titanic. It’s didactic, preachy, predictable, self-congratulatory, repetitive, and sentimental, all the while pretending to be dangerous and innovative. Ugh.

Honestly, I think Academy voters know better than to give the Best Pic Oscar to this steaming pile of tripe, but I think they just didn’t want to take a year’s worth of flak from the media for naming the gay film as Best Pic. I think they don’t want to listen to another whole year of newsheads yammering “Is Hollywood Out of Touch?” and I frankly can’t blame them.

Some random thoughts:

- Is Nicole Kidman an albino now?

- Charlize – you luck out by getting a Best Actress nomination is spite of the fact that both your movie and your performance sucked, and you repay us by appearing in that hideous sack of shit? You’re on my list, you no-taste bitch.

- And generally, how hard is it, ladies, with the resources available to you, to get a dress that fits your breasts? I’m talking to you, Hillary. And Salma…oh…nevermind.

- Keith Urban’s highlights are so aggressive they’re almost hostile.

- Ben Stiller and Tom Hanks try to coast some bad bits on charm. Not surprisingly, they don’t coast far.

- Jamie Foxx’s hairline looks like it could cut diamonds. Ludacris-sized diamonds.

- Best Costume Design – Walk the Line? WTF? How hard is it to design a black suit? Especially when you have a bazillion pictures of what its supposed to look like?

- Holy shit, Ryan, how fucking hard is it to look gracious when your wife accepts an Oscar?

Yeah, tick tock on that marriage, huh?

- How wonderful was that bit with Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep introducing Robert Altman? Why don’t those bitches make more movies, instead of fucking Jessica Alba?

And finally, I’ve been wondering why, after all these years, Los Angeles has kind of grown on me. Thanks to Jon Stewart, I now know: “Atheistic Pleasure Dome.”


Spooney said...


I was thinking George Clooney is the new Jack last night also.

Kelly said...

This is so much fucking funnier than the actual show was...I am glad you have joined us in the pleasure dome!!!

grooveva said...

Wicked Awesome I say!

I was just pondering aloud last night the Ryan/Reese glacier field last night. And I thought maybe I was just being cynical. Looks like we might have a solution for global warming after all.

Thank God for Robert Altman, Lily and Meryl.

I am frankly still estatic that Phillip Seymour Hoffman took home a statue.

I'm still annoyed the audience was too uptight to laugh at John's often rioutiously funny banter. Tedious industry drones.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Hey, you say "tedious industry drones" like it's a negative thing.

Anonymous said...

Bitchin' post, Miss Vikki!

The nominated song from Crash featured a backdrop representing, as far as I can tell, a typical evening commute on the 405.

This made me laugh out loud, picturing Three 6 Mafia and Marty Scorcese engaged in a drive-by near the Mullholland exit.

Beyond Atheistic Pleasure Dome,

Mr. Pibb

Melissa said...

Great, dead-on review. I, too, hated Crash, as did three other people at my Oscar party. I'm so glad to know I wasn't the only one out there who thought it was over-done and ridiculous.

Inkwell said...

I was bemused by the repeated message of “Movies are great! Stop watching TV, cable, DVDs and Tivo and get off your ass and go to a theatre!” being driven home via a telecast. What’s the point of trying to illustrate how great King Kong looks on the big screen by showing a clip to a television audience? And contrary to what Sid Ganis said, I think there are plenty of actors who finish a shot and think "That's gonna look great on the DVD."

vikkitikkitavi said...

Or, "Well, that's going straight to DVD 'extras'," right?