Oscars: No more surprises

The Academy Awards of 2006 will not go down in posterity. There were no surprises ( I don't think Crash was a surprise) and there were no moments that will show up again and again on future montages (of which there was too much of this year). No kiss scenes, or Michael Moore style rhetoric or tearful speeches. Although, Reese has a fighting chance for the Over-the-Top Acceptance Speech Award.

Yet, there were moments.

The Academy had its own agenda. It wanted to encourage its captive audience to watch movies in theaters and not on DVD. Who's listening? 2005 was the Year of BitTorrent. An Oscar for Technical Achievement? Clooney and the rest of Hollywood is a little out of touch there at least.

Was Ben Stiller trying to play a piece of snot?

It was a little sad to see Laureen Bacall stutter, slur and forgot her lines as a lovely B/W photo from the 50s looked on. When Jon Stewart quipped, "Imagine how they would have looked in color" when the noir montage folded, I thought, "If only Bacall was younger."

It seemed to me that quite a few presenters were given lines to speak and they seemed so wooden and these people are actors! Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson were not among them.

The night did not belong to Robert Altman but he managed to steal some of the limelight for the brief 5 minutes he was on stage. As expected, there was no letting up from the man and certainly no compromise even today. He subtly poked fun at the Academy for trying to award him a death sentence. I admire how he turned it around calling it "being there under false pretences" since he has the heart of 30-year woman. Then taking a crack at people who thanked everybody and their dog, he made his doctor to be a token to stand for everybody and then thanked her. Hah! Altman never fails to dazzle and amuse.

This might soon be forgotten but Larry McMurtry deserved credit for standing up there and stressing the importance of booksellers and reminding everyone that there are often books before the movies.

* *
As far as hosting goes, Jon Stewart was not a disappointment and gets an A-. He seemed quite concerned to be invited back next year. Perhaps.

No comments: