My whole life I've been obsessed with the Oscars. And now I live in Los Angeles. And I'm not at the Oscars. Not only that, but I just tuned in a few minutes ago.(But last night, some visiting friends from New York and I did brave the experience of making the pilgrimage to the red carpet in front of the Kodak Theater, which I consider the fulfillment of my local Oscar experience.)
So I missed the opening whatever it was, but thanks to the internet, I have every confidence that I'll be able to view anything I missed live on the magical interwebs. Luckily I tuned in just in time to cover the people you most want to know about.
Temple Beth Oscars
I got to the TV to see Sarah Jessica Parker in a fancy dress (who really cares anymore? see below for more), and a duo that made Jewish hearts (and blogs) beat a bit faster, with MOTs Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller presenting side by side some comedy shtick. Less funny is Stiller's expression of the desire to "retire from being the funny guy," and funnier was Portman's proclamation that "you look like you work at a Hasidic meth lab." (One reader points out that Stiller's beard was an homage to Joaquin Phoenix's recent weird appearance on Letterman.) This will remain funny until tomorrow, when said presumed-fictional-and-funny meth lab is uncovered deep in Boro Park.
Next, a short film by Judd Apatow and starring my favorite couchstoners, Seth Rogen and (as far as I'm concerned honorary Jew) James Franco, giggling at movies that weren't nominated. I giggle with them. Not because I'm stoned. Just because I always do.
Gotta Dance! Gotta Promote Beyonce as Etta James!
"The musical is back!" host Jackman yells, pumping his fist into the air triumphantly, after an eclectic (or some would say "completely random") collection of lines and musical riffs from musicals ranging from "West Side Story" to "Hairspray," from "Chicago" to "Mamma Mia," and co-featuring the over-utilized and self-promoting Beyonce Knowles, as well as the underutilized background players from "High School Musical" and "Mamma Mia" respectively. Is the musical really back? If Hugh wills it, it is no dream. As for the sequence, I guess you could say I liked it, but I'm not going to put a ring on it.
Mourning Becomes Oscar
Not shockingly, the late Heath Ledger wins for Best Supporting Actor. And the gracious acceptance on behalf of Matilda omits the support of Michelle Williams, a shocking omission even as we knew from media coverage that there was a conflict and that this was probably going to be the way it went. All the celebrity eyes sparkled with pre-tears as they thought about what might have been during the rest of the long career Heath would never have.
You're Frozen, When Your Heart's Not Open
Why am I not feeling anything this year? Possibly because I haven't seen any movies this year. I missed almost everything, from Tropic Thunder to Slumdog Millionaire, from The Reader to Benjamin Button. Didn't catch a single one of them. Not even The Dark Knight. (I know.) So maybe it's just a little hard to feel connected when I feel like this year's Oscars is an awards ceremony held in another country about movies I don't know anything about. Really surreal. But then again, there's the fact that it's not just me. It's Hollywood that's got Oscar fatigue.
Random Acts of Headwear
Philip Seymour Hoffman. More like Philip "See Less Head" Man.
The Little Movie that Could
Slumdog Kajillonaire. Overhyped or not, I think I'm going to have to see this film.
This Year: India...Next Year: Israel?
The guy who just won for best music now sings the nominated best song from Slumdog Millionaire, which of course wins . Or, to quote my friend sitting on my couch: "How can you beat Bollywood? I want Israel to be doing this. I want Israel to win an Oscar, and for this to be a live performance of Israeli music." Of course, for that to happen a movie from Israel that's not about the Holocaust or the Palestinian conflict would have to make it to Hollywood's inner circle. Which is...unlikely. And which leads us into "Waltz With Bashir," which fails to win a Best Foreign Film statue, and instead loses to "Departures" from Japan. The statuette is then accepted by Hiro Nakamura. And...scene.
And now, I'm heading out with some friends. So you'll have to enjoy commentary from someone else for a while. Back later with a summary, if I feel like it. Celebs, see you on the streets of Hollywood. And if you see me, don't be too nervous to talk to me. Remember what US magazine has always striven to teach us: I'm just like you.