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7 March 2006

On the red carpet: I rarely watch those red carpet shows, but the quality of it all seems to have improved. I turned it on to bridge the 30 minute gap between "Says You" (it was OUR episode! Yay!) and the start of the Oscar telecast. I was pleasantly surprised. Best moment: Felicity Huffman's response to the taped good luck wishes from her Desperate Housewives co-stars. I know Reese Witherspoon is going to take home the Oscar, but I sure would love to see Huffman take it.

The Show...Loved the opening montage (how can they go wrong when they start with a Wizard of Oz clip?) and Jon Stewart's opening remarks (and the cowboy bit was hilarious). It didn't sound like he was getting hysterical laughter...maybe too cerebral for folks?

And then there's George Clooney, starting the night by winning best supporting actor. Clooney is just a class act who doesn't seem to take himself too seriously.

Ben Stiller's green screen antics were stupid. Sorry. It might have been funny if they really intended to use the green screen effect.

The Wallace & Gromit guys looked like clowns in their huge bow ties. Cracking couple of guys. Seems fitting for them.  I notice that they've added bow ties to their Oscars for the cameras.

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OK--Naomi Watts gets my first vote for "what in the world was she THINKING in choosing that dress?"

dolly.jpg (12180 bytes)Didja ever wonder what Dolly Parton looks like without her wigs and makeup? I suspect she could travel anywhere unrecognized! (And it should be illegal to be THAT thin.) I did like her song. It would be nice to see her recognized by the Academy.

Someone was talking through the acceptance speech of the woman who won the costume designer award. How rude. OK--it's not one of the biggiest award, but it was a biggie to her.

One of my favorite things at the Oscars is the film retrospectives. You'd think that in 78 years they'd be running out themes. I enjoyed the tribute to biographical films. Poor Faye Dunaway, forever remembered as the woman who hated wire coat hangers!

Dontcha love it when an actor of the eloquence of Morgan Freeman can get tongue tied? Shows he's human like the rest of us.

I would have liked to have seen Michelle Williams win the Supporting Actress award, but I happened to be able to see Constant Gardener this week and Rachel Weisz did a wonderful job. And I loved her acceptance speech, paying tribute to those who have the strength to fight injustice in the world.

A word to Lauren time WEAR YOUR GLASSES. But a perfect person to introduce a retrospective of film noir. I'd forgotten just how lush those black and white films were.   Those were the days when actors had "the look," not like they were all stamped out with the same cookie cutter.

Love the stuffed penguins...and this may be the first time ever that a thank you is given in "Penguin." But cute. I couldn't figure out why they suddenly shined a light on Morgan Freeman off in the wings, till I remembered he was the narrator for March of the Penguins.

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Jennifer Lopez looked lovely, but can't read lines to save her soul. The staging of the song from Crash, with the fire and the people milling around. Absolutely stunning.

Selma Hayek was gorgeous and I love Itsak Perlman. Having him play the scores for all five nominated movies was really inspired. And of course, I was pleased Brokeback Mountain won.  You sometimes don't realize how much richer a movie is with the right background music.  The score just says "sweeping vistas" when you hear it.

Another retrospective on "epic films." Of course it was supposed to prove that you can only really enjoy them on the big screen--when billions of us were watching the retrospective on our television screens!

Meryll Streep and Lily Tomlin. Now there's a great pair and what a wonderful pairing of two real pros, who could pull off the intro to Robert Altman. Great seeing them up there on stage.

OK. Call me an old fogie, but I'm afraid "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" did not make me want to rush off to the theatre to see Hustle and Flow. Damn...the song won too. Well, there go my hopes for Dolly Parton. The guys accepting were cute in their enthusiasm but.....

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...did they not get the memo about the dress code?

Jennifer Garner must be lactating. It's the only explanation...

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The memorial to dead guys is always so moving. I loved that they ended it with Richard Prior tipping the brim of his hat. Very sweet.

I loved the man who won for best foreign film, Tsotsi, a movie which traces six days in the life of a ruthless young gang leader who ends up caring for a baby accidentally kidnapped during a car-jacking.  (I confess, I copied that off their web site!)  Another classy acceptance and powerful statement for Africa.

Ziya Zhang walked out looking like a Geisha. Gorgeous woman. (Why is it that a Chinese woman is playing a Japanese woman?)

Well, actor and actress were no surprise. I've enjoyed Philip Seymour Hoffman's work ever since I saw him in Patch Adams and knew then that he was a talented actor. I'm glad to see him get recognition.

Reese.jpg (11760 bytes)As for Reese Witherspoon, well, she's shed her Legally Blonde image now (tho I enjoyed her in both Legally Blonde performances). Too bad she has a left eyebrow that has a mind of its own. It looked like a fake moustache that would wander around her forehead, but her acceptance speech was heartfelt. And I like her motto, taken from June Carter Cash--"I'm just trying to matter."

It's been a good night for thanking Mom & Dad. It's amazing how many award recipients thanked their mothers. Every time I see one of these shows, I think about how I always joked with Paul that he had to win an award so he could thank his mom. He went to extreme lengths to make sure that he wouldn't have to do that, don't you think?

McMurtry.jpg (16891 bytes)Here's best adapted screenplay.  Yes!  Brokeback Mountain.  Didn't anybody think to straighten Larry McMurtry's tie?  Why do I think he's more comfortable in denim and flannel than he is in a tuxedo?

ang.jpg (10998 bytes)'s the director award. Tense moment. For weeks now they've been saying that Crash is moving in on Brokeback Mountain. The director award will tell the tale. ... Ang Lee! Yes! I loved his speech: "They taught all of us who made Brokeback Mountain so much about not just all the gay men and women whose love is denied by society, but just as important, the greatness of love itself."  Best movie or not, that message has reached people who never gave it a second thought before, and so it has made its impact.

And now the biggie. (Does Jack Nicholson ALWAYS give out the best picture award?).


Crash ????????????

How can they give the director award to Lee and the picture award to Crash?   I am more glad now that I made sure to see Crash before the awards.   I can accept its award a bit better than if I hadn't seen it.  It, like Brokeback Mountain has an important message and in a way, I'm kind of glad that both pictures got recognition (though obviously I would have preferred for Brokeback Mountain to take it all home.  But at least it did get its recognition!)

Welll, the 78th Oscars are in the can now and it's all over.  Except for the huge upset at the end, no real surprises.  There is debate about Jon Stewart, but I thought he did a good job (and my mother, who has never seen him before, thought he was hilarious).  I think his main problem is that he's not a Hollywood insider and may not have been accepted by the audience he was chiding.   Letterman had the same problem.  But I do think that he and the audience began to warm to each other as the evening progressed.  I'd like to see him do it again next year to see if, with one show under his belt, he might be able to grab the audience sooner.

All in all, I found it an enjoyable evening.  But somehow things just have never been the same since we lost Cher and Bjork.  The classic black dresses were very elegant, but I kept hoping somebody would drape a swan around her neck and call it haut couture.

Thanks for sharing it with me.

Here are Oscar nominees, Iraqi Style, thank to a link on My Incredibly Unremarkable Life.


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