MONDO EXTRAS

I guess you can't count on me

by Djb March 26, 2001
The 73rd Annual Academy Awards

Steve Martin: "At the end of the night, we're going to vote someone out of show business." I thought that joke was a little played, but the room of people I was sitting in collectively lost it.

Steve Martin: "A homosexual poet, a drunken artist, a man who has a relationship with a volleyball, a sexual deviant, a guy who likes to wear gladiator outfits. But enough about me." It sounds so damn facile on paper, but it's so vintage. Steve Martin. Keep him around.

Hilary Swank. Lose her forever. I'm not sure this sleek little pageboy hairdon't is that much of an improvement over the mullet prowess she displayed in The Gift. She recalls a role that seems so lost in time that I can't believe she won for Boys Don't Cry only a year ago, as at this moment she tells us, "Last year, much was made about someone that I forgot to thank." That someone is now starring, along with his wife, in a short film called Boys Don't Care. Pop culture moved on, Hilary. Get to it. It's BEST ACTOR, for crying out loud. Get to and get off. Oh, and flesh-colored plus sequins isn't a wise fashion choice, dear. Your stylist hates you or you're being blackmailed by Bedazzler. What do the Bedazzler people know about you that you're so afraid to tell the world?

This was not my favorite category this year. The performances were mostly one-dimensional and, well, I just didn't like Cast Away. Tom Hanks allowed himself to have a perfectly serviceable performance ruined by acting in the same congressional voting district as Helen Hunt for an entire half of the film, and if that's not his fault, I don't know whose it is. So it may be because I thought he was the best of the five or maybe it's just because he was my pick for the Oscar pool, but I was glad when Russell Crowe won. He didn't go so far as to dedicate the award to trailblazing Aussie actors who came before ("Paul Hogan and Yahoo Serious are how to speak Australian for actors, mate!"), but he finally thawed enough to flash the world a smile. Gotta give him credit; he really did look shocked. The random seat-filler blonde next to him was happy as well. Way to toss the word "adrenalized" into your thank-you speech, by the way.

I'm going to give Chocolat the exact amount of attention it deserves in the best picture category. Moving right along.

Three honorary Oscars? THREE?

Kevin Spacey is not gay. Steve Martin: "People in Hollywood think of him as an actor's actor. I think of him as an ophthalmologist. But that's just me." Hee hee hee. Kevin Spacey thanks Judi Dench for carrying his tuxedo from Nova Scotia, where he left it on a long, lost weekend with Fred Schneider and the cast of Love! Valour! Compassion! He personifies the award and announces that it's been a year since "I danced off the stage with Oscar," which is my new favorite -- albeit automatically exhausted -- shorthand for Hollywood homosexuality. For instance, "That Kevin Spacey. He sure 'dances off the stage with Oscar,' if you know what I mean, and I think you do." And though You Can Count On Me was the best movie that came out last year, the Academy member in me knows I would have voted for Julia, too. She's Hollywood royalty, people. This is all she needed to cement the legend in time forever. The only sure bet in town. Her speech was very long. "I have a television. So I'm going to spend some time here to tell you some things." She tells the conductor that he's doing a great job, but that he should "sit, 'cause I may never be here again." She is loved. She invokes the "sisterhood" of the other nominees and almost forgets Ellen Burstyn's name, but it was really nice that she remembered to mention her fellow nominees, because she's pretty much the only one who did. She distractedly refers to the Oscar as "quite pretty," fixes her dress, and gets down with the thanking. She thanks "everybody I've ever met in my life." She proclaims, "Albert Finney is my friend." She thanks the crew, the writers, the actors who played her children. She cracks up and yells, "I love it up here!" It's endearing. In a translated-to-the-native-tongue-of-Foreignia-and-then-back-to-English-again kind of way, but it's Julia, so if you can't share the love, take it outside.

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I guess you can't count on me

by Djb March 26, 2001
The 73rd Annual Academy Awards Okay, the woman is crazy. But we knew that. And she was wearing a swan. But we knew that, too. And I'm sure I'll catch shit from some of you on this, but that song had less melodic variety than the recurring one-note piano theme from Eyes Wide Shut. And, oh yeah, she was wearing a swan. I'd have that song stuck in my head for the rest of my goddamn life. If it had fulfilled its artistic intent of actually, y'know, being a song. Anyway, she's seen it all. It's all that she's seen. I'm too literal for Björk. And, right, swan. "I was going to wear my swan, but to me they're so last year." Thank God for Steve Martin right now. John Travolta was in arguably the two worst films that came out last year, Battlefield Earth and Lucky Numbers. It's time to admit that his career resuscitating turn in Pulp Fiction was a one-movie-long fluke and not the resurgence only he thinks it is. He introduces the dead people in a barely concealed turn of wishful thinking on the part of the producers. I'm surprised Anthony Hopkins isn't hastily added to the end of the list. The producers have also smartly turned down the mix on the audience for this montage, so that the eight hundred million people watching around the world can't hear who the audience is applauding more loudly for as they choose their favorites among the really famous famous dead people. I'm sad Jason Robards died, personally. Walter Matthau is a really famous famous dead guy. Here's the Hollywood power duo for the ages. My nominee for Worst Dressed (even her pearls are trying to kill her) Juliette Binoche and the entire legislative branch of Hollywood, Jack Valenti. I wonder what will win best foreign film. Obviously it's the Czech Republic's Divided We Fall, starring Sleebadalik Grossdinflower and Bleeblong Bloooooo. Not. Ang Lee tries to look surprised. Ben Affleck. Traffic. Have I explicitly mentioned my love for this movie yet? It's really very good. They show the scene with Michael Douglas finding out about his daughter's friend being on mad smack. Weird scene to pick, but it's nice to have another linear clip. Shut up, Ben Affleck. I'll bet he won't even be asked to do a guest spot on Damon. "Multi-talented recording artist and film star" J.Lo is introduced as an overly lush orchestral version of "Love Don't Cost a Thing" makes me wonder if this is a direct plug for the upcoming release of "The Academy Awards Orchestra Presents Muzak Goes Mainstream!" or if I should be laughing at it based on some entirely different set of reasons. Either way, it's crackin' me up, man. Her piercing stare and transparent sheer top give the distinct impression of four eyes all staring out at me at once, and she demands attention in introducing "Things Have Changed," performed via satellite by Bob Dylan's giant flared nostrils. He and Tom Hanks need to be strapped down and have their upper lips electrolyzed. Dylan, however, has always been a loony, fractured genius, and he can snarl through whatever he wants, wearing whatever he wants. So a four-minute close-up on his right nostril against a black background is, yes, downright Satanist, but it's not that out of the ordinary. You can't win with a losing hand. ["A member of the peanut gallery glanced at this shot while passing from kitchen to smoking alcove and wondered aloud if Blair Witch 2 had gotten nominated for something. Okay, it was me who wondered that." -- Sars] His three bandmates look similarly crazy. Goldie Hawn thinks this song is from the movie Wonder Hawn, as she sits in her seat dancing and looking around to see who's looking at her dancing and cooing back at the monitor as if Dylan is the lead in Bye Bye Birdie sitting on her lap and crooning "You Gotta Be Sincere." Shut up, Goldie Dyl-Hawn. She's old enough to be his very older sister. Frances McDormand looks appropriately thrilled by the experience. Ditto Ed Harris. Danny DeVito sits in his seat, mindlessly gnawing away at a carrot. I…wait, what?

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