Sunday, February 25, 2007

The glory, blah blah blah.

The Oscars are over now. We had something of a reprise of last year's Oscar debacle, with many of the same folks over for the viewing. This year, we had another DVR episode, with my daughter accidentally brushing the remote with her foot, thus interrupting our delayed Oscar experience, then adding insult to injury by accidentally changing the channel! This meant we missed the announcement of the Best Supporting Actress award (no great loss, according to nearly everyone there). Other than that, and other than the fact that Bruiser threw up early on, we had a pretty good, if noisy and kibitzing, time.

There's always weird stuff at the Oscars. What about that weird guy behind the scenes who kept talking about all the surprises? And what about the Pilobolus dance troupe--on the one hand, kind of cool, on the other hand, as my daughter pointed out, what about the ass that comprised, basically, the heel of the The Devil Wears Prada shoe? Huh?

I had seen nearly all the films with nominations in the major categories this year. (Despite a number of documentaries viewed, I had only seen An Inconvenient Truth. Can't figure out if that's because the docs didn't come to SLC or if I was lazy.) Still haven't seen Pan's Labyrinth, trying to ascertain ahead of time if I'm going to feel too lacerated by the degree of violence, and my scouting has given me conflicting data. Still haven't seen Dreamgirls, can't decided if it will delight or annoy me (on the one hand, Eddie Murphy, whom I stoutly believe still has acting and comedic chops; on the other hand, sorry to say, Beyonce and honestly, probably Jennifer Hudson). I will probably see both.

And why is it that when a film I really, really loved, such as The Departed, gets awards that I feel personally gratified and vindicated? Did I make the movie? Did I write its terrific screenplay, direct, edit, or produce it? Was I one of the big fat movie stars that did the acting that, taken together, comprised a seminar in film acting? I think we all know the answers to these questions. And yet I felt so very pleased that it won Best Picture. So very, very pleased.

Well, that's it--I have no answers except that my over-investment in the fate of films at the Oscars puzzles even me. The show's too, too long, and watching it with anyone but my own self reminds me uncomfortably of everything that's wrong with the entire experience--how stupid the whole award thing is, how it trivializes one of my most reliable and deep aesthetic experiences. Yet I was pleased to see Scorsese finally win his directing award, pleased that his longtime editor won the award and moved that both he and she were visibly moved. Sorry that Peter O'Toole, who surely is one of the great actors, didn't win for his very moving performance.

And so on. Next year, I'm sure I will be doing the same thing, watching the stupid show with lots of chatter and food and dogs, simultaneously critiquing it and taking it in.


  1. I watched the Oscars and I don't really know why. I'd seen hardly any of the movies. And at the end I always feel like I've wasted my time. And yet, I keep watching--every year.

  2. The oscars is an important cultural experience. Even the disappointments are memorable. And Ellen was great. Wasn't she great? There was not enough Ellen.

  3. I agree about the not-enough-Ellen--she totally made me laugh all the time.

  4. You feel vindicated because your taste has been vindicated. It's important.

  5. Really, Ellen? I find her a little too Ellen. I miss Jon Stewart. sigh.

  6. Watched for the first time in about 15 yrs. My favorite moment was Forrest Whitaker's intense, kind of unhinged acceptance speech. I wondered if he was going to throw his Oscar across the theater in his mad joy....It had that live TV edge to it... that feeling that anything could happen. Everything else was pretty lame. And didn't Kirsten Dunst look like garbage!!!!!

  7. YAY for Scorcese!!! and The Departed. Quite pleased. oh and Ellen was hilarious! Loved it! And I personally thought that the Black-Ferrell-Reilly serenade was AbFab!!



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