I love movies, always have, just not enough to actually go out and see one. Well, nowadays, anyway. Don't get me started on the cramped seating, too-loud and too-long commercials, the overpriced tickets and food, and the loudmouthed dullards who insist on delivering a running commentary to anyone within fifty feet.
Therefore, I rarely go out to see one, preferring instead to wait a few months or years and catch it on tape or dvd.
So, last night's movies were all unknown to me, except for what I'd read about them here and there. I came to the Oscars telecast a blank slate. I had no vested interest in anyone's winning or losing.
Therefore, what follows is a few observations by a guy who was reading a newspaper or surfing the net during most of the telecast but glanced at the tv semi-regularly:
1- Ellen Degeneres was fine. I wasn't a fan of hers going in but she was comfortably low-key, warm and funny. I'd like to see her join Billy Crystal as one of the regulars in the host rotation.
2- Peter O'Toole looks like a desiccated marionette. He wouldn't be out of place guest-starring on the Thunderbirds.
I saw him interviewed on the Daily Show a couple of weeks ago and am sad to say he seemed to have slipped from being a charming, eccentric, somewhat-sloshed raconteur to an addled sot. I hope I'm wrong because I loved him in a lot of movies, most notably in What's New Pussycat and The Stunt Man and he certainly is overdue for Oscar recognition. Anyway, I was afraid he'd win and trip on the way to the stage or do something else to embarrass himself.
3- Alan Arkin is great too so I was just as happy to see him win instead.
4- The women were lovely, especially Helen Mirren and Penelope Cruz. The dresses were elegant rather than sexy which was nice I suppose. But made me a bit wistful for the 70s when plunging necklines and peekaboo nipples were de rigueur.
5- As usual, one of my favourite bits was the Dead People Montage. I'm always surprised by some whose demise flew under my radar. (Red Buttons? Really?)
6- Maybe I missed it (I did leave the house for 20 minutes at one point) but I don't recall a Horribly Contrived Desperately Overwrought Garishly Tasteless production number. Bonus.
7- Everybody except the other four nominees (and maybe even them a little bit) seemed happy with Martin Scorsese's win as Best Director. The standing O appeared spontaneous and heartfelt - two qualities rarely espied during an Oscar telecast.