Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar journal

Each year I torment myself by watching the ultimate display of Hollywood superficiality, publicity and "slap-ourselves-on-the-back" via the Oscars. Here is the minute by minute recap of my thoughts as it took place.

6:17 [central time zone] Let the phoniness begin!

6:27...The typical over-reacting TV weathermen are talking about a storm in Kansas. That's right, Kansas. I guess Kansas doesn't have fancy doppler to alert viewers that it's storming? So, I'm not watching the red-carpet festivities due to a ridiculous local TV station.

7:22...I guess the storm is farther into Kansas now since the broadcast is back on. Halle Berry--how can someone so hot keep attaching herself to "loser" guys? At some point, can we start blaming HB for her disastrous romantic choices?

7:38...Co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco--lame choices and a lame start. Why couldn't Alec Baldwin host again by himself? Or, anyone else. How can two people who have done as little as Hathaway and Franco get this job? Awh, they want to attract the young. We'll see, but it's not a good start when you've got a mom popping up from stands regarding Hathaway's posture. Cringe.

7:39...Hathaway is acting like she's hosting Saturday Night Live. It's going to be a long night if this is their style.

7:42...So let me understand this--producers wanted to attract a younger demographic for the telecast so right off the bat there's a Gone With the Wind reference? Fifteen minutes in and the show feels like watching paint dry.

7:57...Kirk Douglas is hitting on Hathaway and she's swooning. I just find it sad and exploitive he's out there like this. Melissa Leo wins for supporting actress and is fake, fake, fake. I used to like her, but now I'm not sure. She drops an f-bomb and then steals Douglas cane on the walk-off for some reason.

8:01...That's what Hathaway and Franco call a quip? They are a tag-team of horrible. Hathaway's idea of a quip is to squeal or whoop loudly. She's acting like a cheerleader at a pep-rally. SJ just commented that Franco isn't trying and Hathaway's trying to hard. It's not a good mix.

8:26...Why couldn't Russell Brand and Helen Mirren been the hosts? They have more chemistry than the two nitwits tormenting me at every opportunity. And Franco claimed Ricky Gervais bombed at the Golden Globes? Can someone get these two a mirror so they can see what it truly looks like to bomb?

8:30...Best foreign film Oscar doesn't go to Dogtooth, but rent this Greek film and be blown away.

8:33...I love John Hawkes, but I'm happy for Christian Bale winning for supporting actor. Good speech too. Off the cuff, not overly-scripted, that's how it's done.

8:41...Nicole Kidman's plasticine face on display. I won't mention it.

8:55...Marisa Tomei. Highlight of the evening so far. Let her host!

9:17...Luke Matheny's speech is best of the night so far. I need to see his short God of Love. Let him host!

9:21...The autotune montage is the best moment of the night and I actually laughed for the first time. Two hours in and I hadn't chuckled once, but that was so ridiculous and a jab at how you really need no talent to autotune a melody out.

10:03...Harvey Weinstein just bought Tom Hooper the award for best director. Astute readers know what I'm talking about here.

10:39...Weinstein strikes again! The King's Speech is a good movie, but the man knows how to buy Oscar wins like nobody's business.

Epilogue...One of the worst Oscars in memory. The choice of James Franco and Anne Hathaway was a complete and utter train wreck that supplied enough cringe-worthy moments it might damage their careers slightly. She was like an over-eager kid playing grown-up and he was like a surly kid who didn't want to be on the stage at all. I don't know who came off worse between the pair of them as they were both horrible for different reasons. I know I don't want to see either of them on TV or in a movie for awhile.


Eva said...

Totally agree about Christian Bale - this is how one accepts an award - some thanks to others (thought not a neverending list), some humility and self-irony while still dignified and classy and accepting of the fact that one does in fact fully deserve this award.

Melissa Leo was embarrassing. Nobody wants to see the slap my hand over my mouth, ohmygod I can't believe it stuff - when that is not real, it is very very obvious and that is so cringe-worthy. The really frazzled people (like some other lower-profile winner) can't hide it anyway, they get actual tears in their eyes or actual shaky voices. It seemed like a fake miss world acceptance. I don't care about people swearing on TV at all, but hers seemed planted, and while I think it's not fuss-worthy, it's also silly that some applauded her for it (ooo, how daring!)

For about three or four years now I can't read anything but biographies of old movie stars or directors. It's not like I don't like fiction anymore, but the biography stuff is so addictive, one leads to another, leads to two others, leads to three more, this will never end. Of course the Oscars come up very regularly. It is so very obvious how they hardly ever mean anything in the long run, so shocking who has been passed over, and which duds or utterly forgettable movies are selected. So many choices are proven so very wrong with time. A lot of great things only emerge at a distance (forest for the trees). Real class persists in the end.

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

I guess that was the point that Steven Spielberg was hinting at when he mentioned that the nine losers would join films such as Citizen Kane and Raging Bull as ones that lost.

My recaps usually aren't this negative, but I could not stop being irritated by the hosts!

Also, what's some of the best bios or books you've read about Hollywood? You should do a guest blog on here of your top five film biographies. Interested?

Eva said...

Sure - if it's ok that I only read books on the old movies/actors/directors, never on current ones (like that "forest for the trees" thing - perhaps I enjoy that distance that seems to make everything a bit more cohesive and clear. And if it's ok that I only read these things because I LOVE them dearly (I might actually pick the books on movies over the movies themselves if I had to decide, though that would be tough) and not because I am any kind of authority on this!

Me and the biographies, it's like a kid in a candy store - I gobble it all up and love it all - though I would think, just like that kid, if really pressed for an answer I would know which ones to pick if I could only have three on a deserted island for a year. It needs to be ten, though, if that's ok, I can make it brief. Five seems impossible.

Let me know.
Regarding the Oscars, I just came across a piece of writing where Cukor threatened to quit the academy if The Exorcist won a major Oscar, especially best picture. Oh, I can just see him doing that! Apparently his opinion still carried some weight.

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

5 books or 10, it's up to you! And yes, older is fine by me. As you can hopefully tell--CineRobot is about more than new releases. I've done some short book reviews of film related material on here, but never a list. Make them as long as you want--if it's really long, I'll just split into two posts.

E-mail me at if you have questions or when your finished and I'll post it. This could be fun.

Eva said...

I sent it - oh dear, do I ever get carried away...

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

Eva's piece on books will be posted in the next couple of has lots of good recommendations for Hollywood related reading!