Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Oscars

If it's really going to be "business as usual," then let's get away from the Chapter 11 stuff and move on to something really important: the Oscars.

I Tivo-ed my way through the show last night. It's amazing how much easier it is to handle when you have that "fast forward" feature cranking.

I've been watching the Oscars for more years than I care to admit. Each time I wonder why I stayed up so late for such a minimal payback. But the flu sacked me by 9p.m. Sunday, meaning this year's Monday post-Oscar wake up alarm was unusually acceptable.

Give the producers credit for trying new things to quicken the pace of the show. I didn't care for most of them, but they took some chances, so good for them.

I could have done without the Hugh Jackman production numbers. And the non-marquee awards mainly interest insiders. (Which is why the Golden Globes program is so much more entertaining than the Oscars: It's mostly star power.)

Jerry Lewis looked all of his 80-plus years and was unpredictably solemn in accepting the humanitarian award.

Steve Martin and Tina Fey were quite funny. So was the Seth Rogan-James Franco film spoof. And Philippe Petit scored points for balancing an Oscar on his chin.

The best innovation was the inclusion of past major award winners to introduce the nominees for the four major acting categories. Their comments seemed a bit over the top, but that's OK. Hollywood is at its best when it brings the big names back on stage.

I have no real quarrel with the winners. I thought Sean Penn and Kate Winslet were particularly good selections. I'm heading to Los Angeles tomorrow. I'll let you know if I bump into them at Nate and Al's.

As is the case every year, I'm saying I won't bother watching next year's Oscars. But deep down I know I will.
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