Free-Floating Hostility

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Alone on Oscar Night

Anna's Kaplan training meant she had to miss her favorite night of the year, Oscar night. So I hung out on my own, tip-tapping a freelance piece and preparing a blog posting, not getting all that much done on either front. Here are my initial thoughts on tonight's proceedings.

--I've already made my opinion clear on Crash, which is a perfectly nice movie, but a surprise for best picture. I preferred (slightly) Brokeback Mountain and never saw the other ones.

--George Clooney's acceptance speech was probably my favorite moment of the night, especially his attack on the idea that being "out of the mainstream" is something that really exists. What could be more mainstream than movies? Granted, Syriana is no Garfield. But it's important to take a metaphorical sledgehammer to the notion that mainstream is an ideal to be upheld and catered to at all times. I'm in favor of edgy.

--And that brings me to Jon Stewart, who was most certainly not edgy. Given what he said in some of his pre-award interviews, I was expecting that. He seemed to settle in as the night progressed. The funniest parts were the video montages, especially the retrospective of swishy things from old cowboy movies. But after a disappointing start, he really picked things up. His one-liners were tremendous, and I loved the fake attack ads. In the end, he was very good. Not Steve-Martin-in-2003 good, but very good.

--On the production: I liked the clips. I hated the muzak playing under the acceptance speeches. The prompter really sucked at times, especially when Lauren Bacall was talking. Was also annoyed that during the performance of "It's Hard out There for a Pimp," the word "bitches" in the chorus was changed to "witches." That sort of thing always annoys me.

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