Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

I’d Like to Thank the Academy

Yesterday was my favorite day of the year.  That’s right folks, it’s
better than Christmas, it’s better than my birthday, it’s better than
the one day off I get every two months.  Yesterday, for those of you
living in a cave, was Oscar Sunday.

Now the truly surreal experience about living in Hollywood is that on
your way to watching the oscars you actually get stuck in the traffic
of people going to the oscars.  As I was leaving work in West
Hollywood and going to my friends house in Santa Monica, I made the
descision to avoid Sunset (as it’s usually backed up, and it takes you
to Pacific Pallisades rather than Santa Monica.  So, I thought, I’ll
take Santa Monica Blvd.  Big Mistake.  You see, all the Oscar parties
(including the illustrious Vanity Fair party) are in West Hollywood,
just south of Santa Monica Blvd. and they closed all the streets
running north/south.  Even still, this couldn’t break me from my oscar
high.  And as I was crawling through streets of West Hollywood I
couldn’t help but notice the line of Limos crawling eastward…making
their way to the oscars.

I finally made it to my friends house where we gorged on chips,
crackers, and other goodies and drank the champagne of beers (Miller
High Life)…it was after all a day for celebration.  We critiqued the
Oscar fashion (our consensus was that Reese Witherspoon was the best
dressed, and looked absolutely divine with her new post-breakup body.

As we were discussing the Oscars I realized (much to my relief) that I
was not the only one who has practiced their Oscar acceptance speech.
That’s right, I’ve practiced it.  And I decided last night that I’d
like to win at the 100th Annual Academy Awards.  Last night was the
79th so we’ll see.

So I’m guessing you’re waiting for me to Cut to the Chase.  And here I
go.  The ceremony itself was great.  Ellen DeGeneres is a goddess.
She was funny, charming, and not too political.  Though her joke about
how America didn’t vote for Jennifer Hudson (on American Idol) and she
was nominated, but America did vote for Al Gore and he was nominated,
was the greatest thing I’d ever witnessed on Oscar night.  So go Ellen
for being (I hope) the new Billy Crystal.  In other words, please
academy members, please have Ellen host again and again.  (And her
‘without gays, jews and minorities this industry/awards show wouldn’t
exist’ was simply fabulous).

Before I recap and critique all the great moments I have to take a
second to talk about Al Gore at the Academy Awards.  First of all, I’d
like to just say this, Al Gore won an Oscar.  Feels kinda nice,
doesn’t it?  He won a freaking Oscar.  The best scripted moment of the
night was when Leo and Al Gore went up to talk a little about Global
Warming and what we can do and how the Oscar show ‘went green.’  Leo
kept asking Al if there was anything he wanted to announce (wink,
wink, nudge, nudge) and Al starts his ‘My fellow Americans’ I’m going
to run for president speech.  The genius was that he held on just long
enough where I was like ‘oh my god, he’s going to run’  and
then……..the band played him off.  What a great moment.

Okay, so on to the recaps.  The big upset of course was Alan Arkin
winning over Eddie Murphy in the Best Supporting Actor category.  My
thoughts are that Alan Arkin gave an Academy Award worthy performance
in Little Miss Sunshine and Eddie Murphy gave a great performance in
Dreamgirls.  Notice the absence of Academy Award worthy.  Eddie Murphy
was great, and yes, this is the only time he’ll probably ever be
nominated, but he still wasn’t academy award worthy.  And God love the
academy for recognizing that.

My girl J. Hud.  Jennifer Hudson took the Best Supporting Actress (for
her lead role in Dreamgirls).  Here’s the thing.  I’m glad she won, I
really am.  She was great.  But I’m pretty sure that’s the end of the
road for her acting career.  We always say, you shouldn’t win an oscar
in your first big performance.  So as sad as I am to say it I’m glad
Abagail Breslin didn’t win because she’ll go on to do other good stuff
(and already has in her guest spot on Grey’s Anatomy where she
completely ripped out my cold cold heart).

Of course, Helen Mirren took home the award she so deserved.  She was
absolutely fantastic in The Queen and she evoked so much while playing
such a stoic character.  It was just an astonishingly good movie.
And, as my friend so eloquently put it, she was the reason that it
didn’t feel like a made for T.V. movie.

I’m coining a new term for Hollywood.  It’s called the Titanic curse
and it seems to only effect Kate and Leo.  Kate and Leo have each been
nominated 4 or 5 times and neither has ever won.  Now, they are both
young and I have no doubt that they both will win because they are
great actors, but it’s always amazing to me how often they’ve been
nominated without a win between them.  Last night Kate was nominated
for Best Actress for the movie Little Children (which she deserved the
nomination for, but not the win).  Leo was nominated for Blood Diamond
(he should have been nominated and not won for the Departed because he
was much better in that).

Of course the Best Actor award went to a guy who started off at
Ridgemont High School (along with Sean Penn, Nick Cage, and Jennifer
Jason Leigh).  My man Forrest Whitaker won for the Last King of
Scotland.  This was one of the best performances I’ve seen in a very
long time.  He was so charming and you just loved him so much and
slowly you saw what an evil tyrant he was.  I really have no words to
describe it, but, in the immortal words of Wayne and Garth ‘We’re not
worthy.’

Before getting to the big Four (best director, best picture and the
two best screenplays) I also want to just say how much I love Meryl
Streep.  When introducing the costume design award Anne Hathaway and
Emily Blunt from The Devil Wears Prada, did a little funny bit about
getting Meryl’s cappuccino.  The camera cuts to Meryl who is doing her
Miranda Preistly face and it was just fabulous.  She’s a goddess and I
hope when I die I come back as Meryl Streep.

Okay, I see you shiver with Antici……..say it……………pation.
 My big cry moment came pretty expectedly at the end of the ceremony.
In a prescient, can we call it a casting choice, the academy had Geoge
Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola present the best
Director award.  And FINALLY after eight nominations, for which he
should have won most of them, they gave Martin Scorcese his very first
Oscar.  Now, when a little Italian man with more energy than a race
horse wins, I get excited.  But when one of my all time favorite
directors, who looks amazingly like my little Italian grandfather,
gets up to accept his first Oscar and is about as excited as a kid on
Christmas, I loose it.  Oh, there were tears.  Tears of joy because he
is so cute and such a lovely guy and even though they went an hour
late, they didn’t play Marty off the stage during his big moment.  I
loved him.  I love him.  He needs to win many many more.

The biggest surprise of the night was, of course, the Best Picture.
And really, this was the one category where it wasn’t wrapped up.  It
wasn’t even between two.  All the movies (except for Babel) deserved
to win because they were all amazing.  But in all honesty I didn’t
expect the Departed to win.  I was sure it was going to be Little Miss
Sunshine (which I was hoping for) or Babel (even though I hated it,
the academy gets off on pretentious bullshit posing as a ‘deep’
movie).  You know what though?  I really would have been happy with
anything that wasn’t Babel winning, so I came out unscathed.

The funny thing is that a bunch of film people watching oscars is like
a bunch of frat boys watching football.  We cheered and hooted and
rooted for the touchdown.  It was highly entertaining.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  The most important
awards of the night. Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted
Screenplay.  And they were both great.

So the Best Original screenplay went to Michael Arendt (who I just met
when he did a signing at my work) for Little Miss Sunshine.  He was
fabulous, funny,  little heartbreaking, and he totally deserved to win
because that was the most original script that has come out of
Hollywood in a very very long time.  And mad props to Fox Searchlight
for doing something right and paying $5 Million for the movie after it
was screened at Sundance.

And of course William Monahan won for the Departed.  Adapted from the
Hong Kong film and transferred to be the Irish Mob in Boston.  Even
though I had problems with the ending The Departed was a great movie
and the first movie set in Boston to really make use the Dropkick
Murphys, who are THE Boston band.  In any case, the script was great
and Monahan was a delight to watch.

I also have to note that I loved the moment where Jack Black and Will
Ferrell sang about not being recognized at the academy awards because
they were comedians.  Then John C. Reilly stands up and starts singing
about how he was in both Boogie and Talladega Nights.  It was just
great.

But the thing about the Oscars that I realize every year is that they
give me that magical feeling that movies give people.  They play all
the music from all the movies that you love.  And even though those
montages can get a little tedious, I still love seeing the clips and
recognizing what each movies is and whining ‘I love that movie’ over
and over again.

As they were rolling credits and shooting the chaos that I was not
looking forward to driving through as I made my way back home they
began playing the music to Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, The Good,
the Bad and The Ugly, among others, and it was then, at the end of the
ceremony that I realized why I love the Oscars so much.  It’s because
the Oscars make me remember why I love movies.  In this business that
is so crazy and can be so dissappointing and that sometimes makes me
think that I should just be a lawyer or do something easy like that,
the Oscars make me remember why I love the movies and why I want to
help make them.  They make me fall in love with Rhett, the let me know
I’ll always have Paris and every year on oscar night I follow the
yellow brick road all over again.

I hope you all tuned in and I’ll let you know when I’m nominated…I
can’t promise not to cry at my acceptance speech though.

Peace, love, and great movies,

Julia

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June 14, 2007 - Posted by | Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Oscars

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