I'm having a temper tantrum and I don't want anyone reading me even though I'm putting this in a public space! Waaah!
Keep moving, keep moving. Nothing to see here, except for, oh, everything.
You know, when I caught a glimpse of Clooney during the red-carpet coverage, I thought that he was looking a bit like Lurch. Little did I know that he'd carry on like an actual member of the Addams Family during the show.
Who pissed in his inflatable neck pillow that he's always using as one who's constantly up in the air? My best guess is that this was a performance piece, as he's obviously way too smart to potentially alienate innocent viewers without a true purpose. Hasn't his whole career angle been the congenial golf partner that you never knew you needed?
Or, maybe he just wanted to provide a counterpoint to the smugness that Jeff Bridges was emanating. Clooney showed up knowing he was going to lose; Bridges showed up to collect his award.
He was beaming like a bigger creep than even Maggie Gyllenhaal when he stuck his hands down her panties in that balls-free movie they starred in together and were so unjustly praised for on Oscar night. (Bottom line: I never felt like I was watching anything but a dude doing his job that he expected to be praised for during Crazy Heart. He didn't inhabit that role -- how can one exist in just two dimensions?) But whatever, since finally nabbing that Oscar was practically written into Bridges' contract for getting involved in such blatant awards bait, that's what he did:
Do you know how boring his speech was? So boring that I actually Googled, "Is Bonnie Raitt a lesbian?" during it because I for some reason thought she had worked with Crazy Heart's music writer T-Bone Burnett. I still don't know the answer to that question (even though I think we all know the answer to that question).
Anyway, it was in response to this speech that Clooney put his pissy to good use:
Sneaky, sneaky side-eye. I'm Rich Juzwiak, and I approve this message.
But really, if you don't want to be there, don't fucking go, cough, Kristen Stewart, cough.
Like, really? You're going to read your lines in a monotone that suggests you have less comprehension than one of Precious' classmates and then you're going to clear your throat in the middle of them? So cool. I mean, just beyond cool. You know how cool she is?
About that cool. Seriously, if Kristen Stewart hates being famous as much as she clearly wants us to believe that she does, she should just go away. People will get over it. Honestly, they will. I hate to be repetitive, but...
Live it and learn it, KStew.
And speaking of not playing the Hollywood game while obviously playing the game...
Ugh. Now, believe me, I was happy Mo'Nique won. I thought she was simply phenomenal in Precious. On top of that, it never fails to tickle me that this woman was on a VH1 reality show but three years ago and is now a respected actress. Either reality TV is no longer where careers go to die, or she has the career path of a chicken with its wings cut off and then stapled back on. Either way: fascinating. I also loved that she didn't want to campaign for this meaningless paperweight since it really is a load of bullshit. But way to pat yourself on the back immediately for that is despicable in its own right. "First, I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics," was how her speech started. That whole not-campaigning thing seems like a campaign at this point -- it allowed her to get all of the attention, while doing none of the ass-kissing. Smart? Obviously. Commendable? Instead of answering, I'll take a note from her and sit on my proverbial ass. Why should I bother when she's got the commending covered? The bottom line is that an angle is an angle is an angle.
This also shows that Hollywood isn't exactly where you'd want to train your eye when looking for honest work. Or honesty, period. Take the weird coven that greeted the Best Actor/Actress nominees:
On one hand, it was wonderful to hear Forest Whitaker wax nostalgic about Hope Floats. Such important work deserves public remembrance. On the other, though, to hear these people go on about the quality of the nominees' characters was just so unnecessary. Jeff Bridges is an amazing human being? I'll take your word for it, Michelle Pfeiffer, you professional liar. Your cue-card delivery is certainly enough to convince me of your sincerity! Also, if the fact that George Clooney is a humanitarian and an otherwise swell guy has any bearing on him being up for an acting award, revoke them all because I do not believe that the public displays of generosity are anything but self-serving -- they are things to mention, in fact, in these very instances. It's all a crock of shit. But then, maybe what it really comes down to is that I don't trust people who dress themselves in what look like the lining of cheap boxes of chocolates.
Also, I do not care about Vera Farmiga's mothers' coworkers. At all. Letting these career yammerers yammer on is not a way to make this shit shorter, producers!
Also, looking at Vera during the Best Supporting Actress segment...
...reminded me how much more I liked her in Orphan than in Up in the Air. In fact, I liked Orphan more than just about anything that was nominated. You want balls? That's a movie with balls (not to mention pissed pajamas).
Lest deserved standing ovation of all time? I think so. Bullock's Blind Side role had as much depth as a neck roll. SHE WAS JUST SASSY, period. I don't need to go to the movies for that -- I can get it on my front stoop for free. I did think her speech was as heartfelt as any, and I do appreciate her sense of humor about herself. (Accepting a Razzie Award and an Oscar in the same weekend? What a gal.) Plus, having her win was worth it for the chance to see a tough guy get misty...
...and, also, of course, for this:
Meryl's just getting battier and battier. I see red-carpet strolling with her gown pulled over her head in her not-so-distant future, and she'll get away with every second of it because that's the type of respect that her talent commands. Wonderful. This woman is aging like a national treasure.
This was during Nicolas Schmerkin's speech for Logorama winning Best Animated Short. The Frenchman apologized for his accent up front (charming!), and I'm guessing that as soon as Meryl heard the word "French," she thought, "Speaking of, how's my décolletage?" As long as you're checking it in public, it's just fabulous, Meryl.
So she's great. And Logorama looks great. Anything featuring Grease 2 in a positive light is fine by me.
Before I go further into the things that I actually liked about this year's Oscars (it's a short list), here are just a few more that I didn't:
- Neil Patrick Harris' jacket:
Just because you’re Elton John’s pop cultural child, it doesn’t mean you have to wear clothes made from his sequined placenta.
- Maggie Gyllenhall's self-absorption:
Look at how into her Oscar-moments clips she is. I feel like nominating her for such a nothing performance in such a trite role amounts to feeding a monster.
- Most attempts at humor:
Impressive makeup, lame Na'vi jokes that already felt stale (in a computer world, things move fast!).
Lame jokes that were born stale (no one even feigned laughter!), no makeup.
There, that's better. Tyler Perry is so butch that I feel like wearing makeup only bolsters his masculinity. It's much like the way that Peter Sarsgaard's lisp is complemented so well by him referring to his co-star Carey Mulligan as "darling."
Oh, and speaking of humor, I love how seriously people took the Na'vi thing, like when Best Foreign Language film winner Juan José Campanella thanked the Academy for not considering Na'vi a foreign language and no one laughed, since Avatar is not to be joked about, especially from someone who isn't one of us. Get your own avatarro, John!
- Tilda Swinton's cameo:
She always finds a way to sneak in there, the weasel!
- Randy Newman:
At this point, he's like some weird uncle that you have to see every year, who's inevitably going to blubber some weird song about being down in the dumps and picking yourself up by your bootstraps and/or helium balloons and/or frog legs and learning to smile through the asphalt because you're an ant that can lift five times of your body strength just as long as your owner doesn't throw you in the attic and forget about you. Vrooom!
- Kathy Bates' arms:
First of all, is she sick? Because if she is, I take this back. I want nothing more than a speedy recovery for Kathy Bates' arm ailment. If she isn't sick, though, she needs to know that this isn't a good look. It's like: feet in first position, arms in Jabba position. Why, Kathy? Why?
As for the things I did like:
- Precious winning Best Adapted Screenplay:
Yes, this is right. That book, told from Precious' disjointed and uneducated point of view, seemed unfilmable and Geoffrey Fletcher somehow made it coherent. Wonderful. But why's the example of its achievement gotta be about fried chicken?
This scene had two lines of dialog in it. Any other scene would have been a better example. Is it 'cause she's black and/or fat, Academy?
And speaking of her:
At first, I thought that Gabby Sidibe could have picked a more flattering dress. But then, I thought, you know what? Fuck it. She is not ashamed of herself, and that's great. She is defining her career with realness, first with Precious and now with bare underarms. Great. Plus, people like her because she's fat (and, oh yeah, a wonderful actress), which while problematic (all compliments paid to her tended to boil down to: "You're jolly!"), it is at least better than people not liking her because she's fat. Everyone likes Gabby!
...Except for this cameraman, because no matter what you're wearing, that shot is unflattering.
Oh, and this was neat:
A big girl does Hollywood glamor for real. It was a Precious fantasy come to life. All it was missing was "Come Into My House."
- The John Hughes tribute:
Loved seeing Molly Ringwald. Loved that it was brief and that all that was spoken was plausible and not overly sentimental (it was really perfect -- what better way to salute Hughes than by being just sentimental enough, as he was at his best?). My favorite part was seeing that Judd Nelson...
...looks exactly as his Breakfast Club character, John Bender, would look like 25 years later. Synergy on top of synergy!
- This bitch:
She was all, "I’mma let you finish, but Prudence had one of the best handicaps of all time!”
- Steve and Alec
Even though everyone knows that those are not the right 3-D glasses for Avatar, since everyone watched that movie in different glasses, whatever. They were good. I loved that they were billed in commercials as "two unpredictable hosts," as though one could start seizing at any moment and the other might start taking hostages (decide which is which), but really, they were kind of wonderfully impromptu. I love that Steve got in jokes about Sandra Bullock's shitty career, and that he got to call SJP and Tom Ford "whores."
Although most whores probably can't afford whatever Tom Ford shot into his face to tighten it, rendering his eyes almost unusable.
But yeah, there was an undercurrent of mockery that I dug, not just via Steve but by the music choices, too, like how "The Way We Were" followed Sandra Bullock's nostalgic acceptance speech and "I Am Woman" followed Kathryn Bigelow's.
That was another thing I liked for pure quota-filling. I certainly thought Avatar would take away the Picture and Director Awards, and I think it was more deserving anyway (as a relic of its time and an indication of the future, as a cultural phenomenon and movie-going experience), but whatever. Give it to the girl! That's great. Via that, this year's Academy Awards were able to give us a small surprise on top of a mountain of what we expected, like any good crowd-pleasing blockbuster. I only wish they wouldn't have pulled away when James Cameron probably congratulated her...
...I wanted to see just how awkward it got.
But yeah, even though it was boring in parts, I appreciated this year's Academy Awards more than most awards shows. Look, any friend of Leprechaun...
...is a friend of mine. (Though let it be noted for the millionth time: Edward Scissorhands is not a horror movie and had no place in the horror tribute. They should have saved it for the pointy appendages tribute.)
Oh, and you should do this:
I don't even know what it does (I haven't tried it yet!), but Ric O'Barry is worth listening to always. Not that people will: he isn't paid to lie for a living, so his opinion is practically worthless.
(But really rent The Cove, the most deserving winner of the night, in my opinion.)