Day #49: Mitch Murder – “None”
I am one of those people tonight, watching the Oscars and passing comment.
1. My 16-year old self was (for some reason) looking at the NY Times real time Red Carpet coverage and going…Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god… Bret McKenzie is at the Oscars! Rumor has it, he learned how to tie his bow tie by watching YouTube. Seriously.
2. Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis again? My brother was just reminiscing about that.
3. A Celebrity Seat Filler got a shout out. People (like myself) were probably wondering all along who that old guy in front, the one wearing the bright blue tux was when they first panned over the audience. It’s Carl Schwaybo (or something like that), who’s been filling in for 15 years. Finally, a tuxedo that stands out!
4. Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez presented the award for Best Costume Design. They began with a quote about costumes from fashion design great, Edith Head. Cameron Diaz said the first part, and Jennifer Lopez finished the line with, “and loose enough to look like a lady.” She wasn’t wearing a bra. I’m sure that was intentional.
5. Glen Close spoke about the trickiness of wearing a short wig in the announcement of Best Makeup nominees. “It’s very very difficult,” she said. It could be true, but she was in a category with Harry Potter. On the red carpet pre-show, the announcers were in awe like “Oh my God, they made you look like a man for Albert Nobbs and now you look like a woman again!” Yes, she looks like a woman! A woman in her early 60s who looks fucking great! After that, they probably ran off to find that girl from The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo and tell her it’s amazing how she doesn’t look anything like the eyebrow-less goth lesbian they fixed her up to be in that movie.
6. A few actors talked about the first movies they saw that inspired them. I love movies, and when I was a kid, they gave me the bug, too. But not the acting bug. When I grew up, I wanted to work with animatronics. American Werewolf in London did that. Then the profession became obsolete and I had to get a real job. Thanks a fucking lot, CGI!
7. Sandra Bullock announced the winner for Best Foreign Film (the Iranian film, A Separation). It was all very sophisticated. Earlier, Sasha Baron Cohen appeared on the red carpet dressed in an homage to dead dictators.
8. Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for The Help. I may be the only young white woman who didn’t think the book and movie were totally racist, and Octavia Spencer was the one person I was rooting for to win an Academy Award. I love her, some of her expressions and mannerisms reminded me of black comediennes out of the 1970s. And she was adorably nervous, thanking the State of Alabama and reading aloud “Please wrap up” on the teleprompter. Although, she also referred to Christian Bale as the “hottest guy in the room.” He just reminds me of a giant douchebag.
9. Christopher Guest and crew appeared as a focus group for the Wizard of Oz. But where was Michael McKean?!!
10. Drive was nominated for Sound Editing. I can’t tell which came first. That movie, or all the 80’s-inspired electro that has come out recently. It’s like a whole genre of music by people more obsessed with the 80s than I am (or any other girl my age). Mitch Murder (see today’s video selection) is one of those people.
11. My cats have figured out how to unplug the TV! I probably would have known this sooner if I watched more TV on an actual TV.
12. Chris Rock talked about how being an actor was the easiest job in the world. The script master yells lines at him and he repeats. “And for that, they give me a billion dollars.” The cut to Puff Daddy (aka P.Diddy, aka Sean “Puffy” Combs) sitting in the audience. Everyone was laughing but him. I’d have been laughing to tears, going “It’s true! It’s so true!” as I wiped my tears with a silk handkerchief woven from the eyelashes of blind orphans.
13. Ben Stiller must be awfully short. I get the feeling that if I met him in person, his head would only come to my shoulder. It’s rather empowering to think I’d be taller than a Hollywood man.
14. I tried to keep up with the NY Times live feed about the Oscars. Or tried to, at least. 19,052 people plugged in, giving their opinion within a split second of one another. Does not compute.
15. Christopher Plummer won Best Actor for Beginners, making him the oldest to win in that category at age 82 (2 years less than the Oscars have been around). Fellow nominee, Max von Sydow would have held same honor if he won for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
16. So get this: they’re pulling Titanic out of the mothballs to show in 3D. That means that American audiences not only have a crap load of mostly unexciting remakes and sequels to choose from, but also re-releases! God help us…
17. This was a rather boring Oscars. Kind of like The Super Bowl was boring, but there was no thrilling ending (everyone kind of had an idea that The Artist would win Best Picture). Some blamed the host. I didn’t pay much attention to Billy Crystal, but I did like the joke he made during that “What is the audience thinking?” bit. When the camera landed on Viola Davis (nominated for Best Actress for The Help), Billy Crystal says “I’d like to thank my agent for getting me a part in a movie with a strong black woman not played by Tyler Perry!” BAM!
18. Back to Bret McKenzie. He won a friggin’ Oscar! It was for Muppet stuff, not Flight of the Conchords stuff, but still. A friend wrote this about the win: “My husband just left the room because he saw Bret win and that’s all he cared about.”
19. Angelina Jolie’s upper arms are smaller than my wrists! And I have normal size wrists!
20. No shows at an Oscar are weird. Like when it happens, people launch into whispered conversation, asking where is this person? Are they on their death bed somewhere? I wondered that when they accepted the Original Screenplay award on behalf of Woody Allen (for Midnight in Paris).
21. They’re asking actors again about movies that inspire them. (They even asked Don Rickles!!) This time, the question is “what makes a great movie?” Sasha Baron Cohen says he prefers to make a movie he’d want to watch, and adds “obviously I like some really sick stuff.” Adam Sandler said he’d like to make a movie about the truth (whatever that means), but added with a laugh that he didn’t know if he’d ever get there. His last movie was Jack & Jill. That’s more like a career-ender than a setback.
22. The word is out. There was a metallic feedback kind of sound throughout the performance. Derrrrrp!
23. Milla Jovovich is always so elegant looking. Even in those dumb video game-based movies where she gets to blow shit up in perfect makeup. A bit of trivia about Milla: she and her Dazed and Confused co-star, Shawn Andrews (he played Kevin Pickford), eloped when she was 16 or 17. Her parents later had the marriage annulled.
24. There is always this hesitation to let winners of social documentaries talk for more than a few seconds. Like, they’re going to launch of into some kind of political statement related to the movie. God forbid there be something controversial AND intelligent on network TV.
25. Michael Douglas is a presenter and he looks health(ier). He was in my office here in DC a few months ago because he sits on the board of the non-profit to which we rent space. He was wearing that tan suit and pastel blue shirt combo like he wears in most of his movies nowadays, and I half expected him to break out into an action scene where he has to shoot someone and jump over cars as we kept passing the glass-enclosed conference room trying to get a peek of the celebrity in our presence. He mostly just talked and ate sandwiches.
26. Terrence Malik was up for Best Director for Tree of Life. My great aunt tried to explain this movie to me (I haven’t seen it). It was something like this. I don’t think I’ll ever watch most of the movies nominated this year. In fact, I’ve been waiting for the Oscars to be over with so the indie theaters would hurry up and run some new movies.
27. Ahem. Allow me to be a giant nerd for a minute…. “Oooo! Rick Baker! In a tribute to make-up artist Dick Smith! Awesome!!!” Okay, I’m done.
28. Does Alec Baldwin have to be in everything? Why don’t we just invite Andy Samberg up on stage, too, while we’re at it?!
29. The odes to film and TV greats that died in the past year were very subtle. Most were just recognized with a photo and name. In previous years, most were accompanied by a clip from some movie or TV show they worked on, which was helpful because you don’t always recognize someone by name, but you may recognize their work. For some reason, Steve Jobs was included in the tribute. When Peter Falk died last year, I wrote a blog about his artwork. He was quite good. The sister of a woman who modeled for one of his illustrations commented on the post. That made my day. Sidney Lumet also died last year. He was my second favorite director behind Billy Wilder. (Yeah, I like Billy Wilder, too). Elizabeth Taylor was also included in the tribute. Today would have been her birthday.
30. Gary Oldman is like a British gentleman tonight. Like he doesn’t really guffaw at any of the stupid stuff. The Artist picked up another award so Oldman didn’t win for Best Actor (for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). Clooney and Pitt didn’t either. They’ll probably laugh about that when they hang out again.
31. Whenever I see scenes from The Iron Lady, I just can’t help but focus on what awful teeth Margaret Thatcher had (thereby ignoring what a heartless bitch she was). Meryl Streep won Best Actress for that part. I was hoping Michelle Williams finally would have gotten to take home an Oscar (just look at all those depressing movies she’s been in and tell me she doesn’t have talent?), but it’s hard to win anything when you’re nominated in a category with Meryl Streep. She even joked about that, too.
32. There were 9 nominees for Best Picture. There probably weren’t that many more movies worth a damn that came out last year. Can you guess which movie won? The Artist. Or rather, the entire nation of France. That’s how I expect FOX News to start spinning it in the morning. Who knows, it may even become a campaign issue!
And that, dear friends, concludes tonight’s coverage of the Oscars.