Monday, February 28, 2011

MY Oscar Goes To ... Anne Hathaway!

Is it just me, or didn't you think she was a breath of fresh air as Oscar night host — her sidekick, his name escapes me, was a simpatico second banana ... Sparkling, beautiful and "gorgeous" (she gave Kirk Douglas a rise), funny and charming, Anne's still a self-effacing sweetheart through and through, a Jersey girl at heart by way of Brooklyn. I'll bet she's a Mets fan, too!

Most disappointing aspect of the Oscars: In times such as these, when it's most needed, the absence of the political fire and brimstone of yesteryear. The few pro-union expressions, though welcome, were muted and wimpy afterthoughts by backbench honorees 'oh-by-the-way I'd like to thank my union crew' ... When it was the perfect occasion for someone, anyone, to raise a fist and shout, "Go union, Go Wisconsin!"

Not that it would have gotten through. The Oscars, like any self-respecting fascist entertainment program, has time-delay censorship in place with the corporate censor's finger flitting nervously between the mute and cut buttons from beginning to end. (Maybe that's why we don't see Jack Nicholson at these gatherings any longer; or for that matter, Alec Baldwin, this year.) Instead we got more of the contagion afflicting award shows: Narcissism gone wild. More 'how can I grab the most outrageous headline for memyselfandI' crap, this time from Melissa Leo, who milked her best supporting actress award for all of its self-promoting worth referring to last year's winner Kate Winslet, "it looked so FUCKING easy!"

Ironically, in an Oscar year in which class and social standing were front and center, from the regal King's Speech to the blue-collar Fighter, no one was there to connect the dots to the broader world context in which we live right now. This was Melissa's missed opportunity to say something for the hard-working people, for the unions, for the people who struggle from paycheck to paycheck every fucking day to put food on their tables.

Colin Firth is such a good actor that I actually thought he was about to have a heave-ho accident onstage, in front of billions. (Maybe he was!) It certainly added dramatic tension to his acceptance speech. And was there something wrong with Randy Newman's microphone? He won anyway, though. For the nth time.

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