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April 23, 2014

The 78th Annual Academy Awards

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Mar 6th 2006 2:03AM
i loved reese witherspoon's acceptance speechEven though I rarely watch movies (until they hit On Demand, that is), I love to watch the awards shows. I aspire to be a movie watcher, but I have children, and I'd rather spend my babysitting money drinking wine and talking to adults. Call me crazy. So I read all the reviews, and I pretend like I know so much about the movies. "Memoirs of a Geisha is sure to win Best Costume!" I say, and I'm right. I totally called Best Song for It's Hard to be a Pimp. The only nominated movie I've seen: March of the Penguins. And while I again called the win for Documentary Feature, I never would have expected them to bring out stuffed penguins. I mean, come on! This is a documentary! I didn't get it.

But what everyone surely wants to know: was Jon Stewart funny? Someone wrote about how Stewart was an odd choice, given that he's all about New York, and news, whereas Hollywood is about Los Angeles, and fiction. I didn't see the disconnect - don't most of today's stars have homes both in LA and NYC? - but, still, I was worried. Jon seemed pretty nervous on his Daily Show performances leading up to the Oscars. Jon's the sort of guy who (despite his ever-present sarcasm) wears his heart on his sleeve. He uses the comedic device of truth, and geekiness. And that's what is oddest about having him at the Academy Awards. Self-effacing truthful geekiness is so out of place next to Jessica Alba (who, to follow a tangent Stewart started me upon, I definitely would not pick to repopulate the earth).

Some of his jokes were funny, and typically, they required the viewer be hip to political news. He made a joke about Susan Sarandon's heavy financial support of her favorite politicians. He made jokes about Itzhak Perlman. He made a joke about beta video tapes (ok, that wasn't so funny). His quips were few and unremarkable. Not fantastic, not terrible.

One thing I loved: the mock "political" advertisements for Best Actress. In one, a senior couple is talking about all the strange names of the nominees ... Keira, Charlize, Felicity, "Dame Judi." So foreign! And what's with all the letters? They decide, Reese Witherspoon is such an American name. The ads made me laugh.

It was a rare laugh. Although I greatly enjoyed watching the luscious Salma Hayek in the most lovely turquoise asymmetric gown, and wanted to reach out a helping hand to the very hot (and so clearly, breastfeeding) new mama Jennifer Garner, who almost fell while walking out on beautifully-teetering heels, it was only the watching that was any fun. I totally didn't understand the layers of meaning of the completely odd presentation given by Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep (although they looked great). I only was rapt by three speeches; Reese's impassioned and somewhat repetitive, women-power acceptance of Best Actress; Gavin Hood's excited speech for the foreign language film, Tsotsi; and I can't even remember which award it was, but one of the smaller winners kept letting us know what the prompter was telling him. I loved how revealing and self-referential that was.

I love to watch the Academy Awards, but they rarely hold my attention for three hours. Next year, I'll probably leave the show on mute and just watch the pretty dresses float past.

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Jason Simmons

...Congrats to Reese Witherspoon!

Bottom line: I NEVER watch the Academy Awards show simply because it's boring. Although, if I were a celeb, then I watch them!

March 07 2006 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dana Yount

Jon Stewart was wonderful. He should be invited back.
I am most baffled by everyone kissing Reese Witherspoon's behind, calling her "sweet, genunine, impassioned..." First of all, if I have to hear this girl who came from an affluent family in Nashville say one more time that she "can't believe this is happening to a little girl from Tennessee," I am going to throw up. Nashville is a city based on the entertainment industry, and it's a decent-sized city; it's not like she's from Bugtussle or some under-privleged child from the ghetto. She is 30-years-old, not six...the little girl voice has got to stop. And her incessant yammering about how June Carter Cash was a real woman sounded like the ravings of a drunk. Genunine? Her speech is the same at every awards show. Sweet? She has insulted Tennesseans by insinuating they could never be successful. Impassioned? Try rote.

March 06 2006 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dorv

I think the critics giving Jon Stewart crummy reviews are WAY off base. I thought he was funny all night long.

The "In Memorium" (sp?) bits are usually one of my favorite parts of the show, but I was very VERY suprised to see that they skipped John Spencer. I know the majority of his work as been on Television, but I was still disapointed.

March 06 2006 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mamaloo

LOOOOOOOVED the Tomlin-Streep bit! It was the clear highlight of the night. That must've been fun for them. I liked Jon and thought he did OK, but just OK. Of course, a big part of the problem was the room he was playing to: full of people baffled by someone who isn't a clear sycophant.

March 06 2006 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamTVman

Stewart was great. He spoke to me the TV watcher, not to the stupid audience. I used to hate how the hosts in the past to that. A lot of the show continues to be crap however. At some point they need to really shake the format up, not sure how I'd do it though.

March 06 2006 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Quetzalcoatl

"For those of you keeping score at home, Martin Scorsese, zero; Three 6 Mafia, one."
Genius!

March 06 2006 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
B

I never watch the Oscars. I don't have anything against them, but I never really saw the point. I watched this year, however, cause Jon Stewart was the host. I remember in previous years that the Oscars would have montages, but I don't remember them being nearly so prevelent. I gather they were trying to put forth the idea that movies should be seen in theaters, but to prove it, they showed great old movies (which are only available on DVD), and showed them on a TV screen. It didn't really make me want to run out and see Shaggy Dog, or whatever is in theaters this week.

March 06 2006 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep wer the high points for me...too funny. The political ads were great too.

I am tiring of hearing that Crash was an upset. It was the better movie. Brokeback was good, but there was no competition here when comparing the stories, casts, and the performances.

March 06 2006 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
macarthur31

Jon had a tough assignment, and he came through. It was the right balance of reverence, sarcasm, and self-deprecation. I thought he nailed it right away from the cold open where he pointed out that he was the last choice (and it was a nice touch to see Letterman back on the Oscar telecast). His prepared bits showed the Daily Show snark ("Westerns not like Brokeback" montage, Election Ads), and I also liked some of his impromptu remarks -- "Coming up soon, our tribute to montages...", [Upon the exit of the 3-6 Mafia winning Best Song] "Why are those guys the happiest in the room? That's how you celebrate winning an Oscar!" I wouldn't be surprised if he's invited back next year.

One of my favorite moments of the night: the Altman introduction lovingly presented by Tomlin and Streep. It embodied an essential Altman take -- improvised, yet authentic and dense.

March 06 2006 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elliott

Jon was funny, but I have to say that my favorite part of the night was Clooney's acceptence speech. He's good looking, talented, and rich, and yet he salutes living outside of the conventional. I really can't explain it, but it made me feel good.

The fake ads were brilliant. And when Jon went on and on about how immoral everyone thinks Hollywood is, only to end with, "No joke, I just thought you should know what people are saying about you", Perfect, just perfect.

March 06 2006 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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