Morgan Freeman introduces the best picture clip for Crouching Tiger, and then the clock strikes midnight and he turns back into a troll doll. The hair, Morgan. The HAIR. Steve Martin makes a joke about the tigers and dragons being crouching and hidden, and the universe mouths it right along with him.
Kate Hudson, drenched in tassels and heavy hair wax and Medusa imagery and loss, presents best make-up. I think she's gotten a nose job since the ceremony began. The Cell was one of the five worst movies I saw last year. Grinch wins best makeup. The winner thanks a man named something like "Kirohuzo Suchi," because if you don't hop on the Asian bandwagon this year, you're just plain screwed. "Oscar winner How the Grinch Stole Christmas." I'll see you when you're done quietly weeping into your King of Beers.
Dustin Hoffman marches out to award an honorary Oscar to Jack Cardiff. Rein yourselves in, folks. I'm excited, too. This is the first time an honorary Oscar has been given to a cinematographer. Montage-cakes. Old guys, big glasses, thanks blah thanks. Does this smell like we're mired in the middle of The Second Hour to anyone else?
Damon doesn't look like it's about Matt Damon at all.
Yeah, Sam Jackson works it, all right. That coat is kick-ass. And he's been in a lot of films and all, but, Jheri curl or no, he is always Jules and nothing less and I mean that in a really good way. He gets to introduce the documentary short and feature. Because he is the foot fuckin' master. The short is won by a film called Big Mama, and a team of security guards hired for the sole purpose of keeping Martin Lawrence in his seat are instantly deployed to avoid any confusion as to what film just won an award. Documentary feature goes to the history-making something about the Holocaust, and I start to feel a little guilty about my reaction to last year's King Gimp thing all over again. Because really, it wasn't funny at all. I know that now. I've grown this year. Do they make an Oscar for that?
Sarah Jessica Parker, with whom I have a conflicted relationship, looks really good. For a night at Foxwoods. Hair up like Julia's, dress black and leggy, absent giant, garnishing flowers that look like poorly disguised spy cameras or water-spraying parting gifts from a job well done at Clown College. Things are going well. She introduces the next original song nominee, from Meet the Parents, written by someone who "has heard his name called on the Oscar telecast fourteen times as a nominee." And as a winner? Oh. That'd be never. Because he is Randy Newman. And he is the devil. But you wouldn't think so to hear Vilanch's patter on the subject, for we learn that Randy Newman "can always be counted on to put his own twist on the human condition." Yeah, I really got that from the soul-wrenching prestige of "Short People." This year he's performing "A Fool in Love" with the (a-hem) "help" of former Bangles superstar Susanna Hoff. Yay! Until she sings, of course. If she had ever gotten around to replacing the shaky monotone garbling and actually doing something resembling singing, that is. Randy Newman sings. Susanna Hoff "sings." A choir of white-furred backup singers raise their arms, Fosse-style, as a disco ball starts to spin. Here are some of the words to this song: