By m_ruv and B-Side
FINALLY. After a red wine-, Xanax-, and whippets-induced delay of which only Margot Kidder or Tom Sizemore could be proud, TVgasm presents minute-by-minute Academy Awards coverage—a Herculean (or perhaps Hecheian) bi-coastal effort brought to you by TVgasm’s Los Angeles and New York offices in tandem.The Red Carpet
I know B-Side already provided live commentary on the red carpet, but I really do feel a need to comment myself. The moment I turn on the TV at 4:29pm, eager for Oscar coverage, the first thing I see is Star Jones “interviewing” Clive Owen. The awkwardness level is best left undescribed.
Hoping for greener pastures, I switch to TV Guide Channel, only to find Joan Rivers attempting to chat up Virginia Madsen, clearly with no idea who Ms. Madsen is or why she’s there. So back to E! for “relief,” only to find that Star Jones WILL NOT SHUT UP about “glamazons.” She seems to think every woman she meets should be called a “glamazon.” Little does Star know that, in New York City at least, the Glamazons are a troupe of plus-size women who do burlesque acts downtown. Or who knows, maybe that’s the comparison she’s going for. Although my guess is that she’s probably just thinking about the buffet.
Seriously, by 5:02pm, I’m already at merriam-webster.com looking up synonyms for “awful,” because between Star Jones, Kathy Griffin, Joan and Melissa Rivers, and Billy Bush, I certainly am gonna need them. Thankfully, the show is about to start.
The awards ceremony begins with the standard masturbatory movie montage, this time narrated by Dustin Hoffman, waxing poetic and self-important about the universality of movies, the poetry of onscreen gun violence, etc. Platitudes and banalities abound, warming the pacemaker-controlled hearts of drooling, wheelchair-bound Academy members everywhere.
The announcer introduces host Chris Rock. About 900 pairs of Depends undergarments in the elderly white audience are suddenly, umm, laden. Mr. Rock’s first words are “Sit yo asses down.” He welcomes us to the “77th and last Academy Awards.” This could be a good night.
Mr. Rock mentions that there’ll be singing, dancing, and shooting—and the cameras cut immediately to P. Diddy. Then Prof. Rock informs us that “You doing a movie about the past, you best to get Russell [Crowe]‘s ass.” My god, this is stellar. His voice alone should get a lifetime achievement award.
Oprah is shocked by the aggressively urban monologue. “Goodness me, those Negroes!” she thinks.
Obligatory shout-out to U.S. troops fighting in Iraq as Hollywood tries to cover its leftist ass.
Halle Berry comes out to present Best Art Direction. Damn, she really is one of those people who just cannot ever look bad. But why is Art Direction first rather than Supporting Actress? And it appears the nominees are gonna be onstage this time as the winner is announced. This is odd. Anyway, The Aviator gets its first Oscar. Lame.
In immediate, sharp, and unflattering contrast to Halle Berry, disaster Renée Zellweger comes out to present Best Supporting Actor. Ms. Zellweger looks, and is, awful. Attempting to be a geisha, she fails miserably; geishas are exotically pale, you dumb ho, not hideously pasty.
Finally, Morgan Freeman wins. Thank god. Cynical as I may try to be, this is really nice. But never fear, I’m sure John Travolta or somebody will ruin it later. Aww, Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood are so cute together. Don’t you just wanna see them move to Vermont and get a civil union?
Robin Williams comes out and does every impression he can think of. I’ve long figured he’d need euthanasia, or at least sedation, sometime. Maybe now is that time.
Ooh, the producers are getting fancy. Cate Blanchett is presenting not from onstage but from within the audience, from one of the aisles. For those keeping score at home, the BLANchett/blanCHETT watch is at 1:3 right now.
Cate Blanchett avoids eye contact with the non-celebrities, who thankfully have been safely quarantined from the stage.
Always-a-presenter-never-a-nominee Drew Barrymore introduces the first performance for Original Song. It’s Beyoncé, in full tennis-ball-chic makeup. Seriously, I haven’t seen green eyeshadow like that since my days backstage at Starlight Express.
Beyoncé is singing en français (or at least trying). For once she’s actually attempting to earn that damn accent mark on her name.
As a funny experiment, they put Chris Rock back in his element and send him to the Magic Johnson Theatres in South Central. We’re treated to our first “you’re really up on me,” “baby’s daddy,” and “kiss my black ass” of the evening.
Veering back to WASPiness, we now have Scarlett Johansson, reviewing the Scientific and Technical Awards, no less. Appropriately enough, Ms. Johansson, famous for easy access to her box, is presenting from a box. I love subtle touches like that.
Ridiculously, they pair 007 actor Pierce Brosnan with the award for Best Costume Design. What’s next, Marlee Matlin presenting Sound Editing?
Cate Blanchett wins Best Supporting Actress. With the BLANchett/blanCHETT watch at 1:5, I think we’ve settled the ages-old mystery and can settle on blanCHETT. I love Ms. Blanchett, but her speech is oddly cold, unemotional, and academic, relating her “indescribable surprise and honoUr” at winning. Please honey, you’re not such a good actor onstage—we all know the bookies had you pegged by 2:1 odds. Just say thanks and go drink.
Time for the inevitable Johnny Carson tribute. It’s funny to watch Chris Rock try to navigate the schizophrenic about-faces from urban-bling to elderly-WASP. The producers try to smooth the black-white transition with some Carson-nostalgia interview clips from Whoopi Goldberg, but I’m not fooled—we all know she’s a cracker-ass lesbian deep down.
The announcer introduces “the lovable Mike Myers” to introduce the song from Shrek 2. I could see “doughy” or “squinty,” but certainly not “lovable.” Counting Crows comes out to sing, with Adam Duritz, as always, looking like a live-action Sideshow Bob. Really, what is he thinking.
An elaborate joke setup with Adam Sandler and a non-present Catherine Zeta-Jones falls crashingly flat. Bravo.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Zhang Ziyi, inexplicably introduced as “Z.Z. Yang,” come out to present Best Visual Effects. The skinhead shit doesnt work for you Jake. Try dowdy and frumpy; it seems to work for your sister.
Nice quick camera cut to the lesbian clapping section. Oddly, Marcia Cross is missing.
Oh great. It’s the low point of every year, Academy president Frank Pierson. Seriously, this guy has more momentum-killing power than Star Jones at the carving station. He claims his “sermon is going to be brief,” and god do I want to believe it.
Al Pacino comes out to present the honorary Oscar for this year, to director Sidney Lumet. While Mr. Lumet may be most famous for his body of work, his greatest contributions may be his two voluptuous daughters, whose titanic mammaries threaten to burst forth at any second. Extra props to Lumet for transforming Vin Diesel into the thuggish lawyer we always knew he could be.
Just exactly who ARE these women in Sidney Lumet’s box?
Why it’s Paula Abdul and Camilla Parker Bowles!
Emmy Rossum comes out to present the song from Phantom of the Opera. Jesus, it’s Beyoncé again. What, Sarah Brightman wasn’t available? Beyoncé stands tall and isolated over the musicians, but luckily a wayward Phantom of the Oscars is present to escort her down to normal altitudes. The camera zooms in close to the bejeweled Beyoncé, and I fully expect her at any moment to exclaim “WHITE DIAMONDS!”
My god, the song is awful. It’s saved by a quick cut to Prince, the nearest “black” audience member they could find.
And the Oscar for Best Beyoncé Performance at the Academy Awards goes to… Beyoncé for her portrayal of Beyoncé at the Academy Awards!
They just introduced presenter Jeremy Irons as a “comedy superstar.” Is there crystal meth in this wine?
Mr. Burns—uh, I mean Mr. Irons—emerges from his crypt and appears in the audience. Dressed like Mozart without the wig, he recites the nominees for Best Short Film. He is unfazed by a loud bang in the background and even goes so far as to make a witty joke. Sadly, we later learn that Don Cheadle has been shot by a coked-up Imelda Staunton.
What is with Laura Linney and hideous, caked-on makeup at awards shows? She did the same thing at the Tonys. For god’s sake, next time use a brush, not a spatula. Anyway, she gets stuck with man-on-the-street duty as she too patrols the audience for spare nominees. She proudly asserts that animation is “an industry that has amused billions of people in millions of audiences in thousands of theaters in hundreds of towns.” Okay, you know your factors of ten. GREAT. Maybe you’d like to do a logarithm, just to shake things up.
Ah, black-Jew jokes. I was waiting for those.
Holy shit, Chris Rock says “You won’t be able to take your eyes off these next four presenters, Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek.” Reread that and then take bets on what the FCC fine will be.
Why is it so funny to hear Ms. Cruz and Ms. Hayek talking together? I don’t really listen to what they’re really talking about since I’m imagining them both saying “Frida! Frida! Frida!”
The announcer tells us to please welcome Academy Award loser Natalie Portman. Ms. Portman says that the films she’s presenting “are this year’s outstanding nominees for Best Documentary Short Subject, and I applaud them.” AS DO THY LOYAL SUBJECTS, QUEEN AMIDALA.
Taking the creepy award of the night, the Dick-Cheneyesque winner of Best Documentary Short Subject says he’s been rehearsing his acceptance speech in the bathtub since age eight. Sadly, the speech doesn’t live up to my suddenly lofty expectations. Thankfully, blatant cutoff music ensues, embarrassing all.
Random observation, but what’s with the six-foot-four spokesmodels they have flanking the stage this year? I mean they usually have models, but they’re not usually, like, GIANT MEN. One of them looks like Melania Knauss, but she’s probably busy polishing Donald Trump‘s Oscar, if you know what I mean.
Jan Kaczmarek wins for his Finding Neverland score. Question: Have you ever seen Jan Kaczmarek and Jane Kaczmarek in the same room? I didn’t think so.
Three-time Academy Award loser Annette Bening takes the stage. She tells us, “You may recognize my hairstyle from such Japanese video games as Final Fantasy VIII and Dragonball Z.” And why is she onstage? Ah, to usher in the much-awaited DEATH/POPULARITY MONTAGE. “Now hear an internationally acclaimed soloist performing the sarabande from the Sixth Unaccompanied Suite for Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach… ladies and gentlemen, Beyoncé.” Actually, our only non-Sandra Oh Asian of the night, Yo-Yo Ma, comes out instead. But rather than play a cello, he sits Beyoncé on his lap and runs his bow across her stomach.
It’s that time again! Who’s the most popular dead person!?! We start off strongly with Ronald Reagan. Oooh, hard to beat that: he was an actor AND a president. Carrie Snodgrass gets a major snub with barely any applause whatsoever—a major blow to the Snodgrass lobby. Phil Gersh gets a round of applause, but mostly from the agents at Gersh. Too “inside.” Jerry Orbach, late of Dirty Dancing and cancer, surprises everyone by stealing the lead. Baby’s been put in the corner, and her name is Ronald Reagan! Oh but wait! Janet Leigh bitchslaps Jerry Orbach back into the grave as she snags the popularity vote for herself. We like Janet, but she can’t hold onto this title for very long. She’s like the Riddick Bowe of dead people. Janet makes short work of a few film composers, but you can’t beat a man in a wheelchair. That’s right, Christopher Reeve comes rolling right out of heaven to lay claim to most popular dead person. Not even Ossie Davis or Rodney Dangerfield can top him. It looks like he’s got this one in the can, ladies and gentlemen. But wait, what’s that sound? It’s a thunderous ovation. AWWW SHIT! Marlon Brando in the HIZZOUSE! Christopher Reeve throws in the towel. It’s over! Brando takes it! The curse is over! Boston wins!
Okay, back to reality, where they have P. Diddy introducing the song from Polar Express. Finally, a combination that makes sense. In any case, he calls Polar Express “hip” and “creative.” Either he has a very dry sense of humor or he’s lobbying to be in The Da Vinci Code with Tom Hanks.
Mr. Combs introduces the fifth and final song: a duet/shrieking duel between Beyoncé and Josh Groban. Finally! I’d been waiting all night for Mr. Groban’s dull, ear-numbing voice. The singers share the stage with a giant locomotive, which I pray roars to life and runs over Mr. Groban. Sadly, he remains intact. I cry. And what’s with Beyoncé’s THIRD APPEARANCE? Couldn’t they at least dig up Debbie Harry? Alannah Myles? One of the Weather Girls?
Prince presents the nominees for Best Original Song. We try to look the other way as he slowly undresses Helen Mirren with his eyes. The artist formerly known as the pin on Johnny Depp’s collar announces the winner for Best Original Song to be that crappy dirge Salma Hayek loved so much. The winner, rather than thank the Academy, just sings his own song in Spanish once again. Shut up Nando, we heard it already.
My friend points out that Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith are just a bizarro, surgery-scarred version of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. How did I not notice that before.
Antonio Banderas could probably use a little more molasses in his hair. Where’s Benicio Del Toro when you need him?
Sean Penn is out to present Best Actress, looking catastrophically exfoliated.
Meet Hilary Swank, a girl from a trailer park who had a dream. Despite the fact that she’s wearing a set of K-mart drapes, with the highest neckline known to man (or transman), her breathless and heartfelt acceptance speech manages to be to be endearing. Chad Lowe makes his repeat appearance as most feminine husband ever. Despite an attempted cutoff from the Academy orchestra, Ms. Swank’s inevitable Clint Eastwood blowjob ensues. Hell, she’s done it ten times already, what’s one more. As she’s being ushered offstage, Ms. Swank shouts “WAIT!” Good god! Whom, pray tell, has she forgotten? Is there a dying relative in need of a mention? No. Hilary urgently thanks her publicist and then sashays off, retroactively destroying the entire dramatic impact of her speech. Yes, the Oscars are all about the art, people.
The announcer says “we’ll be back with Gwyneth Paltrow.” Holy shit, I better cancel my dinner plans.
Ms. Paltrow informs us sadly that because of time restrictions, she won’t be able to introduce all the Best Foreign Film nominees in their respective languages. Instead, she’ll use her native tongue, Poseur.
Mercifully non-tantastic Charlize Theron arrives onstage but unfortunately is unable to disentangle herself from the roll of chiffon she’s stumbled into. She announces that she’s presenting the award for Best Actor. Well, I guess it’s that time of the night. Commence bracing for cloying Jamie Foxx speech…
In an admirable display of professionalism and dedication to his craft, Mr. Foxx puts out his own eyes just to get into character for his acceptance speech. Out, vile jelly!
Jamie Foxx wins the Oscar. Yay. Man, I hope he does some Ray Charles stuff. Maybe that “oooh, ahhh” thing. Sure enough, he does! Wow, that was really unexpected. Hey, he should thank his grandma too! In the audience, Salma Hayek clutches her chest: “That was almost as beautiful as that Motorcyle Diaries song! Frida.” Mr. Foxx thanks his cute daughter, who smiles proudly. “Thanks daddy! Can you fix my teeth now?” Jamie finally gets back on script as he says, “My grandmother’s no longer here.” OH REALLY? I didn’t know that from the fifty other times you mentioned her at award shows. Why don’t you tell us about her influence? “She still talks to me in my dreams,” Jamie says tearfully. Ah yes. That’s the stuff. Well rehearsed! Well rehearsed indeed!
I can’t help but note that at Mr. Foxx’s mention of the “African-American Dream,” Oprah Herself gives a black-power/mad-props fist. Sheeeit. If only Phylicia Rashad were here.
Julia Roberts strolls onto the stage, still apparently loving her life (and nursing too, vavavoom!). “Happy Birthday Marva!” she says at the outset of her presentation. Hey Marva, tell your friend Julia to shut up and read the nominations.
Clint Eastwood becomes the third actor-turned-director (behind Robert Redford and, gulp, Kevin Costner) to beat Martin Scorsese for Best Director. Mr. Eastwood’s acceptance speech is humble and thoughtful, and the audience gasps with joy upon learning that his 96-year-old mother is still alive AND in their presence. Yay Clint Eastwood’s mom! Prince then has sex with her.
In a new low, a bored, possibly drunk Dustin Hoffman presents Best Picture, accompanied by fellow Focker Barbra Streisand. The two stumble over their lines in an oh-so-comical manner that only Warren Beatty seems to appreciate. Could they have TRIED to rehearse? In any case, Million Dollar Baby wins (yes!), and Martin Scorsese excuses himself to shoot his brains out in the bathroom. Hey Marty, here’s how to win an Oscar: make a good movie.