Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oscar Compulsions and the sad decline of Billy Crystal's career

Every year I know I'll be bored, annoyed, confused and irritated. Yet, every year I compulsively watch the Academy Awards.

I was bored, as was most of the celebrity audience, judging by their painted-on, tolerant half-smiles at the antics of the sadly over-used Billy Crystal. He was terrible. Way back on "Soap", he was quite talented, and brought many amusing comical roles to life over the years. And I understand he was the favorite host for a long time, but he is WAY past his prime and seemed to be recycling all the bits that worked 10+ years ago, and they just didn't work. It was sad, his face looked odd, extremely made-up, and he just sort of embarrassed himself. Or should have...

I was annoyed by the opening montage featuring Crystal superimposed into scenes from some of 2011's big films. It wasn't nearly as good as it ought to have been.

I was confused by a few of Crystal's "jokes" and even moreso by Angelina Jolie's awkward, forced, thigh-baring pose, both onstage and (as I found in a photo online) on the red carpet. Weird. I guess it's gone all viral and her leg keeps showing up in all kinds of places now. What a strange world we live in.

And I was irritated by Crystal's phoned-in, obnoxious and unfunny performance.

But, as I've done nearly every year since I was a girl, I watched the whole thing... As my husband said, "that's three hours I'll never get back".

It wasn't all bad. I laughed at Will Farrell and Chris Rock, and I found Robert Downey, Jr.'s antics amusing. The acceptance speeches were mercifully short and non-political. Oh, and Tom Cruise? Looking good! He hasn't looked that good in years-- I almost thought I was back in Jr. High... well, not really, but he did look great. What else was positive... Oh! Meryl Streep! She was classy, poised, witty, and lovely. I was glad she won. I was equally glad that Glen Close didn't win... because I hate her. But I was looking for positive, wasn't I? Okay, let's see... the only presenter in a painfully horrible dress was Jennifer Lopez... most of them were actually rather lovely this year. Lopez was by far the worst dressed. Need I say more? Hideous. And it made her look 40 pounds heavier than she probably is. Ugh.

I have to say, the women's movement took a rather large side-step into the gutter last night. Really, we don't have to have women prove on international TV that we can be just as dirty, nasty, trashy and disgusting as men, do we?? The bits with Melissa McCarthy from "Bridesmaids" were tacky and unfunny. And I loved her on "Gilmore Girls". Bah. The six women from that movie presenting was fine, except that they became idiot caricatures discussing male genitalia, playing a drinking game (a gag that fell flat on its moronic face) and basically just acting like college-age men!

Wrapping up, there were ups, like (most of) the gang from "A Mighty Wind" and other films doing a focus group sketch of old timey folks watching "The Wizard of Oz". It was amusing.

And Christian Bale ignoring Crystal's tacky jab at his f-bomb-laden-rant a while back was nice. He looked good, he just did his presenting job and walked away, no reaction whatsoever. I would have wanted to roll my eyes and say "get over it", but I'm glad he didn't. As terrible as his behavior on that audio recording was, (remember, he screamed and cussed at a crew member for walking into a scene and ruining it? Yeah, that was major bad form, but it was also 3 years ago and everyone has off days, even the famous...) I hate it when one mistake forever labels or pigeon-holes a person, whether in Hollywood or real life. Zingers are zingers, but Crystal wasn't even funny, so his jabs (not just at Bale, there were others) were poorly-timed attempts at humiliating his peers rather than friendly all-in-good-fun jabs. Anyway, Bale looked good and sounded good and I wished he had had more to do on Oscar night and that Crystal had had less. Lots less.

Another great moment was when Christopher Plummer won. He said (to the statue), "You're only two years older than me. Where've you been all my life?" And that he would share it with Ewan McGregor "If I had any decency, but I don't". He was witty and I was glad he won.

And there were many, many downs. I'm not sure where Cirque du Soliel falls. Some of their performance was amazing, but it didn't really belong, and I missed having the nominated songs played, even though I often don't care for them...

And here we are again, the Oscars are over, I have a short list of movies to watch and another list to avoid...


Chris said...

Joyce and I watched this too and we agree with you on every count ... although I think you meant to write that J.Lo was by far the worst 'UNdressed.'

We did have one laugh-out-loud moment, though, when the 2 male screenwriters came up to collect their Oscars from Angelina Jolie and then mocked her pose. Hilarious.

P.S Methinks someone has a thing for Christian Bale.

Steph said...

You are totally right about those screenwriters, that was awesome!

A thing??? Well... I suppose have had a thing for Christian Bale since "Empire of the Sun" when he was little and he sang that haunting song over the credits... then there was "Newsies" and I thought he was cute... and "Batman Begins"?? Perfection... wait... what were we talking about??