Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Oscars

I had seen hardly any of the films nominated for any category in the Oscars. There were many reasons for this: Hollywood put out most of the good movies in one gob after Christmas, so it seemed like they weren't even '08 movies. I rebelled and didn't see them. Besides it was the holidays and I was playing in Colorado.

So, I had not planned on watching the Oscars, but since I had hardly ever missed one in the past half century years, I finally succumbed and turned it on, grabbed a beer from the fridge and plopped into the Ekornes chair. After promising never to watch it again, here are the reasons I found for having watched them:

First, the women! Every woman surrounding the lovely Meryl Streep on the front two rows wore a strapless formal. I live in Alaska where last week at the opera, The Barber of Seville, most of the audience wore Carhartts.

Hugh Jackman looked fantastic for the women of America, although my friend Rebecca didn't care and wished Andy Garcia were on the podium.

Sarah Jessica Parker's dress. I couldn't believe it; maybe thay was why I was staring and hoping for another Janet Jackson Moment!

Jessica Biel, stunningly lovely, need I say more? I wiped the drool off my shirt...

Beyonce Knowles in her smashing red dress saving the somewhat illogical and boring melange of musical nonsense. Did I notice Hugh Jackman's fingers hold her by the chest?

When my friend Rebecca called, she said a reason to watch it was that perhaps I'd get a glimpse of Diane Lane. Wow, there she was sitting next to husband Josh Brolin; my eyes drifted past him to the wife...something about the Tenth Commandment gnawing at my conscience.

Ben Stiller as Joachin Phoenix's recent drug addict costume stole the show for a minute. Will Joachin ever get a job? Natalie Portman did a great job keelping a straight face; I in turn was remembering her as I last saw her in "The Darjeeling Limited".

It was a touching moment when Heath Ledger won the Oscar for best supporting actor. A poignant moment in an otherwise self-congratulatory orgy of excess.

Werner Herzog appeared for a moment. Love his stuff

Bill Maher had the best haberdasher, and he stood there so cool, so calm...a class act; the best introduction for best documentary and best documentary short subject. I also appreciated: Megan Mylan's slinky but demure red dress as she won for Smile Pinky, and as she turned it was backless!

Some time went by for stuff I didn't too much care about. I heard the words "Slumdog Millionair" several times in a row as I sipped a beer and wandered a bit. My cat fell asleep on my lap.

Then Jerry Lewis appeared. I'd watched his fims since I was a young boy and admired his work for muscular dystrophy most of my life. What a gentleman! What a beautiful thank-you! What a treat!

Some beautiful music, each tune just tempting me then transitioning into another. I never listen to music like this; what am I doing? However just as I was ready to call it a night and have another beer watching reruns of Law and Order, two short snippets of best vocals with slinky Indian dancers in the background kept me in my chair for another minute. More "Slumdog Millionair" Oscars...

Aaah! Frieda Pinto in a blue sequinned gown. It's been a classy evening for the women.

Reese Witherspoon had another sparkling indigo dress. Didn't recognize her for a moment: has she put on a few pounds? And who did her hair and eye makeup? Don't think she needed it. Amazing...another Oscar for Danny Boyle and "Slumdog". I'm just about to wander off when the announce says: "Coming up, the final awards for best picture, best actor, and best actress." Another beer, then back to the Ekornes chair. My butt is numb.

Shirley Maclaine appears. My mind races back to "Irma La Douce".... My but the presenters are in exquisite gowns. Anne Hathaway looks ravishing, listening to her accolades. Melissa Leo, so lovely and distinguished grabbed my heart. What a treat! Sophia Loren spilling out of her gown introduces Meryl Streep, her lovely broad shoulders rising out of the satin gown, deserving an award every year. Nicole Kidman, (does she always wear white?) introduces Angelina Jolie. Kate Winslet wins!!! She's talking about a bottle of shampoo in the bathtub??? Finally gets an oscar after deserving one for years...

And what's with the 5 presenters for every award? Probably a nice touch; they all get to stand on stage, and the public gets to see them. Party, party, party!

The gushing introductions for each actor are a bit much for me, but the audience seems to love it. Robert DeNiro gives the best line of the evening: "How did Sean Penn get all those roles playing straight men?" First time I smiled all night. Mickey Rourke looks totally wierd; maybe he arrived in a pink Cadillac with fuzzy dice? Rumor has it he will win. Of course Sean Penn won and deserved it; he always does!

Steven Spielberg. He's the best! Nice to see him presenting the award. Well, Wow. Surprise, surprise. All I've heard about movies for two months is that "Slumdog Millionaire is going to win best picture...long before anyone in the U.S. had ever seen it. Talk about an anti-climax. But the recipients were so grateful; I felt happy for them.

I'm not sure it was worth the three hours, but t almost made me want to go to the movies. I could have seen "Slumdog Millionaire" in the same amount of time.

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