Oh, the humanity. I don’t know quite what to say about Oscar 2K. None of the nominated films were quite as offensive as in the last couple of years. They weren’t quite all the best movies of last year, either. The Wall Street Journal wasn’t quite on target with the results of their advanced survey of Academy voters. I doubt ABC quite expected the show to run as long as it did. Weren’t new producers and dropping the dance numbers supposed to shorten the show? Clocking in at over four hours, it makes you wonder where all the time went. I’ve got a few observations that are quite true:
1) One change made by the new producers demonstrated what was truly important to the industry crowd. The first award announcement was changed from Best Supporting Actress to Best Costume Design. It was appropriately presented by the cast to the upcoming “Charlie’s Angels”. It stars Drew Barrymore, a lovely gal who new beau Tom Green once said he’d, “give his left nut for.” With all the fashion on display, I’d have to say the best gown of the evening was, hands-down, worn by Trey Parker’s date, Matt Stone.
2) “The Insider” was the sole Best Picture nominee to make my top 20 list. The rest, though mostly entertaining, all suffered from some combination of shameless pandering, heavy-handed direction, or bloated self-importance. But at least Steven Spielberg was able to present an extended middle finger to Miramax with the words “American Beauty” down the side for last year’s robbery.
3) I guess it’s not such a bad consolation prize. Since the Academy and the producers won’t give airtime to the tech awards, they always compensate with a host like Salma Hayek. You know, throw a little eye candy to the nerds.
4) Garth Brooks and Faith Hill… Queen Latifah can rap AND sing better than you, so please knock it off.
5) Haley Joel Osment, cute, charming,… and if you stick your hand up his a*s, you can make him talk. Perhaps Jim Henson’s finest work, ever.
6) One of the odder moments was the clip shown for nominee Toni Collette for Best Supporting Actress. Osment does all the talking, and Collette doesn’t utter a word. At least fellow nominee Samantha Morton had a reason.
7) Aside from the “Blame Canada” number and the dress worn by Cecilia Roth from “All About My Mother”, the highlight of the night may have been the announcement of the Best Documentary Short Award, which proved the title “King Gimp” was not allegorical in nature.
8) There was a fair amount of threat on display. Fuckin’ Phil Collins stole the Best Original Song award from Aimee Mann and Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman. Alan Ball and his admittedly fine script stole the award from brilliant works by Charlie Kaufman (“Being John Malkovich”) and Mike Leigh. Conrad Hall stole Best Cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki. Kevin Spacey stole Best Actor from everyone he was against; he was good, but the other four were all brilliant. Still, Spacey actually acted, instead of just shamelessly mugging his way through a movie like certain previous winners.
9) Speaking of Benigni, those of you who recall my Oscar coverage from last year will realize that I can’t talk about the big event without some mention of that funny little man (No death threats this year, please). You know, he didn’t actually understand a word that was being said. He was just laughing every time someone said his name.
10) Finally, congratulations to Hilary Swank, the first graduate from an Aaron Spelling production to win a Best Actress award. She’s not JUST the next Karate Kid.
And finally, expect to see these porn versions of the nominees for Best Picture:
American Booty ^ The Sex Sense ^ The Wider Mouth Rules ^ The Brown Mile ^ and the only film that won’t have to change its title for the porn version, The Insider.