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The Oscars Ceremony
Luca Brasi's Review of the Oscars 2001

The glamour! The surprises! It sends shockwaves through Hollywood with its boldness and flamboyance!

But enough about Jennifer Lopez's dress. Or rather, lack thereof.

No, I'm on about the Oscars, the biggest employee-of-the-year-award in the world. For as many of the good films that are nominated each year through fierce advertising rather than quality, there are hundreds of great films that pass by ignored.

So by now I'm sure everyone knew the nominees and were disappointed enough by the lack of variety... I know I was. Alright, "Gladiator" was a class film but was it really THAT great? It won five oscars, by the way, making it the night's big winner. That's more than "American Beauty" got last year.

So how was the actual show? Well... unexpectedly short, for one thing! Which is a good thing. Steve Martin was the host, and to tell the truth he didn't seem to be on enough, because he always seemed to come out with a few good lines (albeit sounding a little forced). e.g.:

"We've found out who the suspect is in the attempt to kidnap Russell Crowe. All I can say is, Tom Hanks, you should be ashamed of yourself."

Ah, the eternal stabs at the best nominees, i.e. the entertaining bits of the program. Unfortunately we still had to sit through all the less enchanting bits (Best sound editing! Oh, Joy! Lord, even Mike Myers felt he had to mock the category WHILE PRESENTING IT), so fair play to them for getting rid of too many musical bits or cinema montages... thereby CUTTING OUT an hour!
So, anyway, the highlights:
  • Julia Roberts wins best female actor! Lord, she talked for what felt like ten minutes. But the speech she gave was bloody hilarious, she really seemed happy to get it.
  • Bjork is THERE! Wearing the most despicable outfit I have ever seen since last Hallowe'en. Now if she was nominated for best actress, do ya think she would've worn that monstrosity? She dressed herself in a big stuffed swan! What next? She goes to the Golden Globes as a badger? Not much of a highlight but it was great to see her there singing at least.
  • Russell Crowe wins best male actor! Ah, i love it when the academy breaks convention and, defying predictions, gives it the underdog. It's touching to see how they saw past the relative obscurity of the little independent film "Gladiator" and awarded the rising star. He'll go far, I tell ya!
    Oh, I know everyone saw this coming but fair play to him!
  • Tom Hanks DOESN'T win best actor! Oh, he's done it twice so far, and in a row.
  • Benicio Del Toro wins best supporting actor! Now if I could get a tape of the awards, and dub over the bits where they reference him to "Traffic" with "The Usual Suspects" or "The Way Of The Gun", I'd be happier. Of course I haven't yet seen "Traffic" so what do I know.
  • Bob Dylan wins for best song! "Wonder Boys" was a class film so to see him win for the song was good. Now if I could understand a single word of what he said in that song, it'd be better. A pity he beat out Bjork, I know, but her song was hardly as good as "Violently Happy" or "Joga", now was it?

And the lowlights.
  • Ang Lee getting ignored for best director. Now I haven't seen "Traffic", and I'm sure it's a good film, but I know that "Traffic" doesn't have Benicio Del Toro flying through the air while fighting off a legion of Mexican druglord warriors.

    wow, that's a funny thought... heheheh...
  • "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" losing to "Gladiator" for best picture. I don't care what anyone says on this point, "CT,HD" simply outclassed "Gladiator" all round. "Gladiator" may have been great, but "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was better. Oh well, in the grand tradition of the very white academy, I suppose they wanted to maintain their position.
  • Christian Bale, Bjork, Michael Douglas, Jamie Bell and tons of other actors getting ignored by the academy. Oh, and anyone who wasn't white, barring Benicio Del Toro, who isn't far off.

I'm sure there's a ton of stuff I'm leaving out, but no harm, you'll all hear about it until next year anyway. So goes my confidence in John Travolta's "Battlefield Earth" sweeping the awards (despite the lack of a single nomination)!

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