Thursday, March 02, 2006

Watching the oscars

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.


Brandon said...

I don't know why but we really get into it. In fact we have been throwing an Oscar's party for the last couple of years (I think it started right after you left Seattle).

I have seen you say that you are rooting against Munich and Walk The Line a couple of times. I never saw a review of either of these movies. I haven't seen Munich but I did see Walk The Line. I don't think it deserves Best Picture, but I think both Joaquin and Reese both would be fine choices for Oscars. What didn't you like about it?

Janet said...

It's funny bc I know I'll watch the Oscars eventhough I have yet to see half the movies and most of the awards bore me to tears.

I think it's the potential for the surreal and bizarre that keep me coming back for more.:)

Replicant said...

i didn't dislike WALK THE LINE so much as i felt it was so similar to RAY last year and these musical biopics kind of revert into a greatest hits collection style of filmmaking. i enjoyed the film, i just don't think it was one of the years best.

i haven't seen TRANSAMERICA--didn't come to okla. yet--but witherspoon was quite good in the film and wouldn't be surprised if she won. but for best actor this is the year of philip seymour hoffman. heath ledger might upset him but i think it's one of those two w/ my hope being it's hoffman as i'm a long time fan of his.

MUNICH on the other hand was really overrated to me. if the name spielberg wasn't attached there is no way it gets these nominations. the ending is seriously flawed and there are other major problems too.

Mark Rogers said...

Ah thanks for the link! We've returned the favor, of course.

Your blog is a refreshing read. Especially after one movie review I read today that claimed "Scary Movie" had more effective horror-related humor than "Shaun of the Dead"

I go through the same thing you do every year with the Oscars. Luckily this time, I'm so out of touch that I don't even know when the awards are or if they've already happened. I'm assuming they haven't happened yet, since I haven't looked at my feet and shaken my head in shame at the entertainment industry this year so far. Oh wait, I forgot about the trailer for "When a Stranger Calls"

Replicant said...

so, were my eyes playing tricks on me during the section where all the people that passed away were put up and DON KNOTTS wasn't one of them? i guess he never made any movies or did anything that equaled some of the behind the scenes people they put up there.

and screw you too oscars. that was completely moronic.

Master Blasphemy said...

Yeah! WTF!?

uncle joe said...

Don Knotts made "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" absolutely the funniest movie of it's time.

My vote goes to Cinderella Man. I don't care what anybody else thinks either. I'll wrap you up with the Batarang dang thang and you'll see it my way eventually! Ha!

btw, If I was a trucker living in Bakersfield I'd take Melissa in a doggone minute!

(my secret identity is revealed!)

Xtine said...

PSHoffman was on my flight to LA the other day. I wonder if he wrote in speach in flight.

so glad he won!

Replicant said...

post oscars...i was very happy ps hoffman won for best actor. also happy that my #1 in top5 (rachel weisz) won for supporting actress and that ang lee won.

surprised CRASH won for best film. i liked CRASH but not as much as BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN or CAPOTE.

jon stewart's opening bit was pretty hit and miss i thought...lots of flat jokes. he picked it up during the telecast though and was getting off some good quips. the fake commercials were kind of funny as they spoofed silly politicians.

one of stranger things was seeing that rap song "it's hard to be a pimp" performed and winning. that was funny to see those guys running to the wrong mics w/ their hiphop gear, gold teeth and excitement.

a friend told me the reason knotts wasn't in the montage of people who died is they do it by calender year--so he'll be on it next year. i'm not so sure. i think he was slighted.

Susiebadoozie said...

uncle joe. i'm going to smack you. and i think you know why

uncle joe said...

Ummm SusieBjuzzi I am not a trucker living in Bakersfield, so relax........