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.