2005 Oscar Diary

8:30– We start with a Dustin Hoffman-narrated clips package. I like this- especially since last year’s didn’t have one of these.
8:37- Rock’s monologue. Pretty mid-level, and not raunchy or “controversial” at all, although the “Fahrenheit 9/11″/”what if there were a movie out that said how much you suck at your job” joke was pretty funny.
8:39- “Denzel’s a fine actor, so he wouldn’t make ‘Pootie Tang.’” In fact, “Pootie Tang” was better than anything Denzel’s done in the past 15 years.
8:43- Halle Berry is the first presenter –following a Rock ‘Catwoman’ joke- and looks GREAT. It’s Art Direction, and “Aviator” wins.
8:47: Rock says Renee Zellweger “put on 25 pounds to play Bridget Jones, and will soon put on 80 pounds to play Deacon Jones.” I bet anyone a thousand dollars that line was originally “Star Jones” before they made Rock change it. Best Supporting Actor is Morgan Freeman- which is good, because he deserved it. They chose the best clip in the movie for him, too.
8:51: After Freeman’s speech, the theme from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” plays for no apparent reason.
8:55: During the Robin Williams routine about botox and plastic surgery, the director makes a point of not panning to any actresses for reaction. Then, his “gay cartoon characters” bit goes on about 2 minutes longer than necessary. “The Incredibles,” deservedly, wins for Best Animation Feature.
9:01: They’re actually giving out awards out in the audience to save time. One of the Best Makeup winners for “Lemony Snicket” thanks someone named “Medusa.”
9:05: If Beyonce’s performance proves anything, it’s that she’s MUCH better at non-English singing than J.Lo is. And that goes for English singing as well.
9:09: It’s unrelated, but WABC’s “He Is the Champion” promo for gay weatherman Sam Champion is one of the funnier things I’ve ever seen.
9:10: The camera catches some dude handing something to Rock. Oops. “From the Kodak Theater to the Magic Johnson Theater”: it’s like a bad Jay Leno bit, where Rock makes fun of people who only like stupid movies. But Albert Brooks singing the praises “White Chicks” was a nice touch.
9:17: The Costume Design award is co-presented by the animated designer from “The Incredibles.” Cute, but not as funny as when Beavis & Butt-head assisted Letterman at the Emmys that time.
9:19: Rock mocks Tim Robbins for “boring us to death with his politics.” Yea, Robbins sounded like a paranoid schizophrenic on Bill Maher last night. Best Supporting Actress is… Cate Blanchett. I never liked her- she all but ruined “The Life Aquatic”- but I grant that she was great as Kate.
9:26: Great Carson tribute. And just when we thought this was a Whoopi Goldberg-free year, she shows up to give worthless commentary. At least she didn’t make any tortured Bush/bush puns.
9:30: It’s Best Documentary time, and we’re luckily spared a Fat Fat Fatty rant since he elected not to submit “F-9/11.” “Born Into Brothels” wins instead. “Aviator” wins Best Editing, though considering how long it was, perhaps it could’ve used a little more.
9:35: Apparently, Sideshow Bob has replaced Adam Duritz as frontman of Counting Crows. Of the 60 CC songs I put on my iPod this afternoon, “Accidentally In Love” is probably the worst.
9:42: Good to see Sandler and Rock back together, even for a stupid bit like this one. Adapted Screenplay, and it’s… “Sideways.” Overrated yes, but it did deserve it over “Million Dollar Baby,” of which the screenplay was probably the weakest element.
9:47: For Visual Effects, “Spider-man 2” wins, which is good since it was the best Hollywood action film of recent years. And the words “Oscar” and “I, Robot” don’t belong in the same universe, much less the same sentence.
9:49: The president of the academy refers to his “sermon,” and dedicates the evening to the troops. Red-state pandering, anyone?
9:51: Al Pacino salutes Sidney Lumet; “The Pawnbroker” sounds like “The Pornbroker,” in Pacino-speak. Lumet’s done some great stuff over the years- is it possible to be a film buff over 25 and not have rented “Dog Day Afternoon” at least twice? But “Serpico” wasn’t nearly as good as the theatrical version of same in “Rushmore.”
We see footage of an in-production Lumet movie with Vin Diesel yelling as a lawyer in a bad wig, which may be the funniest thing I saw all night. I expect so many people to make fun of this in the next few days as to render that film unreleasable.
10:04: More Beyonce! In English this time, albeit if Andrew Lloyd Webber has to accompany her, I vote for French.
10:09: Rock refers to “comedy legend Jeremy Irons.” Hey, “Dead Ringers” was pretty funny.
10:13: You know it’s the Oscars and not sports or politics when the guy who wins says “I am here tonight because of one guy,” and the one guy isn’t God or Jesus.
10:14: I nominate Kate Winslet as the most beautiful woman in movies. Anyone disagree? “Aviator” wins cinematography.
10:21: Now that Penelope Cruz has demonstrated again and again that she can’t act in English or be in a good movie, shouldn’t Paz Vega (from “Spanglish”) be getting all her roles, and presenting along with Salma Hayek, instead of her? “Ray” wins for Best Sound Mixing.
10:26: Totalitarian fascist Che Guevara is extolled by Hayek. Pretty awful, but still not as bad as Banderas singing.
10:34: This new show with John Stamos could actually be good. A phrase I never thought I’d use.
10:40: “Finding Neverland” wins for Original Score- that’ll be it’s only award of the evening, I’m sure. The composer’s agent’s name is “Mr. Greenspan.” And when he thanks Harvey Weinstein, people laugh.
10:45: The guy who wins an honorary award for his work on film preservation thanks Ted Turner, the man who- do to his colorization efforts in the ‘80s- did more to hurt the cause of proper preservation than anyone else.
10:47: Yo Yo Ma! He’s here to accompany this year’s death montage. Reagan gets some scattered cheers. They spell Carole Eastman’s name wrong. Brando and Orbach get the longest applause, even longer than Russ Meyer.
10:55: P. Diddy is a presenter for some reason. He calls the “Polar Express” song “hip,” and says it’s a way to combat all the negativity going on in the world. But I’d rather just think about Beyonce. She and Josh Groban seem to have chemistry- if she left Jay-Z for him, it may be the funniest scandal in the history of celebrities. And yes, I typed that before Rock made that joke.
11:00: Prince appears to present Best Original Song, and for some reason Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” is his entrance music. I still say Prince should buy the Minnesota Vikings (he has plenty of money, he’s local, he’s black, and everything on his resume is truthful), but that’s another argument for another time. And yuk, “The Motorcycle Diaries” song wins. Though the director singing his entire acceptance speech instead of speaking was a nice touch that more people should try.
11:02: Sean Penn starts his presentation by, uh, defending Jude Law from Rock’s joke two hours earlier. Huh? And have you, or has anyone you know, seen “Being Julia”? Too bad they can’t show any of the clips of Hilary Swank that actually, you know, will win her the award.
Swank wins. And yes, she remembers to thank her husband this time. Swank now becomes the first “Beverly Hills 90210” alum to win two Best Actress Oscars (or win one Oscar, or be nominated, or come to the Oscars, or even sustain a movie career). She also thanks her agent, Tony Lip, who may or may not be the same Tony Lip who played Carmine Lupertazzi on “The Sopranos.”
11:13: As “Sea Inside” wins Best Foreign Language Film, I’m reminded of the amusing debate over whether “Bad Education” was denied the rapturous critical and Academy reception of the last couple Almodovar films because it was “too gay.”
11:16: Time for my favorite award, Best Original Screenplay.” Charlie Kaufman wins for the year’s best film, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Which is great, because I’ll probably see that 50 more times in my lifetime, while I’ll almost certainly never see “Million Dollar Baby” again.
Look at the last fifteen years of Original Screenplay winners, and the last fifteen years of Best Pictures– which list has more good movies?
Kaufman looks a lot like Seth Green, and is closer to his age. Green probably should’ve played him in “Adaptation” instead of Nicolas Cage.
11:23: The presentations have been cut down to about five second each, as Charlize Theron does Best Actor. I expect some Fox News pundit to bust out the DiCaprio “don’t you talk down to me- you’re a movie star, nothing more” clip next time some actor says something about Bush.
Foxx wins. And I realize I haven’t gotten one wrong yet on my picks. I always assumed Jim Carrey would be the first “In Living Color” alum to win an Oscar, though I knew it wouldn’t be a Wayans brother.
11:32: Julia Roberts presents Best Director, and will likely jump into the lap of whoever wins. And it’s Clint- damn, sorry Marty. It’s a shame, because Eastwood did a much better job acting in that than directing it.
11:36: Hoffman and Streisand give out the Best Picture award, in character from “Fockers.” And the winner is… “Million Dollar Baby.” Ugh. We got hope early on when “Aviator” won all the technical awards, but then MDB wasn’t really a “technical awards” kind of movie. Only four Oscars, but they were for Picture, Director, Actress, and Supporting Actor.
Overall, not a particularly memorable year- though, quickly, name two things that happened at last year’s. Rock was decent, but this was far, far, FAR from his best work, and the super-rushed tone of the final hour pretty much ruined it.
Meanwhile, IFC started a showing of “The Usual Suspects” right as the show was ending. So much better than everything that was honored tonight…

11 thoughts on “2005 Oscar Diary

  1. A

    Clearly the Oscars should have started at 8PM..it was so boring…
    I think its funny how Hilary Swank came from a trailor home life and won awards for characters also from trailor home lives…so is she really that good an actress???
    Also, Steve I thought you said Hollywood wannabe’s call Martin Scorsese “Marty” which you did… >:P

    Reply
  2. Petitedov

    Great wrap up, the whole Selma Hayek presentation of the first “Spanish Oscar Nominated Song” was nauseating. I can’t wait for a film about young Stalin to come out and Selma to praise the Academy for nominating first “Russian” song. Jebus. I have to disagree about the Beyonce/Grobin chemistry, didn’t feel it. I concur with you, C, and countless others the Oscars were a big snore this year.

    Reply
  3. dawn summers

    “gay weatherman Sam Champion” … umm…Sam Champion is happily married with kids. What do you know that I …and well, his family…don’t?

    Reply
  4. James

    …and Prince likes to wear purple, so that’s one more reason he should buy the Vikes… but I totally hate his ass for screwing up and I mean butchering every member of the Counting Crows’ names. You can check out the Oscar post on my website, but both my wife and I think Accidentally in Love is one of the best Crows songs since Recovering the Satellites (well, the last part is just me), especially after hearing him explain how it came about.
    It’s too bad about Matt Malley. I thought their performance wasn’t too hot (partly due to time constraints), but I think Matt’s absence will hurt them more than they let on.

    Reply
  5. Chris Hart

    Steve posted:
    “We start with a Dustin Hoffman-narrated clips package. I like this- especially since last year’s didn’t have one of these.”
    I thought that many of the pre-produced packages sucked. This opening one could have benefited from better editing.
    And the video package about the gentleman who won the award for Oscar health care programs and film preservation was absolutely horridly edited.
    Steve wrote:
    “8:51: After Freeman’s speech, the theme from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” plays for no apparent reason.”
    There are 2 reasons that the Star Trek fanfare was appropriate for this ceremony: 1) Movie music composer Jerry Goldsmith passed away in 2004 (as recognized during the “in memoriam” segment), and the Trek fanfare is probably his most widely-recognized creation. 2) Variations on this fanfare have been in most of the Star Trek movies.
    Steve wrote:
    “If Beyonce’s performance proves anything, it’s that she’s MUCH better at non-English singing than J.Lo is. And that goes for English singing as well.”
    Um, J.Lo is not truly a singer, and certainly nowhere not in the vocal league of Beyonce. She does well enough to get by, thanks to studio tweaking, but singing is not her forte. Her duet with Marc Anthony during the Grammies proved it.
    And while Beyonce is indeed talented, having her perform THREE songs in one award show was overdoing it, and an insult to all the other talented woman singers out there who would have loved the opportunity to perform in this ceremony.
    Further, the only song she was really good at was the duet with Groban. The other 2 were merely passable.

    Reply
  6. Mike

    OK, Sam Champion is definitely gay. He is always our at G (a gay bar in Chelsea) and The Park (on gay night). He only likes black guys, and since I think he is gorgeous and I’m not black, I’m devastated!

    Reply

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