"And now, I'm pleased to introduce the star of the film Gladiator and a man I like to call a close, personal friend. But he asked me not to." Heh again. He's working the crowd, that Steve Martin is. He then proceeds to run like hell as Russell Crowe, Matrix tuxedo coat co-opted from every other man in the audience tonight but really only worked by Sam Jackson (and I suspect everybody already knows that), glowers his way out on stage. His pompadour hair makes me wonder if he hasn't just run over from the set of Gus Van Sant's shot-by-shot remake of Billy Joel's "Keeping the Faith" video. 'Cause he's got his hair in a pompadour. Like the rest of the Romeos wore. A permanent wave, yes. He's keeping the faith. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, keepin' the faith. You folks like the admirable job I'm doing of keeping this recap short? Perhaps I should employ the assistance of a skilled film editor (extraneous segue alert!) much like the ones Russell Crowe intends to honor with the following award. Traffic takes it because, I mean, come on. The comic book storeowner from The Simpsons accepts the film editor's award in his stead.
And now, the best intro in Oscar history: "You loved him in There's Something About Mary, you loved him in Meet the Parents, and you were fine with him in Mystery Men." I might have tossed in a "You made it to the end of The Cable Guy, though barely," but I dare not breathe such words out loud and challenge the all-consuming Power Of Vilanch. Ben Stiller has spent so much time sounding out the titles of the nominees for live action short film and live action whatever-the-other-one-is that he forgot to make good on his Mach 3 endorsement deal and just shave. It. Off. That is not a good look for him. Personally, I could have taken a little less bravado in his pronunciation of Una Historia de Futebol for a little more dispensing with the Wolfman Jack routine. Ditto Tom Hanks who, unless he's deep into filming the lead role of "Fuhrer" in an upcoming version of Mein Kampf, can't blame his disturbing facial hair on a role ever, ever again. Ben Affleck can, though, for his current role of "sneering, coked-up, self-important Hollywood shithead," which he's been playing pretty consistently since 1997. Anyway, I arbitrarily pick Quiero Ser because I think "Gallenberger" is a cool last name for an Oscar winner. I am correct. He should shave, too. And unbutton the bottom button of his tuxedo jacket. But he's foreign, and therefore begs forgiveness. Father and Daughter picks up best animated short film, and some incredibly jolly circus music kicks up. I fear the imminent presence of clowns.
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Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas-Jailbait looks awesome. She navigates her way through the American Gladiator
set while her doting husband tries to lift the sandbags his cheeks have become and twist his face into a smile's reasonable facsimile. Catherine launches into some Byzantine speech about cavemen and dreams and multiplexes and the projection of those dreams; Bruce Vilanch stands just offstage in a pair of tattered navy sweats and a faded t-shirt which reads, "Worst. Intro. Ever," rubbing his hands together in a sinister fashion and whispering, "Someday I will rule the whole entire world." Catherine presents the award for best art direction to prepare us for three and a half hours of middling awards that all sound more or less the same. Crouching Tiger
takes it, because ninety-nine percent of America forgets that there was ever a movie released this year called Quills
. The other one percent of us should be so lucky.
One-time sham winner himself Nicolas Cage, sounding more and more like he's doing an impression of someone who hates Nicolas Cage doing an impression of Nicolas Cage, swaggers his way through the intro for best supporting actress. And, well, you read up on this award and everyone has convinced themselves that the Academy's wont to reward a doomed ingenue (Marisa Tomei, Mira Sorvino) was to become common practice. But Kate Hudson has a foothold in Hollywood, so it's no surprise she rigged this Kiss Of Death category in favor of someone else. I chose Judi Dench to take it, even though she still hasn't completely finished walking away from the podium from her last win, not to mention the fact that Choco-not
was the most embarrassing Oscar mistake since As Good As It Gets
. So imagine my happy surprise when Marcia Gay Harden swoops in from nowhere to take the award for Pollock
. Which is so cool, because she really was the best performance of the five. The movie was blustery and self-important, but damn if she didn't shine. Kate Hudson deserved this award like Yes, Dear
deserved an Emmy. Even Goldie Hawn manages to smile broadly through her daughter's crushing loss. Well, well. Imagine that.
First commercial break. Three hours to go. Oh, yeah. I'm rolling now.
Britney's Pepsi debut. Is this commercial a parody? Has Paula Abdul come out of retirement? Is Britney the original cold-hearted snake? Do the dancers laugh? I am riddled with questions.
If you want to know where I live, look at the street scene in this Jerry Seinfeld commercial. It looks just like my house. Anyway, that's where I live. ["Dude, we didn't get these 'good' commercials at the MBTV North Compound. You'd think the pornographic shots of men's torsos getting splashed with delicious, nutritious milk would suffice, but you'd have another think coming." -- Sars
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