Monday, February 27, 2017

The 2017 Oscars and the Big "Oopsie" Moment...A Review

This year I’d decided to take a break from my annual Academy Awards review. 

Fearful of a climate heavily clouded by Trump-hating Hollywood, my plan was to watch until the first self-righteous tantrum was delivered from beneath a glittering bib of borrowed Chopard diamonds and then snap off the TV. So, I sat down without my yellow pad and Sharpie...or a care in the world.

The terrible kiss of a few years back.
Halle is still in therapy as a result.
Unburdened of note-taking yet needing a little busywork, I was free to back comb the cats and begin fashioning a replica of the Golem of Prague from their fur for future use which, apparently, might be pretty soon. So, while I do have an unactivated golem in the laundry room, I have not a single note from the evening.

It was, however, a very vivid night and, ironically, one of the better and more entertaining “Oscars” I’ve seen in years. 
Oh, yes, she did.

Thanks, in part, to the heightened suspense about who Meryl Streep might compare to a “brown shirt” this time, I was mentally piqued and used some of my nervous energy Snap-Chatting my poor daughter-in-law (about 400 times) the minute I spotted Halle Berry’s “hair” early in the evening. 

What Halle was thinking, I do not know. I can only guess she was worried that Adrian Brody might be there and hoped the hair might deflect another molestation. Sources tell me Adrian was busy handing out towels in the men’s room and was too busy to even dream of his former lip lock with the then closely-shorn Ms. Berry.

Parachute Drop: candy and doughnuts
Even without notes, I remember that Jimmy Kimmel was pretty darn good as host. More self-deprecating than on his own show, he wrangled the crowd efficiently, maintained a gag about a supposed feud with Matt Damon and enjoyed orchestrating candy and doughnut drops to the audience via little gossamer baggies from the sky. 

He was fun…and kept his politicizing to the level he might have used for any new POTUS--meaning he didn’t call for impeachment or mass rebellion. This was a good idea since Jimmy’s audience is comprised not solely of Trump loathers and he needs to hold on to his day – or, in his case, night job.
A popular post-Oscars spot for hangry stars

Public opinion, in fact, may have been the underlying reason last night’s celebs were tempered.  I doubt they’d listen to a memo from the Academy requesting politics be kept to a minimum since their levels of sanctimony are astronomically high but so is their desire to maintain their box-office numbers. 

Salma Hayek, who looked lovely in simple black lace, was one of the few who mumbled somethin’ about somethin’ but kept it to eyebrow wiggling and a veiled suggestion to "question authority". For all we know, however, she may have been referring to the night crew at In-N-Out Burger if they try to limit the number of toppings one can request upon one’s post -award show burger.

The moon (s) were out that night.

Cher's feathers
The dresses seemed nice (how I miss pre-stylist days when Cher wore feathers and Barbra’s bare tushie shone through her pantaloons) but Alicia Vikander took a wrong turn somewhere off Hollywood Boulevard and ended up at Happy Endings Tanning and Massage instead of where the special, fancy people go for their spray-ons. As a result, she was Oompa Loompa orange. And, the young  Hailee Steinfeld, when looking back at footage of herself, might regret wearing two giant silver decals on her boobs but, hey, attention is attention. Just ask Adrian Brody after he tried to kiss Ben Affleck in the men’s room.
I didn't think this worked but Hailee looks pretty confident about it all.
Janelle Monae 

Janelle Monae, who was everywhere last night, channeled Queen Elizabeth I in that crazy dress and Mel Gibson, who cannot be redeemed in my eyes no matter how good Hacksaw Ridge looks in previews, appeared either high as a kite or genuinely nutso as he sat in the audience baring a new set of veneers for the camera. A man of great former beauty and apparent sanity, he has been welcomed back to Hollywood after unthinkable racist rants and documented misogyny but, hey, he was Brave Heart and painted his ass blue so it's all okay.
Craziest Mofo in Hollywood

There was much to enjoy in this year’s awards…I found Seth Rogen and Michael J. Fox charming, was thrilled to see Shirley MacLaine who milked her oft-mocked reincarnation beliefs for fewer laughs than she expected, always enjoy Leslie Mann and even approved of the sparkling backdrop in the shape of “Oscar” himself. Damon and Affleck are great fun together, I loved the flashback clips, enjoyed Sara Bareilles performance and, despite disliking child actors in general, I love that darn kid from “Lion.”
Sorry, Dakota...no chemistry between
you guys last night.

On the more unfortunate side, I didn’t understand a word Viola Davis said as she accepted her statuette, was frightened by the grizzled dishevelment of Jeff Bridges and was as embarrassed as Jamie Dornan appeared as he stood next to Dakota Johnson who looked absolutely horrible. As for Amy Adams alabaster boobies, it is said that this is the real way to communicate with aliens.

The tour bus routine, where a group of unsuspecting out-of-towners were surprised to find themselves front and center on national TV, didn’t quite work as a few seemed straight out of central casting and, for me, cast aspersions on the authenticity of the entire escapade. Halle Berry didn’t seem thrilled either. Notoriously driven to mayhem by paparazzi, perhaps she feared this was simply a ruse for a close-up of the haystack on her head and poor Jennifer Aniston was guilted into giving one of the “tourists” a pair of sunglasses that, no doubt, cost a fortune. Good work, Jimmy Kimmel!

Congrats, Mahershala!
As for the winners, I have loved Mahershala Ali since season one of “House of Cards” and admit I haven’t yet seen “Moonlight” but cannot imagine a better supporting performance than Lucas Hedges gave in “Manchester by the Sea.”  I was also pleased to see Casey Affleck win the gold for best actor although Denzel, the heavy favorite, did not share my happiness.
"I was supposed to win, dammit!!"


But let’s get to the best part. Or the worst part. It all depends on which movie you’d worked on but it sure snapped me to attention as nothing has in 50 years of awards show viewing.

Warren Beatty back in "the day."
Let’s set the table, friends: Warren Beatty, no longer remotely resembling the sex machine of his youth and Faye Dunaway, one of Hollywood’s greatest beauties but currently resembling her own death mask, wobbled out together and proceeded to screw up everyone’s entire lives forever.

The mistake, apparently, was not theirs as it seems they’d been given a duplicate card from a previous award. I give Warren credit for forcing poor Faye to do the dirty work as he clearly suspected a problem but, as every man, woman and rescue puppy knows by now, they presented the most important and anticipated award of the evening to the wrong movie.

I bet Shirley MacLaine, even shorter than she’d been a mere half hour earlier, probably wishes she hadn’t waved so cheerfully to her brother,Warren from the audience.

As the La La Land-ers hugged and gushed at the microphone, confusion soon swept through the throng of back-slapping high-fivers as important looking men in headsets scurried out to check envelopes, paperwork and green cards...but panic and horror took over. This gave Jimmy Kimmel the best unscripted moment of the night as he blamed Steve Harvey --  himself a hapless survivor of a similar oopsie when he awarded the tiara to the wrong Miss Universe last year – for the entire debacle.

La La Land was very gracious to Moonlight as they ceded the spoils to the true victors and apparently everyone (except Adrien Brody who, by now, was chained down in the men’s room) took a turn to try and explain just what in the name of Mel Gibson’s glittering eyeballs had happened. 

It was awful….but it made for great TV.  Public graciousness aside, if I were Warren or Faye, I’d employ food tasters from now on.


All in all, it was the best Academy Awards in forever. No one knew what to expect and while that kept people edgy, it also worked. The whole night seemed, oddly, more relaxed. And, other than the terrible mistake at the end, the show was loose and well-paced.

Congratulations to all the winners, my condolences to whoever gave Warren and Faye the naughty card and happy catch-up to those of us who have yet to see most of the nominated movies. I, for one, await their arrival on Amazon Prime since I spent all my money on golem supplies.







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