For once, The Oscars didn’t seem longer than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. At 3 hours and 10 minutes, this event actually felt edited! Let’s re-cap:
HERE’S ANOTHER FIRST: 3 out of the 15 actors were nominated for roles in which they never spoke. (Jean Dujardin & Berenice Bejo from The Artist, Max von Sydow in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.) That’s right, 20 % of all of the actors with Oscar nods this year never even talked. Obviously, America wants its actors to just shut up and look pretty. And props to all the actors this year who didn’t jump on a political soapbox and give a self-indulgent, bullshit speech. They all were thankful and humble that they received an award. Bravo! (Coincidentally enough, Jane Fonda and Sean Penn weren’t present.)
THE HOST: Billy Crystal has now hosted The Oscars 9 times; that’s more times than either Liz Taylor or Larry King have been married! With the exception of a few jokes that didn’t quite hit, Billy knocked it out of the park for the ninth time. Some critics say his same ‘ol song-and-dance formula just feels too much like a prior ceremony; but why change a winning game? Crystal was able to throw in his signature riffs, like when following the ever-so-boring Academy President Tom Sherak – “Thank you, Tom, for whipping the crowd into a frenzy…Mr. Excitement.” And the writers did their job for Billy with zingers like “Hey, Front Row – you know what I’m thinking? Why don’t we all just chip in and buy The Dodgers?”
BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT:
Honestly, Cirque du Soleil. They put on an amazing show; nobody could top it.
Jennifer and Cameron Diaz – When they struck a Charlie’s Angles-esque pose, the joke didn’t make anyone laugh…but it worked. As we say in The South, they both looked “hotter than 2 jackrabbits makin’ love in a wool sock at the edge of The Equator in Zimbabwe during a Volcanic Eruption on the 4th of July!”. And when it comes to asses, J-Lo proved ‘bigger is better’. Not funnier, but better. There’s also much debate as to if her nipple was exposed as well. J-Lo doesn’t have a movie nor an album coming out, but it doesn’t matter. Everyone’s talking ‘bout her.
The Bridesmaids – Two-Thirds of them were funny. Kristen & Maya’s thinly veiled dick jokes were amusing; Wendi McLendon-Covey & Ellie Kemper was a rushed joke that fell flat; but Rose Byrne & Melissa McCarthy drinking everytime someone says “Scorsesse” was kickass. Even funnier? Marty’s “WTF?” reaction.
Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow – They played off each other really well. Robert was hilarious as the arrogant star of a documentary about an Academy Awards Presenter, and Gwyneth was very believable as the offended celebrity who doesn’t like being interrupted. And I love the fake camera crew! (I say “fake”, but they’ll win a statue next year.)
Ben Stiller and Emma Stone – This pair obviously got some notes from Benny’s parents. They bounced off each other beautifully. Ben’s seething irritation complimented Emma’s over-the-top, childlike antics perfectly. Who got the biggest laugh in this segment? Actually, Jonah Hill. It was the way he casually gestured “No way” to Emma when she asked him to dance.
Chris Rock – Ever the consummate comedian, Rock had a great punchline about animation allowing black actors to portray “a Zebra or a Donkey”; as well as an excellent rant about how easy acting for animation actually is.
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis – you gotta love two dudes who could give less of a shit dressed in all-white suits crashing and dropping symbols for no reason whatsoever.
I’m actually thrilled to see Meryl Streep take home her third Academy Award! And what a lovely speech – she combined humor (“When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh, no. Come on! Not her…again.’ Ya know, but whatever!”), sweetness (Making sure to thank her husband before the loud music played her off) and humility (“Let me just say this ‘cause I’ll never be up here again…”) After being nominated a record 17 times, ‘ole Meryl takes home her third Oscar. (For the Non-Asians, that’s a less than 18 percentage.) She deserved it previously when she was beat out by less than talented actresses like Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock (Who are both beautiful and good at what they do – but come on! Them beating Meryl and The Dame Judi Dench at The Oscars is like Larry the Cable Guy defeating Chris Rock and Louie C.K. in a stand-up contest.) Meryl was actually in extremely good company this year with her fellow nominees – Viola Davis and Michelle Williams both deserved statues as well, but I have a slight hunch they’ll be back. Seriously, don’t worry; Viola – when Meryl Streep comes over to you and tenderly touches your cheek before making her acceptance speech – you’re in, baby!
Christopher Plummer had the most eloquent speech when he won for Best Supporting Actor. The 82-year-old said to Oscar “You’re only 2 years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?” He was debonair and delivered his speech as if it were completely off the cuff, even though he knew exactly what he was going to say next. “When I first emerged from my mother’s womb, I was already rehearsing my Academy thank you speech, but it was so long ago, mercifully for you, I have forgotten it.” As in any classic speech, Plummer peppered in some witty humor in complimenting co-star Ewan McGregor: “I would happily share this award with him if I had any decency, but I don’t.”
Octavia Spencer – She didn’t have any memorable quotes because she was so emotionally overwhelmed, but it was very touching to see. (“Wrap it up, I know. I’m freaking out!”) Plus, she deserved it in the toughest category of the night.
Woody Allen – “What? He wasn’t even there.” Exactly. Normally, my reaction to anyone winning an Academy Award and not showing up to collect it is “What a dick!”; but because Woody Allen is so neurotic and chronically absent from the ceremony, he gets a hall pass. Plus, he’s probably writing his next Oscar-nominated script. Woody’s amazing; his writing speed makes Stephen King look like Truman Capote.
DUDS OF THE NIGHT:
THE SOUND – First of all, no one stopped the constant annoying dumptruck-like beeping ‘til halfway through the show. The orchestra drowned out Billy’s opening number. And when Natalie Portman clapped, it sounded like someone was being beaten to death with a piece of broken driftwood.
The Christopher Guest sketch was a cute idea, but it quickly became a 1-joke pony. The skit should be called “Fred Willard Repeats the word ‘Monkies’.”
Tom Sherak – We know you’re the President of the Academy and we appreciate the fact you kept it shorter this year….but seriously, dude; you’re the reason people tivo The Oscars. When you walk off camera, even Atheists thank God.
Angelina Jolie – We get it, you’re hot. You don’t need a “clit slit” in your dress. And since you do, you definitely don’t need to pose like a prostitute in an 1890s Saloon.
PEOPLE WHO WERE OFFENDED @ BILLY CRYSTAL DOING SAMMY DAVIS JR. IN BLACKFACE – Shut your whining dessert-holes! If you know anything about comedy, you’ll understand that Crystal started as a stand-up. One of his most famous bits was his Sammy Davis, Jr. impression. When he was on SNL in the 80s, he dressed up like him and no one ever complained. But now you do? How is Billy Crystal supposed to convey that he’s Sammy Davis Jr – just look like a ruddy-faced 64-year-old white Jewish dude that talks like Sammy? Hmm…maybe the real lesson here is Billy should update his impressions.
RANDOM THOUGHTS I HAD DURING THE BROADCAST:
If you close your eyes when Colin Firth speaks, you’ll swear it’s Michael Cane. These two must play Father-Son in a film.
Melissa McCarthy is impressively flexible. She has a porn coming out called “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Gross”.
Maybe I’ve lived in Hollywood too long, but every male Oscar winner who thanked his wife and kids….I totally thought was gay.
At the end of Jean Dujardin’s acceptance speech, he seriously behaved like France just won The World Cup.
Precious star Gabourey Sidibe said “When I see movies, I look for myself. Because I don’t see enough of myself.” She weighs over 300 pounds. Doesn’t she own a mirror?
Oh, I’m sorry; Crystal-Haters – was that inappropriate? Well, I think we all can learn from Asghar Farhardi; he said the most important message of the night in his speech after winning Best Foreign Film:
“I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”
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