Saturday, March 04, 2006

Oscar Flashback Weekend continues

The Oscars and Joan Rivers are almost upon us. My annual review to follow (assuming I can get online from Hawaii). To get you even more geeked up for the big show than you already are, here’s my Oscar review from 2003. Amazingly, some of the people mentioned are still in the business today.


The theme for this year's Oscarcast, of course, was that darn pesky war. Agonizing question for the creative community -- how do we recognize the men and women giving their lives overseas without letting it spoil our good time? And remember, this IS Hollywood. When President Reagan was shot the morning of the Academy Awards the blazing headline in the next day's Variety was "OSCARCAST POSTPONED". Underneath, in much smaller letters, was "President of the United States shot". Gives you some perspective of this town.

So we had the obligatory ribbons and subdued black prom dresses...although I was expecting some to have duct tape as an accessory.

The real effect of the war was the lack of the red carpet arrivals and thus the pre Oscar warm up show. Personally I'm against the war but if it means keeping Joan and Melissa Rivers away from celebrities then perhaps I should rethink my position. However, I sorely miss Channel 5's local coverage. Hollywood fluff boy, Sam Rubin and his co-host, the obscure Toni Senical, were forced to stay in a studio while rocket scientist Mindy Burbano could only report from the bridge overlooking the entrance. No one-on-one interviews this year, no free Altoids to nominees, no idiotic questions...although Mindy did say, "This is something we haven't seen before -- the limos dropping people off, so that's very unusual."

Let's end this war so we can get back to welcoming celebrities properly!!!

Thank God for Steve Martin. An Oscar host who was actually funny. Not that it was hard to top Whoopi Goldberg. Dustin Hoffman was funnier. I think I liked this year's broadcast because (a) no Whoopi, (b) no Debbie Allen, and (c) Nia Vardalos lost.

Someone tell Cameron Diaz to wash her hair before the show.

The set looked like a bad M.C. Escher drawing.

How could the Visual Effects award go to a picture with talking trees?

Jennifer Connelly seemed somber, supercilious, and humorless this evening. Oh, must be the war.

J-Lo was wearing an actual dress. I look forward to her new revealing dress and new husband every year. .

Not since Bob Hope has an Oscar host lusted after more women.

Mary Steenburgen looked fabulous. Another advantage of Whoopi not being there was that Mary's husband, Ted Danson was able to attend.

The Chicago dance number was very subdued. Only 25 dancers and Wayne Newton's light show. Again, the war.

Jennifer Garner looked even better tonight than she did earlier in the day at the gym. And she looked amazing at the gym.

It was nice that the winner of the Short Film award brought up the writer. We could use some respect. Too bad the writer was wearing a ridiculous pink suit.

Mira Sorvino IS Romy (or was she Michele?).

The winner of the Best Costume award wore the ugliest dress of the evening. It's like she was wrapped in a cat house drape.

I miss Revlon sponsoring. Some good Cadillac commercials however, trying desperately to update their image. I suggest the following new slogan: "Cadillac, it's not just for Jews anymore".

Paul Simon was robbed. Bono was robbed. Was I the only one who found it curious that the one song NOT sung on the broadcast was the one that won. Bet you the "f" word was in it....and I'm not talking about "fictitious".

Congratulations to Catherine Zeta-Jones. Maybe now that she's a distinguished Academy Award winner she'll stop doing those cheesey radio commercials for cellphones. Michael Douglas must be breathing a sigh of relief. As part of her pre-nup if she didn't win an Oscar he had to pay her a million dollars. Makes it easier on him when he ultimately has to pay up for cheating on her.

Whose idea was it to have Instant Replay? The show isn't long enough?

Actors seemed to be walking across the stage slower this evening. Wanting more airtime or the war???

Tough night for Julianne Moore. I think her two nominations cancelled themselves out. She'll be back.

And I hope Diane Lane is back. It kills me that Helen Hunt, Kim Bassinger, Goldie Hawn, Geena Davis, and Cher have Oscars while she doesn't.

"Gangs of New York" was up for a gazillion Oscars. Did you like this movie? Did anyone you ever met like this movie?

Martin Scorcese is starting to look like Woody Allen.

Not enough see-through gowns or slits up to arm pits this year. Considering the crop of movies you gotta give us SOMETHING.

If Peter Jennings talked too long during the news breaks were they prepared to start the music under him?

Halle Berry sure took Adrien Brody's kiss in good fun, didn't she? I hope when he's heading home she'd not driving the car right behind him.

I'm sure you asked it. I'll say it with you: "What is Harrison Ford doing with Calista Flockhart?"

And how many times did they cut to a reaction shot from someone in the audience and you said, "Who's that?" More this year than ever.

The tribute to Oscar winners was awesome and depressing. To me it said this: look how many Oscar winners are out of work."

Is it now an Oscar tradition that the Best Actress winner has to babble and blather on interminably? Let's hope Michael Moore is never nominated for Best Actress.

I love how Olivia de Havilland received a standing ovation. Based on the looks on the faces of the celebrities applauding however, it was clear that most of them had no f'ing clue who she is.

Notice a trend? The serious picture gets Best Director, the popular film gets Best Picture. Same with "Private Ryan" & "Shakespeare In Love".

My pick was "Chicago" although I was hoping "the Hours" won because they sent DVD's to all writers. It's a trend I hope continues.

But as long as Nia Vardelos lost I'm happy.

Next year's Oscar race has begun. Chris Rock's "Head of State" opens Friday along with Delroy Lindo's "The Core".

It just occurred to me, there are dozens of swank Oscar parties going on right now. I'm not invited to any of them. My place in this industry is sitting off to the side writing Oscar reviews for everyone on my email list. Is it any wonder I'm so bitchy?

Until next year because I'm sure I won't be invited to any parties then either....

I wish us all peace and no sequels to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".

Ken Levine


Chris Soth said...

Hey Ken -- come to MY party!


Whaledawg said...

What do you have against Nia Vardalos?

By Ken Levine said...

Everyone I know who's worked with her says she's a MONSTER. An out of control raging egomaniac. And for what? Notice how her career has pretty much disappeared??

Whaledawg said...

Disappeared? Disappeared?!?!?!?!?!!?

Ken I think you're conviently forgetting her, no the, greatest film ever.

rogercarroll said...

Ken, you get the "Moshe" award for the best review of that ABC show last nite.
roger carroll

Anonymous said...

You've finally answered one of my questions...the pre-show is seen in NYC on WPIX, Channel 11. I always wondered who Sam Rubin, while the co-host was our NY entertainment "reporter." So, apparently, for the Oscars, our NY station and your LA station must have some sort of local TV talent exchange program going on.

Which, I suppose, means that the rest of the country is going "who are these people?"