Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Talk

B and I met up with some friends at the Mission Theater last night to watch the Oscars on a huge screen. The place was already slammed by 4:30, with hardly a single table available. I managed to squinch us into a side table near the front of the theater. Not ideal at all, but better than having to sit somewhere where we’d have to set our beer on the floor (where it would be in serious danger of being kicked over) and having to precariously balance plates of nachos on our laps. We do have our priorities.

So we watched all four hours of it from a rather oblique angle that made all the women look osteoporitic, i.e., one shoulder was hunched noticeably lower than the other. And was it just the weird angle or were they all—ALL—thin as reeds? From where I was sitting it didn’t look like anyone—with the exception of Jennifer Hudson—weighed more than 100 pounds. Confidential to Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow: Have some of my nachos! Jaysus!

Despite our less-than-ideal seats, this was one of the most enjoyable Oscars ceremonies I’ve ever seen. I thought Ellen DeGeneres did a fabulous job as the host. She was genuinely funny and seemed to genuinely be enjoying herself. There were also several moments of unintentional hilarity, e.g., when one of the winners referred lovingly to her Oscar statuette as "this doll."

As usual I wasn’t too excited about any of the movies that had been nominated, but it’s always fun to try to second guess how the stodgy old Academy will vote. They’re fairly predictable, but there were some surprises. I didn’t expect Alan Arkin to win best supporting actor, but I was thrilled that he did. Heck, I didn’t expect Little Miss Sunshine—the only nominated movie I’d seen—to win anything (not even best sound editing), but it won best original screenplay—and deserved it. Nor did I expect Forest Whitaker to win best actor. I figured not enough members of the Academy would have seen Last King of Scotland. Too indy and too disturbing for them. And yet. He won! He’s a very talented actor, and thoughI haven’t seen the film yet, I’m sure he’s amazing in the role.

It was totally predictable, however, that The Departed would win best feature and best director. I don’t “do” mafia movies, and am even more repelled if the buffoonish Leonardo DiCaprio has anything to do with them, so, of course, I never saw The Departed. But it was so great to see Martin Scorsese up there on the stage, talking a mile a minute with those big black glasses of his. More coffee, Marty? That guy kills me. Since he directed one of my favorite movies of all time—Taxi Driver—I’m glad he’s finally been officially recognized.

It was an interesting social experiment to watch the Oscars with hundreds of other Portlanders. People applauded any time Al Gore lumbered on or off the stage, and they shrieked like crazy when An Inconvenient Truth won—not surprising in this strongly pro-environment city. Of course, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, too. It was also interesting to see the reactions during that maudlin dead-folks montage they always do. Most mourned by Portlanders: Don Knotts. Least Mourned by Portlanders: Betty Comden. Bummer. Betty Comden was great and should be mourned. I could write a whole post about her.

And, now, if I were in charge of the Oscars, here are the films I’d nominate (yeah, I’m choosing 10—I’m in charge so who’s going to stop me?)
  • The Boys of Baraka
  • Bubble
  • Cowboy del Amor
  • Friends with Money
  • Inside Man
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Match Point
  • Stranger Than Fiction
  • Water
  • Wordplay

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home