Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Monday, February 28, 2005
Thank you, Chris Rock. Thank you for taking a lot of the pomp and pretentiousness of an Oscar ceremony plagued with several bad ideas (who was the genius who suggested Beyonce to sing a song from the French film "The Chorus"?) and skewering them.

Rock goes down on my list of one of the all-time great hosts, keeping things snappy and often extremely funny. He started off the ceremony with a hilarious monologue that attacked several celebrities, many of them probably in attendance. The following are paraphrases:

"They say that there are a hundred celebrities here. That's not true. There's only about four stars here. Like Clint Eastwood, he's a star. Tobey Maguire's just a boy in tights...The problem with Hollywood is they make movies too quickly. If you can't get a star, wait. You want Tom Cruise and all you can get is Jude Law? Wait....You want Russell Crowe and all you can get is Colin Farrell? Wait. 'Alexander' is not 'Gladiator'.

Russell Crowe is one of the greatest actors we have. If you're making a movie that takes place in the past, you need to have Russell Crowe in it. Even if it's a movie that takes place three weeks ago, you need to get Russell Crowe to do it. Because he'll do his research. He'll dress like three weeks ago, he'll walk like three weeks ago, he'll talk like three weeks ago. You could close your eyes and say, 'Damn, that sounds like three weeks ago'.

You want Denzel and all you can get is me? Wait. Denzel's a fine actor. He would've never made 'Pootie Tang'...

What I want to see at the Oscars is acting. At the Grammy's, they sing. At the Tony's, they sing and dance...But at the Oscars, I want to see some 'To be or not to be'...The only acting you see at the Oscars is the people from the people who act like they're glad they didn't win. When Halle Berry won, I saw Nicole Kidman doing some fine acting. If she'd acted like that in the movie, she would have won the Oscar."

Introducing Tim Robbins: "When he's not amazing us with his acting, he's boring us with his politics."

Introducing Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz: "I'd like to welcome our next four presenters."

Regarding the choice to present certain Oscars from the audience: "Next year, they'll be giving out Oscars in the parking lot. They'll have a drive-thru Oscar lane. Get an Oscar and a McFlurry."

Introducing Sean "P. Diddy" Combs: "He hasn't done a lot of movies, but he's been in every music video since 1983."

It was a real breath of fresh air to see someone treat the overdressed, overpaid Hollywood elite as what they really are: people playing pretend. I would not be saddened if Chris Rock was invited back for many more years to come.

Another great statement came with Jorge Drexler, the singer/writer of the Oscar-winning Best Song, gave his speech. Having previously stated in public that he was disappointed at not being asked to perform his song at the Oscars (Antonio Banderas and Santana were asked to slaughter it instead), he went up and sang part of his song. So he really did get to sing at the Oscars. It was short, succinct and made a statement. Just like every good speech should do.

Oh, and some movies won some awards. You know, boxers and aviators and superheroes. Things like that.

I thought Antonio and Carlos should have been flogged for that awful rendition. And ... how was it that Banderes was sweaty and dripping at the BEGINNING of the song. Good lord, man! Get that fixed!

But yes - I was inspired by the lilting, melodic replacement of an acceptance speech. I think if I ever have the amazing fortune of winning a little gold man (though, I'll probably have to accept it in the parking lot), perhaps I'll sing my acceptance speech. Perhaps to the tune of an Ugly Kid Joe song? Yeah.
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