In The End, Aren't We All Winners?
No. No, We're Not.
who talked to me, however briefly, during last month knows
what a terrible fascination I have with the Oscars. I'm
at a loss to explain it, I don't know where it comes from,
or when it started, but there it is. I'll stand up and admit
it. "Hello, my name is carter and I'm addicted to the
This is the point where you're all supposed to say "Hi
Go on. Say it.
It won't work unless you say it.
Well, let's get right down to the action. The myriad stars
staggered up the red carpet and were forcibly interviewed
by Joan Rivers. After last year's win by a nearly bursting
Catherine Zeta Jones, I guess Marcia Gay Harden thought
it was lucky to be pregnant, but not in that dress. The
bluish-purplish number made her look less like an expectant
mother and more liker Veruca Salt from "Willy Wonk
and the Chocolate Factory."
Then Billy Crystal descended on the audience with his ego
on his shirtsleeve reminding us all that he's a comic genius
and is still very, very famous (never mind he hasn't made
a movie in forever). "Oh it's a wonderful night for
Oscar. Oscar! Oscar! Who will win!?" That song. That
accursed song, designed to drive you mad and catatonic at
the same time. His clever little jingles about each of the
best picture nominees were like passable improve comedy
(The Lord Of The Rings sung to "A Few of My Favorite
Things"or Moon River come Mystic River). Right up until
he used the tune of Goldfinger for Seabiscut (which turns
into a song more about Pete Rose than any horse), then you
realize that Crystal ran out of ideas five minutes into
the show and it's nothing but ham, dreck, and gay joke after
gay joke for the next three hours.
imagine having to
look at this face for three hours
And what a three hours it was. The Lord Of The Rings won
eleven Oscars, which ties it with Titanic and Ben-Hur for
the most won in a year. It's the first movie since 'The
Last Emperor' to lead the field in nominations and sweep
every category it was up for. It's the biggest most expensive
cinematic undertaking in the hundred and twenty odd years
of film. But even though all those geeks finally got their
come-uppances, none of them are getting laid at the after
party. Try as they might, there's just nothing sexy about
a fat New Zealander who just made a movie about trolls.
Tim Robbins picked up his first Oscar - I guess he can
finally live up to his wife now. Or common-law wife, whatever
that means. Isn't that when you're too damn lazy to actually
get married and the state eventually just decrees it for
you after like twenty years or something?
when will the realize that
she is simply not talented
Rene Zelwigger, that whoorish cabbage patch kid come to
life, finally got her Oscar. Like I said last month I was
really hoping she'd become the Susan Lucci of the Oscars
- forever losing to people with actual talent. But no, it
was not to be. As she was standing there knees knocking
together slightly under that slinky pale colored dress I
was just praying for a pee-stain to slowly creep along her
front, or anything else that would make her burst into tears.
Shucks, maybe next year. Or, even better, maybe next year
Patricia Clarkson will actually get the accolades she deserves.
In another expected shocking turn of events, Sean Penn
beat out Bill Murry for best actor. This is the biggest
disappointment of the evening. I wasn't all that excited
about any of these performances (admittedly I didn't even
see Ben Kinglsy in Sand of House and Fog, but no one's perfect)
but he was the worst of the bunch. In the "Is that
my daughter in there?" reel, he sounds more like Gollum
from the Lord of the Rings than someone from Boston. And
Bill Murry's speech would have been something for the ages,
Model turned actress turned serial killer, Charlize Theron
beat out a thirteen-year-old (Keisha Castle Hughes), a sixty-year-old
(Diane Keaton), an Irish woman (Samantha Morton), and a
girl who looks almost exactly like her (Naomi Watts). I
was satisfied with the best actress. Although I would have
been happy to see any of these ladies get it.
And then there are the nominees for best original song.
The producers deiced that it would be a good idea to group
the three most annoying songs together into twenty of the
most painful minutes of my life. Liv Tyler (and her hair)
decided that she needed some black horn-rimmed glasses to
read the teleprompter. They made her (and her hair) look
like they had just moseyed off Bedford Avenue. It was so
Williamsburg hip that to actually call it hip is to insult
those people that think hip is still cool.
Sting and some girl sang the curiously titled "You
will be my ain true love" I have no idea what 'ain'
means, but it probably has something to do with the hurdy-gurdy
Sting was pretending to play. The two of them looked rather
like an organ grinder and a well decked out, breast-augmented
monkey. Then the monkey stayed on stage and sang "Scarlet
Tide" with Elvis Costello. The song, to my shock didn't
have anything to do with menstruation.
That a man, baby
Finally, Annie Lennox came out and sang "Into the
West" from the Return of the King. Personally, I thought
she was dead so boy was I shocked to see her. Cindy and
Michael got into an argument over the diva which ran something
Cindy: Annie Lenox looks good. She looks really nice.
Michael: She does. She looks really good. She looks like
a drag queen, Cindy. Hopefully when I'm ninety I'll look
that good too.
Michael can sometimes be quite sarcastic.
For me it wasn't so much Lennox's curiously bronzed skin
or her hair that was more of a swimming cap, it was those
crazy freaking eyes. And the high school talent show gestures
with her arms while she sang and that she stayed on stage
bowing for a good minute after she stopped.
About thirty minutes later, they did the other two songs
that were nominated. The Triplets of Bellville's "Bellville
Rendezvous" which is a fabulous song very poorly lip-synched.
And "A Kiss At The End of the Rainbow" from A
Mighty Wind, which replaces Robin Williams rendition of
"Blame Canada" a few years ago as the best, funniest
Oscar musical performance. It was sad too, because the entire
audience loved the song and loved Eugene Levy and Kathryn
O'Hare and you could just tell that they all wished they
could change their vote.
Erroll Morris threatens
to beat up the academy
Aside from that, it was technical award after technical
award all going to The Lord of the Rings. This is the first
time that I actually didn't mind one movie winning all the
gold. I loved the movie, it might not be the absolute best
movie of the year, but it's up there. I mean it was much
more satisfying than say, Titanic winning every thing, which
just pissed me off. But it really feels like almost every
award was a gimmie. The Lord of The Rings won everything
because it's lost for the last two years. Sean Penn won
because he's lost the last two times he was up for best
actor. Ditto Rene Zelwigger. Sophia Coppela won best screenplay
because she lost everything else she was up for, and so
on and so on.
The most satisfying moment was probably Errol Morris winning
best documentary and then chastising the academy. "I
want to thank the academy for FINALLY recognizing my work."
You're such an asshole Errol, but I still love you. But
even this was a gimmie. 'The Thin Blue Line' and 'Fast,
Cheap and Out of Control' were better movies than 'The Fog
of War' but they weren't even nominated. I just hope this
trend turns around, because it's getting boring.
I guess that's about it. A mediocre end to a terrible year
for Hollywood. Cross your fingers for 2004 and let's hope
it starts getting interesting.
Oh, wait. One more thing: Robin Williams must be back on
coke, because for the first time in fifteen years, he was