Like all years, I only got to watch the re-run of the Oscars late on Monday Night – India Time – after all the results were out and after having read about 6 different versions of the commentary about what transpired inside Kodak Theatre. But Oscar’s never let you down irrespective of what your political affiliations are and what ever you think of the big corporate lobbyists. They are the biggest awards and they give you a thrill come what may.
Letterman was who I guess called Oscars the night where you see new and beautiful faces. Same people mind you, but new faces. Felicity Hoffman would definitely have no problem accepting that statement. Have been seeing her for quite a while now and she never ceases to stop amazing me at how different she looks every year. Transamerica notwithstanding.
Over the years the efforts of the Academy to find a perfect host have all come to a naught and this year’s choice was no exception either. Jon Stewart, apparently a big host in America, but for people like me here who have no access to his daily political shows have no way to judge him, but his work y’day night was nothing but mediocre. The over used Dick Cheney joke, George Clooney references and the ever pertinent but repetitive Martin Scorsese misfortune has all been told. At some point I was actually laughing at his efforts to sound politically right while controlling against the political charade that he let’s out time and again – Apparently.
George Clooney’s speech was first and I felt it more or less describes the way most Hollywood personalities are: Look very polished and stylish while self aggrandizing. Perfect Actor this guy. He literally carried Syriana with his powerful performance and y’day night set the tone for the upsets about to come. This guy deserves an Oscar no doubt, but I felt he wanted it more for his directing than acting.
The high point I thought was the performance by Three 6 Mafia. The Academy must be congratulated for its courage to allow them to perform a song like “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” and then give them an Oscar. And I loved that speech. Damm the Reese’s and Hoffman’s. That’s what you call an acceptance speech.
“Crash” is a personal favorite for me so I was rooting for it all the way. I agree that there were other films too. A lot was spoken about Woody Allen’s podcast for lobbying for the award for “Match Point” and George Clooney’s reluctance to promote his film as much as it deserves but all said and done “Crash” was real. Everyday real. Haven’t watched Broke Back mountain yet, Limewire is not being generous to me these days because of my lecher ways, but of what I have heard and read, it’s nice but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell still rules the roost in America.
Biggest disappointment for me personally – Joaquin Phoenix not taking the best actor. I thought he was brilliant considering the storyline of “Walk the Line”. It’s very plausible to go overboard while performing as someone else and if it’s “Johnny Cash” then you have to be doubly careful. “Walk the line” was Phoenix’s film all the way and also that Reese won the best actress was a big let down too. I was also surprised by the vote going not in favor of Terrence Howard. I haven’t watched Hustle & Flow but “Crash” is a proof enough for me to vouch for him. And this is a guy who will knock on the Academy doors again and again and will surely make his way in.
Tsotsi – Take a bow. Paradise Now is also said to be brilliant. Also heard rumors about the Jewish lobby and the pressure they were exerting on the Academy to ignore the film. I haven’t watched the films anyway but they sure seem exciting. No Man’s Land and Life is Beautiful did not disappoint, waiting to see the present bunch.
I know it’s a sacrilege to even compare Oscar’s with any awards functions in India but you can’t help but feel disappointed at times for the total sham that they are here. This yr Karan Johar hosted an event. I am quite sure he must have rattled on about the virtues of his extended family and how “they” are doing a great service to the Indian audience by keeping them in tune with our culture and traditions. What Culture? What Traditions? What is depicted in their movies probably used to take place a century ago.
It was also good to catch a glimpse of Ashutosh Gowariker sitting behind the ensemble cast of “Crash” along with his wife. At least we are represented in some form.
Finally, can India ever win one. Paheli was sent for the nominations this year. Why? I mean what’s the point in sending movies that the Oscar committee’s don’t understand. An academy member said he was confused as to why the main characters break into song and dance routines when the plot is moving along perfectly. Well, as patriotic as we may seem, that’s one valid question. Also, who chooses the movies to be sent for nominations. Is there a film body or something that decides? Who heads them and what are their credentials? Why not Iqbal. Why not Hazaron Khawhisein Aisi? Morning Raga? Why big banner, big budget movies? Why not real movies?