Monday, March 24, 2003

I've had far too much caffeine and sugar to be able to sleep anytime soon, so I might as well post my Oscar commentary now instead of tomorrow.

I watched the show with a large group of friends, something I haven't done in years. It was definitely the wildest Oscar ceremony I've ever seen, with the war dominating the thoughts, if not the words and actions, of most of the nominees.

Chris Cooper, winning Best Supporting Actor, got the first Iraq comment in at 8:58 (for those who had that time in the pool). I'm glad he won, though I thought the award would go to Christopher Walken instead.

I was surprised by Catherine Zeta-Jones winning for Chicago; I thought Meryl Streep had that award locked up.

I haven't seen Bowling for Columbine, but I'm glad Michael Moore won for it. However, the Academy had to know that by giving him the Oscar, they'd be opening up the podium for just the sort of acceptance speech/diatribe that he gave tonight. I heard more cheers than boos, but either way, it was too much. But it was quite the "Wow!" moment at our party. I'm sure that Gil Cates (the Oscar show producer) will make sure Moore's never invited back.

I cheered for Adrien Brody's winning Best Actor for The Pianist; it was an exceptional performance that completely deserved the Oscar. Daniel Day-Lewis and Jack Nicholson were amazing as well, but Brody went beyond either of them, adopting an accent, learning the piano, and starving himself for months. His speech was by far the best of the night. Aside from the sentiments he expressed extemporaneously, I'm always impressed when a winner can get Bill "Stick Man" Conti to stop the orchestra. And when else would he ever get the chance to make out with Halle Berry?

Nicole Kidman winning Best Actress wasn't much of a surprise. Despite what the press may have said, I think this was her year, much like 2001 was Julia Roberts' year, when she won for Erin Brockovich. I enjoyed her speech as well. Does anyone else think that her divorce from Tom Cruise was the best thing that could have happened to her career?

When the time came for the Oscar for Best Song, we all had the same question: what happened to the fifth song? Eminem had already said that he wouldn't show up at the awards to perform his song, but I assumed that someone else would step up, or that at least they'd show some form of a video of it. So it was unexpected when his song won. And who was the guy who accepted the Oscar? Apparently someone who knows Eminem well enough to call him "Marshall." Someone at our party pointed out that it will be hard for Eminem to say that the establishment doesn't like him. He's won Grammys and now an Oscar. They like you, Marshall, they really, really like you.

Roman Polanski winning Best Director had to be the shocker of the evening. I thought that the award would go to Martin Scorsese if it didn't go to Rob Marshall. Shows what I know. Again, The Pianist was a fantastic movie, and I certainly think Polanski deserved it, but it was a surprise to hear his name. Too bad that he couldn't be there to accept in person.

Finally, Chicago won Best Picture, so despite the twists and turns of the evening, all is right with the entertainment world tonight. The best picture of 2002 won the award it completely deserved. On a personal note, while I doubt I will win my Oscar pool at work, I did pick Adrien Brody to win, and I correctly guessed that the Best Picture winner would win six Oscars total.

I'd get into a fashion review, but there were no standout bad choices that I can remember right now, so the heck with that. I'll leave that for tomorrow's morning shows.

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