The parade of the dead is one of the main reasons I watch the Oscars, and they muffed that proper, first by deep-sixing Farah, second by getting Demi Moore to be Charon’s Girlfriend, thirdly by filming the whole thing from ultra-long lens perspective so you couldn’t see who from whom. Closeups on sobbing faces of widows, children, former drug dealers: that’s what we really needed. Though the order of the dead seemed right, with Karl Malden headlining: he was the biggest loss…not saying anything about Michael Jackson’s cinema-acting career).
As for the John Hughes tribute: not that I’m a baby boomer by any means, but that five minutes of Reagan-era slosh now strips the children of the 1980s from ever again criticizing baby-boomer navel gazing. And also it seems in dubious taste to keep repeating “When you get older, your heart dies” in the context of an obituary for a film director who passed on because of a coronary.
Jeff Bridges should have shown up in a Armani bathrobe with a vodka Caucasian in his hand. If there’s anything I want to live for, it’s to see him in the Coen’s take on True Grit.
The robbed: QT (congrats Christoph Waltz), Woody Harrelson (despite Christoph Waltz), the short film Miracle Fish, George Clooney, Lou Jacobi (whose tranny moment in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex...wasn’t visible in the above mentioned “Ferry Across the Styx” section).
As for the ceremony itself: dignity, always dignity: Neil Patrick Harris’ song comes out of the gate with a joke about prison sodomy and Dolly Parton’s fun-pillows; it set the tone for the image of Alec Baldwin and Steven Martin snuggying and high-fiving of their double-teaming Meryl Streep on the set of It’s Complicated; to Sandra Bullock’s heartfelt reference to her own lesbian affair with Streep. (The reason why Streep can play anything is that she’s quite a player, apparently.)
Somehow, more dismaying was the use of “As Time Goes By” as the theme for a group of aging actresses on stage. While I’m fairly lukewarm about Alice in Wonderland, its huge box office opening goes along with the woman’s day triumph. When does Agnes Varda get her Oscar?
And despite the win for Up, The Cove, and Sandra Bullock—whom I’ve liked ever since she gave the girl’s self-defense lesson in the middle of Miss Congeniality, my favorite win of the night was the win for Logorama (above) a triumph of Situationalism.