Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscars 06: The Day the Earth Stands Still

[Welcome to As Little as Possible's live-blogging, because clearly the Oscars aren't being covered enough. All times are EST.]

23:26... End transmission. What an awkward finish.

23:23... Holy f*ck. Crash pulls it off. I love Jack Nicholson. So much.

23:21... English as a second language be damned! Ang Lee is eloquent.

23:19... Tom Hanks appears to be swearing at Stewart.

23:14... Crash wins adapted screenplay. Wow, predictable as all get out. Crash: 2. Brokeback: 2. Haggis quotes Brecht. Haggis is nervous. Haggis is a hammer. Bobby gets the shaft.

23:12... So I get it now. It's the inverse. If the winners go too long with their speech, they stop playing the music.

23:10... McMurtry's wearing jeans! McMurtry's wearing jeans!

23:09... Dusty gives a shout-out to the losers. Good man. Great work, folks, great work.

23:00... Reese wins best actress. Gross. Ick, she's just like she was in the movie. This is the worst acceptance speech. Giddy giddy, blonde blonde, Tennessee Tennessee.

22:56... Brokeback: 1. Crash: 1. Capote: 1. Memoirs of a Geisha: 3.

22:47... PSH gets best actor. Of course. This would be a great speech, if not for the goddamn music that is trivializing him. Wait -- the music's gone! Hurrah!

22:43... Crash: 1. Brokeback: 1.

22:41... "Martin Scorsese: 0. Three 6 Mafia: 1." You can also add Eminem: 1.

22:39... As expected, the South African upset. I like this guy. Great speech. Wonderful.

22:31... I would give my right arm if someone would ask everyone to please hold their applause during the In Memoriam tribute. I can't stand this, because it turns this otherwise moving montage into a popularity contest for dead people. It's unseemly. When will this be rectified? When will a presenter just add "Please, hold your applause until the end"? Ugh.

22:28... Stewart is right. People should be more excited about accepting their Oscars.

22:24... Zowee! Two rap song winners in five years. The Oscar will be serious hardware for their grills. The censors appear to be very trigger happy with their buttons. Lay off, boys.

22:19... We're big on the stand-ins for the song performances. "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." This is a very weak song, nothing like "Lose Yourself." It would've sounded better if it was performed subtly, like in the movie.

22:10... OK, I am not a fan of Altman movies. I have deep respect for how he makes them, and how they work. But I do not enjoy them. But he does do very interesting commentary on all his movies' DVDs, and I respect the man, and he deserves this for his contribution. And they play him on with MASH music. A great reception, of course. "It's not over." Good for you, Bob. I hope Frances McDormand isn't sick. "Making a film is like making a sand castle on a beach." Beautiful, and he's tearing up. A wonderful speech, a great companion piece to Lumet's from last year.

22:04... Mary Louise and Lily! What did I say? Streep is great on these shows. This is the greatest introduction ever. This is utterly fantastic. I could watch these two vamp all night.

22:01... This week on The Hot & the Snubbed: Eric Bana.

22:00... Thank you, Jon Stewart. Lampoon those montages.

21:57... Gyllenhaal is not teleprompter savvy. Montage #4,443. Epics. Mary Poppins and King Kong together? And Ben-Hur? This is silly.

21:55... Well damn, here's Penelope Cruz in a hair commercial. And what's Ed Norton been up to? He's narrating Budweiser commercials.

21:51... They can't play anyone off because they start playing them off as soon as they get to the microphone!

21:50... Brokeback gets its first. And Perlman's amplified arrangement sounded great.

21:44... Salma Hayek, looking va-va-voomish in a lovely dress. At least she's not here with her English-language-deficient counterpart, Penelope Cruz. It's fantastic that Perlman is performing the original scores. Love those.

21:41... "Hit the timpani, kids! It's Sid Ganis!" Larry McMurtry appears distracted. Dame Judi is here! Hey. Ganis makes his case for the theater experience. Mickey Rooney gives that idea props with a lethargic head nod. And we're shooting in New Orleans. Super.

21:37... Another montage. So we've got film noir, Westerns, and now politically-charged films. Wait, is that Million Dollar Baby? The Day after Tomorrow? Something's Gotta Give? Those ain't socially conscious films, at least not measured against Gentlemen's Agreement and To Kill a Mockingbird and In the Heat of the Night. At least the whole pivots on Network.

21:32... Speed reunion? Bullock & Reeves, together again.

21:25... Bird York performs "In the Deep." Nice touch with the car on fire, boys. And a Thandie stand-in! Wait -- stand-ins for the whole cast! Yikes. Now this is tacky.

22:22... The penguin puppets? Really tacky. Morgan Freeman: "Let there be light!"

21:20... I saw Norman Corwin today. Good film. Deserved. "And I'd like to thank the Academy for sitting me next to George Clooney at the nominee luncheon." Smooth.

21:16... Wonderful campaign parody montage. Makes more sense than a film noir montage. Keira Knightley and God dust! "Judi Dench took my eye out in a bar fight." Great.

21:12... Lauren Bacall! For a film noir tribute. Huh. Well, cool. Hmm, she appears to be having difficulty with the speech. Eek.

21:06... Rachel Weisz wins best supporting actress, and still hasn't outgrown The Mummy, it seems, according to the announcer. Gak, this is boring, winners-wise. What happened to surprises?

21:04... "We have faces now" Sunset Boulevard allusion? Bad writing job there. Does anyone else see from that clip how nothing Keener's performance is? Frances is alive!

21:00... Great Russell Crowe fight joke. That's two shots at the former Gladiator boys.

20:57... Steve Carrell in eyelash extensions: great idea. Pineapple Bliss all around.

20:54... A biopics montage? OK. "Tina! Bring me the axe!" Somewhere, Faye Dunaway is cursing the fact that everyone is once again reminded of the real-life person who sent her career into the shitter.

20:50... Should the costumes be judged independently of the movie they appear in? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sucked ass. Phew, good thing it lost.

20:47... Yeah for hand-drawn animation. This background music is killing me. It's the score to a homemade wedding video.

20:44... Six Shooter is a great short. And Martin McDonaugh is a fine playwright too -- I saw his play The Pillowman on Broadway last spring. Good stuff. Deserved.

20:42... Scientology joke. Always good. Baldwin joke. Always good. The Wilson brothers. Never good.

20:38... Great idea to play clips from best pic nominees right before commercial. Keeps the pace up for the show.

20:37... Dolly sounds good. And look! Lily Tomlin is in the audience! Probably for Altman.

20:33... Nick Park gets Oscar #4. And they're still playing that music under the winner's speech. This is atrocious, and ruining an otherwise invigorated ceremony.

20:27... "For the first time in Oscar history, an Academy Award will be presented by no one!" Great routine by Ben Stiller, including his ultra-dramatic reading of the nominee's names. Things are going well so far under Stewart's watch.

20:25... Tom Hanks on how not to give an acceptance speech. Pretty funny. But no need to play Hallmark music under the winners. Jesus.

20:19... George Clooney wins for supporting actor. I guess we had to get him to the podium somehow. BUT WHAT IS THAT MUSIC IN THE BACKGROUND? It's terrible. Are they kidding? Ugh. Clooney is giving a great speech, a wonderful speech, and they're backing it with Hallmark music? "I'm proud to be out of touch." Great line.

20:14... Great montage of Westerns, a genre that has been asking to be lampooned for its homosexual undertones for decades (or at least since Red River).

20:12... "Walk the Line. It was Ray with white people." Absolutely right. And Joaquin gave the glower he perfected from working with Russell Crowe, who gave Steve Martin a similar look in 2001 when Martin made a quip about his sexual conquests.

20:10... "Björk couldn't be here tonight. She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her." The perfect Cheney joke. Hopefully it won't be mentioned again.

20:06... First great line: "Ladies, gentlemen, Felicity..." and Catherine Keener appears to be busily checking for text messages.

20:05... Is Keira Knightley there with Drew Lachey?

20:03... This is the perfect introduction ever.

20:00... An interesting take on the sometimes redundant clip montage celebrating all of Hollywood.

19:56... Getting impatient for the show to start. This red carpet stuff is bunk. Billy Bush needs to be put in a small box and sent down the river.

19:07... Joan Rivers is interviewing Lauren Hutton on the TV Guide channel. They have the same voice.

19:01... Paul Giamatti says he's been mistaken for Rob Schneider. I can see it.

18:17... Why is Gary Busey on the red carpet!? And Isaac Mizrahi lobbies for a 24-hour Matt Dillon cable station, featuring all of his movies on a loop. This is the first smart thing Mizrahi has said.

17:33... The Oscar-nominated shorts are available to download through iTunes. There's still time to see them before the ceremony; worth the downloading fee of $1.99 each: Six Shooter, Cashback and Our Time Is Up.

17:06... E! develops a sense of humor and interviews the year's snubbed actors, including Matt Dillon's father who is unable to piss and Andy the Security Guard from Crash. How did they prepare for their roles? By sitting on the toilet and eating donuts, respectively.

16:50... On E!, Harry Hamlin is talking very eloquently about playing a gay character in Making Love in 1982 -- a quarter century before Brokeback rode into the Oscars -- and how the industry ostracized him and the cast and crew for it. (And who knew Hamlin got his start in reperatory theatre?) E! almost redeemed itself, but the next segment featured some blonde visiting a real-life gay cowboy couple and making fun of them. Ah well.

15:58... I'm turning off E!, where that reject with the Greek name from The View is helping to demonstrate the technique of walking down a red carpet. Jesus.

15:00... As E! babbles about lymph drainage (the latest in Oscar day beauty preparation, apparently), HBO is featuring Along Came Polly, which features soon-to-be golden boy Phil Seymour Hoffman. PSH -- as the down-and-out B-list actor with a terrible jumpshot and a penchant for sharting -- is the best part about the otherwise dismal Polly. In fact, he's the best part of a lot of dismal movies.


is that so wrong? said...

The E! pre-show must be stopped. The word "vacuous" is all-too appopriate yet somehow not cutting enough. Ryan Seacrest continuously referring to his "First Annual Oscar Party!" implies that there will be many more Ryan Seacrest oscar parties. Make it stop, please.

Middento said...

That wasn't a Thandie stand-in. It's Thandie. She said, "How else can I get onstage for this damn ceremony?"

Needless to say, I'm monitoring your blog as well, heh.

J.J. said...

That was Thandie??? What the hell is she doing? She's better than that.

Middento said...

No, I'm kidding. But I knew you would be upset by that.

Beedow said...

yeah what was that swearing about by tom hanks???

-K- said...

Yes, an awkward finish...and you're right about the "In Memoriam" clips, too. No clapping, please. Plus, the clips themselves did not seem as well chosen as in most other years. In the past, this has often been a pretty moving part of the show.

Ehil Bent said...

Lily & Meryl
best part by far.

cattleworks said...

Um... so, is it too late to send in the Oscar ballots?

sandyyyyyy said...

I came here to see what you had to say, and I am not disappointed. Not particularly magical, but strides better than last year's demeaning, awkward mockery of a show, wouldn't you say? And it came in at around 3:30! Amazing. Also, my guess is this year's producers hired psychoanlysists to see what would make award winners speak less, and they found that playing the music during their whole speech made them just nervous and speedy anough to do the trick.

J.J. said...

You may be right, S, about the psychoanalyst part. It sure put *me* on edge, so I'd imagine the winners felt like they had to get the hell out of there. Most unfortunate.

is that so wrong? said...

How about Jennifer Garner's near-faceplant on the Oscar stage on the way to presenting? She's lovable enough, so she was able to recover from it no sweat. In related news, breast feeding has been very kind to her.

J.J. said...

Steve Pond reports that Hanks was irate because the orchestra played him on with the Forrest Gump theme after he asked them not to. Not confirmed. I thought he was just carrying over the viola joke from Stewart. But he did seem rather curt when presenting...