It’s that time of the year again. This is the weekend I feel both pleasure and disgust (often in the breadth of a few seconds) while gorging myself on the Hollywood slap-ourselves-on-the-back experience that is Oscar. Each year I tell myself, “I don’t care.” Yet, I find myself every Sunday afternoon being drawn in and watching the train wreck festivities like I have cash money riding on the outcome of best costume design. Go Gabriella Pescucci! It’s a sickness I have. The disease is known as “Filmgeekicitus” and there is no cure.
Like any true Hollywood film fan I am drawn into the glamour of the Oscars. This often means starting early with the red carpet love-a-thon. The red carpet is for the beautiful people, the stars and starlets—who may or may not be nominated—to be swathed in haute couture dresses and millions of dollars of jewels and make inane conversation with annoying “journalists.”
I enjoy mocking the celebrities and seeing who will embarrass themselves as much as I enjoy watching who wins or loses an award. This is the appeal of the red carpet festivities—maximum mocking opportunities regarding who says what while wearing what. The whole mocking experience is key to me all night long as it’s always fun to make fun of the winners when they cry and ramble on and make political statements and generally act as if they are the most important person on earth. In their ego-starved view of the world—they ARE the most important person—and therefore deserve every barb that comes their way.
It’s precisely at this point that I will have my first blow up of the evening as I go on my annual rant regarding a particular famous female comedian (Joan Rivers) and her daughter (Melissa) who are red carpet staples. This diatribe usually involves the alien life form that mom is “evolving” into thanks to various knife-work and the fact that her daughter is a no talent hack who can thank the Hollywood god of Nepotism or she’d be living in Bakersfield married to a truck driver and dreaming of all the plastic surgery she could do.
A new favorite of the red carpet interview has to be Isaac Mizrahi. This guy will ask these stars all kinds of crazy questions that a straight guy couldn't get away with in a thousand years. At the Golden Globes I saw him quasi-fondle Scarlett Johansson's breasts the lucky devil. At the Grammy's he actually asked one woman if she was "shaved." So, I'll be tuning in to ol' naughty Isaac to see what he asks next and the celebrities who have said they are upset by this should just shut it and go let that hack Melissa ask some boring questions.
Part of my enjoyment of the Oscars depends on the host. This year’s host, Jon Stewart, gives me a lot of hope. I am a fan of Stewart’s scathing rabble-rousing political comedy and hope he gets to unleash some of that during the telecast. But I don’t think that will happen as Chris Rock was the host in 2005 and he was almost sanitized of that certain “Rock”ness. Compared to safe, boring and unfunny hosts such as Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal—Stewart as host will either be genius or a one time event ala David Letterman and his still silly “Uma/Oprah” bit.
So, after Stewart’s opening monologue we’ll get a few early awards for supporting actor and actress and then two hours of fluff before the big awards come out in the last hour. Although, one of my favorite parts of the telecast—the lengthy tribute to those who died during the year occurs before the big awards and I never try to miss that.
There will be movies/actors I root for (Phillip Seymour Hoffman for Capote) and movies/actors I will root against (Munich, Walk the Line and Steven Spielberg). I will go on at least 10 rants about which actor got an award they shouldn’t have, how long this is taking, so and so looks awesome/awful and the like.
Watching the telecast with others who share a love of ridicule can make the event faster and more enjoyable. Plus, it’s kind of sad to sit alone and complain to the television about the ridiculous amount of awards given to this or that film like Return of the King a few years back (I plead the fifth regarding this).
The whole thing will fill me with kind of a shame (also known as guilty pleasure) and I will swear that next year I am not watching such a useless, absurd event. But, my case of “Filmgeekicitus” will take hold. I will see the red carpet, the sashaying starlets and the famous mother/daughter tandem that I loathe and I won’t be able to control myself.