Tuesday, March 25, 2003


I feel like I had the red carpet ripped out from under my feet. Without the glitzy fashion show preceding the ceremony, my Oscar equilibrium was thrown off. On Sunday afternoon, I got caught up watching the NCAA Tournament and never even checked what time the Oscars were going to start. Shortly after receiving a call from my brother, asking me if I was watching The Awards, I changed the channel to discover that I had missed the first half hour of the show. I missed Steve Martin's opening monologue, which I've since heard was pretty funny. I missed Chris Cooper winning Best Supporting Actor for his role in my favorite movie of the year "Adaptation." After sulking for a few minutes, My Girl and I attempted to get into Oscar mode. But without the red carpet and the opening number, it was hard to settle in. Suddenly, I missed the reconstructed face of Joan Rivers harrassing the star wattage with her beyond-hacky schtick upon arrival. No matter how irritated I was in the past by Joan and her equally-talentless daughter, the pageantry of the pre-Oscar strut stimulated the buzz and set the mood for the evening. So, My Girl and I were playing catch up. We went online to find out exactly what awards we missed and dug in on the couch. But then we got hungry. We brought the cutting boards out to the living room and sliced up some onions and garlic and ginger in preparation of cooking up a delicious dinner of salmon, ahi tuna, mustard greens, and quinoa. But as we began to cook the meal, we took advantage of TiVo and paused live TV. After searing the ahi, we sat down to partake in our healthy feast and pressed play again. Within a few minutes, however, we realized the TiVo was only recording through the end of the hour and we were now so far behind that we were missing more of the live show. So we switched back to the live telecast and watched the recorded portions during the commercials. Apparently, in the un-TiVo'd gap, Eminem won the Oscar for Best Song and Barbra Streisand nearly creamed herself announcing it. We finally caught up on what we had missed and we were back in sync with the live show.

Anyone who was watching the show and not affiliated with one of the nominees in any way could tell you that the most memorable moments of the three and half hour award ceremony were Michael Moore's controversial acceptance speech following the announcement that "Bowling For Columbine" had been named Best Documentary and Adrien Brody's shocking upset win for Best Actor. Moore's rage was refreshing to see, however obnoxious he came off. Brody clearly outclassed Moore in expressing his unilateral and universal sentiments about supporting the troops no matter what your feelings about the war may be. It was truly exciting to see Brody win. We rewound the TiVo several times to catch the reactions of the other nominated actors and they were genuinely shocked and excited. Brody took full advantage of his moment as The Man, exclaiming "Holy shit" as he made his way to the podium, where he proceeded to dip and plant a wet one on Halle Berry, who presented him with the award. He even stopped the orchestra from playing after his allotted time was up and then used the extra time to make his comments about war and his friend who is fighting in Iraq. I've been a Brody fan for a few years now, after loving his performances in "Summer of Sam" and "Liberty Heights." Seeing him pull the upset over past winners Nicholson, Day-Lewis, Caine, and Cage, made my night. Ronald Harwood winning for Best Adapted Screenplay and Roman Polanski winning for Best Director continued the shocking streak for "The Pianist" and you started to feel that the momentum may even carry over into Best Picture. But, it didn't. As expected, the overrated "Chicago" took him the big prize. I'm not a fan of the film, but it didn't bother me that much when it won because there was no sweep. The acting awards were distributed nicely among films I really liked -- "The Pianist", "The Hours", and "Adaptation" winning one each. Catherine Zeta-Jones was a lock. I knew she was going to win and I actually felt kind of good for her when she did. But Rob Marshall didn't win, Renee Zellweger didn't win, John C. Reilly didn't win... For the most part, the awards seemed to be given out to the write people. I still contend that "Adaptation" was the best movie of the year and, without a doubt, should have received the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. All in all, I thought it was a surprisingly entertaining evening. At least what I saw of it. Next time, I'm going to have to get myself nominated to assure that I don't lose track of the time or screw up the TiVo or miss my golden opportunity to bag on the alien life-forms that are Joan and Melissa Rivers.

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