OK, as threatened, more comments on the Oscars, in more or less chronological order.
- Steve Martin was a great host. Why the hell wasn't he asked to host last year? Stupid Academy.
- The first award is Best Animated Feature? But they always give one of the Supporting awards first? My world is shattered. It's interesting that Spirited Away won this; yes, it was probably the best of the nominated films, but that's never stopped the Academy before, and it was seen by so few people.
- Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah did a nice job on "I Move On." It's not a very good song though, and on general principles I disapprove of giving the Best Song award to songs that play only over the ending credits of movies. I was hoping they'd get Queen Latifah to perform "Lose Yourself" too, but alas it was not meant to be.
- In a possible first, we see a CGI-animated Mickey Mouse. And boy, did it look crappy. Some of the worst computer animation I've ever seen. Disney used to have a very good CGI department -- they did beautiful work on Dinosaur -- but they shuttered it in 2001. Morons.
- Ah, Sean Connery. You are so cool.
- I was amused by Eliot Goldenthal's dedication of his Best Score Oscar to Mexico. I was hoping that Mexico would win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and dedicate it to Eliot Goldenthal, but again, it was not meant to be.
- OK, a montage to Oscar musical performances? Well, that's certainly self-indulgent. I was pleased to see the brief snips of Robin Williams' brilliant performance of "Blame Canada" at the 2000 awards, but extremely disturbed to see a clip of Nell Carter's 1993 rendition of "Friend Like Me," which in my opinion represents the nadir of Best Song performances.
- I think that Gael García Bernal is possibly the most obscure person ever to appear as a presenter on the Academy Awards. One senses a bit of affirmative action at work here. We need a Mexican actor to introduce "Burn It Blue!" No, other than her! Who? Never heard of him. Is he Mexican? Great, tell him to be there at 7!
- And the "45-second acceptance speech, no this time we really mean it" rule was pronounced dead at 7:55 PM Pacific. Give Bill Conti credit for not fighting what was destined to be a losing battle.
- Darn, no performance of "Lose Yourself," but it's odd they didn't play it at all. Seems to me that would have been the perfect opportunity to present a montage. Perhaps of clips of musicians who acted in films? Movies about musicians? Lots of possibilities. Oh well. Barbra Streisand's reaction was interesting; I think she was as surprised as anyone it won, but it looked like she might have been pleased about it. I wouldn't take Babs for a big rap fan, but you know, I'm not either, and a good song is a good song.
- Memo to Luis Resto: I appreciate that you're trying to keep it real, but for God's sake, grow the fuck up. It's the Academy Awards, not the MTV Music Video Awards. Put on a suit next time, you poseur.
- I thought Peter O'Toole had declined his honorary award? Maybe he decided to accept after he was passed over to play Dumbledore in the next Harry Potter movie. Regardless, it was a classy speech, nicely balanced between "thank you very much" and "it's about time, you jackasses."
- Was it my imagination, or was there a lot of background noise when Nicole Kidman gave her acceptance speech? It sounded like they had a mike turned on somewhere picking up a lot of nattering and gromishing.
- A montage of statements from former Presidents of the Academy? And on the day the words "self-indulgent" were redefined, we stood in awe and watched.
- Did they just do this parade of stars thing in 1998? What a waste of time. I'd rather see another montage. I don't think I approve of this kind of tribute. For one thing, by only featuring actors and actresses, it gives the false impression that the acting awards are more important than the others. If they're going to do something like this, they should open it to everyone: directors, producers, set directors, the works. Also, if they're going to limit it to actors and actresses, I don't think they should include people who received honorary awards. Nothing against Mickey Rooney, Kirk Douglas, or Peter O'Toole, but in my mind there's a difference between winning an Oscar and being given an Oscar.
- It makes no sense that the Best Original Screenplay award he won tonight is Pedro Almodovar's first Oscar. Why in the world does the Best Foreign Language Film award go to the country, not to the director? By all rights he should have been allowed to keep the Oscar he accepted on behalf of Spain in 2000.
- It's nice to see that Kirk Douglas isn't letting his stroke keep him from having a good time. He and Michael have a good rapport.
- 3 hours, thirty-four minutes! Wow, short. I predicted 3:45.
Well, that was a lot of fun. Can't wait until next year