This video contains three segments: First, the Oscar-nominated short The absent-minded waiter (1977), then a fake interview with Steve Martin about his art (comedians-segment) and finally a... See full summary »
Is it that time of year already? Despite the fact that the Iraqi war is in full swing, the ceremony still went ahead with, as Steve Martin wryly observed with his opening line, toned down glitz! The impact of the war made for a tighter, more controlled show. Personally I thought the `normal' dress style made the ceremony more relatable without the usual extremes of fashion and talk of how much so and so's shoes cost.
The subdued air also must have contributed to the show actually finishing on time for the first time that I can ever remember. Sadly it also meant that this ceremony had the lowest live TV audience ever. The subdued air had a big effect on the tone of the night. Steve Martin's jokes were OK but the audience were difficult. Some of his opening monologue was weak, slow and forced the joke about celebs who slept with him was too full of pauses to work well. It also didn't flow very well with sudden changes of subject not letting Martin pace himself. And where did that mobile phone come from?! His best line of the night? `Nobody is a loser here but we're about to change all that'.
The actual awards themselves were surprisingly surprising. We all knew Chicago would take best picture and a hatfull of other awards but Jones for best supporting?! Also this was supposed to be Martin Scorsese's year? Yeah, GONY may not be anywhere near his best but it's the Academy's chance to make up for his missed chances but no! Polanksi is a brave choice and it was funny to see Harrison Ford, without a hint of irony, say `Roman couldn't be here tonight!'
Best actor was a real shock and it clearly was to Brody who swore twice on stage! Personally if neither of the two favourites won I wanted to see Caine win for The Quiet American his best work for years, but I guess no one wants a film that openly criticises American foreign policy at the moment! Michael Moore took the biggest talking point by calling President Bush a `fictional president leading us into a fictional war'. His film deserved to win and I was surprised that the very liberal Hollywood booed him as they did I guess no-one wants their stock to go down as the public gets behind `the boys'.
Biggest surprise for me was Eminem winning best song. Again another brave selection shame he refused to perform or attend due to being asked to tone his act down. However even with all these talking points the ceremony still felt very muted and Steve Martin wasn't funny enough during the proceedings to lift it as needed. He wasn't bad but I'd always admired Billy Crystal's ability to really lift it by his own presence.
Overall a good year for surprising winners and talking points. I like it when the odds on favourites don't sweep the board. The show is amusing with Martin pretty good in his monologue and not afraid to go near the bone on one or two lines, but mostly the ceremony was pretty drab. It always amazes me that the presenters of the awards are all great actors etc but can't convincingly read off an autocue!
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