I was worried.
I admit it.
I thought my boy Hugh might bomb, because everyone kept saying it was going to be new and different and all sorts of things, and we all know that Hollywood is not known new and different and all sorts of things.
I mean, how else do we explain Tom Cruise’s career?
But that opening number, with Hugh dancing! Hugh singing! Hugh joking! was fantastic. It was the best Oscar opening since the Billy Crystal days of yore. It was Mickey-and-Judy-Let’s-Put-On-A-Show-Phenomenal!
I loved him singing of, ahem, sorry Miss Winslet, “excrement’ to Kate.
I loved Anne Hathaway being dragged up onstage to play……Dick Nixon?
I loved having past winners come out and announce the nominees. Cool idea. Different idea. New idea. Who knew?
Penelope Cruz won…..meh. I don’t get her. I don’t think she’s talented. I don’t think she’s that attractive. Let’s face it, the last time I thought of her was the last time I saw her. Again……meh.
Steve Martin and Tina Fey, two of the funniest people who don’t look like they’re reading from a teleprompter, cracked me up. I seriously thought that I would love to see them in a movie, or better yet, having dinner at my house and then watching a movie.
And that sly aside about a made-up religion with an alien leader?
Tom Cruise is having a time-out even as we speak.
I thought it was funny when Jennifer Aniston appeared onstage. I looked at Carlos and said, I wonder how long until they show Brad and Angelina.
He said, Why?
I stopped to explain about Jennifer and Brad….married…divorced….Brad….Angelina….babies. I almost missed Angelina smiling in the crowd. Does anyone really think Angelina cares one whit about Jennifer Aniston? Or that Jennifer Aniston cares one whit about Angelina?
But I digress.
I had to do a whole Six Degrees Of Separation for Carlos.
Jennifer Aniston presents with Jack Black.
Jennifer Aniston was married to Brad Pitt.
Brad Pitt is whatever with Angelina Jolie.
Angelina Jolie did an animated film with Jack Black.
Jack Black is onstage with Jennifer Aniston in front of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Way over Carlos’ head.
I loved Dustin Lance Black’s acceptance speech for the Milk screenplay. It made me tear up, which, as a gay man, I am prone to do. But this is what he said:
“Oh my God. This was, um. This was not an easy film to make……When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married. I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you, thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk”
Side note: Black wrote the introduction to a book called MILK: A Pictorial History Of Harvey Milk that you can read HERE
And I don’t get all those techno awards where the winners, who I’m sure are fabulous at their jobs, feel the need to thank anyone and everyone, and drone on and on. Of course, it does provide a much-needed bathroom break, but really…..Get off already!
That said, the Asian guy, that won for something? I don’t know. I was coming back from the bathroom. He’d say a word in Japanese….then Thank you…another name in Japanese….the Thank you….on and on until he finally says Domo arigato Mister Roboto! Loved it!
When the award was given for Best Costumes, Carlos perked up. The Duchess won and Carlos loved the movie and the clothes; I think he wants to be a duchess or just dress like one.
Then we had Ben Stiller’s crazy, bearded Joaquin Phoenix impersonation. It was funny…at first….but like a Ben Stiller movie it dragged on too long. I spent so much time explaining the joke, the Joaquin Phoenix reference, the beard, the glasses, to Carlos that even I stopped thinking it was funny.
Now, after loving the Musical Number that opened the show, they had to go and muck it up. I mean, c’mon, Beyonce. Take a night off already. You sing! You dance! I get it. Move on.
The musical may be making a comeback, but if it looked anything like it did on the stage last night, it should be ashamed of itself.
Of course, having said I liked the idea of five past winners announcing the nominations, I was a bit taken aback by the five past Best Supporting Actor winners. It was a little like a presidential debate. I was waiting for the, Sir, I know Heath Ledger and you are no Heath Ledger moment.
But I loved Heath Ledger’s family accepting for him. His mother and sister were heartbreaking, and his is a career that was all too short.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was given to Jerry Lewis.
He didn’t speak long.
I guess that makes him a true humanitarian.
I usually skip out on the Death Parade, you know, the In Memoriam they like to do. It’s all a bit morbid listening to who gets the most applause. Even in death there are Oscar winners and losers. But having Queen Latifah sing I’ll Be Seeing you was a great idea. It’s a beautiful song, an appropriate song, and you didn’t get the Dead Man Popularity clap from years gone by.
And Latifah looked good, although Jenny Craig may want some of her money back.
I loved Kate Winslet winning. I would have loved La Streep, but La Brit Streep is just as good. And I loved her shouting out to her Dad who whistled so she could find him. It was not the usual I want to thank nonsense.
And this picture of all those previous winners crowding around to thank her. You hear so often about women not supporting women, so it was nice to see this display.
Then Sean Penn. I was so hoping he would win. Not just because he was the actor who brought Harvey Milk to the screen, and not because I am not a fan of Mickey Rourke. But because Sean Penn is a brilliant actor. He didn’t win because he played ‘gay,’ and that’s such an achievement. he won because he was brilliant in bringing Harvey back to life for a couple of hours.
I loved his speech:
“You Commie homo-loving sons of guns! I did not expect this, but I — and I want to be very clear that I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me. Often. But I — I am touched by the appreciation and I hoped for it enough that I scribbled down — so I have the names in case you were Commie homo-loving suns of guns. And so I, I wanted you to thank….The great Cleve Jones. Our wonderful writer, Lance Black….Finally, for those — two last finallys — For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, and, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone…..Thank you all very much.”
And Best Picture went to Slumdog Millionaire. I liked learning that, until it was screened at the Toronto Film Festival, Slumdog was headed straight to DVD. And then it gets saved by Fox Searchlight and goes on to be the Best Picture of 2008.
It’s like that old children’s story: The Little Slumdog That Could.
So it’s over.
Hugh was hot.
I love a man who can sing and dance and speak with an accent.
Hmmmmmm……Carlos? Do they have a dance academy here in Smallville, cuz I was just thinking that maybe you could head on out there and sign up for ………………