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THE IRVING THALBERG AWARD GOES TO...HYPOCRISY.
I learned a few hard lessons during this evening's broadcast of the 75th Annual Hollywood Awards. Here's my official wrap-up:
- Acting as a frank (if slightly graceless) pundit on the very confusing state of international affairs will earn you empassioned jeers from your formally dressed audience; being an exiled pedophile and alleged rapist, however, gets you a standing ovation.
- Adrien Brody - mournful eyes and an asshole's mouth. "Bet you didn't expect that in your gift bag," he offered smugly, after gripping and frenching halle berry. Later, he shut up the orchestra for an extended personal moment onstage and then proceeded to tell the world that it took acting in a movie about the Holocaust to understand that people are actually suffering in the world - and not just because the doorman at Jet Lounge didn't recognize you from your amazing performance in A Thin Blue Line.
- And yes, that 'suffering' comment will also earn you a standing-O.
- Steve Martin, a generally dignified man (outside of his film oeuvre) with sharp comic timing, still sounds like a cheap Vegas whore (or worse - like billy crystal) when he's telling someone else's dirty old man jokes. Yes, Steve - J.Lo is hot! Please write a play, and quick.
- Hollywood proved it doesn't hate black people last year, right? It turns out that Hollywood just hates urban culture. Phew! There's a difference, of course. Mr. Tibbs is in! But where was Eminem's performance of "Lose Yourself"? It won an Oscar this year, but I guess that doesn't mean the Academy has to rally behind it. Still, I would have felt better about that fairly inspiring song being performed than the U2 song. Not sure. Something about a song that celebrates the "hands that built America" doesn't quite sit right while American hands are tearing down another country right now, brick by brick. [addendum: i was informed that eminem actually boycotted the oscars because he'd already been warned that they might have to edit his live appearance if he had any swears in it. there's a story here.]
- Rush a tribute, even for an event as lush as the Oscars, and it will look rushed. Did anyone see that montage called "A Tribute to the American Spirit"? It had all the shine of a PowerPoint presentation at a tile flooring conference. What font did they use? Was that a tribute to the spirit of Zapf Chancery?
- Pre-emptive award for fastest professional and personal downward spiral: Adrien Brody
- Award for most clever camera work: when the producer of Chicago was reminded to thank his wife during his acceptance speech, the director of the Oscars cut to Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe, like some kind of historical lesson. [addendum: i've also been told that hilary herself was the person who yelled out, "thank your wife!" as a single tear rolled down chad lowe's cheek.]
- Award for best decontextualization of a shitty scene from an even shittier movie: Backdraft, during the tribute to the American Spirit. What could be lower?
- Oh wait, I know what could be lower. How about seating Mickey Rooney in the last row, behind the sound board while Cuba Gooding, Jr. enjoys a 10th row seat. I guess he was running a dress rehearsal for next year, when he accepts an award for Boat Trip. Do they have an award for "Most Quickly Squandered Potential?"
- Connect the dots. New category: Feature Length Animated Film. Network broadcasting the Academy Awards: ABC. Corporation that owns ABC: Disney. Nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Feature Length Animated Film: Disney'sTreasure Planet. Worst animated film since Rover Dangerfield: Treasure Planet.
- Most spiteful introduction: "...Academy award winner and star of Daredevil, Ben Affleck."
(i actually liked adrien brody before this evening. almost as much as i like the chub chubs. curse you, brody, you insufferable prick. and bless you, chub chubs.)
*thanks to denise for intrepid fact-checking and clarification on some of my complaints. it's nice to have an uninformed opinion anchored by some actual information. sometimes.