Monday, February 27, 2012
Gilding the Silly
A couple of quick thoughts on last night's Oscars:
1. Billy Crystal has fulfilled his destiny and finally become the full-on Borscht Belt hack he once parodied.
2. The Help was a God-awful piece of artificially sweetened revisionist hokum. That said, Octavia Spencer is a fine actor and she was as good as she could've been in the film, given the source material. But when she won the Oscar for Best-Supporting Actress and got a standing ovation before even opening her mouth, it looked like exactly what it was: white, liberal Hollywood heaping smug congratulation all over itself. It's not about whether the winner deserved the win, but only about the added honor of a standing ovation. Christopher Plummer got one for a lifetime excellent work. Octavia Spencer got one, seemingly, because she happens to be black.
3. About halfway through the show, I actually said something I didn't think anyone was capable of saying: "Brett Ratner would've done a better job."
4. When Christopher Guest and Company showed up, it provided at least a small spark of genuine humor. But on a night in which a group of movies were rewarded that almost no one saw -- and considering the state of the movie business in general these days -- I'm not sure Hollywood should've been making fun of its audience.
5. The only truly memorable moment of the evening happened before the show even started -- when Sacha Baron Cohen dumped an urn full of "Kim Jong Il's ashes" all over a very visibly pissed-off Ryan Seacrest.
6. There are only two reasons The Artist wasn't put in its proper category as a foreign film: No one spoke during it* and Harvey Weinstein said it wasn't. In the end, another love letter to movies won the day which again shows who Hollywood thinks is truly important and just how out-of-touch it is with everyone else.
7. I'm sorry, Oprah? Again?
*Updated: Given how many people have given me shit and accused me of not seeing the movie, yes, I know Valentin says two words.