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February 25, 2007

Oscar's Open Thread

I just came back from this, so I have about 6,000 calories of saturated fat slowing down my circulatory system and am ready for some serious Oscar watching. This is an open thread for award show commentary.

12:14: Nicholson looks like Lex Luthor. And w00t on The Departed!

12:09: Woo Scorcese! And as for the Spielberg/Lucas/Coppola presentation, it's no accident that Lucas never won an Oscar. Was watching the extended cut of Return of the Jedi today. That movie's terrible. Though Kriston sure knows a lot about it.

12:07: Weird speech by Whittaker, what with the taking the Oscar into the next life.

11:55: So I wasn't paying attention when the Best Actress was announced, and I totally thought that woman in the middle made a nasty, disappointed face when the winner was announced. Then it turns out that woman was the winner. So go Helen Mirren, I misjudged you! You were so classy as to be disappointed by your own victory...

11:43: As my friend Brian just noted, Martin Scorcese looks an awful lot like Henry Kissinger.

11:30: Props to Melissa Etheridge for invoking the dreaded gay family. Middle-aged lesbians are so non-threatening. And they love Al Gore!

11:25: So my crew is having a roaring debate over who sang better: Beyonce or Jennifer Hudson? Settle it for us.

11:18: Aberfeldy's Summer's Gone is in a Diet Coke commercial? Awesome!

11:12: Why are Tobey MacGuire and Kirsten Dunst presenting the Best Screenplay Oscar? And why so somberly? And what's with all the stilted, expository dialogue? They're the pair from Spiderman! And they didn't even write it! This is dumb.

10:49: An Inconvenient Truth wins! Very short speech by Gore, though. He could have taken better advantage of that moment.

10:45: Jerry Seinfeld doesn't age. It's impressive. On the other hand, instead of aging, he's becoming less funny. Is that a good tradeoff?

10:42: Where do people watch short subject documentaries? Not in the theaters, obviously. And YouTube just popped into existence. But I'd like to see these short documentaries! I'd be perfectly willing to pay $8 and see three in a row or something.

February 25, 2007 | Permalink


I actually saw the five short films (not documentaries) as a package at the E-Street cinema. Four of them were crap; one ("The Saviour") was decent. One of the crap movies, about a creepy Spanish guys who pick up a woman who they think is their mother in law (but isn't), won. So: See these short films, get a whole new category to be disappointed in!

Posted by: David Weigel | Feb 25, 2007 10:55:39 PM

I think he was just overcome. he really wanted that oscar. really bad. I am so happy for him.
Next: Peace prize

Posted by: vwcat | Feb 25, 2007 10:55:58 PM

Out of curiosity, what did you want Gore to do with the moment?

I don't think that the Oscars is the place to announce his candidacy, if that's what you were looking for. It's not the place for a lengthy treatise on global warming. I liked that he made it come down to one thing, one thing that we have the power to control.

Don't get me wrong, I would have been glad of his entry if he did announce tonight. In fact, some have said we'd know if he intends to run by how much weight he was carrying at the Oscars. IF so, it doesn't look good...

Posted by: gex | Feb 25, 2007 11:00:18 PM

not a candidacy, just a better speech.

Posted by: Ezra | Feb 25, 2007 11:07:30 PM

all good.

Posted by: jacqueline | Feb 25, 2007 11:12:24 PM

Well- official Oscar rules are that they have to play in Los Angeles and New York in a major theatre OR in an Oscar certified festival like Austin, SXSW, Sundance, the Aspen Shortfest etc. In Europe, there is a market, unless the US, for them, so those would could have been seen in theatres (not sure about the Oscar rules). All of these are true for short docs, live action and animation. If you are really interested- the Academy of Arts and Sciences puts out some rather detailed, and annoying (because they don't allow for many digital formats as a way of gatekeeping in my opinion) so many ultra low budget pics have a hard time getting nominated. Just to give you an idea- a short live action on 16 mm that's 15 minutes long can wrong you 20 to 30k if you don't beg borrow and steal. If you do beg borrown and steal, it can be under 10 k, but still rather expensive for a penniless filmmaker.

Posted by: akaison | Feb 25, 2007 11:13:35 PM

Well, I guess I'm aging even if Jerry isn't. I thought he was funny.

Toby MacGuire needs to shave, though. Not a good look.

How's your tofu, Ezra?

Posted by: Klio | Feb 25, 2007 11:20:26 PM

Man, they are some bitter over at The Corner. Mark Steyn should really not try to be humourous.

Posted by: laura | Feb 25, 2007 11:22:43 PM

Does Jennifer Lopez ever present any other award at the Oscars besides Best Song?

As for the shorts, I think they should get rid of them. Even the most obscure foreign film nominee eventually finds more of an audience than the winners of the short categories. I also think the Sound categories should be merged. Although it is interesting that both of those oscars went to the one film out of the five that wasn't nominated in the opposite category.

Posted by: Greg | Feb 25, 2007 11:26:03 PM

In Seattle, they usually screen the short docs in one or two omnibuses for a week just before or after the awards at one of the arthouses.

Posted by: djw | Feb 25, 2007 11:26:08 PM

Very short speech by Gore, though.

He didn't want to get played off the stage with "So Long, Farewell."

Posted by: Sanpete | Feb 25, 2007 11:34:44 PM

Jennifer Hudson, and it's not close.

Posted by: JW | Feb 25, 2007 11:38:11 PM


Posted by: Sanpete | Feb 25, 2007 11:39:16 PM

ditto on hudson

Posted by: akaison | Feb 25, 2007 11:49:46 PM

I just got the last of the lads to bed. And clearly I've missed my dear Al getting the Oscar. I'm glad he sensed my absence and decided to hold off on the running-for-president announcement--what a considerate man!

Has Helen Mirren won yet?

Posted by: litbrit | Feb 25, 2007 11:50:15 PM

They need to seriously knock it off with playing the sound from the auditorium during the dead people montage. It's really disrespectful to the departed to have a running popularity meter.

Posted by: Greg | Feb 25, 2007 11:54:02 PM

Hooray for Helen!

Posted by: litbrit | Feb 25, 2007 11:54:44 PM

I think Forest Whitaker is great, but I'm shocked Peter O'Toole didn't win ... again.

Good point, Greg. All they have to do tell the folks not to applaud (during the break before the montage, maybe).

Posted by: Sanpete | Feb 26, 2007 12:10:08 AM

Lucas didn't direct Return of the Jedi. That was Richard Marquand. Lucas did direct the original Star Wars, which I really like. And he directed all the prequels which are mostly bad, though episode 3 is fairly watchable aside from one or 2 very clunky scenes.

Posted by: Alan | Feb 26, 2007 12:57:47 AM


Posted by: Jacob | Feb 26, 2007 1:16:02 AM

Man, that was a long, dreary show. Pretty much the only parts worth watching were when Gore was speaking or when the Best Song nominees were performing.

They need to give O'Toole one of those lifetime achievement Oscars before he kicks the bucket.

Oh, and Jerry Seinfeld sucks.

Posted by: fiat lux | Feb 26, 2007 1:23:33 AM

Alan Arkin, anyone? Love me some Alan Arkin.

And...Hudson. By a mile.

Posted by: san antone rose | Feb 26, 2007 1:23:58 AM

Aberfeldy's Summer's Gone is in a Diet Coke commercial?

Another one had "Sunny Side of the Street", by the Pogues. We've really reached some kind of nadir when the music on TV commercials is cooler than nearly all of the music on the radio.

Posted by: kth | Feb 26, 2007 1:33:38 AM

kth -- OK, you definitely win the "comment of the week" award.

Posted by: fiat lux | Feb 26, 2007 1:48:08 AM

Hudson, by a mile. Made Beyonce's voice sound weak, though nothing, not God Himself, could make Beyonce look anything other than gorgeous.

I thought Gore's short speech was perfect. He wasn't technically winning an award, so it was a little strange for him to be speaking at all. He got the core message out and got out of the way. Believe me, he came out of tonight's show looking really, really good.

Next month he testifies before the House, and in July he'll be at the helm of a global series of rock concerts that will make Live Aid look like community theater.

By the end of the summer, he'll be in a position where he can walk unimpeded into the White House if he wants. I doubt he'll want it, but it will be his for the taking.

Posted by: Realish | Feb 26, 2007 2:10:51 AM

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