Mon, 01 Mar 2004

I apologise for having ventured the suggestion that we hold an Oscar party. I wound up watching the show on my own last night, and it was awful. I guess it had been so long since I’d seen the ceremony that I’d forgotten how brutally embarrassing it all is: the PG-rated quips of Billy Crystal; the stars stumbling over their teleprompter lines like the dumb kid in your tenth-grade English class trying to read aloud from Hamlet; the Best Documentary Short-Subject winner seizing and brutally squeezing the life out of every last one of his forty-five seconds in the spotlight; and of course, the unrelenting predictability of it all. I mean, of course Charlize Theron was gonna win for Best Actress – she put on, like, forty pounds for her role. Weight gain = authenticity = great acting. Right? Every Oscar voter knows that. And of course Sean Penn was gonna win for Best Actor. Did you see how much he was screaming in that clip they played from Mystic River? Screaming = sincerity = great acting.

I did enjoy seeing Lord of the Rings win approximately five hundred awards. Back when Peter Jackson was making lowbrow splatter movies like Dead Alive, who would’ve dreamt that Hollywood would someday be prostrating itself at his feet? But unlike Spielberg and James Cameron, he didn’t have to go all serious and historical-epicky to win their respect; he’s the same big goofy nerd he always was. His movie has trolls, for goodness’ sake. Has there ever been a Best Picture winner with trolls? But I’m sure next year the Academy will resume its role as the arbiter of dignified good taste, and some epic featuring a dour Tom Hanks, a weeping Charlize Theron, and many screaming Nazis will sweep the honours.

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