Get Your A-WAR-D On
Last night was the 75th Anniversary of the Academy Awards, the night when the Hollywood gliterati come out in full force (albeit this year with some notable persons in absentia) to bask in the kleig-light glow of a self-congratulatory orgy of angst, triumph, speechifying and designer dress decolletage. Tonight of course was no exception, despite the cloud of war hanging over the proceedings. ABC presented a confusing coverage of the event, on the one hand deliberately avoiding showing pictures of protesters (both pro- and anti-war) rallying a few blocks from Los Angeles' Kodak Center, while at the same time breaking-in with periodic updates from a somber Peter Jennings, telling us how things didn't seem to be going quite according to plan in Iraq.
Still, the mood inside the hall remained festive enough, with the self-celebratory atmosphere broken only on a couple of occasions, most notably by gadfly Michael Moore who, in his acceptance speech for Best Documentary Feature publicly chastized Shrub for engaging in a "fictitious war for fictitious reasons", resulting in an uncharacteristing spate of booing. Interestingly enough, when the cameras panned the A-List crowd on the main floor, everyone was pretty much sitting at polite albeit unresponsive attention, indicating that the chorus of cheers-n-jeers came from the back row industry-suits or the assorted invited family & syncophants in the upper deck. Ironically, surprise winner Adrian Brody got a standing ovation for his impassioned plea for peace during his acceptance speech for Best Actor in the Holocaust-set "The Pianist".
Host Steve Martin kept the proceedings upbeat and on-schedule, getting in the obligatory celebrity and industry jabs, while the telecast producers finally got a clue and abandoned the painful-to-watch interpretive dance number that have always seemed wretched to the point of self-mockery. The several film montages of past-Oscar winners, and the In Memorium segment were interesting, while the roll call of past Academy Award recipients got a bit tedius despite having a number of "are they still alive?" participants. Best Song numbers were for the most part forgetable, with the exception of U-2's rousing number from "The Gangs Of New York". Noticeably absent however, was Eminem, who pulled off another upset in that category. And Peter O'Toole's heartfelt acceptance of an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement was definitely one of the high points of the evening.
You can get the full run down at:
on 9:32 AM