OSCAR REDUX

I’m back. I’ve gone through my annual post-Academy Award funk, in which I am so embarrassed and disgusted by my industry after the Awards, that I seriously fantasize about pursuing career options like selling shoes, or running a bed and breakfast in Fiji, or being a forest ranger somewhere without television sets…and, well, animals.

All in all, however, the evening was less absurd than it usually is, thanks to the war in Iraq. (Reason to consider bombing vicious tyrants somewhere every third week of March? I think maybe…). We were also saved much of the celebrity “preening and posturing” (Thanks, KH!) by Steve Martin’s brilliant assault on the whole entertainment world. Wow! He skewered ‘em all, revealing their shallowness (“In Hollywood, you can be tall, short, thin…or skinny.”), their profound bias (“In Hollywood, there are Democrats, and……”), their moral profligacy (Insert; picture of haggard Nick Nolte after his drug bust), their hypocrisy (“The proceeds from tonight’s event will go to several giant corpoations.”), their elitism(“Phew! I thought I saw a non-celebrity over there!”), and their disconnect to the rest of the world (“No red carpet this year. THAT’LL send ‘em a message!!!”)

After his opening monologue, there wasn’t a lot left of the moral authority soapbox from which the assembled celebs could admonish the rest of us. The only celebs who went on to opine anyway, were those who aren’t bright enough to have followed the monologue: That Mexican actor whose handsomeness has convinced him that he is special, and Streisand, who is just not that bright. I can’t decide if Michael Moore is rendered obtuse by his blinding ideology or by grey matter deficiency. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

Anyway, I have a feeling Steve won’t get this gig again. But I hope I’m wrong! Steve, wherever you are, you are my new official hero!

A note about what we are all calling, “The Academy’s New LOW”…..

I thought I’d rather see anyone win Best Director except Martin Scorsese, for his epic bloodbath Gangs of New York. But that was only because I didn’t think, in any possible scenario, the creatives in this town would seriously consider giving an Oscar to a fugitive pedophile. But we all forgot one thing: Never underestimate the clout of a holocaust movie in Hollywood. Even a storyless, unoriginal, meandering and endless one. The fact is, if The Pianist was set during the Gulag, it probably wouldn’t have even gotten distribution.


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