26 February 2007

oscar impressions

Those of you who know me know that I have a weakness for pop culture, celebrity gossip, and movie trivia. Mostly I try to keep these things off the ol' blog, but once in a while I just need to go there. Last night, as we all know, was the Academy Awards, the Most Important Night in Hollywood, so today is one of those days where I need to indulge my pop culture fascination.

Last year, you might remember, I was sorely disappointed in the glamorous but totally boring and drama-free ceremony. This year, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked their theme of focusing on nominees rather than just winners. I guess it was still pretty boring, but I did manage to stay awake for all four hours, so it wasn't too terrible. And as much as I adore Jon Stewart and relish any chance to see him, I thought Ellen Degeneres was a much better Oscar host than Jon Stewart. But then, I happen to be a big Ellen fan. 90% of the reason I allow my kids to watch Finding Nemo as much as I do is because I love Ellen as Dory. Love her. And basically, any Oscar host who is not Billy Crystal or Whoopie Goldberg is okay in my book.

Okay, so I don't have a lot to say about this year's ceremony, so I'm going to finish out this post bullet-style:

  • Hooray for Pan's Labyrinth! I was disappointed that it didn't win Best Foreign Film, because it was beautiful and I loved it, but I'm glad it got a few awards anyway.
  • Speaking of foreign films, I loved the Best Foreign Film retrospective to celebrate 50 years of awards in that category. I realized I've seen 12 or the 50 Best Foreign Film winners (thank you, Italian and Eastern European film classes), which is almost as many as the English-language Best Picture winners I've seen.
  • I was sad that neither of my favorite actresses, Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet, won an award (though they both looked gorgeous). But I was happy for both Jennifer Hudson and Helen Mirren (who I love as well), so it was okay. Someday, Cate and Kate; someday...
  • Speaking of looking gorgeous, I'm going to be completely shallow for a moment and admit how glad I was for the return of fashion blunders. Most people looked wonderful, but I got to enjoy a little schadenfreude, mostly at the expense of Kirsten Dunst, who I completely cannot stand for absolutely no good reason. I mean, it's a totally irrational dislike, above and beyond the normal level of dislike she's entitled to for being a lousy actress in mostly crappy movies.
  • I didn't think that Jack Nicholson could get any creepier, but he found a way! The shaved head along with the sunglasses that seem permanently attached to his face created an alien-like look that gave me chills every time the camera cut to him (which was entirely too often. There was no reason to show him at all, except perhaps to intentionally freak people out). Congrats, Jack!
  • I love Al Gore. I love that the Oscars went green; I love that his film won Best Documentary; I love that he got to speak about global warming; I love that he can make fun of himself a little bit.
  • Finally, I hope that Jack Black and Will Ferrell sing an Oscar night duet together every year from now until the end of time, because they are hilarious.

Anyone want to talk Oscars, or movies in general, in comments?

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