Why the 70th Annual Academy Awards Were a Great Sedative
Written by: Alex Sandell

12 months ago, I wrote my commentary on the 69th Annual Academy Awards, without once making a "69" joke. I'm happy to report that this year, Dustin Hoffman did it for me. Not only did the past year give Mr. Hoffman adequate time to formulate thousands of "69" jokes, it pumped a lot of really good movies into the theaters. A large amount of them revolving around the plight of the working man; showing how poorly (pun intended) the lower-class can be treated, and how self-absorbed, and spoiled, the upper-class can be.

"Good Will Hunting," "Titanic," and "The Full Monty" all showed what a bitch it is to be poor, and received best picture nominations, for doing so. Last night, under a large canvas of glitter and glitz, the creators of these movies for the working man™ joined together in multi-million dollar tuxes, exorbitant gowns, and expensive jewelry; none noticing the irony of what was going on.

"Titanic" jokes ran rampant throughout the evening, everyone keeping their eye on James Cameron, or wishing they were him (without the beard, or course). The show went on for a staggering 3 hours and 45 minutes, beating out the lengthy "Titanic" by half-an-hour. The world sat in sticky-hot anticipation to see what they already knew would happen, actually happen. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Here is the second annual Juicy report on the Academy Awards.

The night began as a virtual repeat of last year's Academy Awards, with Billy Crystal editing himself into lots of different film-clips, and acting stupid. It was so funny last year, I 'spose he thought he could try it once more. He shouldn't have. He then kicked into his traditional song and dance number, which he actually pulled off, once again. The cameramen, either A.) drunk out of their mind or B.) wanting to get in on the joke, themselves, kept pointing the camera on the wrong actors. This would have been an ideal time to call it a night.

The first award went to Kim Basinger for Best Supporting Actress. Teary-eyed, she got on the stage and said that she's living proof that a dream can come true. I hope she was talking about all the wet ones.

Elisabeth Shue presented the Best Costume Design award for "Titanic," which was appropriate, since she looked nearly as large as the famed ocean-liner, itself.

Neve Campbell tried to play grown-up in a fancy gown, while introducing Michael Bolton and some black lady, who were about to sing two crappy songs.

As is typical with the Academy, the only real shock of the night came early, and quick, when Robin Williams won for Best Supporting Actor. He seemed torn between his "matured"-self and the comedian of lore, but the crazy side once again took control, and had everyone laughing. In all my excitement, I went ballistic, and ended up spilling a bottle of "Mountain Blast" Powerade all over the floor.

Next, a bunch of guys from "Titanic" won for Best Sound. At the same time, I realized that you just can't get a fluorescent blue drink out of the carpet.

Somebody else from "Titanic" won the award for Best Sound Effects editing. I didn't really pay much attention, because I was currently occupied with the large blue stain that was working its way across my floor like "The Blob." I wonder if I could sue.

"Starship Troopers" (which has effects that you have to see, to believe) got screwed, and Best Visual Effects went to "Titanic." It was a movie about water. (Sorry, couldn't resist).

At this point, the Academy decided to take a quick break from awarding "Titanic," and had some old chick that was in "King Kong" try to announce Ben Affleck and Matt Damon taking the stage. I think "King Kong" may have bopped her a little too hard in the head.

Best Live Action Short Film went to "Visas and Virtue" which had already won Best Oxymoron For a Film Title, at a previous ceremony. (In reference to the credit card company. I'll save the "foreigner" jokes for later.)

Best Animated Short Film went to "Animaniacs."

Helen Hunt grabbed the Best Actress award. She was in "Twister."

Was Good At One Point, But Is So Overplayed I'm Gonna Be Sick award went to James Horner for his musical score on "Titanic." This had me wondering if Helen Hunt really deserved Best Actress for being in "Twister."

Although I don't have any idea who Jennifer Lopez is, I just wanted to say, DAMN she's got one hell of an ass! That's the kind of ass I could just live in. Oh, she presented the award for Best Musical or Comedy Score. This was the Academy's chance to throw "The Full Monty" a bone.

Rick Baker won like his millionth Best Achievement in Makeup award for "Men In Black." I wonder if he even keeps these things, anymore?

Alec Baldwin's still alive?!?

We now return to our regularly scheduled movie about a sinking ship, with "Titanic" taking home an award for Best Editing.

Some old dude won the coveted (at least by him) Lifetime Achievement award for achieving throughout his life, or something. I was watching him dance around while singing about how he's in "Heaven," and thought "it won't be long." That was kind of funny, in a totally sick way. Still, it was the most touching moment of the night, and from what I saw, this guy deserved his award.

Last year I spoke of Madonna giving birth as being her "greatest fashion accessory," thanks to the gigantic, lactating boobs she developed. It didn't last. This year she came out looking like some sort of Goth-Witch, with odd, lopsided, wrinkly things where her breasts used to be. A tragedy. She presented Will Jennings and James Horner with the Best Song Award. I've heard better. Probably not from Madonna, though.

The award for Best Documentary Short Subject, which could never be bestowed upon the overblown-Academy, at this point, went to "A Story of Healing." It's a film about healing.

Best Documentary Feature was given to "The Long Way Home." I've never heard of it, but I do have a house.

I realized that getting fat is definitely in this year, when I saw a rather large Whoopi Goldberg pay tribute to a bunch of dead guys. I wonder if her and Elisabeth Shue rubbed fat-rolls together, after the show.

The almighty "Titanic" won the Best Art Direction award. I swear the stain on my floor is growing.

Frances McDormand, the actress who was awarded for giving such a great performance in the movie "Fargo," last year, gave out the Best Actor statuette to Jack Nicholson, who I swear is perpetually horny. This is Jack Nicholson's third Best Actor award. This is amazing due to the fact that he's received them all for playing the same part. Himself.

Best Foreign Film went to some foreign guy.

The wonderful (if you don't count "Out to Sea") Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau teamed up (for what must be their millionth time) to give out the Best Adapted Screenplay award to "L.A. Confidential." If you haven't seen this movie yet, and don't know whether or not you should go, here's a hint: it didn't win this award for nothin'.

Best Original Screenplay was given to two male-models. I think they go by the names "Damon" and "Affleck." All cynicism aside, they deserved this award. "Good Will Hunting" had an excellent script.

Geena Davis walked on stage for a minute, to show the world two things, 1.) she's still alive 2.) she wishes she was a Muppet.

The Best Cinematography award was given to "Titanic." Not the ship, but the movie. The ship the movie was based on actually sank way back when you were a kid.

At this point, the Academy honored every Best Actor and Best Actress that was still alive, by having them sit in chairs, and look really old. I think this part would have been far more interesting, if the dead winners were all sitting there, too.

James Cameron won the Best Director award for "Titanic," which was a movie that, since I'm getting close to the end of this update, I had better admit to actually liking. Although, if I hear another fucking word about it, I'm going to jump off a ship. It was good, okay? Can we move on? NO MORE "TITANIC!"

"Titanic" ended the evening by winning Best Picture, as nearly everyone expected it to. Surprisingly, this article has taken me nearly as long to write.

So, once again, there you have it. With the exception of one or two best actor awards, the Academy had no surprises up their sleeve, and let a single movie conquer the night. A large number of the winner's speeches were rudely cut off by music, as they have been for the past 2 years. This time after only TWENTY seconds. Still, the show went on longer than ever.

Here's my suggestion, just in case the almighty Academy (whoever they are) reads this: let the winners give their speeches. This is their moment. Give it to them. To save time, cancel the Michael Bolton crap, and just play snippets of the nominated songs. Finally, as the ultimate time-saver, dump the ads. Name a few sponsors at the end of the show, and live with it. ABC will survive.

Written by: Alex Sandell

1998 Alex Sandell. If you copy this, without permission, I'll shove Oscar up your ass.

Read my commentary on last year's awards by clicking on "Why the 69th Annual Academy Awards Sucked."

ACADEMY AWARDS, OSCAR(S), OSCAR NIGHT, and the OSCAR statuette are the copyrighted property of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. This site is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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