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Academy Award Notes

Conspicuously Absent

Don’t expect a full report from me: I have my own interests, my own pet peeves, loves, and gripes, and I don’t feel an obligation to address everything. Or anything.

Let’s begin with the tragedy that befell Viola Davis. When Meryl Streep‘s name was called, I swear to god, I yelled out “Oh, no!” Who knew she could hear me? She got up there and first thing she said was “I heard half of America yell Oh, no!” Now, I do love Meryl Streep, she’s our best actress, no contest. I didn’t see her as Thatcher, and have no interest in doing so, but I’m sure she was sheer perfection. But when will Viola Davis ever again get a role as juicy as Abilene in The Help? According to interviews she’s given, this was a first in her barely visible acting career. I keep wondering if she’s home in bed crying today. I fantasized Meryl giving her a sweet uplifting talk and hugs. (Read the story below, under “Related Articles,” for a great analysis of the part racism played here.)

At least Michelle Williams didn’t win over Davis — that would’ve been much more devastating, IMO. She was adequate as Marilyn, but not as great as the rave reviews. And I’m sorry, but I just cannot look at that pixillated little girl and think of her as Marilyn Monroe:

Okay? Am I right or am I right?

On to Angelina’s leg. She really did humiliate herself with that smug pose, didn’t she? Worse, she looked awful.Such a pretty face, they say of the fat girls…well, Jolie’s skinniness raises the same comment. Her face looked like it had been recently carved. I say cosmetic surgery, my daughter says it’s anorexia.

Speaking of facial surgery, though, what wonders it can do! It can make Tom Cruise look like he just stepped off the set of Risky Business!

I’m with everybody else on Billy Crystal, the best guy to host. Love what he does with the nominated films at the beginning, and last night he outdid himself, as did George Clooney. I’m proud of George! Here are two guys who aren’t insecure about their heterosexuality! So sorry George didn’t win, but I kinda knew he wouldn’t. I didn’t see The Artist, but I’m dying to.

Woody not in attendance, as usual. Used to think he was above it all, now I know better: he’s terrified of this kind of social scene. I can relate. Though Midnight in Paris was delicious, I would’ve loved to see Bridesmaids win for best original screenplay. That movie’s been way underrated, probably because the Academy underrates comedies, who  knows what’s up with that. But Bridesmaids was hilarious, and well done, and the fat girl looked divine in her divine gown.

Final complaint: You’d think the Academy might have done a little something for its greatest movie star — not actress, though she wasn’t bad, but she was the epitome of the old time movie star : Elizabeth Taylor. Pretty shoddy, sticking her in between everyone else that died last year. If she can do as many movies as she did beginning as a small child, knock herself out all her life in public and private (8 marriages, one of them a re-run), spend her senior years tirelessly working for AIDS organizations before it became trendy (she made it trendy!), and in the end get just a second to wink at the audience from the big screen, what hope is there for Viola Davis? Or for the rest of us?

P.S. Just learned that today, Feb. 27th, Liz would have turned 80. Happy Birthday, Beautiful!


10 responses »

  1. Marcy – great take on the Oscar’s! I really do think Angelina Jolie has some kind of dieting problem – her arms were painful to look at, but I have to say I thought she was the best dressed. Even though her pose was over the top, it showed off that dress which was incredible. The academy awards are impossible not to watch, yet they make me so glad that I am just able to sit on my couch and not be a part of that world……..yes, where was Liz? The greatest star of our times – there should have been a whole segment devoted to her. If Meryl Streep was also an extravagant drinker and serial bride the world would be right again…Don’t bother with The Artist, it’s extremely simplistic and I think I fell asleep during it and I’m an insomniac. Really, it is one of the most predictably silly films I have ever seen, and I’m pretty simple. … and we should all never pay to see the Thatcher film, because it will romanticize her in some way – and we can never forget that she ruined lives in England, particularly in the North. I have a friend who keeps a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator just waiting to hear of her death…. xp

  2. Phyllis: This is one of the reasons I love you–the most original take on the Oscars I’ve heard yet. You’re the only person in the world that didn’t like The Artist, and I love things like that, being the only person in the world who didn’t like Michelle Williams as Marilyn. (Not sure we can assess movies based on our sleep patterns, but that’s a longer conversation.) Thanks for your unique interesting and always brilliant insights!

  3. Marcy,
    i must stand up for michelle williams who for me became MM and had me feeling and identifying with the intense suffering, insecurities, and mental anguish marilyn went through with the realization of how lucky i am not to be tortured to the core with despair as she was.

    i think michelle is one of the most brilliant actors we have around these days. did you see her in blue valentine?

    i do agree wholeheartedly that Elizabeth Taylor deserved much much more.

    and i love your fantasy about meryl comforting viola.

    I have heard others say they almost fell asleep watching the artist.

    Thanks again for your wonderful take.


  4. Susan, what you wrote made me realize even more that I felt absolutely none of that Marilyn anguish in Michelle Williams’ performance. I didn’t see Blue Valentine, and now I don’t feel motivated to see it. We will just have to agree to disagree on this, as we do on so many other things (esp. baseball!)

  5. Marcy, I did fall asleep during The Artist! Cliched and predictable. And, I thought Hugo was a 2 hour homage to Hollywood film restoration, Scorcese’s personal life project. All in all, I’d say the fact that those two movies were nominated for best picture was one big Hollywood clusterfuck. Obviously the popular vote doesn’t matter.

    Now: I cheered when Meryl Steep won. I mean, c’mon, she’s been nomiated 17 times already, talk about a bridesmaid! In spite of the subject matter, I saw Thatcher, and I don’t think Streep can outdo herself after that. I think she knows that, & that’s why she said “I may never be up here again”. Well, I’ve had a crush on Streep since The Deer Hunter, so I may be biased. There’s no way the academy was going to give the oscar to a Viola Davis for playing a black maid. Way too dangerous for them.

    Agree with you about Bridesmaids, far more interesting script than Midnight in Paris.

    Angie. Probably drugs.

  6. Nan–Meryl might’ve been nominated 17 times, but she did win twice already. And I honestly think there’s more chance of her getting another Oscar worthy role than Viola Davis. Hollywood’s shit about race is so fucked up.

    I might just skip both The Artist AND Hugo now!

  7. and it just occurred to me – there I go again thinking about an actress’s anorexia (Jolie), but I never mentioned Nick Nolte’s whiskey mask or whatever his beverage of choice must be the poor guy… I’d love to be a fly on the wall at his after party!… or better yet, let’s dream… for my entertainment value I would love to see Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep completely wrecked and unprepared for the big night, all disheveled and slurring from a 3 day coke and booze bender…but oh no, our actresses have to plan their diets all year to bore us on Oscar night. oh, Liz we miss and worship you!!!

  8. It’s true, the awards show was much more fun when Liz came out slurring her speech and people staggered across the stage. People are so darn health and morality conscious these days!

  9. Agreed re Elizabeth Taylor. Should have been some kind of special tribute.

  10. I wonder if we in the Liz Taylor contingent are showing our age? Nah…Phyllis is almost a generation younger than me!

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