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By David Poland

How Bad Was The Oscar Telecast?


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86 Responses to “How Bad Was The Oscar Telecast?”

  1. TJ Smoov says:

    I just can’t agree with the Jon Stewart bashing. Perhaps the academy was a bit too uptight to enjoy him, but everyone at the party I attended loved him and laughed often and loudly. And those I’ve spoken with today at work thought he was great.

  2. White Label says:

    I’m with TJ, our Oscar party was rooting Stewart on. (And we only went through 1.5 bottles of wine with 10 people.)
    My favorite moments:
    -when an unmemorable winner thanked the academy for seating her next to George Clooney at the nominees luncheon, and cut to George with a “you’re not pretty enough for me to remember that” look on his face.
    -Felicity Huffman actually having an appropriate “dammit” reaction to Reese Witherspoon winning.
    -Lily and Meryl was awesome. I can’t wait for PHC.
    Least Favorite moment:
    -Reese Witherspoon’s acceptance speech. Most acceptance speeches hit only one or two cliches. She hit them all. Reese, this is one time where you didn’t matter. Blecth.

  3. RyanK says:

    I’m glad someone mentioned the music during the acceptance speeches. It was as simplistic and ineffective as BROKEBACK’s winning “Best Score”. The use of bad music during the show just underlines how much the Academy and it’s members do not understand music in film. “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” winning best song is particularly embarassing. Stewart’s scorecard – “Three 6 Mafia: 1, Martin Scorsese: 0” was the night’s most sobering moment of how far these awards have slipped into ridiculous trash.

  4. palmtree says:

    I feel somewhat compelled to defend the boyz from Memphis. “Hard Out Here for a Pimp” was the song that was most organically incorporated into the film for which it was created for. They had an entire scene devoted to it and showed the bare bones creation of the emotion in that song. If you don’t like hip hop or the subject matter, fine, that’s your opinion. But as far as being used in the film and being a thematic extension of the film, Three 6 Mafia ruled.

  5. Spacesheik says:

    Jon stewart was no johnny carson im sorry. he bombed, not as bad as david letterman but he on par with chris rock.
    ratings down 10% this yera its not surprising there wasnt any major film audiences loved or any strong drama that people could pull for like MILLION DOLLAR BABY – you thoguht BRAVEHEART winning best picture was bad, now you get CRASH
    it was a terrible oscar telecast, there wasnt anything even remotely moving about the homages or clips —
    why the fuck do these people insist on extending shitty musical clips ad nauseum and cutting off speeches for our fave performers?
    and yes witherspoons speech was bad not as bad as the fake gwyneth paltrow but still bad

  6. Crow T Robot says:

    Poland I’m agreeing with everything you wrote there right down to the punctuation… but don’t forget to mention the shock and bliss in Queen Latifah’s eyes when she read the Best Song winner. Certainly a highlight.

  7. Wrecktum says:

    Sign me up for being on the side of Stewart. I think he started slow (he’s not really a stand up comedian, is he?) but got better as the show progressed. Some of his one-liners and ad libs were as good as anything I’ve seen on the show in years: equal to Crystal in his prime, better than Martin (the best of the recent hosts) and (I hate to say it) rivaling the good natured ribbing of early 80s classic Carson. I say give him another chance…he can only get better.
    As for the rest of Poland’s criticism: points well taken, but, honestly, aren’t garish production numbers part of the package? If everything were as classical and sweet as the Perlman performance, wouldn’t the ceremony be labeled “boring” even more than it is now?
    My main complaint was the direction. It gets worse every year. A Brokeback win for best adapted screenplay but no camera cut to Annie Proulx? Random shots of audience members on their Blackberries or getting up to take a leak? Winners not knowing which mike to use on stage? Bush league.
    Cates can definitely get the stars out to present and he keeps the show to a reasonable length, but the production itself remains shoddy. It was last year and it was this year.
    But overall, I gotta give the show a thumbs up. Better than Whoopi’s first outing in ’93. Certainly better than Letterman or Rock, who had no idea how to work the stage or the show. For a show that everyone knew would be a down year in terms of audience interest, I think they pulled our an interesting 3+ hours.

  8. madprofessah says:

    I agree with palmtree that “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” is the most fully incorporated nominated song of the three into their respective movies. It’s BARELY a song, however. It’s an incredibly catchy hook.
    Katherine York’s “Into the Deep” is a beautiful song, ut is it really central to “Crash”? Come on, now!
    I did think Three 6 Mafia’s “performance” of the song was embarassing. They should have just used the scene from the movie whee the song is created as the production motif.

  9. RyanK says:

    Have to disagree again with Three 6 Mafia. Is the song really there to drive album sales or is it there to drive the story? There was a time where a song, like editing, cinematography, and direction was part of the storytelling process. The movie managed to move from Point A to Point B through a song – not a needle-drop, but an honest to goodness song written specifically for the film and performed on screen. Sadly these days, songs are just another way to whore the movie out. Pimps indeed.

  10. jesse says:

    Jon Stewart was fine. A few of his early jokes in the monologue were a little “meh,” but really, how many hosts of something as mainstream and showbizzy as the Oscarcast hit 100%? The fake campaign ads were funny. The opening was funny. Stewart was about as good as either Steve Martin gig, and a lot better than the lesser Billy Crystals. But what do I know; I thought Chris Rock was perfectly amusing last year. Whoopi is the one they should be paying to never host again.
    “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” is the most deserving Best Song winner in I don’t know how long. Oh, it’s just an incredibly catchy hook? Then it has one more catchy hook than most nominees of the past ten years. “Travelin’ Thru” is cornpone and “In the Deep” is Aimee Mann lite.
    It did bother me how Henson didn’t really sing the “Pimp” hook the way she did in the movie — after there was that whole (excellent) scene where they’re coaching her about how to sing it with more conviction. Where was her “peeemP” on the telecast?

  11. palmtree says:

    Ryan K, you need to see the movie because the song furthers the story dramatically in a way that perhaps no other song in a film did this year. One scene I can compare it to is watching Mozart dictating the Confutatis part of the Requiem in Amadeus.

  12. Geoff says:

    I really don’t get all the Stewart bashing, myself. The guy was sharp, funny, and did a nice job of incorporating his brand of humor into the proceedings. I thought Chris Rock was solid, last year, too, but Stewart did the best job of anybody in recent years, with the exception of Steve Martin’s awesome MC’ing in ’03. (I still laugh when I think of his remark about Kathy Bates in a hot tub.)
    I mean, Dave, who are we comparing him to? The guy was much better than Billy Crystal ever was, Whoopi, or Letterman. I have been watching The Daily Show for years and I really think he perfectly lived up to expectations created by his work on that show. The fake campaign ads for nominees were a gimme, of course, but his back-from-commercial-break proclaiming of scientology, the mileage he got out of 3-6 Mafia, the clips of Westerns, his “reactions” after each montage, it was all pure Jon Stewart. And he only had to resort to ONE Dick Cheney joke.
    Sure, just like last year with Chris Rock, the crowd just wasn’t digging him so much. And if you want to just grade him on his performance based on that, then he probably barely gets a C. But is Billy Crystal’s suck-up-to-Jack crowd reaction really the threshold for success, here? All I know is that I and my friends and family were laughing our asses off to Jon Stewart, last night. As if the Ben STiller bit was not funny enough (it certainly could have come right from his underrated ’90’s skit show), but then Stewart’s Jewish joke after it was just great. The one missed opportunity was not having Steve Colbert there to contribute.
    IMO, if you enjoy Stewart and The Daily Show, then last night’s Oscar’s was the most entertaining in years.

  13. palmtree says:

    And that statement had nothing to do with the quality of the music but simply the filmmaking prowess at showing how music is put together.

  14. Rob says:

    How about the tremendous letdown that was the Altman montage? So many quick cuts…couldn’t they have at least lingered on a couple exchanges of dialogue or one of his famous master shots? Or given some more lip service to some of the individual films?

  15. Josh says:

    Who thought Stewart was going to be a success as a host anyway?
    Hollywood is out of touch. No one behind the scenes has a clue? Anyone?

  16. pstargalac says:

    I’m in w/ the pro-Stewart crowd. He was hilarious, even if the monologue tanked (pre-Bjork). The intro with Rock, Clooney, Letterman et al was the funniest since the Crystal years. The show may have been poorly orchestrated, but the only thing I care about besides the announcements is a few good laughs, which I got. Mission accomplished, as far as I’m concerned.
    Although, if I took the Oscars more seriously, I would have seen Stewart’s irreverence as a big negative, which I suspect is what’s going on with the anti-Stewart crowd. I can understand that… all the smart-assery made the more serious moments of the night (like the montages) stick out like a sore thumb. The attack-dog style isn’t really what the Oscars are about. Ultimately you want another Crystal/Carson type.
    The problem is that type of entertaininer doesn’t exist anymore. You need a squeaky-clean, reverent, small-screen superstar who would *relish* the opportunity… but also attract a young audience. Good luck finding that guy.

  17. Melquiades says:

    I’ll second (third? fourth?) how deserving “Pimp” was of the Best Song statue.
    I think it’s the most deserving Best Song winner since… Lose Yourself, the last rap song to win Best Song. That one wasn’t an organic part of the film, as “Pimp” is, but it captured the spirit and energy of the film beautifully, and it too was catchy as hell.
    On a tangential note… Dave Chapelle’s Block Party (see it, it’s great!) said more about race in America than Crash.

  18. Melquiades says:

    Two great Stewart lines:
    “And none of those issues were ever a problem again” after the ‘Hollywood tackles tough issues’ montage.
    And “Coming up, Oscar salutes the montage” after yet another montage…

  19. Crow T Robot says:

    I hope Cates continues with the maverick hosts for next year… Rock and Stewart were not up to it, but you got a give em a little something for the effort. But instead of a snarky comedian let’s try a benign joker… like Crystal and Martin were. Someone ready to run across the stage for a gag.
    Oscar hosting isn’t so much about being funny, as it is easing the nerves of the audience. The gentle art of sedation.
    My choice: Vince Vaughn.

  20. palmtree says:

    Thanks for the second, Melquiades.
    Actually, Lose Yourself was a pretty organic extension of the film. The sort song’s guitar ostinato and beat is featured without lyrics in various parts of the film. And the lyrics are written during the course of the film, and the lyrics reference certain scenes.

  21. Spacesheik says:

    Considering Stewart was on the phone for weeks if not months almost everyday with Gil Gates going over jokes with his team, then yes it was a pretty lacklustre comedy-wise. I didn’t particularly enjoy it either when Stewart kept asking the audience to clap for this or for that – there was something not quite right about Stewart up there…Cant put my finger on it – he was tame
    Oh and whats the deal with bringing in untalented bimbos every year to be presenters (Hayek, Garner, Alba) – what have they done to deserve being up there? Especially Hayek who is back after last years disastrous ethnic pairing her with Penelope Cruz. They’re easy on the eye but the Academy couldnt find real actresses?
    Pretty lacklustre year for movies in general and the Oscar show was no exception. Poland was right the production of it was terrible.
    Shit it kinda makes you yearn for the years when Peter Coyote and Donald Sutherland sat in booths by the stage announcing presenters…

  22. jesse says:

    Yeah, Josh, Hollywood is completely out of touch with mainstream America — if only they’d gotten Larry the Cable Guy to emcee instead of that elitist jerk Stewart. Larry’s jokes about wanting to punch gays and how he’s scared of black people would fit in perfectly with Crash and Brokeback. We need someone to tell it like it is!

  23. Joe Straat says:

    Here’s the utter simplicity of why Stewart wasn’t a big hit with the crowd: At the end of the day, the Hollywood crowd can’t pour him a drink, wrap his arm around him, and shout, “ONE OF US! ONE OF US!” He was an outsider who was too right. But most people I’ve heard from outside LA LA land really liked him, but they’re the last people who matter, so they’ll likely never hire him again.
    Another thing of note was Clooney’s appearances. I knew the guy was charismatic, but damn, he looked like he was having a good time, and he was helping everyone else have a good time, too. It’s a shame they had him presenting at the honoring the dead part where he really couldn’t do anything outside the box (And it would be wrong of him to do so).

  24. PetalumaFilms says:

    Stewart was fine, but I agree that he was rather tame. The show was boring because everyone seemed bored by the nominees…it’s not Stewarts fault.
    Anyone realize Ang Lee is the first non-white male to win Best Director? Pretty neat…

  25. Spacesheik says:

    either get steve martin next year or ben stiller or robin williams — these shows need manic controlled energy

  26. Spacesheik says:

    either get steve martin next year or ben stiller or robin williams — these shows need manic controlled energy

  27. Geoff says:

    I would be cool if they kept Jon Stewart on, for a while, but it does not look too likely at this point.
    You know who could be good? Bill Maher or Dennis Miller. But both of them would probably just alienate the crowd like Stewart.
    Williams is past his prime and would just get annoying for a while. Steve Martin HAS been great, but after the crap comedies he has done, the past few years, I am just not sure of him, anymore.
    Too obscure and British, but I think Eddie Izzard could do a fantastic job. If you saw “Dressed to Kill,” you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.
    But I think the most feasible choices could be the new blood of big screen comedy, Steve Carrell or Vince Vaughn. Why not?

  28. Angelus21 says:

    They need someone to host for the masses. Jay Leno. Steve Martin. Billy Crystal. They don’t even need a comic. Get Tom Hanks. You know who they should really get and join the bandwagon. Ryan Seacrest. Catch the American Idol magic.

  29. PandaBear says:

    Stewart could have been better but it’s not the hosts fault with this.
    The show is just too long.

  30. jesse says:

    I would think Vaughn would come off as too insincere to work well. He might be more schmoozy but I think in his own way he could be as off-putting to the old guard as Stewart or Rock, who at least have had more stand-up and/or hosting experience. Carell, Stiller, and Ferrell are all too conceptual in their comedy. (Though all three of them are dependably hilarious when they present.)

  31. Melquiades says:

    You have a legitimate point about Alba and Garner (though who can really complain about seeing either of them?) but you’re off base with Hayek. She was nominated for Best Actress just a few years ago.

  32. Mark Ziegler says:

    The thing about Alba and Garner is this. You can say what you want about their acting ability. For better or worse. But they are two of the most gorgeous women on the planet.

  33. Wrecktum says:

    “Here’s the utter simplicity of why Stewart wasn’t a big hit with the crowd: At the end of the day, the Hollywood crowd can’t pour him a drink, wrap his arm around him, and shout, “ONE OF US! ONE OF US!” He was an outsider who was too right.”
    Probably the most accurate assessment. Kinda like Crash winning best pic instead of Brokeback: awarding and rewarding Hollywood insiders is always something the Academy likes to do.
    If Stewart moved his show to L.A. and shmoozed the beautiful people at AOX and the Marmont, I’m sure his shtick would go over big time.

  34. grandcosmo says:

    How about the Academy using the creativity and talent that is supposedly there in Hollywood and doing something different? Doesn’t anyone in Hollywood still know how to put on a show for God’s sake?
    Why do they have to stick with the hidebound format of host doing a pre-taped skit, host doing a monologue, various film clip segments, lame song performances, in memorium and then a wrap-up?
    Give us an f-ing show!

  35. Wrecktum says:

    ^ Because that’s what people expect when they tune into the Oscars. What should it be, a chat-show setting?

  36. repeatfather says:

    Was anyone else just totally befuddled by all the anti-DVD lines in the presenters lines. . .Was it Jake Gyllenhall who just cracked up mid-sentence of one of those lines? I understand people aren’t going to movie theaters as much, but aren’t DVDs still a big cash cow for the studios even if the market has leveled off? The whole night was just weird: the montages, the DVD lines, CHarlize Theron looking like she was possessed by an alien from Mars Attacks. . .Weird, weird, weird.

  37. joefitz84 says:

    They should just go back to what they had back in the day. 4 people hosting it. Stars. Cross sectional. You hit with some. Miss with others. Not all on one mans shoulders because only a few people can host this by themselves.
    It’s a tough job.

  38. grandcosmo says:

    >>>Because that’s what people expect when they tune into the Oscars. What should it be, a chat-show setting?
    So just keep doing bad shows in the same format because thats what people expect?

  39. Josh Massey says:

    Vince Vaughn AND Owen Wilson should host next year. Keep Ben Stiller five states away from the broadcast.

  40. Josh says:

    I’d actually pay attention if they got Vaughn, Wilson or Ferrel to do it. That’s what I call thinking out of the box.

  41. Nicol D says:

    Vaughn and Wilson,
    I would watch no matter what they nominated.

  42. Fades To Black says:

    I think they can get those two guys to do it too. Wouldn’t that be great?
    Vaughn guest hosted on Kilborn’s old show for a while there. I thought he was great.

  43. Aladdin Sane says:

    I think Jack Nicholson and George Clooney should co-host an Oscar telecast. Now that would be entertainment!
    But since we’re all skewing younger, I like the idea of Vaughn & Wilson doing it…
    I think Jack Black might give the ceremony a little bit of pep that’s needed. He could come out, do a crazy stunt and then disappear until the next year. Who’s with me on this one?
    Anyhow, Stewart was fine for me. He didn’t bomb by any stretch, and a woman at work who doesn’t know the Daily Show from the Colbert Report was saying how she thought the host did a realy good job. He made the most of a bad situation…five films that are great, but good luck finding 5 people in the midwest that have seen all 5…this was a show for the coasts this year.

  44. Krazy Eyes says:

    I think Steve Coogan would do a fantastic job hosting if he could keep his jibes more Hollywood-based and less UK-centric. At least most US viewers wouldn’t know what to expect from him.

  45. Rufus Masters says:

    Nicholson would be an inspired choice.
    Remember, even Burt Reynolds hosted these awards back in the 70’s. Anything is possbile. Doesn’t have to be a comedian all the time.

  46. grandcosmo says:

    >>>>I think Steve Coogan would do a fantastic job hosting if he could keep his jibes more Hollywood-based and less UK-centric. At least most US viewers wouldn’t know what to expect from him.
    I was just going to nominate Coogan who I think is a genius. He would have to become a star in the U.S. for that to happen though. Maybe he could host the show as Alan Partridge?

  47. grandcosmo says:

    >>>but good luck finding 5 people in the midwest that have seen all 5…this was a show for the coasts this year.
    The coasts? Good luck finding anyone who has seen all five that didn’t have to.

  48. jeffmcm says:

    I thought Stewart was good, but the constant musical underscore, odd choice of close-ups, and overuse of montages (and as usual, the horrible musical numbers) took away from his appeal.
    Tom Hanks cursing as he entered for Best Director, however, was awesome.

  49. Bruce says:

    Yeah, not many saw all five this year except the hardcore film lovers.

  50. Lota says:

    i said on another thread that Stewart did n’t annoy me and some sequences very funny–I would come down on his side, definitely. he was better than one could have predicted knowing what his strongpoints are. However, I don;t think he is an appropriate host, for reasons oft said above. The telecast simply wasn’t movies-focused enough (I agree it was rank), The gags actually took the focus off film and that’s not good. very little audience checking–yes I was wondering why Annie Proulx went UNSEEN even when directly referred to. and the worst….that elevator MUZAK whilst poeple trilled through their acceptance speeches.
    who could host?
    Jerry Springer? Oprah? Maybe Maury? heh heh–the Oscars could be one super DE-luxe version of My baby’s daddy. 100 DNA kits in every row.
    Def not Whoopie or Letterman…they just didn;t fit at all.
    I would actually love it if George Clooney was the host. Instead of comedian, one could have a debonnaire dude like George.
    and what up with Lauren Bacall? I actually was wondering if she was going to freeze up entirely, or if she was going to be ill. She seemed really out of it poor gal. I guess not as badly as SLy being out of it on the Grammy’s but I was starting to get that Cringeing feeling.
    The Perlman sequence was lovely–one could enjoy some movie bits in a less cerebral way.

  51. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Only one host in my book for 2007.
    Ricky Gervais.. he’d possibly be the best host Oscar has seen.

  52. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “No dancing transsexuals” hah! Man, Dolly’s performance was great. THe Crash singing perf was good but the background shit was awful. There was actually a thandie newton impersonator with a matt dillon impersonator pulling her dress up! Did anyone else notice that?
    I thought Jon Stewart was alright. Not out-and-out hilarious but consistent. And the for your consideration moments were GOLD. I thought it was gonna be bad when the first image was of the tent but that segment was actually really funny. Dave Letterman especially. And god, George Clooney is handsome!
    The score bit where the violinist (?) played the scores was a nice touch too.
    The music over people’s speeches was, other than Crash beating Brokeback, the single most horrible aspect of the awards. Was that their new tactic to get people to be quick? Just start playing the music right away? But then on some people after they had been going on too long THE MUSIC STOPPED! Huh? Did someone screw up the tapes? And as much as I hated Crash winning I thought it was down right RUDE to cut them off for their speech. They just won BEST PICTURE – let both of them talk. Stupid Paul Haggis is a speech hog, asshole. I loved how Charlize Theron was shocked that the music started up and the lady couldn’t speak.
    Interesting to see that Haggis didn’t thank Bob Yuri. Not once. Even though without him the movie wouldn’t have been made.
    Queen Latifah’s face when 3 Six Mafia won (I’ve finally remembered their name) was priceless.
    The montages themselves were good but… it was sort of ironic that they did a tribute to film noir and many of the clips they showed were from movies that the Academy didn’t nominate for anything. Out of the Past, anyone?
    On the matter of future hosts. If you gonna talk about Vaughn, Wilson and Ferrell, what about Carell as well?

  53. pstargalac says:

    If the Academy insists on a single host, I’d vote for Mel Gibson, in Mayan, with no subtitles. Otherwise I love the idea of multiple hosts. I’d be psyched to see the co-hosts trying to crack each other up, screwing around and having fun… which is the point, right? The best part about Comic Relief was watching Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg try to crack each other up. The Oscars should totally make that happen.
    But if Vaughn, Wilson and Ferrell won’t host together, what about Oscar-winning composers Three 6 Mafia? I bet they’d do it.

  54. Ryuukuro says:

    I didn’t even bother with the Oscars but I am so happy that “It’s Hard Out Here…” won best song. In a way it was the only song that deserved to win. The song was integral to the film. It practically was the film!
    I did not like Hustle and Flow, mainly because I’m tired of seeing such negative portrayals of black life even if they’re honest portrayals of black life. I wasn’t impressed by the performance (it was a little bit vulgar and a bit bit goofy.) But I’m happy for the Three Six Mafia. They’re not my taste but anytime the little guy gets such great recognition we have to be happy. Sometimes the world works.

  55. wongjongat says:

    I thought the show was pretty good. Jon Stewart was excellent. And say what you will about Crash, but it did provide an unforgettable moment at the end (the show is becoming entirely predictable now with all the other award shows leading up to it). Loved the reactions from both Morgan Freeman–his little laugh when he read Rachel Weisz’s (which is pronounced “Veis”, by the way) name because he worked with her on Chain Reaction–and Queen Latifah because she was pleasantly surprised with Three Six Mafia winning.
    Speaking of which, I thought they gave a really great performance, although the cheesy theatrics I could’ve done without. I also thought the Crash song was pretty, but I groaned when I saw the car and the dancers pretending to fall to the ground. Dolly’s performance was rather dull at the beginning, but picked up towards the end (woulda been nicer if she had a guitar to play). She had scary collagen lips, though–made it look like she had a stroke. I am glad, also, that they actually got the composers to perform the songs rather than having someone like Beyonce do all of them.
    I don’t think Felicity Huffman was going “damn!” or anything when they announced Reese’s name. I think she was nodding as if she was expecting and accepting it because she knew it was a strong probability.
    Felt bad for Lauren Bacall, but it looked like she wasn’t reading the teleprompter fast enough and it threw her off.
    I agree with the comments about the music. Not only was it annoying, but it was incredibly rude and inegalitarian. It made me squirm in my seat, in fact. They should just go back to the way they did it before–go by feel. Some speeches can be great (I think Gavin Hood’s speech was on its way to greatness but he was paying too much attention to his time limit) even by the “lesser-knowns”. But those that go on for a long time while being uninteresting should be cut off. I was actually hoping that Stewart would bring out Bobby Moresco and the make-up winner who didn’t get to speak to finish their speeches.
    Loved Lily and Meryl (though it did go a tad long), Steve and Will, Ben, Altman, and a number of Stewart’s taped bits. Hated the montages, which contained some truly bad films. If they want to cut down on time, why don’t they get rid of these things and focus on the “deceased reel”. Is it just me or was it incredibly short this year. I’m sure more people died. I’d rather see some clips from the films those people worked on rather than sit through useless montages that waste time.
    I was expecting Jon Stewart to bring his crew with him. I think it would have been cool to have Samantha Bee interviewing members of the audience and Stephen Colbert doing one of his crazy rants. Would have brought some more variety to the table.
    As far as future hosts, I think Stewart did a great job (as good as Letterman, who I loved, by the way, even though everyone else didn’t). But if they have to go with someone else, I don’t think they should bring back Crystal, Martin, or Goldberg, because they’re all yesterday’s comics. I think Chris Rock is too edgy–restraining him only makes one wonder what could have been. I don’t think all the British suggestions, while cool, would fly with the Academy. They like their hosts to sound American (or Canadian–who sound American). I don’t think they’ll get any actors who could potentially be nominated for awards to host, either. My pick would be Ellen Degeneris. Everyone in Hollywood loves her, she’s always funny, she’s classy, she won’t offend anybody, and she did such an amazing job with the Emmys after 9/11. I also think Martin Short might make a good host because he’s so sharp and can ad lib with the best of them, plus as Jiminy Glick he’s interviewed and insulted practically everybody without losing favour (except with maybe Tom Green). Conan O’Brien might work, too, and possibly Rosie O’Donnell, though her sense of humour’s gone down a bit since she came out. Nathan Lane would be fun, too, but there’s still a chance he could be nominated for an Oscar.
    As for the show itself, it’s time to get rid of Gil Cates. His experiments such as the awards-in-the-aisles and his music-under-the-speech themes have been insulting. His ideas are just plain blase. Get a new producer! The Tony Awards are always a classy event, so whoever produces those awards, hire them!
    Sorry for the long post. So much to respond to…

  56. jeffmcm says:

    I thought it was hilarious that they included The Day After Tomorrow in the ‘socially conscious films’ montage.

  57. Spacesheik says:

    Whoever said RICKY GERVAIS is a genius.
    Now *that* is an inspired choice.

  58. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “But if Vaughn, Wilson and Ferrell won’t host together…” clearly Steve Carell is better than all those, right?
    Ellen would be a great host i reckon. Did you see her Oscar interpretations she did this year? Her bit by the camp fire and mumbling for an entire minute? Her Grizzly Man sketch was also hysterical. She’s be good at it, I reckon. She’s lesbian, but not threathening (so, ya know, right at the Academy’s alley apparently)

  59. bicycle bob says:

    ricky gervais. now that would be an oscar host. too bad they won’t even consider him.

  60. LesterFreed says:

    Jon Stewart can forget about hosting ever again. He’s getting some terrible reviews after the fact. Don’t think it was his fault. He was in a bad spot and probably in ove rhis head.
    They should get a real host and a comedian off the street. No idea who that is and that’s why I don’t make the big decisions for the Academy.

  61. SaveFarris says:

    An innovation that I haven’t heard anyone talk about was rotating the “minor” nominees in and out of those seats at the front wings. It seemed to speed things up while removing the indignity of last year’s “put them on the stage beforehand” fiasco. I think it worked great.
    And some advice for poor, young Jake Gyllenhall: you might not want to rip the DVD experience 2 days before Jarhead hits the shelves.

  62. Bruce says:

    Nathan Lane would be a good choice. Could be Billy Crystal-ish.

  63. PandaBear says:

    What did Jake Gyllenhall say about DVD’s? I missed that.

  64. AnonChicago says:

    “Ryan K, you need to see the movie because the song furthers the story dramatically in a way that perhaps no other song in a film did this year. One scene I can compare it to is watching Mozart dictating the Confutatis part of the Requiem in Amadeus.” Ditto me too. The messengers criticizing Hard Out Here for a Pimp obviously did not see the movie. It had a hook that when you left the theatre, you were singing along. Sorry, but I couldn’t do that with In the Deep. In fact, I didn’t notice that Crash had a song, it was so subtle.
    I agree with Jesse 100%.
    All right Poland — if not Stewart then who? You saw the opening — who wants the job? I thought he did a wonderful job. What slowed the show down was all the montages….gee! another montage…why? The film noir montage was an excuse to trot out Lauren Bacall, an old-timer who we all forgot. Next year it will be Elizabeth Taylor. I would rather it be Mickey Rooney who must have life-long passes to the Oscars. And did anyone notice that Jane Russell was in the house? Why didn’t the camera pan on some of the old-timers if they wanted the audience to feel “familiar” with the telecast.
    Poland, you are 75% wrong this time. Except for the over-done montages, I enjoyed this show and wow! Crash won! what a surprise.

  65. The Pop View says:

    Like some comments above, I also liked Stewart, Rock and Letterman, but I acknowledged they were necessarily strong on the show. As I wrote this week, “…success is not necessarily measured by how you come across to the home audience, but by how the audience in the Kodak Theater reacts. If a joke dies with them, then it dies completely.”
    You didn’t notice Stephen Colbert’s participation? He narrated the fake campaign ads.
    Billy Crystal is strong in the beginning, but didn’t stay strong over the evening. Stewart started weak and got stronger as he went along. For example, the Three 6 Mafia bit came well into the telecast.

  66. The Pop View says:

    Sorry for the typo, but I meant to say that the comics “were not necessarily strong…”

  67. bicycle bob says:

    its really great hearing all the differing views and thoughts of the telecast. really diverse opinions on it. u know what ur getting with it though. ur getting a long telecast. and u hope for a few watercooler moments the next day that u can say u saw. as for the host. u just hope he doesn’t totally bomb and even then its a good story.
    people still talk about letterman and his uma-oprah moment.

  68. joefitz84 says:

    I’m still surprised that Reese Witherspoon thanked her husband. I thought that had the makings of the classic “I thank everyone in my life except my significant other and will go on talk shows the next few weeks and say I’m sorry when I’m really not” moment.

  69. Stella's Boy says:

    Most people found Meryl Streep quite funny on Sunday night. Will that help DVD sales/rentals of Prime, which came out today?

  70. jeffmcm says:

    It was great to see her and Lily Tomlin (both national treasures) do their thing – hell, it’s nice to see any pair of presenters who actually seem to like each other! It probably won’t do anything for Prime, but hopefully it’ll raise awareness for Prairie Home Companion.

  71. Richard Nash says:

    The show wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be going in. Stewart didn’t come out firing or on his game. It hurt his momentum. But he wasn’t awful and probably should get another shot at the job in the future.
    The ratings were terrible but they and everyone else had to be expecting that was going to happen. No surprise there. They were resigned to that when they selected Jon Stewart and knew what films were in the lead.

  72. Angelus21 says:

    Streep just needs better roles and better scripts. She is too talented to waste in roles like “Prime”.

  73. jeffmcm says:

    Streep doesn’t exactly have Hollywood beating down her door with dozens of projects starring women in their 50s.

  74. Angelus21 says:

    How many good movie projects have roles for women in their 50’s anyway? How many projects in general have roles for women? She needs to go to tv where they have good roles for women.

  75. Chucky in Jersey says:

    From what I know, AMPAS ordered all those involved not to make any comments critical of George W. Bush or the US war against Iraq. And ordinary people wonder why the Oscar types are so backward!
    Combine that with the slate of nominees and you’ll come up with a good reason for the smaller-than-expected ratings.

  76. Josh says:

    Oh yea.
    The ratings were small because the far left liberal nominees didn’t make any Bush jokes. Expert analysis.

  77. jeffmcm says:

    Hey Chucky, do Dave Poland’s site traffic count a favor and stick around after you post something like the above, and defend it. These hit-and-runs you do aren’t as much fun as they could be.

  78. jeffmcm says:

    Anyway, the show was depressingly unpolitical. Even Altman didn’t say anything! The most political thing I can think of all night was Clooney’s ‘yay for us’ speech. Just remember: controversy = ratings.

  79. adorian says:

    I would like to suggest that Bill Murray host the Oscars next year.

  80. RoyBatty says:

    Okay, I know no one is going to read this so this is going to be much shorter than intended.
    I just finished watching a recording I made of a great awards show from last weekend. It had a smart, funny East coast Jew for a host, it had some entertainingly produced bits, there were great acceptance speeches that came straight from the heart of truly creative people and (and this is the most important to me) it gave me that feeling of “God, I want to keep plugging away to be in this business of making movies.”
    It was called The Independent Spirit Awards.
    Sarah Silverman was a great host, with just a few stumbles, but the funniest moments came from a presenter and a winner. Kevin Smith is the former, who was truly Laugh Out Loud funnier in his time at the mic giving out Best Director than anything shown the next night. The other funny, but tear-inducing moment, came when Felicity Huffman went up to get her best actress totem. If there was ever a moment Saturday that encapsulated the travails of making independent films it was her very profane, very funny and very touching anecdote about making the TRANSAMERICA.
    As to the other one, I can only agree with the initial comments that D. Poland started this thread with. This was a horribly produced show that managed the keep any semblence to authenticity to a soul-crushing minimum (with a few exceptions like Three 6 Mafia’s exuberience).
    And the terrible choices of that “social conscience films” montage. What a joke.

  81. David Poland says:

    You sure are a dog with a bone, J-Mc… an imaginary bone, but you seem happy to chew it to the nub.

  82. Lota says:

    Ricky Gervais would be great except I think some people wouldn’t even know he was lampooning them with his subversive-subtlety-at-times and it would go whoosh right over their wee heads.
    Yes indeed Ricky would be excellent for the audience at home but the audience in the Theatre…my, would they squirm.

  83. jeffmcm says:

    I ask Chucky in Jersey to explain himself in greater detail and somehow it’s an attack on Dave Poland? JEEZ!

  84. David Poland says:

    “do Dave Poland’s site traffic count a favor”

  85. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah…I’m looking out for you. If Chucky in Jersey posted once a day instead of once a week, would your traffic count not go up?
    It’s not always about you, Dave.

  86. jeffmcm says:

    Anyway, this was in relation to the multiple-posters issue… I hope you will forgive me for having to rely on my own imagination to understand what reasons you would have for allowing someone to do that for so long on the blog, when they weren’t expressing opinions that tended to agree with yours…just to fill space and therefore, to generate traffic. Hoepfully the issue is now over.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon