78th Annual Self-Congratulation Extravaganza

OscarIt’s early March, and you know what that means: time for Hollywood’s biggest night; chockful of back-slapping, glad-handing, and insincere acceptance speeches. The 78th Academy Awards took place in Hollywood Sunday night, airing to its global audience of “over 1 billion people.” I think I’d take issue with that number if I really cared, but that’s not why you stopped by. The telecast on ABC last night was among the most boring in my recent memory; thank God for DVR. Being able to fast forward through interminable speeches by secondary key grips on Bosnian films about old, bearded men is a blessing. The usual bore factor was only heightened by this year’s weak crop of films, making the telecast something less than “appointment television.” Of the five films nominated for Best Picture, I’ve seen just one of them (Munich, which was great). They all certainly look interesting, though not in the way nominees of years past have been (Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, Braveheart, The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, L.A. Confidential, etc.)

The meager highlights:

  • Ben Stiller in a green unitard; highlighting the magic (or lack thereof) of visual effects. Moderately amusing; bordering on annoying.


  • Salma Hayek. Mmmm…Salma Hayek… A surefire bet to make any broadcast instantly watchable.


  • Host Jon Stewart started off slow and got much better as the night wore on. He’s no Letterman, but he was funny. The political commerical spoofs, featuring the voice of Stephen Colbert, were great.


  • Lauren Bacall in Sunday night’s “Dick Clark moment.” Eeeep. I’ll say no more.
  • The Three 6 Mafia winning the Oscar for Best Song, with “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” Comedy gold. All of the songs nominated were pretty terrible, this hip-hop number being no exception. Jon Stewart nailed it, though, when he focused on the “interpretive dance” aspect of the show’s performance. Rap and interpretive dance. Not since Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state of California has there been a pairing been this steeped in unintentional comedy genius.

    Three 6 Mafia

  • Mickey Rooney is still alive?!
  • The winners of the Best Picture winner, Crash, being played off the stage by the orchestra. The last and biggest award of the evening, and the show’s producers feel they still need to save time by cutting off the winners for Best Picture. Hunh? These things drone on far too long, but that makes little sense to me.

So, all in all, a lackluster night for television viewers, but the same old “you love me; you really love me” good times for the Hollywood elite. I’m sure they all had a grand time regaling each other at the after-parties with their barely-contained glee about how much the award means to them and their mother. Bah!

I guess I’m really just jealous. I’d love to have a career where you can sit on your ass in a trailer 90% of the day and come out to say 4 lines; all for a seven-figure paycheck. But that could all soon change. I’m hard at work on my screenplay, A Boy & His Chimp (a buddy cop movie, obviously). I’m going straight to the top!

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