Er. Well chums, I'm trying really, really hard to be happy for Crash and the people behind it (they were just as shocked as we all were). As much as I spew hatred against it every once in a while (and inevitably will in the future), I do think it's a film with merits and one that was made with the best of intentions (*cough*). Plus, it's not even the worst Best Picture winner of the new milennium - that "honor" is accorded to Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind. Anyways, although it's hard to swallow a Brokeback Mountain defeat after months of hype and steamrolling (has a film ever grabbed LA/NY/GG/PGA/DGA/WGA/BAFTA/ISA and not won Best Pic before?), we can rejoice in the fact that years from now, the Academy will look incredibly lame (as always) for not choosing something better (like... any of the other nominees). Brokeback has become bigger than anyone could have hoped for, and while the phenomenon has had its downsides (how many more parodies and jokes will we have to endure?), it was a pretty cool experience overall. And fans are not likely to shut up about the upset anytime soon... Ultimately, I'm just happy that Ang Lee won.
The ceremony overall? Thoroughly enjoyed it. Aside from the obvious aforementioned disappointment, I was impressed at how crisp and efficient the proceedings were, and, of course, by Jon Stewart's excellent performance as host. Maybe I'm overpraising him because Chris Rock sucked so badly last year, but I haven't enjoyed a telecast as much as this one since 2000.
The Citations for "Special" Behavior During the Oscar Telecast:
Best Line: Came right after one another during Stewart's opening monologue: "[Between] Munich and Schindler's List... I think I speak for all Jews when I say: I can't wait to see what happens to us next... Trilogy!" and "I do have some sad news to report. Bjork couldn't be here tonight; she was trying on an Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her". That last one made me fall off my sofa.
Celebrity who most resembles a melted Barbie doll: Dolly Parton, desperately hopping across the stage singing "Travellin' Thru".
Most Awkward Moment of the Night: Lauren Bacall, forgetting how to read and speak at the same time while introducing an utterly unnecessary tribute to film noir (honestly, who gives a fuck?).
The Lauren Bacall Award for Distinction in Speaking: Colleen Atwood, accepting her Best Costume trophy for Memoirs, speaking haltingly. like. this. for. her. entire. speech.
The "Please Get a Haircut, you're not in your 30s anymore" Award: Tom Hanks. Does he think he looks good? Or that it makes him look younger?
Most Shocking (and Deserving) Winner: "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from Hustle & Flow, which beat out the sentimental favorites.
Best Speech: Gavin Hood, accepting Best Foreign Language Film for Tsotsi. How genuinely refreshing to see someone excited to take the stage. Also Reese Witherspoon - how genuinely refreshing to see an actor feel proud of her work and not resort to fake self-effacing "humility".
"Why Can't Any of You Pronounce My Fucking Name Properly or even Consistently?": A special prize presented by Ziyi Zhang to anyone who has ever introduced her.
The Annual Travesty Committed by the Academy: Dion Beebe, for the hideous Memoirs, beating four other nominees who all did superior work.
Most Generous Bosom: Jennifer Garner (also a winner for Best Recovery after an almost-fall; previous winners in this category include Goldie Hawn and Jamie Lee Curtis).
Most Distracting, Misbehavin' Audience Members: Catherine Keener and George Clooney obnoxiously chatting thru the entire ceremony. Shut up, the both of you! ... Naw, just kidding. Do whatever the hell you want.
The "Why the Hell were You Invited?" Award: J Lo and hubby. Seriously, why?
The "You're Not Funny or Talented no matter how many languages you can mangle, Get Off the Stage" Award: Will Smith.
Unintentionally Hilarious Moment of the Night #1: Struggling L.A. actors doing an interpretive dance to the scenes of Crash during the song performance of "In the Deep". *wipes away tear*
Best Follow-up to UHMOTN#1: Jon Stewart - "If I were trying to escape from a burning car, I would not be moving in slow motion".
Unintentionally Hilarious Moment of the Night #2: Yet another montage celebrating how socially progressive the Academy is. Cue clips from Driving Miss Daisy, Philadephia and the rest... Bleurgh.
Most Overdone (and Overrated) Introduction: Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep wasting valuable time. Girls: we got it - five minutes ago.
Best Host Since Billy Crystal: John Stewart. Bravo!
Best Dressed? I have to say, I failed to be wowed by any single person this year, perhaps with the exception of Jessica Alba, who was the only personality I'd call a real pleasure to look at. The color really worked for her skin, and although I'm not sure about the bottom half of the dress, she looked pretty damn good overall (the hair, the earrings, the teeth, the whole package). As for the others, black or darker colors really reigned the night IMO. Felicity Huffman thankfully lost Best Actress, but I'd have no problem calling her one of the few stunners of the night; loved the cleavage, loved the color, loved the hair. Rachel Weisz reminded me instantly of Catherine Zeta Jones circa 2003 (the year she won Best Supporting Actress), but looked ten times better. I was worried about her after the GG fiasco; thankfully, she went understated (which is always better for her). Amy Adams was glorious overall; the striped trimming around her chest and waist was a classy touch, and the blue matched her earrings. Also wowza was Queen Latifah, who also gets points for being the liveliest presenter tonight (if only all of them were as jovial as her). Men are harder to acknowledge for fashion choices, but at the top of the list were Terrence Howard and Jake Gyllenhaal, who somehow manage to look GQ all the frickin' time. Damn them! Worthy runner-ups: Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Meryl Streep.
The following also looked great, but it was like they were struggling to keep their tiny dresses from falling off their even tinier bodies. I don't know if the separation from Chad has been especially stressful for Hilary Swank, but she looked much tinier than she did last year (is it because Million Dollar Baby had just wrapped a couple of months before?). Keira Knightley was getting a lot of compliments from the E! interviewers, but I didn't think she looked all that great. The necklace was a bold accent, but the dress colour was horrid, clashed with her hair and to make matters worse, she appeared smaller than one of those rotting skeletons from Pirates of the Caribbean. She would look so much more attractive if she gained five to ten pounds, just saying is all. Finally, Ziyi Zhang was cute and chic (like the bodice a lot), but it took me a second to recognize her - she looked like a ten year old kid! I know most of these actors are naturally waif-like, but it was just too difficult to look at them without cringing. I'll take all you ladies out to dinner (my treat), as long as you promise to eat. Carbs. Lots of them.
Worst Dressed? Oh dear. Well, there were some truly hideous selections to choose from, starting with Miss Dolly Parton; I totally understand that it's hard to find a great dress when you're a petite, well-endowed woman, but I don't think this dress does her any good. The fact that she's thrusting her assets out like that doesn't help much either. The woman next to her (yeah, the one mixing purple, blue and green) was Philip Seymour Hoffman's date (his wife? EDIT: His girlfriend, Mimi O'Donnell). Either way, she's quite the eyesore... It hurts to put Uma Thurman here, because she's far from the worst-dressed. But she looked totally washed out - her skin, hair and dress all made her resemble a freshly-painted wall. The less said about Zhondra Rhodes, the better; I know she's an unorthodox, daring designer, but this outfit is frankly hideous, I'm sorry. Finally, Helena Bonham Carter is just screaming for a makeover (she just doesn't consciously know it); for fuck's sake, that hairstyle has remained the same for the last fifteen years! I'm abstain from Corpse Bride jokes, but she needs serious help... now!
This category is "Points for trying, but no cookie", which acknowledges effort and hands out constructive criticism. Firstly, there's Bahar Soomekh, who played the Iranian storeowner's daughter in Crash; the color was fitting on her, but the excessive doilies around the chest and waist were unflattering - simple is better. Naomi Watts (looking positively ill throughout - was it Heath/Michelle jitters?) had the same problem - the extra frilly material across the top half was annoying. Jennifer Aniston looked fine for the most part, but the ensemble is very boring; it's like I've seen that dress on her 5,000 times. Black is okay Jen, but try experimenting with color next time. It can be cathartic. I don't know quite what to make of Charlize Theron's efforts here; every time I look at time, I have a different reaction. I certainly don't hate it, but the fluff on her left shoulder is distracting, and the hairstyle makes her look then years older than she really is. Finally, Michelle Williams's dress fit her to a "T", but the bright color didn't work for her pale skin, nor did the bright red lipstick (she looked like a clown at times).
And... I'm spent.