Sunday, February 27, 2005

Swan goes to the Oscars (Björk not included)

Nice to see the good guys clean up at the Academy Awards tonight.

Everyone knew ahead of time that Jamie Foxx would win for Ray, but I was pleased for Cate Blanchett (one of the most underrated talents in the film industry, despite a previous Oscar nomination for Elizabeth), Hilary Swank (is she Julia Roberts's little sister, or what?), and the great Morgan Freeman, who ought to have a mantelpiece full of gold statuettes by now. (Hang in there, Don Cheadle and Imelda Staunton. You'll each get your chance.)

Congratulations to Clint Eastwood for winning both Best Director and Best Picture, because (a) Clint is The Man, and (b) nothing with Leonardo DiCaprio in it should ever win anything but awards for his costars (Cate Blanchett, for one) forced to play alongside his smug, self-focused performances. Clint sealed his legacy as the greatest actor-director in the history of motion pictures, and deservedly so.

I was delighted that Brad Bird won for The Incredibles, because there wasn't a Best Animated Feature award when The Iron Giant, one of the best films of 1999 in any genre, was released.

How on earth did they talk Prince into presenting an award? He was pretty smooth, too, until he had to pronounce the name of the Spanish number that won Best Original Song.

Not smooth in the least: Dustin Hoffman. I don't know what the D-Man had been imbibing, but the barkeep cut him off a couple of servings too late. Let's hope he came with a designated driver.

And a tip of the web-shooter to John Dykstra, whose team won Best Visual Effects for Spider-Man 2, for the line of the night: "I'm just lucky there wasn't a fourth episode of The Lord of the Rings." Dykstra hasn't won the Oscar since 'way back in 1978 for the original Star Wars, despite three nominations since (the first Star Trek film, Stuart Little, and the original Spider-Man). Of course, Dykstra was the visual effects guy on both of Joel Schumacher's atrocious Batman sequels, so he had a ton of bad karma to negate.

I missed Chris Rock's opening monologue, but I was impressed with the way he kept the show moving without feeling compelled to insert a joke every time he introduced the next presenter. In fact, this was the breeziest Oscarcast I can recall in many a moon — they were rolling credits well before 9 p.m. PST. East Coasters will actually get to bed at a decent hour tonight. I still miss Whoopi — easily the best Oscar host since Carson, she grew into the role after a so-so first stint — but Chris is welcome back next year if I have a vote. Which I don't.

And now, Uncle Swan plays Mr. Blackwell:
  • Oprah: The orange lipstick has got to go, girl.

  • Hilary Swank: Your seamstress called — she found the back of your dress.

  • For a dorky chick, Maggie Gyllenhaal cleans up pretty well.

  • For a dorky chick, Renée Zellweger cleans up to look a lot like a dorky chick with a bad haircut, wearing an air conditioning duct two sizes smaller than the Grinch's heart.

  • Charlize Theron: Wedding gowns are for weddings. Unless you're marrying Oscar, no trains allowed.

  • Thank you, Kate Winslet, for again reminding the world that a beautiful woman doesn't have to be a size 1.

  • For a guy who usually dresses like a nuclear meltdown in an Edwardian haberdashery, Prince was nicely turned out.

  • Judging by his outlandish getup, Johnny Depp apparently thought he was Prince.

  • Glad to see a lot of the men have stuck with the dark suits with long neckties that first surfaced in 2002. It's a classy look.

  • Kirsten Dunst? Kirsten, don't.

  • Beyoncé and fiancé Jay-Z make a very attractive couple. Plus, I just like saying "Beyoncé and fiancé."

  • Helen Mirren radiated old-fashioned star quality. Younger ladies, take a page from her book.

  • P. Diddy: That Temptations tribute act from Vegas called — they need the suit back.

  • I see George Lucas turned Natalie Portman loose in the Princess Leia, Slave Girl wardrobe trailer again.

  • Was that Ethan Hawke, or Shaggy from Scooby-Doo?

  • Was that Robin Williams, or the chauffeur for the Village People?

  • Even if she never makes a film in English, Catalina Sandino Moreno should be invited to sit up front at the Oscars every year. Please.

4 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Sam offered these pearls of wisdom...

OOOOH, catty! Saucer of milk for Swan Shadow, please?

12:12 AM  
Blogger Janet offered these pearls of wisdom...

I never heard the Swank/Roberts comparsion before. I'm assuming for you, it's all in the lips?

I also think Cate Blanchett is extremely underrated.

Renee Zellwegger looked horrible, what there was left of her anyway.

Personally, I loved Rock's monolgue, but considering you didn't see it, this wouldn't matter to you anyhow.:)

4:10 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Hi, Sam and Janet.

Janet, I'll take your points in sequence.

(1) Maybe it is the lips -- they look an awful lot alike to me. Except Hilary can act and Julia can...well...not. That's where the comparison falls down.

(2) I'd rank Cate Blanchett easily in the top five actresses in her demographic. She never overacts, never mails in a bad performance even when the film is only mediocre (Bandits, Pushing Tin) or her role is relatively small (the Lord of the Rings trilogy). She may be the Meryl Streep of her generation.

(3) Will someone get Renée a stylist and a sandwich, please? An acting coach wouldn't hurt, either, though I've never seen anything that convinced me she actually has talent worth coaching.

(4) I've seen it since (the wonders of videotape). I thought Chris was very funny, and took a real risk poking fun at some of the Hollywood elite. The reaction of Sean Penn (marvelous actor, not the sharpest blade on the Swiss Army knife) just shows how some in that elite only think satire is funny when it's pointed at other people. They're jokes, Sean -- get a grip.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Janet offered these pearls of wisdom...

I used to dislike Julia but now she doesn't phase me. I do think though she is a perfect example of someone who is much ado about nothing.

Cate on the other hand is excellent, but I think Hollywood is catching on to that. She also captures accents like nobody's business.

Chris was awesome. I like people who push the envelope sometimes. Sean Penn is a great actor, but he's never been known for his "winning" sense of humor.

5:40 AM  

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