February 26, 2007 

The Academy Awards 2007 

For you, I slogged my way through six and a half hours worth of coverage and if you missed the show, you should absolutely be thanking me.  If you watched, I’m sorry for your loss.  Those hours won’t be back, ‘tis true, but take heart that you were eyewitness to history-in-the-making and now you have something legitimate to complain about around the water cooler on Monday.  I’m not sure if they were trying to make sure that every time zone known to man could be watching some portion of the telecast live all at the same time, or what, but next year they seriously need to start at 6PM.  Anyway, with much cussing and ranting, I made it all the way.  My intention was a cool graphic for the top of this column and a kick ass intro paragraph, but that was all formulated before things went on forever and I started counting the minutes of my life, which were being wasted away, and well…the consequences are being felt here right this minute!  I’ll apologize for the ungodly length of this mess of a column when I get my engraved apology from ABC and they BETTER mention that they knew there was no way it was ending at 11:30 PM too, bitches. 

I only caught a little of the red carpet coverage, but there were a few moments worth mentioning: 

Ryan Seacrest “interviewed” Gael Garcia Bernal (Babel) and managed to insert Brad Pitt’s name into EVERY question.  The first one was merited “How was it working with Brad Pitt?”  Well it was merited if you haven’t seen the movie, but because they have no scenes together or even scenes in the same part of the world, the answer was “uh…I haven’t met him”.  After that, things became really uncomfortable.  “Gael, when you decided to do the movie was it because Brad was producing?” (He answers that no, he didn’t even know that but was excited to work with the director)  “What do you think of Brad?”  (He answers that he really admires the director of the movie) “Yeah, and you were signing on to a movie that one of the biggest stars in America was involved with!”  Good gravy.  It was just sad.  I was totally waiting for “Gael!  What do you think Brad and Angelina cook for breakfast?”   

Michael Buble was accosted by E! correspondent Giuliana DePandi on camera regarding his singing at her upcoming wedding.  She actually asked him what it would cost and if he would do it, as though in front of millions he was going to refuse or tell her she can’t afford him.  I know I’m tired of hearing about her wedding, at the last red carpet I saw she was asking someone to be a bridesmaid, live on camera.  Given the stature she obviously awards herself, I’m sure she’d be devastated to know I had to go l look on the E! site to find her name.   

If you only tuned into the ceremony itself, you missed Jennifer Hudson’s jacket: 


My first thought was that Beyonce tried putting the actress on again and convinced Ms. Hudson that she should trust the Divine Miss B to dress her for the big night when she receives the award that was *really* meant for someone even bootylicious-er.  “Guuurrrl, vintage Jetson’s is the place to BE, you can trust me!”  Thank goodness Jennifer came to her senses (or got sick of people asking if Beyonce told her to put that jacket on) and took it off for the ceremony.  The dress was pretty, and George Lucas was there so I’m sure it was snatched right up for future projects. 

The red carpet was also the place Nicole Kidman debuted this little number: 


Her husband is fresh out of rehab, and for goodness sakes she really only just shed the aura of scary Tom Cruise so I find it easy to refrain from comment on well…a few things, but I thought long and hard about that thing on her shoulder and I believe I finally understand it.  In case of sudden beheading, Nicole’s dress is completely prepared to flip that cap over onto the neckline and cover anything unsightly  - the show must go on, right? 

While we’re on fashion, let’s just cover a few other items.  While there were many that looked nice, I really can’t think of anyone that I thought really pulled off a breathtaking moment, which is always a letdown.  Reese Witherspoon looked really nice:


Jennifer Lopez looked elegant, if maybe a bit sedate: 

It’s always great when Latin Lestat joins her, as well. 

Meryl, Meryl, Meryl: 


What do we think?  Family coat of arms?  Rapper medallion?  Ancient Aztec Oscar award?  Sanskrit etchings that say “F. U. Helen”? 

Well, from here, I’m just going to transcribe the notes I made while watching.  You will notice that towards the end they become kind of frantic and maybe a bit unintelligible.  I had grand plans last night of making a cool graphic for the top of this column and I was going to write a kickass intro and all…but somewhere around 12AM things just fell apart.  I’m going to strike the “You have GOT to be kidding me!” notes, just for brevity, but otherwise you’ll have to suffer along as I did.   

The opening:  It was okay.  The taped piece had its moments, and while they billed this year as being focused on the internationality of the nominees, it became apparent pretty early that they were also working at pointing out the behind-the-scenes nominees.  No problem from me there, but it might’ve helped to know who most of those people in the intro were.  Then Ellen came out in a fugly suit.  She changed, um, I think two more times (not sure) and the rest of the outfits were fine, but a fan of the velvet, I was not.  Disclaimer:  I love Ellen!  So I thought she was really funny for the most part and the audience looked remarkably non-terrorized compared to previous years, so that was good.  Nobody seemed to be trying to hide under their seat when she turned her attention to them (though between the Mexico thing and the “huge dress” comment, she might not have made Penelope Cruz very happy).   

Maggie Gyllenhaal came out and tried to make CGI and blue screen effect awards sound exciting.  She failed. 

Some seemingly naked people rolled around behind a white screen and ended up inside an Oscar statue.  It was bizarre. 

Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly did a singing number about how a comedian at the Oscars is the saddest man around.  It was hilarious.  Youtube it.  Oh here, just don’t blame me if it disappears before you get to see it and all that’s left here is a useless black box: 

Jayden Smith and Abigail Breslin presented two awards and their banter was really cute.  Young Jayden obviously inherited his father’s timing. 

Something called the “Sound Effects Choir” happened and…it might’ve been cool.  I couldn’t really decide; it was an odd watch.  I did wonder if they really try to take flight by stooping and then rising when they do airplane sounds in the studio though…I think they added choreography for the show which kind of negates the purpose of showing how important just the sound can be, now doesn’t it? 

Finally!  An award for people I recognize!  Supporting Actor, and the winner is…Alan Arkin.  Upset!  Everyone thought Eddie Murphy, hmm…this might throw a weird light on that whole “comedians can only win if they do something serious” musical skit from a few minutes ago.  Alan Arkin won for teaching a Little Miss Sunshine hopeful pageant talent choreography and for some comedic time spent in the back of a VW bus.  Guess it’s good they didn’t put Eddie IN the “saddest man around skit.  You know what this means, right?  Scary Spice is obviously a LOT more powerful than we thought. 

More people rolling around behind a white screen.  WTF?  Oh…wait!  They just formed a VW bus!  Does this mean they *were* the huge Oscar statue last time?  Suddenly this is cool, lol.  I have to rewind, there’s no way they formed that statue; it was too perfect! 

Al Gore and Leo Dicaprio arrived to tell us that the Oscars have gone completely Green.  That’s absolutely awesome.  Now if we could just get them to donate all the money usually spent on lavish gift baskets used to lure presenters out there so they can pretend they’re there to support their fellow actors and the craft to homeless shelters and food banks, we could probably end hunger in the U.S.  We won’t even get into the free galas and such for all the people who can really afford their own celebration dinner, dammit. 

Adapted Screenplay:  The Departed.  Seriously, why is this moving so slowly? 

Anne Hathaway wears too much makeup. 

Oooh, costume design!  I like that they had examples and little scenes from each nominee on stage live.  That was cool.  Much better way to showcase the art.  Some lady won for um…something Elizabethan like.  I’ve no idea.  She did mention that she is Stanley Kubrick’s slave, or at least that he is her master.  Learn something every day. 

Holy cow!  Oscar done brought out the Cah-razy!  Tom Cruise is here.  He’s presenting some kind of achievement award to Sherri Lansing who wore a really beautiful dress; wish I could find a picture of it.  I loved it. 

Ellen gave us a break and did a little bit with Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg where she gave Steven lots of direction in photo taking.  I’ll take anything over another award for something like “Best Costume Sound Editing”, I swear to God. 

Pirates of the Caribbean just won for something!  No idea what, but I’m guessing not best picture.  A girl has to pee sometime. 

Both the presenters who “banter” and the ones who “inform” are boring alike on this show.  I mean really, really boring. 

Oh my GOSH!  The naked rolling people just made the Snakes on a Plane logo!  LOL!  This after attacking Ellen.  Finally I can say, “Here’s one thing you shouldn’t have missed”!   Those people are amazing. 

Supporting Actress:  Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls.  Haven’t seen it, don’t really want to.  Good for her though, she seems very likeable (unlike some others, oh, let’s say unlike some bootylicious *others*).  Her speech was a little…scattered, though.   

Hah.  Never ask a question you might not like the answer to.  They want to know if we’ve been wondering where Jerry Seinfeld has been.  Pfft.  I dunno, circuiting the talk shows trying to convince that despite Michael Richards, Kramer was not racist and we should all still buy the DVD’s?  Anyway.  He’s here.  Woo. 

Clint Eastwood just mumbled and stumbled his way through what I think is an achievement award for a guy that writes scores.  He blamed it on not having his glasses.  Then Celine Dion warbled (boring).  Then the guy came out to accept and talked for like five minutes in Italian.  Watching the audience try to look like they understand is funny though.  Gwyneth SO wants us to know that she understood every word!  Then finally Clint translated (and apparently you must say about fifty Italian words to every one English word) and it took on a more back and forth action so we didn’t feel quite so left out. 

Original Screenplay:  Little Miss Sunshine.  Loved it. 

The commercials in this thing are ridiculous!  A million commercials I’ve watched, I swear.  Now that one with the GM (I think) robot is on and I really need to write an entire column on how stupid that commercial is for various reasons.  It leaves such a bad taste in my mouth!  “Oh, we totally drive our employees to suicidal thoughts if they make a mistake – we just toss them right out on the street!  Buy our cars.”  I won’t even get into the whole robot/human worker angle right now, but I have it all formulated in my mind, believe me.   

The announcer just blurbed Jennifer Lopez’s entrance thusly:  “Film star, recording star, and excellent reason for high definition television, Jennifer Lopez!”  Classy.  I bet these people just want to throttle the idiots who come up with that crap. 

Dreamgirls musical presentation.  Lots of over singing, if you ask me.  Two serious concerns:  Jennifer Hudson has changed into a nice red dress, but her boobs are completely scaring me.  I really thought the right one was coming out to play.  Seriously.  Beyonce got so into it she did a pretty aggressive hair flip/swipe.  I thought the weave might go flying for a second there, but then I remembered to just train my eyes on the glue and my heart rate went back down after a few seconds.  You learn these little tricks when you watch enough of this crap.  

Queen Latifah looks beautiful, as usual. 

It is now 11:30PM (scheduled ending time, by the way) and there are still at least five major awards to be given out.  I’m on page six of this column, and I haven’t even attempted to cover everything – I spared you countless foreign language awards, montages, and oodles of technical crap.  The chances that you are reading this past 11:30 PM are slight, so I’d say you’re still winning. 

Another montage of unknown origin.  I don’t even know what this is about!  Michael Mann was mentioned – Michael Mann’s favorite movies?  I have no idea.  It’s long though.  Because we have SO much time. 

Kate Winslet is beautiful, but something is off tonight.  Her hair color is drab and the makeup/dress combination just washes her out.   

Jodie Foster gives a heartfelt intro to the memoriam montage.  Popularity by applause begins in full effect.  I have to wait until all the kids get their honor roll certificate at my children’s school assemblies, why can’t these people just clap at the end?  Altman wins.  I know what you’re thinking!  No, Anna Nicole was not in there, she died in 2007 silly. 

Philip Seymour Hoffman has bed head, as usual. 

Best Actress:  Helen Mirren, for The Queen.  She tried to pretend she didn’t see it coming by hopping onstage with her purse in one hand and one of her earrings in the other, as though we should believe she was just gonna go out the door and was already disrobing (that last part might be believable, lol!  Love Helen, I do, I do!).  So she gave her speech with one earring in and eh.  Nobody will be talking about that moment ten years from now. 

11:57 PM, the ABC guy who wanders about backstage and says stupid stuff has just informed us that “now it gets interesting”.  Jeebus. 

Best Actor:  Forest Whitaker, something about Scotland – Last Ghost Dog Crying in Scotland? (I’m tired, okay?)  I love him but he makes me very uncomfortable when he gives speeches because he seems so worked up and anxious.  I can breathe again when he’s done.  Very beautiful wife he has, and his speech was good – once I can ungrip my chair and think back on it. 

Best Director:  Martin Scorsese, The Departed.  Major celebration time.  I would’ve been more moved an hour and a half ago, I promise you that.   

Holy no gloves Batman!  Diane Keaton looks marvelous!  I mean, really good!  There’s your upset of the night!  I love her, but sometimes…whew.  This is a really good night Diane, you go shake your booty at the Governor’s Ball or whathaveyou and don’t get pissed at all the surprised “You look SO good” comments, it’s your own doing really.  I suspect you’re okay with that, and I am too, but darn – love this look! 

Nicholson is bald.  I thought it was a bad look maybe but then I remembered what his five hairs looked like and I don’t know, I think maybe this is okay.  You have to love that he shows up to these things, he sits in the front row and he has a great time.  He laughs and smiles and doesn’t act pissy.  I give him credit. 

Diane and Jack award Best Picture to:  The Departed.  Good movie.  Best picture?  Eh, not in my book, but I’m okay with it.   

12:17 AM.  It’s finally over.  I have no idea how this ploy of not giving any awards to recognizable people until after 10:30 PM thing is going to work out, but I can tell you that it was a weird show.  The funny/entertaining parts were funny AND entertaining (those rolling people formed a GUN!) but the stuff in between was so dry and never-ending that I thought I might die of boredom a few times.  Not many surprises, no gaffes really…maybe a few more of those would’ve livened the whole thing up.  Ellen was fine; I’d invite her back in a minute.   Otherwise, it was kind of stale in a lot of ways.   Next year I hope for a more exciting race in a few of the categories and maybe a few new faces (no Nicole, that’s not a hint) to liven it up a bit.   

If you’re still awake, consider yourself a winner as well!   


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