Irrelevancy on Parade…a.k.a. ‘The Oscars’


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I like movies. I like the escapist atmosphere…..the untold story…the action and adventure. But, I’ve never been a fan of the ‘message’ aspect so often forced upon me. Not that the was case any more this year than in years past. Nevertheless, this year’s Academy Awards…oops! I’m sorry, ‘The Oscars'( an obvious attempt to up the cool factor!) was further evidence that lends itself to the question, “does anyone care, anymore?” That attitude is pervasive throughout the country, of course. About pretty much everything!

Unfortunately, the show just seemed rushed (though it dragged at times) and disjointed. Seth McFarlane’s gig as emcee was proved to be…well..just sort of ….rushed and disjointed…

I gave up after about a third of the way through the telecast, which allowed me to catch only one major award..Christoph Waltz’s win for best Supporting Actor in ‘Django Unchained’…a movie I could not possibly care less about seeing… From what I understand, it’s your cookie cutter Tarantino casting yet again..

Some observations….

A strange phenomena seemed to permeate this year’s get together…long, stringy hair…..

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Another thing I did see that I questioned was Melissa McCarthy going for the ‘Adele’ look..what was that about?….

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As I mentioned, the show was just sort of uneven…Let’s take a look at what one of my favorite columnists, USA Today’s Robert Bianco thought…shall we?…

‘SETH MCFARLANE’S OSCARS A SELF INDULGENT MIX

The host mixes a song about breasts with a vaudeville routine. And this is the Oscars?

“Oscars fans have seen a lot over the years, but this may be the first time they’ve ever seen a host use the awards to audition for his own variety show.

That was what Seth MacFarlane was doing on ABC’s Oscar broadcast Sunday, wasn’t it? Because it’s hard to imagine just what else he might have had in mind with that oddly awkward mix of monologue and music that opened the show and set the evening’s why-am-I-here? tone.

Give this to MacFarlane: He threw everything he had at it. He dressed up like The Flying Nun. He played with sock puppets. He radiated charm, if not cool. And, of course, he told jokes, a tad nervously, perhaps, but he did manage to land a fair number of them. He even got Tommy Lee Jones to laugh at a joke about getting Tommy Lee Jones to laugh, which has to count for something. Oh, and he sang and danced. A lot.

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He started with a number about seeing stars’ breasts in movies that was meant to represent the kind of “wild, crazy and tasteless” stunt folks were supposedly afraid the man behind Family Guy might do, and was, unfortunately, less wild, crazy or tasteless than it needed to be. He then moved into more standard production numbers that fell somewhere in between Billy Crystal’s Oscars classics and something you might have seen on The Andy Williams Show. It’s as if he saw the Oscar assignment as his last, best chance to revive vaudeville.

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What MacFarlane seemed to forget was that the job at hand involved more than just performing, and was about more than just his performance. One longed for him to drop the meta-jokes about the fear that he’d be an inappropriate host and get on with the job of actually hosting, which means keeping the train running, making your guests comfortable, and making the evening more about them than you.

Awash in self-indulgence, neither he nor his 3-hour-and-35-minute show ever seemed to hit a comfortable, confident stride, which is a shame, because the broadcast had a lot of entertainment to offer. Indeed, as with the Grammys, the awards themselves sometimes seemed to be an afterthought. Heaven knows the show seemed to be in no particular hurry to get to them.

Instead, we got a rousing performance from Shirley Bassey in an otherwise truncated and sadly Bondless salute to James Bond. There was a long tribute to current movie musicals that reminded people of how well Jennifer Hudson sings, while convincing anyone who skipped Les Misérables that they were right to do so.

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We got to see a surprise appearance by Michelle Obama, and a rare appearance by Adele, always a welcome event even if the Skyfall theme can’t lay a finger onGoldfinger. And to cap the evening, there was an even rarer TV appearance by Barbra Streisand, a coup so impressive you wonder why the show rushed away from it to a commercial without letting us see the audience’s reaction.

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To be fair, putting on the Oscars is no easy task, and hosting it has become nearly impossible. We want the show to move along while occasionally moving us. We want the host to be funny while maintaining some sense of the occasion. In neither case did we fully get our wish.

Still, if MacFarlane’s act was often flat and self-conscious, he did at least put obvious thought and effort into it. That’s more than can be said for, say, James Franco, just in case MacFarlane really is worried that the “Worst Host Ever” joke headline he put on screen might actually come true. “Best ever” may be out of reach, too. But hey, there’s always that shot at The Seth MacFarlane Show.”

From Hit Fix:

“The career of Seth MacFarlane has often seemed like a battle for supremacy between Frat Boy Seth and Old-Time Hollywood Seth, and every time it seems the former has won, the latter will slip an extended recreation of “Shipoopi” from “The Music Man” into an episode of “Family Guy.” He makes his money on dick and fart jokes and ’80s reference humor, but you get the sense sometimes that he’d be happier singing showtunes….”

Some of the other stuff courtesy of Celebitchy:

“*We spent too much time, collectively, looking at Anne Hathaway’s nips.

*LOVE Shirly Bassey. Her voice sounded really good for “Goldfinger”.

*I liked the musical interlude with Les Miserables, Jennifer Hudson and CatherineZeta-Jones. I thought J-Hud was the weakest link – she seemed to be scream-singing. Do you think of any of them used pre-records? Allegedly, Oscar producers didn’t want anyone to “pull a Beyonce”.

*The Avengers men sucked at presenting. Too many sausages.

*Liam Neeson looked good, y’all.

*Creepy CGI on “Ted” presenting with Mark Wahlberg.

*I really want to see Best Documentary winner Searching for Sugar Man. That looks so good!

*Seth’s half-joke about Harvey Weinstein was incredible.

*OMG ADELE WAS THE BEST THING EVER THE END. I loved that she wasn’t necessarily surprised when she won, but she was still moved to tears.

*Quentin Tarantino winning his second Oscar was amazing! I also love that now we know that Quentin and Charlize Theron are neighbors.

*Jennifer Lawrence falling up the stairs! That poor girl. That stupid Dior dress.

*Ang Lee is such a beautiful soul – for real. I loved that he won his second Oscar!!

*MOBAMA! I love Michelle Obama, but it seemed a little bit weird that she had a live feed to the Oscars.

*Ben Affleck’s Best Picture acceptance speech was rife with awkward moments which seemed to include subtext of how awful his marriage used to be and how he and Jennifer Garner had to “work” at it.

*Worst of the Oscars: Kristen Stewart. Everything about her presentation.

*Best of the Oscars: Jennifer Lawrence’s fall & then her gracious & sweet recovery; Charlize and Channing dancing, Little Q Wallis’s cutaways.”

I gotta disagree with the take on the Jennifer Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, since it appeared the latter was lip syncing….

And finally….Deadline’s Nikki Finke sums it up perfectly:

“This is the cruise ship edition of the Oscars… Carnival Cruise… Without power…”

Love it!….

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