Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscars® 2009! The audacity of Hugh

What up, Oscars®?

Why so stingy with the suck this year?

Sure there were some hard-core suck-ass moments, and some genuinely asinine ideas (5 past winners, I’m looking at you!) but overall, a solid meh. The opening number was cute. Plus, "Craigslist Dancers"? I have to say it was funny. It’s as if the Academy Awards®, has figured out, after 81 years, that they’re just a silly awards show, after all, and if they dial down the attitude a little bit, then people are maybe slightly less likely to revel in their mistakes.

Sort of like the United States, huh? Yeah, maybe Hollywood is taking a cue from the recent presidential election. I would call them the Oscars of Hope® if only there was anything vaguely hope-y about them. Other than, you know, the murmur of a thousand voices whispering “I hope I win.” I would call them the Post-Racial Oscars® if only Cuba Gooding had been given something remotely clever to say when he introduced Robert Downey Jr.’s nominated performance playing a South African playing a black man in black face. Seriously, Vilanch, or whoever wrote that “We salute you, and we so, like, mean it” drivel, it’s called motherfucking fodder, dude. Look into it.

The other major issue with having five past Oscar® winners introduce the nominees in their former categories, aside from wondering why Sophia Loren, the most famous Italian actress in, like, ever, can’t get a stylist, and always shows up to these things looking like some cheap china figurine your grandma keeps on her dresser...

...aside from that, my issue with it is that who wants to see 5 legendary actors read their lines off a cue card like someone just grabbed them off the street five minutes ago, and with less feeling than Tom Carvel mustered up for Fudgie the Whale? They’re all actors, so I know they know what a rehearsal is, theoretically, although being film stars they’ve probably never actually been to one. Only DeNiro seemed up to the task, as he, in true goomba form, assumed that only a gay dude plays a gay dude so well, and wondered aloud how Sean Penn managed to get all those straight guy roles for so many years.

So I guess when the show wasn’t busy being the White-People-Accept-Awards-for-Indian-Movie Oscars®, it was busy being the Anti-Prop 8 Oscars®. Winning “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, railing against conservative Christians, said that moving from Texas to the west coast, and learning about the story of Harvey Milk, gave him hope that “one day I could fall in love and get married,” and he addressed the LGBT community by saying “no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you…very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.”

Nice promise. I’m not sure how he plans on following through with it, but then, maybe these really are the Oscars of Hope® after all!

Sean Penn’s take on the situation was predictably less rosy. In his acceptance speech for Best Actor, he referred to his Hollywood audience as “you commie homo-loving sons of guns,” thereby stealing the headline for Ann Coulter’s next column. He then said “For those who saw the signs of hatred as we drove in tonight, I think it is a good time for those who voted for the ban on gay marriage to sit and reflect on their great shame, and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes, if they continue that way of support. We have got to have equal rights for everyone.”

I am grateful to him for that. I am also grateful to him for winning, so we would not have to suffer through another Mickey Rourke acceptance speech. Look, Mickey, I love my dogs, too, man. But saying that you would trade your nomination for another two years with a ill-tempered elderly Chihuahua? C’mon, that’s just crazy. Ill-tempered elderly Chihuahuas are a dime a dozen, man. In fact, is there any other kind of Chihuahua? But screwing up the career boost you’ve gotten from this nomination by, oh, calling the press “faggots” or, say, getting arrested for a DUI on a Vespa – that’s fucking priceless.

And speaking of people that shouldn’t have won…Heath Ledger. Look, I appreciate that everyone feels bad that a pretty good actor died. I get it, I really do. But winning for the Joker? Really, Academy? I mean, really? Because if you ask me, it’s not that hard to put in an exciting performance next to a professional sourpuss like Christian Bale. His Batman was so boring he made Val Kilmer look like Lawrence fucking Olivier. Ditto Ledger playing opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was so miscast that if you looked up “miscast” in the dictionary…you’d see the definition of “miscast,” which is what she fucking was.* Not only that, but what the hell did Maggie do to piss off the makeup artist so bad? Girlfriend looked rode hard and put away wet in that movie, which is, I’m pretty sure, not the look you’re going for in a comic book-style heroine. Anyways, readers, I don’t want to hear about how great Ledger was playing “crazy,” okay? It’s the easiest thing in the world to mumble your lines and loll your head around and smirk periodically. I would too if I had to say lines like:

“To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you.”

The screenwriter should be shot.

And speaking of people who should be shot: Baz Luhrmann.

If we can’t shoot him, can we at least deport him or ban him from making anything that other people have to look at, ever? I mean, “Strictly Ballroom” was charming, if a tad predictable. “Romeo and Juliet” was somewhat interesting but ill-conceived and unevenly executed. And “Moulin Rouge” was just drivel. Pure, sticky, self-indulgent drivel. It was a crappy valentine to a preening actress who frankly does not deserve even such meager tribute as that. Australia,” I hope to never see, not even for 3 seconds as I flip past the Starz! network.

And now, he’s created this:

If nothing else, I hate him because up until this fiasco, the 81st Oscars® had been one of the few events on television that was completely Beyonce-free. So, thanks for ruining the one thing it had going for it, Baz. Although, it’s almost worth sitting through just to hear Jackman shout “The musical is back!” Because if there ever was a reason for the musical to NOT be back, this is it. Well, that, and Pierce Brosnan in “Mamma Mia!”

Here’s a few other miscellaneous Oscar don’ts:

  1. Don’t swoop the camera all over the place when I’m trying to watch the parade of dead people.
  2. Don’t cut to Angelina when Aniston is on stage. Twice. Is this the Oscars®, or TMZ?
  3. Don’t “explain” how a movie is made as a device for handing out the technical awards. We know what costumes are, assholes.
  4. Given that he was one of the few bright spots, you’re going to be tempted to let Stiller host the show next year. Don’t.

Here’s a do: Do have Bill Maher host next time. Anyone who can look America in the eye and say “someday we all do have to confront the notion that our silly gods cost the world too greatly…but there I go ruining the ending,” without being booed? That’s the guy you want hosting. Because clearly, he can get away with anything. Even hosting the Oscars®.

*this joke is an homage to a very similar joke in “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang.”

Do you crave teh meaness? Check out last year's Oscar review.


Dad E said...

I was hoping to recover from Daniel Day Lewis this year but didn't quite make it. And speaking of definitions, "chewing the scenery" surely will say, "see Daniel Day Lewis in 'There Will Be Blood'".

Hollywood is sooo predictably sentimental with their awards. How could they possibly resists giving an award to a dead guy, whose performance was truly decent, but not did not elicit the thought of "great acting'.

This thought came to mind when I watched Viola Davis in "Doubt". And while I enjoy Seyma in "Vicki, Christina, Barcelonia" I didn't think her performance was that much of a scretch. Watching Viola in that short powerful role, was the kind that got me in the gut.

SkylersDad said...

What was up with Sophia Loren's hand on the hip position? It was like she had a terrible mishap and super glued it there.

Ben Stiller was the highlight of the evening for me, and that isn't saying much.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I missed the Oscars® again this year, nor have I seen any of these movies. However, thanks to Netflix, I now get all your jokes from last year.

Larry Jones said...

I thought that Hugh Jackman spent every dime of his "sexiest man alive" capital.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I love how we all have different takes on the same show. Rock on girl.

Anonymous said...

The musical is back? Guess I won't be going back to the movies any time soon.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

I think it's cool that they passed off a drag queen as Anjelica Huston.

SFNative said...

I have my own "really".


Nobody mentions the Japanese guy who won best Animated Short losing out his speech with "Domo Arigato, Mr. Robot"?


SFNative said...

"closing out his speech"

mary catherine said...

eh. it's the oscars. who really, REALLY cares? we are watching a year-long studio/fancy hollywood agent commercial come to fruition to get their actors who already have 5-picture deals (oh, hello Jessica Biel????) to have some fancy screen time, a future nomination, thus securing their investment. yawn.

on a more shallow--thus more interesting note--i HOPE that when i am 98 years old and in a lude-induced mumble to have my hand super-glued in just such a sassy position as ms. loren. maybe my favorite moment of the whole night. that and shirley maclaine giving anne hathaway something far, far, far better than a sily, phoney, arbitrarily-bestowed trophy.

having said all that--tina fey can do no wrong.

SFNative said...



SJ said...

"always shows up to these things looking like some cheap china figurine your grandma keeps on her dresser..."

God that is PRICELESS. You rule!

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