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Monday, February 23, 2009

Post Oscar Hangover

Good morning everybody! And how did we enjoy the Academy Awards? Here are my thoughts:

*Hugh Jackman: Who knew? Excellent job. His opening number started off with a high cringe factor but ended with hilarity. Hugh really is an all-around entertainer. Plus, he's never met me but I cover books and scripts for Seed so I feel a special connection to him. In my mind.

*Anne Hathaway: That girl can sing! And was a great sport. Barbara Walters interview later was fairly boring though. She's too together to spill or reveal anything substantially interesting. Whatever, healthy, grounded Hollywood girl. Thanks for nothin'.

*What was Philip Seymour Hoffman wearing on his noggin? What was that?

*Where was Jack Nicholson?

*Heath Ledger's win: I can't help but wonder if he would have won were he still with us. It was a compelling performance but clearly his tragic loss fueled this vote. How weird would it be to be any of the other nominees in this category and just know for sure that you will absolutely not be ascending the stage to collect jack. This may explain Hoffman's head gear.

*Slumdog: I love Danny Boyle. And I liked this movie a lot. But I never got on board with the Crazy Slumdog Fan Club. I'm slightly baffled by the love fest over this movie. I really am.

*Kate Winslet: Well deserved and about time. However, and we rewound the TiVo twice, her "thank you, Academy!" QUITE sounded like she dropped the f-bomb which we know is impossible and yet wow it sounded like the word "thank" started with an "f". This will be an enduring mystery to me.

*Sean Penn: Well deserved but I was really, really rooting for Rourke. Also, his speech was a bit heavy-handed for my taste. Also, he neglected to honor/mention or thank Harvey Milk in his speech which I'm sure he regretted later. Also he did not thank Robin Wright Penn - I know they've been estranged but she's the mother of his children!

*Tina Fey and Steve Martin - hilarious!

*Dustin Lance Black: This win really made me tear up. Not only what he said in his speech but his sheer, heart-pounding amazement at having won. He deserved this win.

*Penelope Cruz: Well deserved win; her performance was riveting, I must say. But she looks oddly childlike to me. The aspect ratio of her face is off.

*Did anybody see any of the feature docs? I am embarrassed to say that I have not. Yet.

*Ditto foreign language films. What have I become? I used to see them all. Must do better next year.

*Best Achievement in Sound Editing. Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. Academy, please combine these two categories into one: Best Achievement in Loudness. That way we could grasp this highly technical category and I might have won the pool.

*The way FIVE actors would come out like ominous muses to regale/roast the nominees was creepy. And unwieldy. And time-consuming. Please don't do this again, Academy.

*Ratings were up by 6% so what do I know.

*Did it strike anyone else that going on and on to Frank Langella that he played the definitive Nixon while Anthony Hopkins was also on stage was - awkward? To be honest, I haven't seen more than bits of Frost/Nixon, but I just saw Oliver Stone's Nixon and Hopkins was amazing as Nixon.

*Fashion: Why so many off-the-shoulder looks? It was like a meme. Meryl Streep looked lovely except the dun color of her dress was a bit sober for the occasion. Oh how I miss the days of Cher and her ridiculous outfits. Everybody is so tasteful these days. Mickey Rourke looked great but I'd recommend a shampoo as part of his morning ritual.

*Mickey Rourke on Barbara Walters later - uncomfortable. Does anyone take Barbara Walters seriously anymore? I'm just embarrassed at this point. From Anwar Sadat to the Jonas Brothers.
*Mel Gibson on Jimmy Kimmel later - whoa, whoa, whoa. Do not tell me this man is clean and sober. And disappointingly, he denies that he coined the expression "sugartits." What a let down.

Complete list of nominees and winners HERE.

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J.P. said...

The only documentary of the nominees I saw was "Man on Wire", which was wonderful. I was in NY when it happened, and seeing this brought those days right back to me. It was also a 9/11 film without once mentioning that event.

There's a great moment in the film when Petit, about a quarter of the way across, suddenly smiles. He knows he's going to make it, and doesn't just do it once. He does it FOURTEEN TIMES. I feel funny even being on a ladder. Jeez.

Lisa said...

Hi Julie:
Regarding Hoffman’s headgear – He was on the Today Show with the Doubt cast one or two weeks ago sporting the same cap where he mentioned it was for a role, but wouldn’t elaborate. He was also donning said cap at the Indy Spirit awards on Saturday. What’s going on under there? Did he shave? Is it a weird color? Crop circles are forming? Early dreads? At this point, I’d say it’s anybody’s game.

Regarding Rourke not winning - I was rooting for him up until his Indy Spirit speech for Best Actor. He came off a bit cocky and couldn’t remember Tomei’s name referring to her as Melissa. It seems as though the humbled-spirit-of-the-rising-phoenix demeanor dissipated somewhere between trophy #1 and trophy #93. He spent a lot of time pimping the work of Eric Roberts, too.??

And yeah! Why didn’t Penn thank Wright (who looked fab as usual)?

Big cheers to DLBlack!

Anthony Peterson said...

Loved Jackman (and yes, I knew he was going to be fantastic). If there's one thing I like about being an Australian, its the fact that we dont take ourselves too seriously.

Tina Fey and Steve Martin were awesome. And so was Steve Martin.

Funniest moment of the night goes to Ben Stiller. I fell off my seat laughing. Amazing.

Julie Gray said...

@Anthony - oh DAMN I forgot to mention Stiller. That was HYSTERICAL. And yes, true nuff about Aussies. My web designer is an Aussie and he is a very rough, rowdy, funny person and I love it. He cuts through some of the pretension and couched, faux diplomacy that I find myself surrounded by here in Hollywood and that is so refreshing.

J.J. said...

As a voting member of the nominating committee for the Sprit Awards, I was required to see all the docs and Man on Wire was my pick, so I'm glad the Academy recognized it as well...

I'm slightly cynical (but only slightly), so my view of Slumdog my be skewed, but here's what I think: The Academy, loves, loves, loves stories like this, plus it doesn't hurt to throw a bone or two at the new money pit of Mumbai (Steven Spielberg are you listening? Yeah, that's what I thought, you and the rest of the Hollywood producers)...

And my single reservation about Milk was that the writer was on set working (and he was a WGA writer at the time) during the writer's strike last year as Milk was filmed...

But such is life in this town, nobody else cares, why should I?

Luzid said...

Wait -- people thought Stiller was funny? I'll never understand his appeal.

I was quite moved by Penn and Black's words, and feel Penn was right to tell the bigots who voted against the rights of people like me that they should be ashamed.

They should be.

I could do with less dance numbers, I'll tell you that. Sheesh.

chaia said...

Wouldn't it be great if Tina Fey and Steve Martin hosted the Oscars from now on and forever?

chaia said...

Also, Trouble The Water was really, really, really good, and PAing for one of the producers a few years ago was one of the best jobs of my life. I'm so glad they got nominated even if they didn't win.

E.C. Henry said...

Really liked Hugh Jackman's opening all five best picture nominee musical number, but after that the later dance numbers and Hughs insistance that "the musical" was back, was a turn-off.

Did like the way past Oscar winners talked-up this year's nominees before the winner was picked.

Anne Hathaway is dream. She's like my favorite flavor at Baskin Robins -- I can't get enough!

Was very disappointed by the lack of clips from the nominees. I wanted to see a sampling of their work, say 15 seconds or so.

Botch-job; didn't think the Slumdog Millionare music played at the awards cerimony did justice to how good it sounded in the movie.

Ratings smatings, last years Oscars was WAY better.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

P.S. Julie, I think you and Rourker should hook-up. You'd make a cute couple.

Third World Girl said...

Ditto on Kate. The "thank you" definitely sounded suspect.

And re Slumdog I've heard so many people be lukewarm on it recently I was thinking there might be an upset in the Best Picture category, but I guess the early favorite held on. Nothing else nominated was good enough to gather the momentum to knock it down. (I have, rather sadly, not seen anything else this year in the Best Pic category but can't help thinking if Slumdog swept it doesn't say much for the rest of the field.)

Dave Shepherd said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- as much fun as the Oscars are, the only thing that *really* matters is which movie people will still watch ten years from now.

And I have my doubts about any of the five best picture nominees, but I'd be willing to bet a house that people will still watch Wall-E ten years from now.

Then again, you're trying to objectively judge a subjective art, so mistakes are made.

film junkie said...

I liked Jen Aniston the best. She was very graceful and even gave a smile to Brad Pitt. That showed class. I also liked Kate Winslet's nudge to her parents--- Dad, where are you? Whistle or something--- and loved her dad's spirit when he did whistle! Very cute. And oh yeah how could Sean Penn forget Robin? Ungracious...

Désirée said...

Arrgh! This is something I really miss!

Since I became a parent I can no longer miss a night's sleep to watch the Oscars from two o'clock in the morning - Sweden, you know.

And this year a channel that I don't even have had got the rights to broadcast the show - Sweden again, I guess, we pay for TV channels and they became free from commercials.

A 90 minute quick tour is just... Naah... I want to see it live, or not at all.

Joshua James said...

re, the Oscars ... I thought it was the best Tony awards show I've seen yet.

the biggest gripe ... no clips? I want to see clips of the actor's performance, not hear someone mangle an actor's name while praising them.

also, I don't think that the academy pretending it doesn't have any money for musical numbers is as funny to people who actually don't have money ... I think THEY thought it was funny to them, but not so funny on its feet, really.

I didn't think Wright and Penn were on the outs, you sure? ... I thought Penn's speech was pretty gracious for the 45 seconds each person gets ... and it was nice of him to acknowledge Rourke.

The biggest crime of the night? Springsteen NOT getting nominated at all.

PJ McIlvaine said...

In Penn's defense, he is claiming that he and Robin (they are back together) had agreed that he would not thank her, but I too was rooting for Mikey, if ony to hear him say fuck on national tee vee.