Tag Archives: Oscars

David Letterman is happy this morning

I didn’t watch all of last night’s Oscar broadcast, but I did watch enough of it to conclude that if Seth MacFarlane did nothing else, he made David Letterman very happy. I’m sure Letterman slept like a baby last night, content in the knowledge that he is no longer the worst Oscar host on record.

I had the same feeling watching MacFarlane’s performance that I got watching his cartoon, Family Guy. I duly noted the fact that my outrage button was being pushed — hammered, actually — but nothing registered because there was nothing resembling wit behind the mechanically delivered outrage. The early skit with Captain Kirk telling MacFarlane his jokes were tasteless and crass may have been intended as inoculation — Look, I’m so edgy I even criticize myself going in! — but it ended up being more of a prophecy. I’ll credit MacFarlane with looking cool and poised throughout a long, demanding broadcast. The flop sweat was all in his material.

For the record, I’m perfectly happy that Argo got the biggie, Daniel Day-Lewis got another gold guy. (Christy Brown, Daniel Plainview, Abraham Lincoln — what a roster!) and Jennifer Lawrence got her crown. I haven’t seen Life of Pi, but Ang Lee is a real talent. It was cool seeing Shirley Bassey belt out the Goldfinger theme song, then Adele doing the same for Skyfall, its only peer in the Bond canon.       

To show their appreciation, I suggest the Academy voters commission a special Oscar for Seth MacFarlane: a statuette with the hands clenched a little below waist level, to commemorate what Edgy Guy got to spend the night doing in front of millions of viewers.

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Oscar, we hardly knew ye

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is notoriously protective of Oscar and the imagery used to depict the golden guy. So it’s a little surprising to see AMPAS commissioned a series of pictures taking off on each year’s Best Picture winner. For some reason, I’m particularly taken with the winner for 1978:

OSCAR

The entire series can be viewed here. It’s a world-class time suck, and a good memory test. More than once I found myself thinking, “Oh jeez, that thing won?”   

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A new drinking game

I’ve thought up a drinking game for Oscar night, and I’d appreciate hearing from anyone else who tries it out on Feb. 26.

The roots of the game lie in previous Oscar ceremonies, where the winners of golden guys for the films Forrest Gump and No Country for Old Men managed to thank enough people to fill the Beijing phone directory, but somehow forgot to mention the names of either Winston Groom or Cormac McCarthy. You know, the guys who actually wrote the books that served as the basis for the films that made those Hollywood types so much richer.

So on Oscar night, line up your favorite alcoholic beverage, take note of the winners of awards for films based on previously published works, and take a gulp whenever the author of the work gets mentioned.

I call it “The First Drinking Game for Teetotalers,” and any day now I expect to get an endorsement from Alcoholics Anonymous.

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