Oh, Internet. You know I love you, but why did you have to crap out on me last night when I needed you? Sigh. Oh well.
So, hows about them Oscars? First of all: LONG! Man, I love the Oscars, but three hours and forty-seven minutes begins to tax even my patience. Second: the Academy did an astonishingly poor job of seeding the eight "major" awards. By 11:00 PM, they had handed out just two of the biggies. I sort of admire the Academy for refusing to let the networks dictate how long their ceremony will be, but let's face it, it's not just the unwashed rabble out in the hinterlands who want to see the major awards spaced somewhat evenly throughout the show; I'm sure most of the, ah, washed rabble there in the Kodak Theater do too. One major award every 30 minutes, is that so much to ask for?
Incidentally, I'm using the word "major" as a convenience. I reject the idea that some Academy Awards are more important than others. All the Oscars are major, whether or not the recipient has ever been on the cover of People or Entertainment Weekly.
Let's seee... since my Internet access was down last night, I put the laptop aside, so I'm sort of working from memory here.
- I did better than usual in my predicitions this year: 14 of 24, 58.3%. And I'll go ahead and round that up to an even 60% for predicting that presumptive favorite Eddie Murphy would not win Best Suporting Actor. Hey, my journal, my rules. My one regret is that Al Gore did not, as I predicted, hold up the Oscar and tell George Bush to suck on it. (The bit with the orchestra playing him off as he made his announcement was funny though.)
- I liked Abigail Breslin and Jaden Smith presenting together. They recovered better from Smith's little blunder than many adults would have, I think.
- It was a nice touch getting Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas to present Best Director. They looked like they were enjoying themselves, and Scorcese clearly appreciated having them there. Might have been fun to get Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Barry Levinson, and Clint Eastwood up there too. (And Roman Polanski, though I guess he's still on the lam.)
- The Will Ferrell/Jack Black/John C. Reilly song was pretty funny. Too bad they couldn't have gotten Alec Baldwin involved somehow. He straddles the line between comedy and drama as well as anyone I've seen recently.
- Reese looked good! Though I have to admit I'm not wild about the long, straight hair. It doesn't frame her face as well as when it's a little shorter and with more body. I also liked Kate Winslet's and Abigail Breslin's dresses. Jennifer Hudson's dress was attractive but I didn't like the jacket whe wore with it on the runway. The top half of Penelope Cruz's dress was nice but the big fuzzy skirt didn't work for me. Didn't much care for Nicole Kidman's or Meryl Streep's outfits. Among the men, Mark Wahlberg, Forest Whitaker, and Will Smith looked the best. Al Gore's lapels were too big, and I didn't like the satin trim on Djimon Hounsou's jacket.
- Jack Nicholson looks pretty good with no hair. I see here that he shaved his head for a buddy picture with Morgan Freeman about two escapees from a cancer ward. Could be entertaining, especially if they let Freeman play the part Nicholson normally would, and vice versa.
- Having all the nominees stand up at the start of the ceremony was a nice touch. I hope they continue that tradition.
- The Errol Morris interviews were excellent, as was the "America" montage by Michael Mann. I could have lived without the one about writers by Nancy Meyers and the foreign film one by, um, that guy who directed Cinema Paradiso. Giuseppe Tornatore, he said, looking it up.
- Ellen Degeneres was in fine form. I thought her best bit was when she asked Steven Spielberg to take a picture of her and Clint Eastwood... and then made him take it over. Nice punchline.
- Having people involved with the making of the Best Picture nominees narrate the clips from the nominated films was a pretty good idea.
- I think I would have cut Celine Dion's portion of the tribute to Ennio Morricone. It's not like that song was nominated for an Oscar, or was from one of his five nominated scores. Perhaps they might have used part of what they had to pay her to appear to get an actual translator insted of asking Clint Eastwood to do it. Still, if they had to have someone sing one of his songs, better Dion singing "I Knew I Loved You" than Pia Zadora singing "It's Wrong For Me To Love You" from Butterfly.