This is the biggest night in all of Filmdom. It is as big as Superbowl Sunday is to football fanatics; as big as The Tony Awards presentation is to some gay men.
Usually, the Academy Awards show is one I try to watch, if for nothing else, to witness the depths to which Oscar head writer, Bruce Valanche will go to get a laugh. I don’t know if dreadfully odd-looking man has taken leave of his post under a bridge to pen the jokes the year. Comedians aren’t hosting the show for the first time in like…forever. This year, actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco are hosting. They’re represent a lot of firsts: they’re youngest hosts EVER, the first non-comedians to host in forever and the first male/female tag team to ever do so.
I’ve seen the previews touting their duties. To be honest, I don’t anticipate laughing much over the next several hours.
THE CLOCK STRIKES 10:55 pm (CST)
Turns out I was right.
The Oscar show just ended and save for Melissa Leo’s use of the F-word during acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress, the telecast was largely forgettable. As for the hosts? James Franco was stiff and maintained this strange expression the entire night. He rarely took his eyes off the tele prompter and that gave him this odd, deer-in-the-headlights look. It was if he was embarrassed to be there. He should have been. And Hathaway? Well, this Adderall fueled bundle of energy was either consciously or subconsciously aware of her co-host’s lackluster performance. Her enthusiasm was enormously annoying and she constantly woo hoo’d on mic, but off camera every time some celeb walked on the stage.
We know why these two were picked. They’re young Hollywood. But really, why? Why do the producers insist on trying to appeal to a younger demographic? I know we’re obsessed with youth, but in Oscar’s case, it just doesn’t work. It didn’t when Chris Rock hosted a few years ago. That was a tacky show with hardly any viewership, and of those who did watch. it wasn’t the hip generational type they wanted to draw. Last night’s show was only minutely better in my opinion , but even so, it wasn’t all that entertaining.
Gwynneth Paltrow proved she should stick to being a singer’s wife. Mrs. Chris “Cold Play” Martin sang a nominated song from some country movie she performed in and it was beyond awful. I’ve heard her sing before on the You Tube and I guess thanks to the magic of studio processing, she sounds a lot better recorded as opposed to how she sounded during a live performance. Paltrow sang tentatively as if she was very, very, very nervous.
The lovely Hallie Berry was brought in to pay “homage” to Hollywood first siren of color, Lena Horne who died in 2010, but it was too short. It did nothing to celebrate her storied life or career. I think inclusion of this segment was something of an after thought to combat this year’s incredibly white bread Oscar presentation. It was awfully Anglo, there were no nominees of color, unless you consider Javier Bardem, which Ididn’t and neither did the Academy, apparently. Other than that, James Franco was the only nominee who’s last name ended in a vowel.
As for the winner’s, there were no surprises. As I already told you, Melissa Leo beat out Helena Bonham Carter for the Best Suppporting Actress. Perhaps that was the ONLY surprise, and not much of one, actually. Christian Bale was named Best Supporting Actress, Colin Furth won Best Actor and Natalie Portman took home the statue for Best Actress. That was hardly a surprise. You see, Hollywood LOVES kids who grow up before the camera and often rewards them for their years on the soundstage. Natalie started acting at 11. I remember her role in “Beautiful Girls”. She possessed that certain something. She was special. She literally grew up in Hollywood…like her fellow Oscar winners, Jodie Foster and Ron Howard. Someday perhaps, Leonardo diCaprio and Diane Lane who have also grown up amid the tinsel and paparazzi will someday take home the gold statue.
Speaking of, I am convinced that serial Oscar nominee, Annette Benning is the Academy Awards’ version of Susan Lucci. But Susan Lucci eventually won a Daytime Emmy. I doubt Benning ever will. She’s facing a horrible Hollywood obstacle. Time. Annette will turn 53 in May and yeppers, s getting a little long in the tooth as they say, and Hollywood doesn’t like it when women have the audacity to age.
That’s why Franco and Hathaway were brought in as hosts; to appeal to a younger demographic. Frankly, I don’t mind seeing old Hollywood up as part of the ceremonies. Granted, it was a bit painful to listen to the aphasic Kirk Douglas handle the Best Supporting Actress award. His speech was affected by a stroke in 1996. But in a way, I was proud of the Academy for allowing the afflicted nonagenarian so much face time. He, along with a very sickly Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Borgnine, Eli Wallach and Joanne Woodward are about all that’s left of ‘Old Hollywood’.
Robert Redford and Warren Beatty will soon be reaching that tarnished state of gilded Hollywood soon. They’ll be to my 20 something nieces and nephews who Gregory Peck and Richard Widmark were to me 30 years ago.
And then there’s all the fashion. The dresses, hair and makeup that these so-called fashionistas on E! (Kelly Osbourne???????) think are drop dead perfection make me scratch my head. They were gaga over Cate Blanchette’s dress, which frankly, I didn’t get at all.
Then, they ragged the lovely Scarlett Johansen’s dress and hair, which I loved.
We agreed though on the way Jennifer Hudson looked. She’s lost an amazing amount of weight over the past year. She was a vision in vibrant tangerine red, buut if I had one complaint, it was that her cleavage looks drawn on.
This year’s Oscar show was really quite the snooze fest. The filmed intros which are traditionally funny ways of Hollywood ripping on itself for the year that was, was awkwardly unfunny. Everything was terribly predictable. I might have just watched my very last Academy Awards presentation. I’ve realized it’s not worth the average three hours and six minutes that it takes from beginning to end. Plus, all the impetus that’s placed on fashion and figures. That ain’t easy for a short woman with a tall appetite.
For the movie, Black Swan, the already thin actresses, Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman lost 20 pounds to anorexic ballerinas with screws loose. I also think Christian Bale prepped for his role in “The Fighter” by smoking cigarettes, eating styrofoam and sipping Ipecac to get his body looking heroin chic.
So yes, I admit that as a short, stocky-ish woman, I do get a smidge depressed when I look at these stunning processed people, women mostly. I know the fate of my flab lies in my hands…Jennifer Hudson did it. With the help of Weight Watchers, she says. Yeah..unless that’s the name of her bariatric surgeon!!
So yeah, I know, if it is to be, it is up to me. That affirmation and 764 more adorn the walls of my room. But I know that somewhere I am that lovely thin middle aged woman under all that adipose. Even with my “I didn’t get the job” 14-inch consolation pizza that I just ate; that “JT didn’t call when he said he would” Supersized Double Whopper Meal that I want to order; and that dozen “I’ve got nothing else better to do” chocolate chip cookies I’ve just eaten, there lies a waistline. And hips that don’t damange furniture. And underneath that waistline lies a metabolism that I will admit, has seen better days. I will be 52 in just over a month and I hate that slower metabolisms come with the aging territory. I’m convinced that I am the only person on the planet who could gain weight while in the midst of a rampant Meth Amphetamine bender. How, when did that happen????
Twenty years ago, I had a metabolism like a blast furnace. I could eat One-A-Day vitamins with iron and fart nails two hours later.
You know, I think I’ll skip watching any and all award shows from now on. I don’t have the right mindset for watching the constant stream of size 2 dresses, all that self-congratulatory attitude and skinny, exclamation point looking women wearing Harry Winston jewelry that cost more than Germany paid in war reparations.