Monday, March 06, 2006

And the winner is...

Impressions from last night’s Oscar show:
  • First, of course, is fashion. I have a general question: whatever happened to cleavage? For those too young to remember, this is the visible cleft between decent-sized boobs that are nuzzled together mid-chest by an article of clothing. Now the dresses are open all the way to the navel, but the boobs (far smaller in today’s anorexic world than, say, Liz Traylor’s of Marilyn Monroe’s) have gone into hiding on either side, so all we get is an eyeful of sternum and some ribs. This is not recommended for anyone sporting scars from open-heart surgery. The only egregious fashion error was obviously Charlize Theron’s. Did she somehow not notice the large dead black bat perched on her left shoulder? I fear we peaked in the fashion ludicrousness in 1986 with Cher.

  • Jake Gyllenhall is gorgeous. Salma Hayek is gorgeous. Ralph Fiennes is super-gorgeous. Jon Stewart isn’t all that funny but he cleans up OK. Philip Seymour Hoffman looked better in character as Truman Capote (and he sure nailed the voice). Larry McMurtry... hoo boy. I always figured he was a real cowboy who turned to writing, sort of like Baxter Black. Who knew he was a geek wanna-be cowboy who got sand kicked in his face as a kid in Texas but watched and listened to everything? ...Lauren Bacall has been embalmed. She could barely totter to the podium, struggled to read the TelePrompTer and was paralyzed from the forehead down. I watched in fascination as the corners of her mouth vainly attempted to move her cheeks as she spoke. The poor woman has had so much work done that she can’t move her facial muscles any more. Either that, or she had a few too many Singapore Slings at her last botox party... Dolly Parton has gone from her friendly-zaftig-mom look in “9 to 5” to an over-dieted, hollow-cheeked action figure who’s looking more like Joan Rivers every day. The profile shots of her stick-like thighs and strapped-in skinny torso over her absurdly large breasts was almost as frightening as my daughter’s naked Barbie dolls. I’m eagerly awaiting more Fashun Reakshun on Go Fug Yourself.

  • My friend and fellow movie fan Pink were musing about why they don’t have cool commercials during the Oscar show as with the Super Bowl. Well, ask and ye shall receive -- I loved that long stream of consciousness from M. Night Shyamalan’s fevered imagination.

  • It was only a matter of time before a rap number won Best Song. I’m not a fan of rap, but I can’t complain given some of the previous gag-inducing winners like “Can You See the Love Tonight?” At least this one had some pep -- more like a hit of speed than a pint of Cheracol D slathered over Jell-O.

  • The most frequently heard refrain from my end of the couch: “Oh, I wanted to see that!” in reference to some of this year’s movies but also plenty of older ones referenced in the montages. This is what happens when you have kids. Movie tickets + babysitter + dinner + free-floating anxiety over kids = “Let’s just stay in tonight...”

  • The montages were excellent -- epics, film noirs, bio-pics, movies dealing with topical subjects, and of course the pastiche of clips from old westerns selected for gay double entrendre (“Can I see your Winchester? Very nice...” ). The faux political campaign ads for best actress were the best part of the show, though I imagine everyone watching outside the USA was a bit mystified.

  • I take it back. The best part of the show was Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep doing a Robert Altman overlapping-dialogue riff (must see “Nashville”). The Boston Globe noted that “the ensuing retrospective of Altman moments had the unintended effect of making this year's nominated films look like a group of poseurs.” Yup, I’m definitely over the hill into Nostalgia Valley, living on They-Don’t-Make-‘Em-Like-They-Used-To Street.

  • I was out of the room probably pouring another tankard of $2.99 chardonnay when the “March of the Penguins” people went onstage clutching big stuffed penguins, but I hear there’s a sequel in the works. “March of the Lemmings” -- This time, they ALL die!”

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