Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception... for a better now

Monday, February 25, 2008

Random Oscar Thoughts

Oscar is over - as always it's exciting and relevant while it happens and the minute it's over seems to drift into who cares-ishness.

Some Acidemic highlights--


a. The deadpan "Salute to Periscopes and Binoculars" draws only nervous titters from the irony-deficient audience. A small but glorious instance of humor too dry and abstract for the common masses being allowed to stand.

b. The orchestra assumes older, taller, louder Glenn Hansard is speaking for both himself and demure, younger, smaller Marketa Irglova and burst into cues and commercials right as she's stepping to the mike. We figure Oscar moves ahead two squares for indie power but back three for maintaining the young boy network status quo, BUT then Irglova actually gets brought back after the commercial and is allowed to really speak up on behalf of the indie underdogs she and older boyfriend Glen Hansard represent. I was stunned!

c. Josh Brolin clearly wincing having to mouth dated tough guy lines when co-presenting actually apologizes for doing a bad Jack Nicholson impression, then looks down to the front row to apologize directly to Nicholson! It was a fine moment of off-the cuff connection that caught Nicholson clearly off-guard. The Oscars have always tread in a weird murky water where the artists pat themselves sore over their own tired catch phrase cliches, killing them deader than dead in the process. Here, Brolin partially transcends smarmy Hollywood onanism by addressing the original speaker directly. A small and not particularly successful gesture, but a testament to Brolin's willingness to risk face in the name of "keeping it real."

d. The condescending, wordless smirk of Ethan Cohen

2. LOWS:

a. Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee" of the forgotten and non-nominated "Bee Movie" gives out an award, bores us with hackneyed antics and offers a "bee" montage that comes too little too late after the spectacular "Salute to Periscopes and Binoculars." Someone over at Dreamworks PR must really be givin' up the Academy payola.

b. In a similar vein, what's up with "Get Smart" theme music for the arrival of Ann Hathaway and Steve Carell? Pretty shameless plugging for a film not even released yet that's bound to get no Oscar notice next year. Someone slipped money to someone somewhere... that's for sure.

c. All those damned ENCHANTED songs, but on the other hand, they didn't win. At least there was no Robin Williams.

d. The condescending, wordless smirk of Ethan Cohen.

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