Monday, February 26, 2007

Television: The 79th Annual Academy Awards

79th Annual Academy Awards
produced by Laura Ziskin

Oscar night is always a special, fun night that reminds me of the drive my wife and I made when we moved to Seattle, stopping off in a coastal hotel in Oregon to watch the 1995 ceremony. I look forward to it every year.

Or at least I did until last night.

Last night's Oscar telecast had all the excitement of a lukewarm tuna casserole. To be more specific: a lukewarm tuna casserole in which some of the noodles periodically do a pointless tumbling routine behind a scrim and then meld themselves into utterly unamazing shapes.

Seriously, who thought it would be a good idea to bring in Pilobolus? Were Blue Man Group and the cast of Stomp unavailable? One bit of pretentious shadow puppetry was more than enough. But they kept bringing those assholes back over and over.

They were just one of the many parts of the ceremony that had me wondering just what the hell the Academy was thinking. How the hell many film clip reels do we need? I'm sorry, folks, but splicing together vaguely thematically related scraps of celluloid does not impress me. If you've never seen a foreign film, a two-second clip of La Strada isn't going to send you running to update your Netflix queue. You could have the greatest clip reel ever assembled by man or God and you still don't need more than one.

Speaking of drags, who the hell took a liposuction hose and sucked the funny out of Will Ferrell and Jack Black? That number they sang was painful. I shredded my Oscar ballot and stuffed the scraps into my ears to block out the sound.

Nor was I hankerin' to hear any of the zombified patter between presenters. Hey, folks! There's a reason Al Gore doesn't do stand-up. Abigail Bresden and Jaden Christopher Pinkett Tinactin Colostomy Smith may be gifted child actors, but they do hilarious banter about as well as I fart "O' Canada".

By the time they got around to the major categories, I was snoring on the couch. Do we really need an Oscar ceremony that takes longer to watch than the Ring Cycle?

Not that there weren't some good bits. Alan Arkin's acceptance speech was touching. It was very nice to finally see Scorcese get the recognition that so very many less talented directors have received before him. (Opie, I'm looking at you.) There was something nice about the fact that two African-American Oscar winners didn't seem like anything unusual.

Ellen DeGeneres did an okay job overall. Her opening monologue was moderately funny. I don't understand why they brought in a gospel choir, but I don't really hold that against them. I thought we could have done without her little trips into the audience, which, again, only really served to add time onto a show which dragged like whatever folksy metaphor you want to use that involves dragging. I should not need a bucket of methamphetamines to keep me awake through the broadcast, dammit.

Reviewed by Joe Wack, 500 words



Blogger the beige one said...

Nice. I'm liking the personal take, some of these are taking. ("some?" How about everything since the new year?)

I'm glad to've missed the show, it sounds like Pan's Labyrinth was a better substitute.

4:08 PM  

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