Friday, February 20, 2009

And the Oscar goes to...

I've always loved the Oscar awards. I can remember hiding behind a big upholstered chair in my living room (I was supposed to be asleep) and watching them until the wee hours of the morning. Okay maybe it wasn't that late, but when you're seven or eight, 11pm qualifies as the wee hours.

Back then I suppose the attraction was seing movie stars in real life - out of the costumes and no longer portraying the characters in the films we loved. But now that we are barraged with photos every time some , even minor, celebrity comes out of the gym, or out of rehab, or has a baby, why should we still care what they look like outside of the medium of film? But we do. At least I do. No matter how boring the show is, and how cheesy the song and dance routines are, I watch 'til the bitter end. I even watched the notoriously bad Liza Minnelli routine from 20 years ago "How Lucky Can You Get!"

This year Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler are two of the underdog films that may take home lots of gold. They're the only two Best Film contenders that I've seen so far and I liked them both, even if I was conscious of when my buttons were being pushed. Strange but true, in a previous lifetime I met a number of professional wrestlers and they were all pretty nice (except for the women who were truly scary.) I even met Andre the Giant once. Sweet guy.

Anyway, I'm rooting for Mickey Rourke. If any of you don't remember how hot he used to be , rent Nine and a Half Weeks or Pope of Greenwich Village. And Kate Winslet because she's amazing.... and Penelope Cruz...because she should have won for Volver....even though I found the movie Vicky Christina Barcelona excruciating.

Who are you rooting for?


  1. I did think Slumdog was an amazing concept, though darker than I expected. But still I'm rooting for Sean Penn and Milk. That was a very powerful film. Makes you realize how awful it was to be homosexual in earlier days. we tend to take the changes for granted. And I hope to see Revolutionary Road before Sunday. And this year for the first time, we got to watch both the shorts and the animated shorts. So now I'll have a stake in that outcome. But the truth is--and this won't surprise anyone--I never stay up for the whole ceremony. I have to read who won in the paper the next day....

  2. I saw all of them and almost every nomination has merit. I'd love to see Melissa Leo win for FROZEN RIVER but Kate is amazing and with her body of great work how can you not root for her. Richard Jenkins was sensational in THE VISITOR but Mickey Rourke's performance just blew me away. I'd like to see Marisa Tomei win.
    I thought I was the only one who disliked the Allen film. I thought it was dreadful-especially Scarlet Johannsen but really all of it.

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  4. How about the Rob Lowe and Snow White routine? Saw it.

    I adore the Oscars, every ridiculous bit of it. And, I really think it was pivotal in making me as competitive as I am. I mean, I LOVE to win. And I think it might have stemmed from being imprinted with the Academy Awards when I was little. I really do. (See? Who else could turn a blog about the Oscars into being about herself? I rest my case.)

    But can't you imagine being up there, looking fabulous, realizing that you might, actually, have done a good job?

  5. Growing up in a Hollywood family, Oscar night was always party night. Everyone up and watching, eating franks and beans and drinking beer and betting on the winners. In those days, my parents, who were screenwriters, would have told you that 'best picture' would be the movie with the biggest budget...because though nominations are more merit-based (best screen play nominations are made by the screenwriters guild) the awards are voted on by the academy large...hence the bigger your crew and studio, the more votes you got. By that standard, the winner this year should be Benjamin Button.

    The industry is so completely changed since then, though, so who knows. I'll be rooting for Slum Dog.

  6. For many years I didn't go to first-run movies, so Oscars were kind of an academic exercise (although it was always fun to see what the women were wearing). This year I've actually seen a few of the candidates.

    I was never a fan of Mickey Rourke, but I found The Wrestler to be a marvel of restraint, both from the actor and from the director. Sometimes less is more.

    I moved the the Berkeley area in 1978, so my first exposure to San Francisco news coincided with Harvey Milk's rise, which makes it hard for me to judge Milk (the movie) objectively. I thought Penn did an extraordinary job in making the character believable, without lapsing into parody. My respect for him has grown over time (loved Mystic River too).

    I'm glad I don't have to choose between them.