Ok, so not only am I spent from staying up last night to watch The Big Show, the weekend as a whole was exhausting. Mike had a gig at the Groggy Frog in Southington on Friday night...at 11pm. Is that rock n roll or what? First we stopped at a little place called Jitters to hear our friend Marc Douglas Berardo bust a few tunes out and to get jacked up on coffee for the late show. Mike played balls out as usual, rocking everything from some of his new tunes to Whitesnake's Here I Go Again. And no, I was not writhing on the hood of anyone's Jaguar, it's still too cold for that in these parts. We got home at 2:30 am, had a snack, caught an episode of The Jeffersons (with the original Lionel and a guest appearance by the actor who played Rog on What's Happening! awwww yeah!) and turned in at 3ish. On Saturday night, we had drinks and a little dinner with some friends at the Blue Pearl and then came back here for a nightcap. I had a movie date on Sunday morning. The Goonies! I'd never seen it all the way through and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Sean Astin had chops, even back then. I didn't cry at the end, not the way I cry EVERY TIME I catch the end of Rudy on TNT, but I got a little misty. The film is good, it's just a wee bit dated. Chunk: "Sixteen thirty-two. What is that? A year?" Mouth: "No, it's your top score on Pole Position." AWESOME.
Now, for the show at hand. Some notes, high and low. Not the most satisfying telecast, I've ever seen, but not the worst. (Need I remind you of Rob Lowe and Snow White again?) Warning: like most Oscar coverage, the following may be heavy on Clooney references.
Opening short film: The dance that Jon Stewart does in the bed when he wakes up next to The Cloon and is told he's not dreaming, that's the dance I would do.
Jon Stewart as host: There's a lot of debate about this, but I think he was, overall, pretty good considering this was his first time out. And he did get better as the evening progressed. He reacted well to what was going on around him and had some strong off the cuff jokes. (Scorsese: zero Oscars. Three 6 Mafia: one.) Also, I love him and I don't care what anyone says. Not everyone is Billy Crystal, OK? (My sister's going to offer a rebuttal on that one, I know it.)
The major categories: Not too many surprises for me here, not even Crash winning Best Picture. I'm not saying there was a Brokebacklash, but there is one big surprise every year and that was it. (Remember Adrien Brody in The Pianist beating out Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York? I haven't. I'm still a little pissed actually, but whatever.)
The montages: Ummm, WTF? God knows I love a good montage, but this just seemed a little off for the 78th Annual Oscars. I kept thinking, "Why didn't they do this for the 75th year? Now, what are they going to do for the 80th?" Although the gay cowboy montage was hilariously creepy (creepily hilarious?). Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston? UnCOMfortable!
The presenters: I have a theory that the Academy likes to have presenters that are either friends or costars of the nominees considered front runners . That way, if the front runner wins, it makes for a nice little moment in the telecast. This happens more than you realize. Nicole Kidman presenting to George Clooney (The Peacemaker) and Morgan Freeman presenting to Rachel Weisz (Chain Reaction)? Last year, it was Renee Zellweger presenting to Morgan Freeman (Nurse Betty). And let's not forget Julia Roberts presenting to Denzel Washington (The Pelican Brief), if only because she hung all over him for the rest of the night. I believe he sort of carried her off stage in one arm, while clutching his Oscar with his free hand. How did his wife feel about this, I wonder. There's another trend here: Oscar winners presenting to their costars from some long ago, kind of crappy movie. It's sort of a "Yeah, baby! Welcome to the gold club! We're never going to make another crappy movie again! We have arrived!" And then one of you signs on to do Bewitched or America's Sweethearts.
The musical numbers: Oh dear Lord, why won't they just let the performers perform the damn song? Why must there be interpretive dance? I don't even know if the song from Crash is any good, because as soon as I saw the fire at the rear of the stage, I decided to use that time to change into my pajamas and get a snack. I could not look at it. I'll tell you this though: They let Dolly go out there alone in her white pant suit and "ooooh oooh" herself silly, didn't they? Dolly doesn't need scantily clad dancers acting out how hard it is out here for a transexual, does she? I bet they tried to sell her on maybe having a couple of transexuals out there working some Debbie Allen choreography while she sang about how hard it is out here for country girl like herself. But, no, Dolly turned them down. You know she would be sweet as pie about it, too. I can just hear her now, "Gosh, that's awful sweet of you to offer, but I came all the way from Dollywood just to sing my song for these nice people here and I don't need any fancy dancing to make things more complicated than they already are. All I need is a good wig, a good bra and some platform shoes and I'll be just fine. Thank you kindly, just the same, though. I sure do appreciate it. "
The clothes: Some things are clear, to me anyway: Salma Hayek has a slamming body and can wear almost anything. Jada Pinkett Smith is fierce in her gorgeous petite-ness. A ballgown with pockets, when done correctly, is a good idea. So is wearing one or two signature pieces of jewelry and nothing else (some really big earrings, a giant diamond cocktail ring...if you're Jennifer Lopez, a giant cocktail ring that you OWN). A man in a classic tuxedo is always a good idea, especially when the man is question is, well, you know. I'm not going to discuss the, shall we say, riskier choices that made on the red carpet (Charlize, Naomi, I'm talking to you) because the ladies at Fug have already said most of what I was thinking, all the way down to the Clooney Coma. Mmmm, the Cloon....
That's all from my little corner of Oscar Central. Good night, and good luck (see that, I couldn't leave it alone.)