Oscar, Billy Crystal, and TV Magic

Oscar night was full of surprises (to me at least). While I agree that Meryl Streep is most likely the greatest living movie actress of our time (if not of all time), I had hoped that Glenn Close might get the nod for her stellar portrayal of Albert Nobbs. The irony of Ms Close’s masculine sounding first name did not escape me. It baffles me that The Artist won Best Picture and its star won Best Actor. Is that a vindication of Nora Desmond?

What a pleasure it was to see Billy Crystal back emceeing the Oscars. He always proves that comedy doesn’t have to be vulgar to be hilariously funny. And the brouhaha over his impersonation of Sammy Davis, Jr. Give us a break! How is that different from George Clooney impersonating a gay man? It’s just entertainment, folks!

I’m a writer, so of course I’m always interested in the movies. What writer doesn’t dream of his or her novel ending up on the big screen? I’d love to see Veronica and the Cave of the Wind done up as a block buster.

Nothing is entirely perfect—especially a two-and-a-half hour live show. I’d like to see burly Brad force feed anorexic Angie until she has some J-Lo curves. I’d like to strangle whoever thought up that ridiculous “documentary” presentation and thrust it upon an already beleaguered Gwyneth Paltrow. She didn’t deserve that.

As for the Best Dressed—I thought Tina Fay was stunning and nobody even mentioned Robin Roberts doing interviews on the Red Carpet. Who knew she had such a great figure?

Over the years I have often wondered why some critics feel compelled to bash perfectly good movies and very complex live TV shows such as the Oscars. Do they really think they could do better? You know the old saw that says, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach”? It’s the same in entertainment shows—“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, criticize.”

Best line of the night? For me it was Billy Crystal’s comment that this was the show where “the unemployed sit at home and watch millionaires hand each other gold statues.”


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