And finally, Michael Douglas forks over the best picture Oscar to Gladiator. And I know it was heavily favored to win and all, but it was still nice to get to the end of the ceremony and not be completely certain of which one would win. And I didn't hate it. It was big, dumb, and pleasant enough without too many surprises, so it sounds like the 73rd Annual Academy Awards went out of its way to honor said structure in tonight's ceremony. Please kill Winona Ryder by next year. Please make Björk choose her outfit off the rack. Please tell Joaquin to tighten his tie even a little. And please, for the love of all things holy, please keep Billy Crystal on an indefinite vacation and let Steve Martin do this for as long as he damn well wants.
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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.
Steve Martin introduces Tom Hanks as "Mr. Easypants," which is solidified forever in the public consciousness if the public is made up entirely of me. How -- HOW -- could anyone think Billy Crystal is funnier than he is? Or is it "EZ Pants"? We shoot over to via satellite to Sri Lanka, where Arthur C. Clarke predictably awards the best adapted screenplay to Traffic
. Please don't ask me about my disturbing, inexplicable, clinically psychotic crush on Steven Gaghan. He looks like a bio-engineered David E. Kelley
. But with writing talent. You don't have to tell me that. But, awwww. Tom Hanks reads the nominees for the original screenplay award, and, to me, this award is the one evil sham of the night. I believe I've already referred to You Can Count On Me
as "the best movie of the year" twice. And the reason it was great (besides Mark Ruffalo, but even bringing that up is a losing battle, so moving on) is because it is one of the most smartly written movies I've ever seen. If you watch really close, there's a moment in Matthew Broderick's office where a boom mic gets away from a grip and literally bobs down into the frame for just a moment there. The technical artistry of the direction isn't what made that movie fly. And it's not that I hate Cameron Crowe. Far be it from me to malign the man who should have won three separate Oscars for screenplay, soundtrack, and director simply for penning the time-honored classic "Joe Lies (When He Cries)." But Almost Famous
wasn't good enough to win this award. It coasted on nostalgia, and it was
saccharine and it was
cloying and it was
self-conscious and it wasn't as genuine as too many critics made it out to be. The stage direction "sings 'Tiny Dancer'" does not a brilliant screenplay make. I'm pissed about You Can Count On Me
and playing the rest of the Oscars under protest. See that movie. It's "Golden God Free." I promise. ["Amen. Lonergan got robbed." -- Sars
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