Last night, I watched the Oscars and a Tony telecast broke out.
That being said, for the most part, I liked the irony-free, “let’s put on a show!” vibe of the broadcast. The fact that we had a “song and dance man” as our host—not a snarky political quipster or a jaded late night comedian—was kinda refreshing.
The first production number, with its charming homemade sets, got things off on to a promising start. (And Anne Hathaway: Who knew?)
But the Vegas-tastic Beyonce/Zac Efron/Mamma Mia number, with the top hats and the bedazzled, Rockette-style dancers, was so random. I mean, do we really need to hear excerpts from Grease, like, ever?
Here’s a funny thing about the telecast: Even though it felt so corny and old-fashioned, it was also rather slyly forward-thinking. Somebody finally noticed that the staid and formal Oscars are out of step with our Twitter-y times. So the accounting firm of Pricewaterhouse Cooper was not trotted out for our approval and the MPAA president didn’t get to make a long, gassy speech—he merely got to wave from his seat. The lifetime achievement award for a (shaky) Jerry Lewis was short and sweet.
Also, there wasn’t a separate production number for each nominated song, just a spirited montage (this apparently, was the reason why Peter Gabriel didn’t sing his WALL-E song—he told the producers he’d sing all of his song or none of it. He got none of it.) Even the best picture nominees didn’t get the usual individual montage treatment.
Loved the Judd Apatow-helmed Pineapple Express-goes-to-the-Oscar shtick, especially when Rogan and James Franco were moved to tears by Franco’s big smooch with Sean Penn in Milk.
(Also: James Franco, hottest guy in Hollywood? Discuss among yourselves.)
(Part two: Hotter arm candy: Brad Pitt or John Mayer? Keep discussin').
Rounding up past winners to fete the nominees was a nice touch, in particular Marion Cotillard’s heartfelt words about Kate Winslet and Robert De Niro saluting his bud (and fellow bad boy) Sean Penn. But I’m not sure if I want to see this every year. . .it may be a tad indulgent, even by Hollywood standards.
I was extremely happy with the awards given out—and not just because I went 21 for 24 on my B-mag Oscar ballot and smoked Mike Mayo. (Ha, sorry Mike. Had to do it!)
But I was thrilled that my favorite actress Kate Winslet finally won—how ironic was it that she heeded Ricky Gervais’s sarcastic advice from Extras (act in a Holocaust film if she wanted to win the gold)—and it worked? Sometimes a cliché is a cliché for a reason.
I was moved by the Heath Ledger acceptance and thought his family was unbelievably poised. (If you were wondering why Ledger wasn’t included in the In Memoriam segment like I was: He died in January of 2008 and was included in last year’s telecast). And who wasn’t charmed by the guileless, unbridled joy of the Slumdog crew?
Also, glad that Sean Penn beat out Mickey Rourke. As great as Rourke was, a win by him would’ve felt a little gimmicky.
Top 2 Oscar moments we’ll be seeing over and over again in Oscar montages for years to come:
Man On a Wire’s Phillipe Petit balancing Oscar on his chin.
Kate Winslet’s dad whistling to her from the audience. (Dear old dad has an impressive set of lungs.)
Onto the fashion!
In a movie award show, I thought singer/songwriter Alicia Keys nearly stole the show with her hot pink gown and dramatic starlet hair.
Close second, and similarly attired, was Natalie Portman. Gorgeous in pink Rodarte and simply impeccable.
I also loved Kate Winslet’s gray and black asymmetrical Yves Saint Laurent: that dark blue-ish gray is my favorite color of the season!
Penelope Cruz was flawless—but then again, it takes a lot for her not to look flawless.
Tariji P. Henson rocked those rocks: and her bodice-hugging Roberto Cavalli gown was perfection.
Marion Cotillard beaded blue-black evening gown: Ooh la la.
As for Meryl Streep? Hardly awe-inspiring in her putty-colored off the shoulder long sleeved dress, but such an improvement over last year’s effort, I have to give her props.
Tina Fey: You go, girl! (And her frisky interplay with Steve Martin was one of the highlights of the night.)
(I just saw a photo of Evan Rachel Wood, who I hadn’t seen during the telecast: Stunning.)
On the other hand . . .
Amy Adams was overwhelmed by her multi-stoned, ethnic necklace, and it didn’t go with her red dress.
Jessica Biel’s dress managed to make her look frumpy—Huff Post’s Bonnie Fuller said it looked like she forgot to untuck her dinner napkin. Heh.
Usually inspiring Sara Jessica Parker looked like she finished her gown off with a seatbelt from her Honda.
Note to Phillip Seymour Hoffman: A black ski cap is not a good Oscar accessory, unless you are planning to pull off some sort of jewel heist after the show.