Four years ago, I wrote the first Juicy review of an award show when I covered the 69th Annual Academy Awards. I stated then that it was an honest review of what happened, written by someone who "wasn't there, wasn't sponsored by any corporations, and isn't scared to say what just about everyone thinks." Nearly half a decade later, as I look over my notes from yesterday's 73rd Annual Academy Awards, I think about how sad it is that I wasn't there, how broke I am being that I wasn't sponsored by any corporations, and how unfortunate it is that I don't have the money to conduct a scientific poll to find out what needs to be written to gel with what "just about everyone thinks."
Hopefully, when I type up my thoughts on the 74th Annual Academy Awards, I'm typing them on an expensive laptop from the auditorium, receiving thousands of dollars from Nike for inserting a "subtle" product-placement ("the wait to be seated was a long one, but with my Air Jordan's, it didn't feel as much like standing as it did floating on two miniature clouds for three heavenly hours"), and everything I write will be based solely on hundreds of computer generated surveys revealing exactly what the public at large wants to read and believe. But, that will be then, this is now, and for now, I'm sitting on my dying computer, in my stocking feet, drinking a glass of water that is probably filled with arsenic, thanks to George W. Bush, and having fantasies about the "then" that is yet to come. If you notice that this update is pretty tame, compared to what I usually write, understand that it isn't because I have tamed down, but rather because I'm trying to sellout, so I can become one of the beautiful people, no matter how ugly I am.
Without further adieu, here is the somewhat Juicy, and totally watered-down, play-by-play of the 73rd annual academy awards. If you don't agree with what I write, remember: everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and if your opinion differs from mine, you're probably wrong.
Outside of a brief scare when Charlton Heston pulled out an UZI and started screaming "guns don't kill people, Moses does!" and a shaky announcer introduced an oversized Oscar statue as "Jennifer Lopez," the intro. to the show went smoothly. A group of people sort of whispered "Oscar night" over and over again, and I kept expecting a bunch of Munchkins to run out from behind the backdrop and onto the stage. Instead, we got a rather hurried Steve Martin who made a few jokes (none of which the sour Russell Crowe, with his new eighties' pop-star type hair, found very funny), and then introduced Catherine Zeta-Jones, who gave out the award for Best Achievement in Art Direction. The award went to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and I immediately went crazy and screamed with joy. Little did I know my enthusiasm would be short-lived.
Nicolas Cage gave the Best Supporting Actress award to a surprised Marcia Gay Harden. Poor Marcia had to be gone in less than 60 seconds, due to the new "45-second speech" rule the Academy implemented to shorten the show. Harden ran through a laundry list of "thank you's" and left the stage. Unless they happen to be Meryl Streep, winning an Academy Award is an extremely rare thing for people, and they should be allowed to talk, even if it does lower ABC's precious ratings a bit. Next time the Academy wants to shorten this fucking thing, why don't they get rid of the idiotic songs (IE - sappy ballads), remove all of the ads, and save the "honorary Oscars" for the next day, when nobody is watching? At least that annoying Kate Hudson didn't take home the Oscar for her lousy role in the mediocre film, Almost Famous. I'm really sick of Hollywood offspring getting parts that they don't deserve because their mommy or daddy happened to be famous, especially when their "mommy" happens to be Goldie "Why isn't she dead yet?" Hawn.
The most anticipated moment of the evening came when the Oscars went to commercial and Britney Spears wiggled her plastic body to the tune of Pepsi-Cola. Pepsi has been advertising this ad for over a month, and it was well worth the wait! I never knew something could be so fun to mute! Does ANYONE remember when it wasn't cool for a pop star to sell themselves out to a corporation for huge gobs of cash? I didn't think so. Well, trust me, there's a reason you don't see any old footage of Jim Morrison singing "Light My Fire" in a promotion for flame-boiled whoppers, or Kurt Cobain belting out "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in support of a feminine deodorant. Britney should have her implants removed, her voice box ripped out, and all of her Pepsi-Cola taken away. (Yes, I am waiting for Burger King and Pepsi to send me some cash for subtly placing their products.)
Best Film Editing was given to Traffic. I figured they had to give Traffic something, so it may as well be something small. The movie was as artificial as Britney's breasts. Yes, I love that it's against the war on drugs, and that it has America talking about what a futile "war" the drug war is. Now, let's get over it, make drugs legal, and turn this film into a Hallmark movie of the week, not a Best Picture nominee. This information may be "startling" and "fresh" to a lot of Americans, but those of us who take our news a bit harder than "Entertainment Weekly" have heard this all before, and we didn't need it wrapped up in an inane plot with more holes in it than *JOKE ABOUT A CELEBRITY WHO SHOT HIMSELF IN THE HEAD HAS BEEN DELETED IN AN ATTEMPT TO APPEAL TO HOLLYWOOD AND BECOME A RICH CORPORATE WHORE*
Best Live Action Short Film went to something that wasn't long.
Best Animated Short Film went to an animated film that was short.
At this point the Academy decided it was time to bore the audience with a horrendous song sung by Sting. The title was "My Little Friend and Me," a song Sting wrote about his tiny pecker.
The next award was for Best Costume Design, and it went to Janty Yates for Gladiator. This award got me to thinking about the little ribbons the Hollywood elite usually wears to these things. Where did they all go? There's like the red one for AIDS, and the blue one for Free Speech, and there was the Golden Arches Emblem for the actors on strike. This year there was NOTHING. Has Hollywood given up? Are there suddenly no causes worth fighting? How about a brown ribbon for a bullshit election rigged by a nasty Republican's evil brother? What about a green ribbon reminding us all how horrible the trillion-dollar tax-cut our current President, who actually lost the election, wants to implement, is? Would a white ribbon supporting the writers who are about to go on strike be too much to ask? Without them, last year's striking actors, who all of Hollywood wore a ribbon for, would have had no one to put words into their mouths when they went back to work. If you've ever seen an actor being interviewed, you know that they have nothing of value to say unless somebody is telling them what should be said. Christ, at least wear a silicone ribbon in protest of Britney Spears.
Best Supporting Actor went to Benicio Del Toro, who always looks like he's in need of about 3 months sleep, for his decent, but not Oscar-worthy, performance in Traffic. This guy won because, for some UNGODLY reason, women think that he's hot. He always reminds me of a Manatee, or maybe a skinny Jabba the Hutt. If women can think this guy is good looking, someone like me still has a chance! Maybe I will someday again be reminded of the "other" reason that I have a penis. If you want to be the woman who reminds me, send me an email stating, "hey, a dick is for more than just peeing!" I'll get back to you as soon as I possibly can (be patient....it may take a minute or two).
People won awards for Sound and Sound Editing. I was too busy thinking about whether or not I could get away with putting up a pathetic plea for sex on my webpage, under the guise of "humor," to pay attention to who they were.
I perked up a bit when Best Cinematography went to Peter Pau for the amazing job he did with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The only movie I can name, off of the top of my head, that had better cinematography, was Vertigo, way back in 1958. Pau warned the audience that he will speak "really fast." Do Chinese people speak any other way?
Morgan Freeman came onstage to introduce a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon clip, and he was wearing something on his tuxedo. Could it be a ribbon? Is Hollywood actually thinking about more than what their next project will be? Was I bitching prematurely? I felt like cheering until I saw that it was a golden spider. Freeman's next movie just happens to be Along Came a Spider. Clever. I'm asking women to email me for sex, and Freeman ends up being the one who looks shameless.
Kate Hudson tried not to cry over her Supporting Actress loss as she gives out the award for Best Makeup. The Grinch wins it.
Jack Cardiff receives an honorary Oscar for his cinematography work over the years. He is the first person to receive an honorary Oscar for cinematography. I got all happy about this and forget to jot anything cynical or bitchy down.
Best Documentary Short goes to a person. This is usually the time where someone tries to squeeze in a political message. Unfortunately, the world has gone corporate, and nobody cares enough to wear a ribbon, much less say something that might upset somebody somewhere. There is no political message, no ribbons, and no trace of a social conscience left at the Academy Awards.
Best Documentary Film goes to a different person. Once again, the recipient doesn't try and get across a message in his limited 45 seconds, but he does manage to ask for more money to do another film. How noble.
(Note: Looking back, I think I may have confused this person with another person who asked for money. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused. I would delete the comment, if only someone would send me the money to do so.)
Randy Newman comes on and sings a song. It sounds exactly like every other song he's ever sung. The only surprise here is that that chick from The Bangles is still alive.
Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat announced the Visual Effects winner. It was Gladiator. I thought Gladiator was a good movie with fairly shitty special effects. Everything was CGI. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon deserved this award. Michelle Yeoh was wearing a very revealing dress that was basically zebra-skin on buttocks. I only point this out because I am horny.
Goldie Hawn attempts to read from a teleprompter and realizes that speaking is far harder than it looks. She slurs and stumbles her way through telling us that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won the Oscar for Best Original Score. The only thing about CTHD that I didn't like was the score. This is one award I would have given to Gladiator.
Yes! Another Britney Pepsi ad is on! This one has a surprise ending with a cameo from Bob Dole! He's watching the Britney Pepsi ad on his television and appears to have an erection. This guy really needs to put the Viagra away.
Anthony Hopkins gives the Thalberg Memorial Award to Dino De Laurentiis. I didn't know this guy was dead. He just produced Hannibal, didn't he? Then Hopkins introduces him. He isn't dead! What's this "Memorial" thing all about? Dino gets a standing ovation. After his speech he runs off the stage, barking, and jumps on Fred.
At least one munchkin finally emerges when Bjork sings a song! What is she wearing? It looks like she has a gigantic snowball around her ass. Hopefully she'll melt. I have never heard a song this horrid before. I hereby declare Bjork, who was already one of the worst singers in history, as the WORST singer in history. At least until the next Pepsi ad comes on . . .
John Travolta introduces the dead people montage. Outside of Walter Matthau, all the dead people are sort of boring. What a disappointment. I hope more celebrities I like die for next year's show.
Best Foreign Language Film goes to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This one was a real cliffhanger. I was so sure it was going to go to Musime si pomahat.
Jennifer Lopez comes out sporting a dress that shows off her tits, for a change. Unfortunately, they're not as big as her ass, but at least she has cute little nipples. She introduces a confused Bob Dylan, live via satellite. Bob finishes "singing," and wins the award for Best Song. His song is the ONLY song that's any good (actually, it's really good). He thanks the Academy for giving him the Oscar, and you can actually understand what he's saying. The world goes into shock.
Russell Crowe wins a Best Actor award for his work in Gladiator. Crowe seemed extremely surprised when his name was announced. For a minute I thought he was going into a seizure. I don't think he did anything special in this role, outside of looking really constipated, and am guessing he won it only because he didn't win for The Insider, or L.A. Confidential. Russell Crowe is an excellent actor, so I wasn't too upset over him getting this, even if he didn't quite deserve it for his part in Gladiator. Ed Harris or Javier Bardem probably pulled off the best performance of any of the nominees. Geoffrey Rush was also good in Quills, but I might be biased being that I thought Quills was one of the best movies of 2000.
Best Actress goes to Julia Roberts who, as much as I hate to say this, actually deserved it (for her role in Erin Brockavich). Julia also had the nerve (and power) to talk far beyond her allotted 45 seconds. Her speech was BY FAR the best part of the night. She put a little heart back into the Academy Award telecast, and reminded people why this show used to be FUN, rather than an annual burden. Unfortunately, it was too little too late, and the heart of the Academy was still as cold and lifeless as the lousy set designs that they used this year.
Traffic won Best Adapted Screenplay. What, Pokemon 2000 wasn't available?
Almost Famous won Best Original Screenplay for some unknown reason. Maybe it was that sitcom-like humor that turned the Academy on. Almost Famous . . . "When watching Friends once-a-week just isn't enough."
Britney comes on a third and final time, advertising Pepsi as if it was going out of style (which it hopefully will, after hiring her). That whiny, distorted voice blasts out of my speakers and suddenly Bjork isn't the worst singer in the world, anymore.
Best Director went to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic, proving that the ability to tint your film different colors makes you a director (all sarcasm aside, I actually really like most of Soderbergh's work, and think he's a damn fine director. I just thought he was below par with Traffic). Ang Lee looked as devastated as I felt over his loss. Nearly everyone thought Lee would win for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Why? Because no one's directing compared to his in the year 2000. 'Nuff said.
Last, but not least, Best Picture went to Gladiator. I was still too stunned by Soderbergh's Best Director win to care. Hollywood is announcing, as it did to a lesser extent when Life is Beautiful was up, that what matters isn't how good a film is, but that it was made by the Hollywood elite. As a foreign film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon didn't stand a chance. As an American film it would have taken home EVERY award that it was nominated for. Maybe next year people can wear a blended yellow and white ribbon protesting the American bias of the Academy. Gladiator was my second choice (out of the five that were nominated) for Best Picture, so I guess I shouldn't be feeling this miserable, but Soderbergh winning Best Director for Traffic was a fucking crime.
That's that. Traffic got more than it deserved, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon got robbed, the speeches were too short, the songs were too long and Steve Martin should have spent more time on screen, and could have been a bit funnier (you could tell he hasn't hit the stand up stage in a long time, even though his trademark humor still managed to win me over). Maybe next year I'll like this all better when I'm taking corporate bribes and am told by the public that this is what I'm supposed to like. Just think, I'll be a rich sellout and you'll still be, well, you. I have to go now, so I can plug in the phone and wait for the offers to come rolling in.
Written by: Alex Sandell
If I can stay up all night with the worst ear infection in history to write this update for you to read, the least you can do is SEND ME SOME FEEDBACK!
More Oscar updates:
Why the 71st Annual Academy Awards Were Longer Than World War II, Itself
Why the 70th Annual Academy Awards Were a Great Sedative
Why the 69th Annual Academy Awards Sucked
©2001 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, I'll send Britney and Bjork to your house and have them scream in your ears.
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