So apparently I underestimated just how badly Hollywood wanted to fellate itself.
In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised. When all four of the acting awards went to the favorites, I should have realized that Crash would win Best Picture. Like I said yesterday, every year something bizarre and surprising happens; I thought Brokeback Mountain was such a lock that the surprise would have to come from one of the acting categories. That’s why I picked Amy Adams and Paul Giamatti to win.  Once Reese Witherspoon picked up her Oscar, I should have known that Brokeback wasn’t going to win.
And no, this wasn’t an anti-gay thing. This was the Academy voters, most of whom live and work in Los Angeles, responding to the big racial message movie which was set right there in Los Angeles: “Look at us! We’re sensitive! Here in L.A., we recognize that we have problems with racism! …please love us?”
(Maybe we’d love you more if you actually gave the best movie of the year the Best Picture Oscar, but hey.)
How’d I do with my picks? Pretty well overall, I thought: I missed Best Picture (I guess the Gay Cowboy Hype Train stopped a little short of the station) and both supporting acting awards, but nailed everything else.
Some random notes that occur to me twenty-four hours after the fact (haaaa ha ha hah…what do you mean, write these ideas down when I have them? are you insane?):
- We didn’t see (or, at least, I didn’t see) Jack Nicholson actually open the envelope before pronouncing Crash the winner of the Best Picture award. While I’m sure he did — I’m assuming someone would have noticed if he hadn’t — I immediately started conjuring up visions of Jack deciding he’d be goddamned if he let that movie about the queer cowboys take home that Best Picture Oscar and taking matters into his own hands. But surely someone would have caught on to that… right?
- And while we’re on the subject of Jack: I wonder who he had to pay off to get himself seated right next to Keira Knightley. I’m thinking his sitting there wasn’t a simple coincidence.
- I liked Jon Stewart as host, certainly far better than I did David Letterman or Chris Rock, for example. I know not everyone did, but to me he was what I expected: Jon Stewart a little watered down for the mass audience. He seemed pretty nervous at first, which is understandable when you think about the hundreds of millions of people watching him live, but even so, he still got off some classic lines: “Martin Scorcese, zero Oscars. Three 6 Mafia… one.”
- Speaking of the Three 6 Mafia, I was thinking that watching them perform “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” was quite possibly the highlight of my Oscar-watching career… right up until they actually won Best Song, which topped the surreality of that moment several times over. (Which led, of course, to one of Stewart’s best lines of the night: “I think it just got a little easier out here for a pimp.”
- Did Jennifer Lopez lose a bet with her stylist? What the hell was that?
- On the other hand, Ben Affleck’s current Jen, Jennifer Garner, looked positively radiant. And can I just say… three cheers for nursing mommies! Hip hip… HOORAY! Hip hip…
- So let’s see… the acting awards tonight went to Dr. Doug Ross of “ER”; the female lead from The Mummy and The Mummy Returns; the chubby, gonzo hurricane chsser from Twister; and the star of the Legally Blonde movies. The writing awards? To the creator of “Walker, Texas Ranger” and… well, okay, it’s hard to make too much fun of Larry McMurty. But still: remember, kids… you’ve gotta start somewhere.
- Memoirs of a Geisha won Oscars for costume design, art direction and cinematography, all of which I could have predicted just from watching the trailer. So, based on the reviews I’ve read, we can assume that Geisa is a lavish, beautifully designed, gorgeously filmed visual carnival — yet still a shitty movie nonetheless. It’s like my daddy always used to tell me: you can’t polish a turd.
- Did someone forget to clue Dustin Hoffman in to the fact that the Oscars are considered kind of a formal event? I think you probably could’ve worn the jeans to the Independent Spirit Awards, Dusty, but they were a little cazh for the Oscars.
There’s more, including some vague notion that I was supposed to say something about the apoplectic caterpillars masquerading as Reese Witherspoon’s eyebrows, but it’s late and I’m tired. Next year I won’t have to worry about forgetting my snark because I’ve already decided to live blog the thing. Constantly updated snark and commentary! It’ll be beautiful. Almost as beautiful as Jennifer Garner’s bounteous breasts.