Every year for the past 8 or 9 years, we've hosted the Oscars, having taken it over from a friend who held it for about 8 years before that. I've been going to or hosting a fancy-dress Oscar party since 1992.
This year was one of the best in ages, especially compared to the past few years.
- I actually liked having five presenters come out and speak individually to each nominee. That whole "It's nice to be nominated" thing is true, and each nominee deserves a little attention beyond a close-in reaction shot as he or she loses. Years may go by before the next time, or this may be the only time he or she is in this spot. While some presenters were better and more heartfelt than others, as each nominee teared up, I did too. I was worried that the format would slow down the pace, but the producers eliminated the clips, and the evening didn't seem to drag much.
- Fey and Martin's smack at Scientology ("every tiny seed on Earth was placed here by the alien King Rondelay, to foster our titrates and fuel our positive transfers!"): Genius!
- I loved Lance Black's speech: "To all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who've been told that they're less than by their churches, or by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that, no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you, and very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours."
- In a year with so many wonderful moments surrounding Milk, who the hell decided to give Jerry Lewis a humanitarian award? At least he didn't put his foot in it.
- Ben Stiller was eerie as Joaquin Phoenix, but it took us a long time to figure out whether it was in fact Phoenix and then who it really was. It felt a little mean too. Remember, this is a guy whose brother died from a drug overdose right in front of him. A guy from a family with six kids, all with names like River. A guy who was raised in a cult. It was like making fun of Britney Spears in her shaved-head-attacking-an-SUV-with-an-umbrella phase.
- That being said, I loved James Franco and Seth Rogen making fun of the Holocaust.
- I have mixed feelings about the musical number. Beyonce was gorgeous, but almost unrecognizable. Some of the minor stars couldn't really sing or dance. At all. It was stirring at the time, but totally forgettable this morning.
- I can't decide how I feel about Bill Maher. His oily snarkiness obscures whatever point he's trying to make. Still, why wasn't his documentary nominated?
- The dead folks montage was too rushed and the images and text too small. Queen Latifah though, we need more of that each year.
- When Kate Winslet asked her dad to whistle so she could find him, and his working-man's whistle pierced the auditorium, I cheered along with everyone.
- I loved seeing Philippe Petit balance the Oscar on his chin. He wasn't even supposed to be up on stage since he was the subject of the documentary, not the producer. Yet somehow, magically, there he was.
- Likewise, I didn't think Sean Penn would win, yet somehow, magically, there he was. I loved his opening: "You commie, homo-loving sons of guns!"
- Angelina's green jewelry
- Taraji P. Henson's hair
- Halle Berry's skin and dress
- Penelope Cruz for her dress and her adorable accent, although her bangs were too long.
- Tina Fey's dress, minus the shoulder pads and the offset bun.
- Megan Mylan's dress, especially from the back.
- Beyonce's red carpet monstrosity. She looked like she needed a vinyl sofa cover.
- Zac Efron's hair.
- Heidi Klum, Sofia Loren
- Reese Witherspoon. I thought at the time that she just needed a bit of adjustment on her straps, but no, apparently they're supposed to look that bad. I like Rodarte's deconstructed mohair knitwear, but the Oscars isn't the place for deconstruction. It also isn't the place for raccoon eyes.
- Meryl Streep needs to wear some color, and no, beige doesn't count.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman. Look, I knit, and I still wouldn't wear a knit cap to the Oscars. Alan Arkin probably messed up Hoffman's name because he glanced up and spotted the cap.
- Jessica Biel, comb your hear and don't wear a sheet to the Oscars.
- Sarah Jessica Parker's boobs. When did that happen?
Eat a sandwich for Christ's sake:
She who defies categorization:
And the results:
- Out of the 24 categories, I picked 19 correctly, all without seeing a single nominated film this year. Once you know the rules, it's not hard, and seeing the movies only lessens your odds.