Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the Oscar goes to........

It's that time of year again, people. The night when Hollywood pulls out the pomp and pretense, pats themselves on the back and says, "You like really like me." So here I am, wine on the bedside table, laptop in lap, ready for them to entertain me. Big Daddy wants no part of this. If you want to get Big Daddy riled up, ask him what he thinks of Robert Downey, Jr. Or Tim Robbins. Or Bette Midler. Or pretty much, anyone within a 100-mile radius of L.A. But prepare yourself. There will be expletives. I, on the other hand, am able to separate celebrities annoying off-screen antics from their craft. Take Alec Baldwin, for example. I'd probably feel like pulling a Three Stooges double-eye poke on him if I ran into him at Starbuck's, but his comedic timing is priceless. He makes me LOL and LMAO. The kids are on their way to bed - they stop in to say goodnight. Robin Williams is on the tele....

ZuZu: Who's that?
Big Daddy: He's an idiot.
Me: Daddy! He is not an idiot. That's Mork, kids. He's a friendly alien that wears rainbow suspenders.
Look of confusion on kids faces as they glance at Big Daddy for verification.
Big Daddy: That's true. And I shouldn't have called him an idiot.
Me: Now, go to bed.
ZuZu: Tell us if Sandra Bullock wins.
Me: Will do....but don't count on it. Before Blind Side there was Miss Congeniality 2 and The Lake House.
Another shot of confusion. They decide to give up and go to bed.

So, allow me to back it up. The night started with a great song and dance number with Neil Patrick Harris, who I adore, but was simply there to introduce the host duo, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. There's five minutes the producers will wish they had at the end of the show. Okay? Moving right along.....

Martin & Baldwin could be a modern day Abbott & Costello. Or maybe, Laurel & Hardy. Smothers' brothers? The chemistry is there, and when prodded with the cattle iron, Alec accepts the role of straight man with "grace." I enjoyed these two throughout the night. Kudos, on this one, producers.

Worth noting - the John Hughes tribute. Cheesy, and slow, yes. But I could have watched clip after clip of the many movies that personified adolescence in the '80s. Hughes' movies were instant classics, which is pretty much the way we viewed our own lives. We saw ourselves as the fearless Ferris, the overlooked Sam, and certainly we all had a Ducky in our lives. Quick question though - when did Molly Ringwald become a drag queen?!?

Also, A+ for the "Best Original Score" dance sequence. I fancy myself as a (former) dancer, and was more than impressed with the choreography, and the League of Extraordinary Dancers. As my niece would say, AH-Mazing!

There was also the "'ode to horror" montage, segued by Twilight series star Kri-... Kri-... um... - 'sten arm twitch um - Kristen - St -... um -... scratch head - Stew -... painful, confused glance Stewart. What is the matter with that girl? She came out looking like a million bucks, and I thought she was going to show me a little something for once, and the next thing you know, she's coughing a non-existent phlegm pocket over her shoulder and reaching across her head, possibly trying to adjust a hat that she's not wearing?!? Seriously, Kristen, are you getting enough oxygen to the brain? Maybe you could use some carbs. Or if it's protein you're looking for, why don't you take a bite out of that hunky Taylor Lautner on your right (who is now legal, by the way, ladies. our inappropriate, secret thoughts are now slightly less repulsive).

Since we're on that wavelength, let's take note of more strange and misguided happenings. Did you see the highly unscripted happenings during "Best Documentary short?" An African-American man runs down from the back of the auditorium and starts an emotional speech and gets bumrushed by a red-headed Jew from Jersey. Damn, Yetta - let a brother have his day! And then there was Ben Stiller, once again, willing to humiliate himself for a little cheap humor. Taking one for the team. Dressed as one of those blue guys from Avatar, he poked a little fun at James Cameron and freaked me out with some freak-ass contacts. Why must Stiller always report to the award shows in costume?

Okay, on to more important things. Let's discuss some of the winners.

Once again, a woman wins an award for making herself as homely as possible. Mo'Nique's name was called for "Best Supporting Actress" for her role in Precious, and Mama enjoyed her walk up to that stage, sauntering in her sapphire gown. She kinda called out the academy, thanking them for deciding to choose the work over the politics. The bite in her acceptance speech had me wondering if she was thankful or pissed. No question, she was passionate. Go'Mo!

Give it up for a female finally winning "Best Director." Kathryn Bigelow was obviously, humbly stunned. Of course, she dedicated the award to the men and women of the military who are abroad protecting us. I had hoped to rent 'The Hurt Locker' prior to the awards due to all the Oscar buzz, but my go-to rental spot, the $1 RedBox was always "sold-out." I'll be damned if I'm gonna drive all over town looking for a Blockbuster that hasn't "went out," OR pay $4.99 on Comcast's 'On Demand.' I'll tell ya what I demand....A BREAK! A break from the ridiculous amounts that company charges for cable services. Back to the Oscars....of course, we know 'Hurt Locker' went on to win "Best Pic," so kudos again to the academy for picking substance over politics. It is my fairly uninformed understanding that the film does it's best to show a story without having a left or right slant. Perhaps Hollywood should take note. And Washington.

The last "winner" I want to mention is Sandra Bullock for "Best Lead Actress." For those of you who haven't seen 'The Blind Side' AND seen interviews with the woman that Bullock portrayed, it may be a hard sell. But I gotta tell ya, it's the one movie on this list I DID see, and she nailed it (Oh - I did see Meryl Streep as Julia Childs and I thought she completely channeled her, too, but she wasn't as endearing as Sandra in her movie). I'm not saying none of those other ladies deserved it I'm saying, SO DID SANDRA. Especially, considering the crap the movie took for showing "yet another white family coming to the rescue of a black kid." Really? I'm sorry, how can anyone take issue with the storyline - it was a TRUE STORY. Like it or not, it happened - pretty much the way the film portrayed (except for the lack of natural football talent Michael Oher obviously posessed from the beginning). Kudos again to the academy for looking at the performance and not underlying themes that aren't there.

Lastly, let's take a quick look at best and worst dressed, shall we? Join me as we take a stroll "gowntown....."

How about the placement of those cabbage roses on Cameron Diaz's gown? EEEHH. Wrong answer, CD.

Poor Tina Fey, I love you so. I love you for being a strong, female comedian that isn't Janeane Garofalo. But the lopsided black gown made it appear that your girls were resting on the 50-yard line. Cue Ludacris and the chipmunks, "How low can you go?!?" Are you still nursing that toddler or do you not understand the concept of push-up bra? You'll see what I'm talking about when you check it out on DVR. You'll be writing lines much better than these.

Now Sigourney Weaver pulled off the one shoulder look. Pretty sharp in her red, asymetrical gown with a crisp black belt. I'm thinking it was actually from her martial arts collection (she could so kick those aliens' ass again).

Speaking of aliens, was there one trying to escape from JLo's dress? What the - ?!?

Many will disagree with me, but I thought SJP looked like a Greek Goddess. Stunning! Of course she had the honor of awarding "best costume design." Her SITC days taught her well. She will always be a "Most Daring, Best Dressed and Tressed." Brava!

I think all of the "Best Actress" nominees did a fine job accepting free, designer gowns for the evening's event. A special nod for newbies Anna Kendrick and Carey Mulligan. I'm awarding your efforts with a "thumbs-up with the okay" - the universal sign of appreciation (that's high rewards where I come from). But, back to the presenters - the ones who were making grand entrances from the wings.....

Queen Latifah looked fiiiine. So classy, poised and polished - but in a real, not staged way (plus-sized means there's more to love). Demi Moore rocked her classic Hollywood look. Nicely played, Cougar-tamer. And here's a better shout-out for the female funny girls - Elizabeth Banks was a vision in a purplish-grey number.

All in all, the night seemed to go off fine with little surprises. Avatar won for what it was "Art Direction" and "Cinematography." Single performances won out versus overall content of said film ('ski children cheering in the background for the mom in 'Blind Side' - the only movie they saw in the theatre this year other than 'Up.') Intense 'Hurt Locker' took "Director" and "Film." 'Precious' for "Adapted Screenplay" (I'll be boxing out at the RedBox to rent that this weekend). The only big loser of the night seemed to be 'Up in the Air.' Hmm. Sorry, George.

Big Daddy?!? Is that you chuckling back there?!?