Sunday, March 13, 2005

COLUMN: Oscars

Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,

I'd like my Sunday back please.

It was my own stupid fault, I guess. I could have been productive. My apartment needed cleaning. I had laundry to do. Hell, I'm sure somewhere there was a rerun of "Cops" I could have been watching.

But noooooo, I instead chose to suffer through all 183.5 hours of coverage of the Night of a Thousand Stars You Could Care Less About. Yes, look at them come down the glorious red carpet now. Ooh, it's What's-Her-Name, you know, from that one movie, looking oh-so-splendid in a dress by somebody I've never heard of. But enough about Joan Rivers' insightful commentary.

This whole Oscar craziness can be summed up in one simple phrase for me: I JUST DON'T GET IT. What is it about human nature that makes us want to sit and watch this tripe? I mean, just because somebody's an impressive actor doesn't mean we need to see them slowly exit a limo and spend the next 30 minutes posing for pictures and making forced chit chat with rotund interns from The Tonight Show. For people who are being celebrated for their craft of acting, most of 'em sure do a lousy job at acting like they enjoy themselves on the red carpet.

Eventually, though, all of the beautiful masses were finally herded into the Kodak Theatre and it was time to enjoy the historic and exciting 2005 Beyonce Awards. That's because Beyonce made an estimated 2005 appearances during the award ceremony itself, impressive for someone whose most acclaimed acting role to date was playing Foxy Cleopatra in the third Austin Powers flick. Yet somehow Beyonce weaseled her way into singing about 80% of the nominated soundtrack songs, including (no joke) the one in French. This had me wondering whether Beyonce actually knew French, or if she just learned the song phoenetically and had no idea what she was singing. I was going to make a joke about that... but then I realized how many times I've sung "In a Gadda Da Vida" in the shower... or known every line to "Macarena" other than what the words were.

(On a side note, I'm pretty certain the lyrics to "Macarena" go like this: "Come, dumb Americans, come and do our stupid dance now/Don't mind us while we point at you and laugh now/Heeey, stupid dance now!")

Once again, I could easily observe a trend in the Academy's voting this year, and that trend was to nominate only movies that I've not seen. My apologies go out to "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," because I DID see and enjoy that one, which immediately meant that it couldn't be nominated for Best Picture.

Instead we get a bunch of movies that I could care less about. "Million Dollar Baby"? I'll take a pass on watching girls who can beat me up. "Finding Neverland"? Given recent news events, I think it's best to steer waaaay clear of Neverland, thanks much. "Ray"? Well, that one I did see, and it's the most heart-warming tale of a philandering heroin addict this side of "Sid and Nancy."

I suppose there were some worthwhile moments about this year's Oscar telecast. Scarlett Johannsen jumped at least three places up my list of Women I Enjoy Obsessing Over, and Johnny Depp reincarnating himself as an Argentinean cowboy made me happy in the notion that even the coolest people on Earth can still occasionally make horrible, horrible mistakes.

But the whole thing was just soooo boring. I just wanted an excuse to stare at Renee Zellweger (yum) and the aforementioned Scarlett Johannsen (double yum,) But they both did their things in the first hour, and it all went downhill from there.

Maybe it was a fine telecast. Maybe I just didn't appreciate the subtle nuances and grand majesty of the Oscar spectacle. Maybe I was just bummed at the shocking snub of "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle." Frankly, I wouldn't know, as I fell asleep on the couch sometime between P. Diddy and Julia Roberts. I can't even remember who won Best Picture of the Year. I think it may have been Beyonce.

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