Eighty, bald, and made of gold…

February 25, 2008 at 1:40 pm (The Easy Chair)

…just like a Hollywood producer.

There was no red carpet. With kids and critters, the carpet at our house is an off-brown. No champagne to celebrate, but I did drink a whole bottle of chocolate cherry Diet Dr Pepper. (It tastes just like, uh, chocolate cherries!) Tuxedo? Does an oversized tee shirt and torn sweats count? The seafood pasta served for dinner was gourmet, but the rest of the evening was definitely lowbrow.

Yup, it was Oscar night at our house.

I rarely get worked up for awards shows, and the Oscars are the only one I watch regularly. My friends aren’t interested. The Hollywood bourgeoisie are an easy target, and while I like picking on celebrities as much as the next guy, I tend to give them a pass on Oscar night. (Both friends and celebrities.) It’s just me lazing in the easy chair, trying not to nod out during the ‘important’ awards.

I have been watching since my teens. I started watching after Marlon Brando tipped the apple cart by sending a Native American woman to accept his award for The Godfather. Around that time David Niven was streaked, and after that how could I not look? One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest was a favorite teen movie, and I was thrilled when it swept.

Some years have been better than others. Out of Africa? The English Patient? Didn’t see them, didn’t want to. I’ve been introduced to other films I wouldn’t have watched otherwise. (Like Forrest Gump.) Sometimes the Oscar hype has backfired. I hear about how wonderful a film is to the point where I feel I *have* to hate it. American Beauty was like that. It was the Academy’s darling during an incredible film year, and I almost skipped over it. Mizelle loaned me the video, and now it’s in my all-time top ten. A favorite Oscar moment? When Best Actor Kevin Spacey stood at the podium, winked at the crowd and said, “This is the highlight of my day. It’s not going to get any better than this.” The audience gasped with naughty delight, and I did a spit-take. (It’s a reference to the beginning of the film. If you don’t remember, please revisit. If you haven’t seen it, WTF are you waiting for?)

Last night’s broadcast, culled together after the writer’s strike, was low-key compared to some, but I managed to stay awake through the whole show. Jon Stewart brought sarcastic class to the event, tossing his trademark snarkiness out in small doses. He’s my favorite host since Johnny Carson, although I was one of about three people who liked Chris Rock’s turn at the podium.

This year’s winners? Since I haven’t seen all the films yet, I like the way it turned out. No Country For Old Men was a personal favorite. I saw it again just last weekend with Mizelle. We drove to a theater outside of Gresham, and were two of about ten people in the auditorium. Upon arriving home, Conan O’Brien was on, and Javier Bardem was doing a cameo, running through the studio zapping Conan’s staff with the airgun. OnDemand had a movie featuring Mr Bardem, a comedy from the mid-90s. I could now tell Mizelle of another movie he’s been in. Accepting the award, he dedicated it to his mother. It was a moment I was glad to be alone. I get misty at the damnedest times.

I’d also seen Mr Bardem and the Coen brothers on Charlie Rose a week or so ago. I see them, hear their stories, and wish I’d pursued my TV-video-film studies a bit more aggressively as a teen. They are a perfect example of doing it right.

I thought it showed class when Jon Stewart brought Marketa Irglova back out. She and her partner had won Best Song, and the orchestra drowned her out before she could say a word. Diablo Cody’s moment was also touching. Being accepted for exactly who you are is a wonderful thing, and when the world validates that, how can a girl not cry?

Of course it was nice to see Jack Nicholson. Thankfully he didn’t do an ass-plant when approaching the podium. A slick spot almost took out Colin Farrell and John Travolta. I was taking silent bets, seeing who would be the first to go down.

And now, since this blogpost has gone on almost as long as the Academy Awards, I will close by extending congratulations to the winners and the nominees. (I almost felt sorry for There Will Be Blood, but I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t judge.) And while I can’t quite accept Brangelina as Hollywood royalty just yet, when Jack’s time is up, it’s nice to know George Clooney is waiting in the wings to become the Academy’s resident playboy.

My favorite part of the night? After, when they showed a clip of The Governor’s Ball, there was none other that Thomas Lauderdale tickling the ivories with Pink Martini!

I love seeing people I know on TV.

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