Scott, To Be Certain


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Good, The Bad & The Oscar

Watching the most self-congratulatory industry on the planet feverishly reward itself over four long hours is guaranteed to produce pop cultural gold on every occasion.

To assist you to navigate your way through your respective post-Oscars bitchfests, I have packaged my take on the show's highlights into helpful categories for your review.

Best Dressed

1. This precocious wench warbled her way through an excruciating, undeserved Best Actress victory in 1999 with Maggie T hair and the ugliest piece of pink fabric known to mankind, then followed it up the following year with brooding eyeliner, saggy tits and a curtain.

Who would have thought that 7 years later Gwyneth Paltrow would finally again exhibit the kind of sultry beauty she oozed in Great Expectations but not since - this bronze number was stunning (or would Meryl Streep's Prada fashionista call it 'vermillion'?):

2. Kudos also to Reese Witherspoon, who offset her increasingly prominent chin with a simple but elegant blue sleeveless gown. Note the absent handbag.


1. So Martin Scorcese has finally won. It's so interesting that his desperate quest for Oscar, which drove him to make pretentious, bait-y films like The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York and The Aviator has finally ended with a film that is perhaps the least bait-y of his career. The Departed is probably the darkest and bleakest Best Picture winner since Silence of the Lambs (1992) and the biggest box office smash to win the prize since The Return of the King (2004) and Titanic (1998). None of the other contenders was remotely successful comparatively; this could be one of the night's most potent messages.

2. Alan Arkin was an upset winner over Eddie Murphy, whose ill-timed, woeful Norbit hit theatres at exactly the wrong time. Arkin had been nominated 38 years before, putting him in the record books for the longest pause between nominations along side Jack Palance (who featured in the Weepy Violin Dead People Montage) and Helen Hayes. Like Palance and Hayes, he won on his second nomination.

3. Forest Whitaker pulled out his heavily favoured win ahead of Peter O'Toole - I'm happy to eat humble pie on this one, as it was a powerhouse performance. However, it's exasperating that Whitaker, a world class performer who has now given approximately 10 acceptance speeches at prominent, televised ceremonies for this role, has each time been speechless, sappy and under-prepared.


1. Ellen De Generes - a fine first hosting attempt brimming with memorable moments. The obligatory political quip about America voting for Al Gore was well executed, but I particularly enjoyed, "Without gays, Jews and blacks, there wouldn't even be any Oscars. Or anyone named Oscar." I sense that many commentators will misinterpret her seemingly haphazard delivery for nerves, but this delivery is actually the cornerstone of her uniquely self-deprecating humour. I enjoyed it and hope she comes back for more.

2. Ellen pointedly referencing Oscar acceptance speech clichés, such as Horseface Swank's assertion that she once lived in her car. Ellen had had me at hello but this was the clincher.

3. Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé giving themselves coronaries during an onstage singing smackdown, only to have their thunder stolen by jealous little bitch Celine Dion and her incomprehensibly pouty fish lips at the end of her song.

4. With Ellen and performer/winner Melissa Etheridge hogging the stage, I knew it was only a matter of time until jealous little bitch Jodie Foster appeared.

5. Meryl Streep - even from her seat she stole the show. Her spontaneous in-character response to Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt reprising their Prada roles was gold. The Oscars desperately need Meryl back on the podium to deliver one of her brilliant and hysterical acceptance speeches. (Some say 2009 might be her year...)

Really quite shit, actually

1. The entire opening montage. Lame.

2. Ellen's misguided use of a tambourine and backing choir.

3. Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly singing something rubbish.

4. Emanuel Lubezki losing best cinematography for Children of Men. Criminal.

5. Gustavo Santoalalla winning Best Original Score for the 2nd consecutive year - his haunting Brokeback Mountain score was thoroughly deserving but he did frankly bugger-all with Babel. This category is notoriously difficult for newcomers to penetrate and the lazy, repeat voting pattern epitomised by this result suggests it will remain that way for a while to come.

6. It amazes me that that the world's finest actors are incapable of making their introductory repartee sound remotely natural. I accept that most of it is scripted, stilted rubbish - but there must be ways for these alleged experts to deliver the material palatably. Of course, when in doubt, just snort a fistful of coke, Diane Keaton's apparently favourite way to prepare for announcements of Best Picture winners.


1. Cameron Diaz's cheekbones. You can cut bread with them.

2. Poor Anna Nicole Smith - as if her well-documented travails in life and death weren't sufficiently tragic, she has now also been snubbed by the Academy's Weepy Violin Dead People Montage department. Surely her gripping work in The Hudsucker Proxy and Naked Gun 33 1/3 qualified her for a mention?

And I guess that's that for another year. Or should I say, "That's all."

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  • At 8:25 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger comicstriphero said…

    Yay! Snaps for Ellen!

    And snaps too for the cutaway shots to Portia!


  • At 8:44 AM, February 27, 2007, Anonymous FranklinBluth said…

    Did you see the red carpet special? Wilkins totally put his big stupid foot in it with Dame Helen Mirren by asking her when she realised she had an uncanny resemblance to the Queen! Going with that logic I wonder if anyone has ever asked him to play the role of Lassie before?
    Oh, and I felt really ripped off when they said they were going to show 'oscars fashion evolution', well something like that anyway, and the earliest pics were from 2000. I wanted to see 80's shock frocks!!

  • At 10:13 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Woodsman said…

    RIP Curly, may you forever protect the legend of your gold.

  • At 6:17 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    I'm with you Franklin - there must be some truly classic shoulder-padded atrocities to marvel at from that era.

    I can't believe Richard Wilkins remains employed. Do you think Nine continue to foist him on us because they're aware of the car-crash quality of his interviewing, or do you think they're genuinely oblivous to his shitness?

  • At 9:18 AM, February 28, 2007, Blogger lisa said…

    I love Meryl!

    But what was with Emily and Anne walking out hand in hand, have they not heard the rumours about them?

    Ah, ofcourse they have, that is probably why they did it.

    Ellen with Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and a vacuum - classic!

  • At 10:45 AM, February 28, 2007, Anonymous FranklinBluth said…

    I don't know why channel nine continue to punish us with Richard Wilkins ridiculous head and annoying interviews...

    But I guess it would be a pretty crap gig, from what I hear the red carpet walk is the most painful part of the evening for the stars... maybe because they have to talk to nuffy posers like Wilkins.

  • At 8:23 PM, March 02, 2007, Blogger par3182 said…

    richard wilkins must have dirt on some bigwig at channel nine; i can't imagine why else they keep him around

    gywneth paltrow was atop my worst dressed list

  • At 11:30 AM, March 24, 2007, Anonymous FranklinBluth said…

    Hey Scott,
    Re the whole Eddie Murphy- Norbit thing, I just wanted to make sure that you have seen David Stratton's review of Norbit, I had a laugh...


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