Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscar Notes

Random thoughts on the Oscarcast, which ended moments ago...

Overall, a nice job by Jon Stewart, with just the right tone of respect for the moments that deserve it, and snark for those that don't. Plus, a couple of funny pieces of schtick -- the pregnant actresses bit and the binoculars and periscopes montage sequence. Too bad most of the rest of the evening is such a bore, but that's not his fault.

Can't help but wonder if Mickey Rooney and his peers in the Academy understood Stewart's references to IMdB, the iPhone, and the Wii. BTW, the crew at IMdB was getting the winners posted within seconds of the announcements -- fastest I saw online.

Is Tilda Swinton the pastiest Oscar winner ever? Must be, since they never gave one to Molly Ringwald.

Is there a law that says Jack Nicholson must sit in the front row and be the butt of at least one joke by the emcee in the first half hour?

Until tonight, I was fairly sure the Rob Lowe/Snow White footage had been banned from ever being shown again.

Best comedic presentation: Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill battling over which one was Halle Berry and which was Dame Judi Dench. Not-so-good comedic presentation: Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway, soon to star in the sure-to-not-live-up-to-the-hype "Get Smart." Worst attempt at comedy: Jerry Seinfeld's bee character as presenter. The bee is still not funny, Jerry.

Is it possible that Renee Zellweger's face has become even more squished?

Best non-jaded winner: Marion Cotillard, who personified joy in her acceptance speech. She will now return to no one knowing who she is.

Most jaded-looking winners: Joel & Ethan Coen. Yeah, you gave us a few Oscars. Yawn.

Quick quiz: which presenter has gone the longest without making a decent movie, Jessica Alba or Nicole Kidman? And how about Jennifer Hudson winning an Oscar last year, but appearing in exactly zero movies since then?

How is it possible that, after 80 years of Academy Awards, there are some winners who haven't prepared anything to say? Particularly for the non-acting awards, this has got to be the biggest thing in your entire career, and you couldn't write down a few words to say besides thanking your agent, the studio, and your spouse's cousin Timmy?

For the first time in years, the Oscar for Best Song goes to a worthy song: "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, from "Once." Quite a trip for Hansard, whose only other movie was "The Commitments," 17 years ago. "Once" was the second-best indie movie of the year, behind "Juno." It also won Best Use Of A Vacuum Cleaner at the Oreck Awards the other night.

How classy of Jon Stewart and the producers to bring Irglova back out after the commercial break to say her thanks, because she hadn't been allowed her moment at the microphone after winning.

Lots of talk about Cate Blanchett tonight. Want to see her in a movie you don't know, in which she's stunningly beautiful, funny, and a perfect match for both Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton? Rent "Bandits."

Sounded to me like Suzanne Pleshette got the biggest round of applause in the Death Roll, until Heath Ledger at the end.

Very clever to have some of the troops in Baghdad introduce the nominees for an Oscar category, but you couldn't give them something more important than Best Documentary Short Subject? Ironic that the winner, "Freeheld," is about a lesbian police detective's battle for the right to leave her police department pension benefits to her partner when she dies. Or as it's known in the military, another story you can't ask about and shouldn't tell.

Is Diablo Cody the first ex-stripper to win a writing Oscar? Not counting Quentin Tarantino, I mean.

I guess starring in "Can't Buy Me Love" wasn't enough to disqualify Patrick Dempsey from every appearing on an Oscarcast. Oh, he's in "Enchanted."

Daniel Day Lewis wins Best Actor, thus setting up "I drink your milkshake" jokes for every morning radio show, entertainment reporter, and late night TV host tomorrow.

Speaking of comedic setups, prepare to hear John McCain's name mentioned in at least two monologues Monday night, in reference to Best Picture winner "No Country For Old Men."