So, how was your break? Mine was good too. I went to Mexico. Why I chose to go to Mexico, I don’t know. I have the complexion of a leprechaun and can only sit in the sun for five minutes before I start wheezing and turning into a bright-red, blistered, version of the Hulk. This may be why I’m probably the only person who went to Mexico for spring break and recounted “watching the Oscars” as the highlight of the trip.
I don’t know why I get so excited for the Academy Awards each year because I always leave each viewing disappointed. But despite my perennial disappointment with the Oscars, I’m always excited to watch them. For one reason or another, the Oscars have some social importance, and for the life of me, I don’t know why that is. It was this burning question that led me to watch this year’s telecast with a critical eye.
My favorite parts of the Oscars are the performance art aspects of the show. When someone wins an award, all eyes turn to them, and being actors they instinctively start playing a role. For example: Roberto Benigni standing on the chair after winning his award for “Life Is Beautiful” was performance art. Angelina Jolie making out with her brother after winning her Oscar was weirdly arousing, but more importantly, performance art.
These are the moments I love to see, and sadly there was only one winner who lived up to the bill: Mo’Nique. Mo’Nique took about seven minutes to get from her seat in the front row to the stage. One thing I didn’t understand was why everyone gave her a standing ovation like she was Martin Scorsese. I mean, sure, I thought she was great as Jamiqua in “Soul Plane” and there’s no question the Academy snubbed her landmark performance as Jazmin Biltmore in “Phat Girlz” but did she really deserve the standing ovation?
And the first thing that came out of her mouth was a darting insult to everyone who had been nominated in her category, and every prior Oscar winner: “I would like to thank the Academy, for showing that it can be about the performance, and not the politics.” She was essentially saying that she is the first person to win an Academy Award that actually deserved it. Ballsy, Mo’Nique.
Next came the John Hughes memoriam. I loved this because they brought out some of the legendary and incredibly creepy child-actors that John Hughes made famous. Macauley Culkin looked like a meth addict (no shock there) but more importantly Judd Nelson looked like a stoned Teddy Roosevelt. I loved it.
Then came the incredibly weird montage of people who had died during the past year; or, as I call it, the Debbie Downer Lifetime Achievement Award. Right after seeing Star Trek’s makeup artist cry out of happiness, and about 25 unnecessary cuts to George Clooney (who was sporting a mullet) we have the montage of dead people to thwart whatever momentum had been built. And by the way, Academy, you forgot Farrah Fawcett! Farrah Fawcett, whose slow death garnered hundreds of hours of media coverage, was snubbed. Not only did she get screwed over when Michael Jackson died on the same day as her, now she’s getting snubbed by the Academy. On a separate note, I was really hoping that Jeff Goldblum would make it into the montage, and then we’d have a great cut to him sitting in the audience with a look of confusion on his face. Ugh. If only.
Lastly, why it was necessary for Kathryn Bigelow, the director of “The Hurt Locker” to be seated right in front of her ex-husband James Cameron and his new wife, I don’t know. Whenever they’d cut to Kathryn Bigelow we’d see the tiny head of James Cameron’s new wife, glaring at her. Awkward. And when Bigelow won the award for Best Director, I was frankly a little upset that she didn’t thank her husband, Deuce Bigelow Male Gigolo. For those of you keeping score at home, the Oscar snubs now include Farrah Fawcett, Jeff Goldblum and, most importantly, the ever-so-sensitive Rob Schneider.
At first I was thinking that maybe people just love the Oscars because they love movies. That makes sense. But having just wasted four hours watching them, I can tell you that I know more about George Clooney’s complexion than I do any of the films that were up for awards. The Oscars have just as much to do with great filmmaking as Mo’Nique does. But, will someone please tell me why I can’t wait for next year’s Academy Awards? Is this what it’s like being addicted to drugs? I should have asked Macauley Culkin.
Lincoln Boehm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.