Monday, March 06, 2006

78th Academy Awards Recap

Overall impressions—This is what would happen if the Bush White House hosted a state dinner for Hollywood guests (except George Clooney wouldn’t have been invited). For an Oscars where films covered several controversial topics, the mood, dress, and even the schedule were pretty conservative. I wonder if there wasn’t an attempt by Hollywood to reflect the messagey seriousness of the major nominees.

Montage madness—from the bizarre and Disnified one at the opening to the ode to Film Noir, I got the impression that some film editor’s 16-year old son landed the job of filling in dead spots.

Host John Stewart—His opening monologue was a drag, but you could see his handprints on the nominee campaign smear commercials, which were by far the funniest pieces in the show. My favorite was, “Reese Witherspoon, now that’s an American name.” And then “…Kiera Knightly’s improbable cheekbones that may well be sprinkled with God dust.”

Clothes and Awards Highlights (with additional notes from Dave who was sick and had to give his opinions by phone)

Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain)—I thought her dress was beautiful but that Williams looked a little overwhelmed by it. She has such a pretty face. It was a youthful color, but it still looked a little old for her. Dave didn’t like the canary color with her skin tone, but I was thankful someone was wearing something besides champagne and black. Though rarely wrong, those two got a little monotonous on stage.

Charlize Theron (North Country)—Her dress had potential, but as Dave pointed out, the fit was wrong. I thought her hair had a flat sheen that made her look like a chain smoker who'd o.d.’d on Aquanet. Ken, Dave’s partner, thought she looked old. What a body though.

Matt Dillon (Crash) Aging nicely. I think it’s his cheekbones.

Nicole Kidman I thought she looked best of the platinum/champagne crowd. Dave thought she looked a little botoxed embattled and that her hair was “stentioned”. I thought she embodied the unannounced theme of the night—STRAIGHT—straight hair, straight dress, even the part in her hair (the feature that I think set the tone for her look)--exactly straight. Maybe this means she’s given up on marrying gay guys.

George Clooney (Syriana) The 21st century Cary Grant. My goodness he looked handsome and smart. He had what I thought was the most interesting acceptance speech of the night “How do we compare art?” A question worth discussing. But I loved his response to the notion that Hollywood is out of touch with mainstream America due to the subjects of the nominated films. The gist: Hollywood is the one who talked about AIDS when it was just being whispered about everywhere else, and civil rights when black people were still being made to sit in back of theaters. If that is what being out of touch means, he’s proud to be a part of an industry that is.

Ben Stiller wearing his green footie pajamas. Very funny.

Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) Can’t say I’m not disappointed that Felicity Huffman didn’t win. I think Reese was great in Walk the Line. I just thought Huffman’s performance was in another league. Reese looked good. I think by the time I saw her I was already tired of the color of her dress. And Carol Burnett wore a similar gown during an opening monologue on her show back in the 70s, not that Bob Mackie is anyone to sneeze at and vintage has been in for awhile. But Dave, who knows a lot more about fashion that I do, thought she looked really good. Maybe I was just bored.

Dolly Parton (Transamerica) Her performance filled that hall. She actually got the subdued crowd to clap, and you could tell people just LOVE her. A pantsuit, nothing that special, is a big change for her on an awards show. What a sweetie.

Three 6 Mafia’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” wins Best Song though, which I think is fine. One word of advice for the group. Take a note from Dolly and refuse to have the Solid Gold Dancers choreographed for your Oscar performance next time.

Jennifer Aniston Has a Marlo Thomas That Girl thing going on. I actually like her dress. The jewels are kind of a nice contrast. The cut and gauzy look is interesting enough to support the chunky sparkle. She’s understated in black, and it’s the same old hair. Probably appropriate since she is not up for any awards.

Will Farrell and Stever Carrell Hilarious make-up job—Will looks like a tanorexic Carmel housewife. Steve’s false eyelashes make him look like Sam the Eagle from the muppets.

Rachal McAdams Looks like she let her 11 year-old niece loose with a rhinestone gun on a Nike Jersey address. I don’t understand. Dave, am I wrong on this one?

Up for Best Supporting Actress:

Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain--see above)

Amy Adams (Junebug)—looks great.

Catherine Keenor (Capote)---kind of “slutty grandma”.

Frances McDormand (North Country)—Looks like Howard Stern on a bad hair day.

Rachel Weisz (Constant Gardener) I thought she looked so good. Nice upswept hair, beautiful little earrings. It is so rare that pregnant women manage to be styled well for the red carpet. But she is. Her open and cut shoulder and form-fitting black dress is a little daring. Fitting the form of a pregnant woman can make her look like a python that’s swallowed a goat, but it works here. She looks sort of monumental and matronly, perfect for an elegantly expecting mother.

Jessica Alba Dave really liked her look. She just doesn’t do it for me. Don’t know why. It’s all there I think. I heard someone say she looked like an Oscar statue. But now that I think of it, it seems like every year someone does.
Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves John noticed that Keanu and Sandra look alike tonight! He also wondered if Keanu has had work done.

Samuel L. Jackson Looks really good. Fitted tux, fitted collar. I like the small diamond pin he’s wearing.

Jake Guylenhaal Dude, look at your big fat bowtie. He has kind of a big head and a lot of hair, so maybe that was meant to provide some balance. Not working for me though. Still, how can you not love this little man?

Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep Neither looks glamorous, but they both look real, which is refreshing. And their little comic aria introducing Bob Altman is surprisingly effective. One of the brighter spots in the show.

Jennifer Garner Wooo… not a good night for her. All I see are spread apart and flabby boobs and her tripping over her dress. Hair is wrong, too. Not good.

Ziyi Zhang From Memoirs of a Geisha looks stunning. Choker is fabulous. Dress is perfect, elegant black and silver glitter, beautiful bell shaped and sweeping. Like a Chinese Audrey Hepburn. Hair is perfect for her beautiful face.

Brokeback Mountain vs. Crash I didn’t see Crash (hope to) so I can’t say I didn’t think it deserved the Best Picture award. I am thrilled Ang Lee won for Best Director and that Osana and McMurtry won for best adapted screenplay. I was happy to see how evenly distributed awards were in general. I don’t really enjoy those Lord of the Rings years when one movie wins everything. Back to George Clooney’s question of “How do you compare art?” All of the nominated films I did see were excellent and so different from each other it would be hard to compare them in terms of quality. Sure John and I were both disappointed that Brokeback didn’t win Best Picture. But I can’t say I think the film was ripped off. It certainly deserved the awards it won. Like parents rooting for a family member who didn’t win everything, we were sad, but we still love Brokeback Mountain.

Who Did it or Ruined it for you?


Anonymous marc mcaleavey said...

What about Bacall...what about Bacall?!?! I am totally on the fence for this one. I couldn't tell if her issues were a result of her 82 some years or a result of the 82 whiskey sours before the presentation. Either way, I kept on waiting for her to throw up her hands and say, "screw this telepromter...just watch this stupid montage!" But, she truly is a woman of class. She's still cool in my book.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Lolita....... said...

well over in ireland people were not happy as the irish got there first ocscar for an irish film and one of the main stars was being held in an american prison on that night for out staying his visa un knowing and in his own words 'was treated like a criminal' and that thoroughly pissed off the irish

11:01 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

Bacall looked so New York--pantsuit, understated. Like she hopped on a plane to LA and planned to be back at her Manhattan apartment by morning.

I have to believe the botched intro was an eyesight issue. A poetic meeting of great film star meeting hacky television production. But, she could never not be cool. She's lived through too much.

Lolita, is that what that was all about? I thought I heard someone make a reference to a prisoner, but I was clueless. I must be pretty out of touch. Am I the only who hadn't heard much about this?

11:10 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Thank you Troy for referencing my comments throughtout the evening...I do admit that Charlize was a disappointment. So surprising for her. I was captivated by Alba, Lopez, Aniston, Huffman, Thurman, Swank, Witherspoon, Kidman (though a bit stiff), Hayek, the darling Smith couple, Clooney, Clooney, and more Clooney please! Questioned:
Michelle Williams-not a good color
Keira Knightley-dress looked unfinished-unusual piece for V. Wang
Naomi Watts-dress caught in shredder
Judi Dench-housecoat or gown?
Sandra Bullock-was that black veil supposed to show? looked like a mistake that shouldn't be showing
Amy Adams-too much going on in bodice area
Rachel McAdams-Troy, I agree! T-shirt art gone awry.
Happy to see there were more hits than misses.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

Here is a link to the story lolita was talking about in her comment: Irish Kind of embarrassing for the U. S.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Sally said...

I didn't watch the entire show but did watch the arrivals. It looked like Charlize had a gigantic block on her shoulder. Rare miss for her. I liked Kiera Knightly, loved that necklace she had on. Really enjoyed the ladies wearing color, except for Michelle Williams, she looked like she fell into a vat of saffron. I saw Jennifer Aniston roll her eyes after an interview, boy did that turn me off from her. George Clooney may be the classiest man in Hollywood, and he by far looked the best.

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one has mentioned Philip Seymour Hoffman's scarey black outfit with white tie - yikes. With that big bulge of a tummy of his he should have let the British-What-Not-To-Wear-Women dress him. They are geniuses at hiding things like that. They are also pretty big fans of tight dresses on pregnant women so I'm convinced that they dressed Rachael Weise.
One of the best moments in the show for me - other than Clooney speaking (of course), was the exchange between Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep - so funny.
I agree Troy, too much black and champagne, but we do expect a lot from the women in terms of keeping the whole thing visually stimulating since the men all dress in black.
As for awards, I am glad Ang Lee won best director because that film was truely a work of art and best actress not going to a woman who played a man becoming a woman - hmmm, not sure I get that one . . .

6:02 AM  
Anonymous jennie said...

Dolly did it for me. She's so spunky and I LOVE her.

10:54 AM  

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