A Waste of 17% of Our Day

Jennifer Hudson came to kick ass and take names.So, the Oscars were presented last night.  Twenty-four awards over the course of four hours.  Through the power and mysticism of Hollywood, those four hours were made to feel like something much, much longer, as Ellen Degeneres has all the humor and  talent of a dog licking itself.  Well, maybe not that funny.  And she’s not as godawful as we imagine, say, Dane Cook would be, but when you’re watching a middle aged woman (and, given her commercials, possible cat-lady) vacuum the carpet in front of the stage, as a “joke”,  half an hour after the show was supposed to have ended, well, we can’t support that.  She was abysmal. 

We didn’t really follow the Oscar hype this year, but we saw a bunch of movies, so we were hopeful that the best ones we saw would be awarded accordingly.  Here’s the breakdown by movie, with our thoughts on the whole thing after the break:

The Departed – 4

Pan’s Labyrinth – 3

Dreamgirls – 2

Little Miss Sunshine – 2

An Inconvenient Truth – 2

The Danish Poet – 1

West Bank Story – 1

Letters from Iwo Jima – 1

Happy Feet – 1

Marie Antoinette – 1

The Blood of Yingzhou District – 1

Babel – 1

The Queen – 1

The Last King of Scotland -1

Lives of Others – 1

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – 1

So, we clocked all the speeches, except Melissa Etheridge, during whose speech we were distracted and forgot to bump the timer.  Started when the first word was spoken, and stopped at a point when we guessed they’d say no more.  If we were wrong, we estimated the extra time.  We also clocked when the “play-off” music began.  For speeches that ended before the music, we added one second for the music’s clock.  A few tidbits from the results:

  • The shortest speech was from the make-up guys from Pan’s Labyrinth at 37 seconds.
  • The orchestra started playing them off at 34 seconds.
  • Longest speech was from Martin Scorsese at 2:08.  Second was Helen Mirren at 2:04, but Scorsese talks at least 3 times faster than anyone else who gave a speech that night.
  • Excluding Etheridge, the average speech was just under 66 seconds, but the music began, on average, at the 64 second mark, a difference of nearly 1.5 seconds.
  • The makers of the Best Foreign Film, Lives of Others, exceeded their time by the greatest among, 12 seconds.  Best Supporting Actress Jennifer Hudson was over by 11 seconds.  Screenwriter William Monahan, awarded for The Departed, was over by 8 seconds. 
  • Only six of 24 speeches involved the use of cards. 
  • Our favorite speech goes to Ari Sandel, who won Best Live Action Short for West Bank Story.  He spoke about opportunity and hope, and managed to say something fairly memorable without being obnoxious, political, or long.  Kudos.  Plus, his movie looks great.
  • Second place goes to Forrest Whitaker, who, much like Phillip Seymour Hoffman last year, was clearly very proud. 
  • Incidentally, P.S. Hoffman looked drunk when he presented. 
  • Was Diane Keaton high?  Is there anyway she’s not a, um, passionate enthusiast of marijuana usage?
  • Jennifer Hudson has a hell of a voice.  Really, she blew Beyonce out of the water.  No wonder she got cut from American Idol.  Girl is clearly talented.  Might even see Dreamgirls because of her. 
  • Good Lord do the actors and such in the room adore Al Gore.  We like him, too, and the environment is one of our  Big Things, but come on now, people.  Let’s show some independence.  Don’t repeat the same things over and over again. 
  • George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola presented Best Director, with Spielberg and Coppola teasing Lucas for never winning an Oscar.  Do you think Lucas is laughing, too, because his six Star Wars flicks and his share of 3 Indiana Jones films have netted him more cash than either of these guys?  We say yes.
  • Celine Dion still sucks.  As does Melissa Etheridge, Jodie Foster, and Ellen.  Argh.
  • Jack Nicholson’s dome is creepy. 
  • How Children of Men didn’t win for cinematography, and Pan’s Labyrinth didn’t win for Best Foreign Film, we do not understand. 
  • That said, we’re kind’ve curious about Lives of Others now, especially since Dan Shanoff astutely predicted the films upset victory.
  • The sound effects choir is pretty sweet.
  • How did Ennio Morricone never win an Oscar?  This is proof that the Academy doesn’t know what they’re doing half the time.  The man wrote the theme for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  You know that tune even if you’ve never seen the movie. 

Anyway, enough of that.  We’ll do an update on our progress regarding GoodEnough ’07 later today.


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