Archive for March 6th, 2006

Spiritual balance and the Oscars

As we’ve learned from Grey’s Anatomy and My Name Is Earl, karma is a really important concept in the world of television. Good things should happen to good people, and bad people should be punished. Similarly, for every good thing in the world (Arrested Development, Tim Gunn), there’s something horrible (Two and Half Men, Simon Cowell). Last night’s Oscars provided ample evidence of this ruling principle.

THE GOOD: Jon Stewart’s humorous gay cowboy montage. And he didn’t even have to use the Brokeback Mountain score to make his point. The Brokeback Mountain score is the new “It’s Raining Men,” in its musical ability to telegraph gayness.

THE BAD: Every other montage (and there were many). Especially the film noir montage, which basically made fun of film noir for two minutes, and the “epic” montage, which was clearly cobbled together by someone unfamiliar with what the word “epic” means. We’re all waiting for the inevitable tribute to montages, or the montage of close-ups, or blinking.

THE PLUS: There were only three original songs nominated, and none of them were by Sting!

THE MINUS: The interpretive dance for Crash with the flaming car in the background, and the set for the Hustle and Flow song. As a member of my viewing party declared, the set truly looked like a diorama we might have made for a fourth grade class project. “My First Inner-City Ghetto Playroom.” “Pimps in their Natural Habitat.”

THE HIGH: The fake “attack ads.” They cast some very realistic-looking Dames for the Dames Against Dame Judi Dench. Such attention to detail! Oh yeah, and they were hilarious.

THE LOW: No actual fighting or bitching on record.

THE WOW: George Clooney in a tux. Rrrrrrrow!

THE UGH: That thing spouting out of Naomi Watts’ side. Which is possibly the child of that thing sprouting out of Charlize Theron’s shoulder.

THE YES: Jon Stewart, I don’t care if they didn’t laugh at your jokes, or if some of the jokes felt like they were written by Bruce Vilanch on an off night, I will always love you. You did a great job. A great job, I say! Don’t argue with me!

THE NO: Crash for Best Picture. Actually, scratch that, I was more upset that it won Best Original Screenplay. Best Original Screenplay is where they usually honor the quirky stories, or the young ‘uns, or something that maybe should’ve won Best Picture if the world were more fair or daring. I.e., Good Will Hunting, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation, Almost Famous, Gosford Park — I could go on. Best Original Screenplay is where they put the interesting movies. And to give that award to Crash is just not right. It doesn’t follow any of the patterns I have come to expect from this, my favorite category. For shame, Academy. By all rights that award should’ve gone to The Squid and the Whale, and you know it.

March 6th, 2006


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