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March 5 2006

78th Annual Academy Awards

Every year I say I won’t watch, but yet, there I am every year, watching. The Academy Awards always bore me, but yet I can’t pull myself away. I know they really are bought by the movie studios, but they are still interesting. So, here are some random thoughts.

The Host – The opening footage of the Academy calling the old hosts (Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, David Letterman, Whoopi Goldberg) was amusing, but also showed just what an odd choice Jon Stewart was. He was way down the call list, and honestly made about much sense as…well…as David Letterman did the year he hosted. They aren’t known for their movie work, and I’m sorry, but the Oscars are about movies and should be treated as such.

While I like Jon Stewart, I can only take his brand of humor in small bursts. Self-depricating humor is funny when it is used sparingly and not as your entire act. Stewart is too “self-aware” for my tastes, and his delivery is the same for almost every joke. Just because you raise your tone at the end of a sentance doesn’t make it funny. It’s almost like he feels the need to tell you “Hey, look, this is the punchline, laugh now!” I wish him well, but hope we won’t see him back in this gig anytime soon.

Montages – Montages used to be something special, but it would appear the Academy has decided you can never have too many montages. I look forward every year to the Rememberance montage of the passings of the past year. The impact seemed to have been lessened this year from A)too many of them and B)three major deaths were missing from the past few weeks. There was no mention, even verbally, of Don Knotts, Darren McGavin or Dennis Weaver. That was just shameful. I understand this clip needs to be finalized, but it really should allow for changes up to the very last minute.

Formality – This is a show celebrating the movies, why then isn’t it more fun? The annoyance of music playing DURING the speeches quickly grated on my nerves, and the obsession with a time limit on the speeches…GAH! Folks, do you not realize saying “Oh wow, I only have 10 seconds left!” eats up your time? Don’t mention it, say what you have to say and ignore the stupid clock!

I recently watched the BAFTAs on BBC America, and I have to say, they were so much more fun! For those who don’t know, the BAFTAs are the British version of the Oscars and they are much more light-hearted. The seats are even fun! They are covered in leopard print coverings and each seat has a small bottle of champagne for the audience. What a wild idea, an event about the movies that, in and of itself, is fun! *gasp* No bands playing off the award winners, no obvious signs of a clock. You’ve won an important award, enjoy your time in the spotlight!

The Winners – I hate to say it, but, I have seen next to nothing of this year’s nominees. I just simply didn’t have the time, but based on an overall sense, I am thrilled George Clooney won at least something, but he did make a valid point that it seemed like “Oh, here, have this one, but forgot the others youa re nominated for.

I think people were a bit shocked how little Brokeback Mountain won. Ang Lee won for Best Director and E. Annie Proulx & Larry McMurtry won for Best Adapted Screenplay, but that was the extent of it’s major awards.

I have not yet seen Capote, but based on his other works I am not surprised Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar. He is deserving and is amazing in every role he plays. Good on him for taking home this award.

Robert Altman deserved every second of recognition he got. He has had an amazing career and has made some amazing movies such as M*A*S*H and Gosford Park. If you aren’t familiar with him, do it, and do it now.

Best Picture went to Crash…wow…I don’t think ANYONE of note picked this as the winner. I have been told it is disturbing though, so not sure when, or if, I will ever watch it.

Best Animated Feature is always dear to my heart because I am such an animation junkie. All I can say is, Wallace & Gromit – The Curse of the Were-Rabbit better be damned good to beat out Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle. Miyazaki is pure genius, and is known as the “Japanese Walt Disney” for a darn good reason.

King Kong won a bunch of technical awards…good for it. I will never see this film. I have expressed my views on the “talents” of Peter Jackson before, there is no reason to go over them again.

Reese Witherspoon got Best Actress for Walk The Line. Awwww good for her! She was having such a hard week! I mean, she only got $29 Million for her next movie, making her the highest paid actress in Hollywood. Yeah, you read that number correctly.

The Clothes – What commentary on the Oscars would be complete without a commentary on the clothes? Well, the only one that really annoyed me was Charlize Theron’s very odd black dress. Honey…seriously…did the bow attack you? Unflattering, bizarre and just a bad, bad choice.

Oh, there was one more that puzzled me. Michelle Williams…I have no clue what to call the color of your dress except hideous. It looked like the color of a fruit smoothy, and not a very tasty one.

So, all this said, I won’t be watching next year…really…I won’t…I swear…you don’t believe me do you?

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