I am, as my minions can testify, an odd sort. As a film connoisseur I hate the Oscars and all they represent but for the life of me I cannot turn away when they are on. Thankfully they come but once a year.
Oldest daughter made a big fuss over it this year, going so far to throw a mini Oscar party which basically meant she roped my darling wife into preparing treats. They had me at smoked salmon.
But I'm going to be brief here which is something that Oscar telecasts seem constitutionally incapable of.
As so many before me have observed, Billy Crystal looked like he'd been embalmed. And then had another round of botox. His jokes would have killed in the Catskills (try the veal). Calling in Crystal to sub for Eddie Murphy is like a baseball team bringing some old has been out of retirement to pitch game seven. Bombs away.
One of the highlights of the evening (there were some) was Chris Rock presenting an award. His presence and his humor had the effect of causing many of his to wonder why the hell he wasn't hosting the damn thing. Too funny? Too hip? Or perhaps too controversial (he's really quite black, you know). He was great as host as was Jon Stewart and as were the dynamic duo of Baldwin and Martin (that's Alec and Steve not Billy and Strother). You know the Oscar maxim, find a good thing then discard it.
Another high point was Emma Stone who was downright funny in a way that suggests that she'd be a welcome presence in our entertainment lives for many years to come. Please world, more Emma Stone, thanking you in advance I remain your humble servant, etc....
Speaking of Sandler (I shiver at the thought) what was he doing among the actors in the recorded reflections on movies. What, Rob Schneider not available? What that whole deal with the actors talking into a camera was about I'll never know.
But among the lowlights the lowest must have been having the best actor and actress presenters speak directly to the nominees just before announcing who gets the gilded gelding. How much sincerity could there possibly be in such a set up? Perhaps if the presenter were allowed to say to one of them: "frankly, Ed I thought you chewed up the scenery and are only nominated because you're probably going to die soon" then the whole deal would be genuine. As it is this silliiness is just terribly awkward.
As for the winners....Good for The Artist. Of the nominated films it was the best and Jean Dujardin was my actor of the year. I was also very happy to see Woody tipped for best original screenplay.
But all the who gets the Oscar and who doesn't is so much silliness (as the Best Picture Oscar for Crash once and for all proved). It's a night when Hollywood pats itself on the back and manages to gets a hernia. That's what such overt self congratulation deserves.
I hereby refuse to ever watch again. Until maybe next year.