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Well Mongo, Liz, Larry, everyone - what did you think?


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It's 11:30 on Wednesday evening here, 11:30 a.m. on the East coast, and I just finished watching the Oscars. I know, they were on a couple of days ago in the states, but they just finished ten minutes ago in Asia. So, what did you think?

 

First, I have to say that I enjoyed the show. As you may know from earlier postings, I'm not a fan of Jon Stewart. But I thought he did a very good job tonight. His Bjork/Cheney joke was funny. Thank God he didn't get into his political humor and kept "Brokeback Mountain" jokes to just a couple. I was pleasantly surprised (but I still can't stand The Daily Show - which we get weekly. I laughed at Jon's line about Spielberg: "First "Schindler's List," now "Munich." I can't wait to see what happens to us next!"

 

Highlights?

 

Lily and Meryl were hilarious - well written, rehearsed, and delivered like the pros they are. I thought they were the big delight of the evening.

 

Billy Crystal and Chris Rock in the tent scene from "Brokeback Mountain." I still think Billy is the best ever and hope they are already negotiating with him for next year (I know, he's touring with his one-man show, but it will be finished by then).

 

Reese Witherspoon's acceptance speech - heartfelt and real. I know it's not the height of sophistication to say this, but "Is there a nicer person in the movies?" I don't know if she's a great actress - it's far too early - but she seems to be loved and respected in her profession. (Also, according to reports, the highest paid actress in the world today).

 

The surprise win of "Crash." From the sounds of it, it was a popular win. Maybe just too much pre-Oscar hype for "Brokeback Mountain?" Backfire? Or maybe "Crash" is just a better movie. Liz, I know "Good Night and Good Luck " was among your favorites but I remember reading at the time of it's release that it wasn't factually accurate. Maybe that hurt it. I don't think "Capote" ever had a chance for Best Picture - I don't know of anyone who actually thought it was the best film of the year. And "Munich." I think Spielberg has exorcised his demons by now and will get back to entertaining us (that's politically incorrect, isn't it)?

 

Philip Seymour Hoffman's acceptance speech and his thanks to his mother. Very moving. Sometimes I think these actors don't have fathers at all, you know what I mean?

 

And isn't George Clooney turning into a real matinee idol? I think he's just about the only guy in Hollywood who could compare with Clark and Jimmy and Humphrey and Cary and the all-time greats. Are there others? Maybe Tom Hanks. Tom Cruise? Brad? I think they all look like boys next to the male stars of the 40's and 50's.

 

Lowlights?

 

My opinion only, of course, but "Hard Out Here on a Pimp" must be an all-time low. Now we have a list of Oscar-winning songs by Harold Arlen, Rogers and Hammerstein, Johnny Mercer, etc., etc., topped off by the 2006 winner - "Hard Out Here on a Pimp." "Mommy, what's a pimp?" Hollywood does it again.

 

Am I totally without a sense of humor? Sometimes I wonder.

 

Anyway, I'd like to know what you people who enjoy the "show" part of show business thought. Were you bored to tears? Stupid, with no redeeming values? A complete waste of time?

 

Larry, where were the real stars? June Allyson, Joanne and Paul, Angela and many, many others are alive and kicking. Sally Field has won two Oscars - do you think she was even invited? What's happening? And, now that I have your attention, when is the voting for next year's Walk of Fame?

 

Thanks everyone.

 

Ralph

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Well, shoot! As usual, a day late and a dollar short. I write this long diatribe, post it and go down the page and here's everyone - all done and forgotten. Shoot!

 

You can take your Norman Vincent and Peale him.

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Ok Ralph, your synopsis of the award show is good. I watched until they did the memorial on Stars that passed in 2005 around 10:30pm est. I get up at 5am. The show was suppose to go back to the grand theaters of yesterday and they barely touched the subject. The only old star I saw was Mickey Rooney,gone are the days that you never know who will show up. "Crash" is the better of the films nominated ,but I tend to favor those kind of films. No real surprises except for Crash winning for best pic. Even if it was so-so I'll be watching next year and so on...

vallo

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Ralph, this is what I posted on the Academy Awards thread on Monday (with some additional info):

 

Host Jon Stewart was mildly amusing, looking half the time like he was at a wake. There was just no zip.

Hardly any suspense with the winners except at the very end of the show when "Crash" won for best picture. Although violent and depressing it was good.

Most of the gals looked swell in their fashions and a few looked like rag pickers.

The gents were fine in their Tux' (like penguins) Reminds me that I'm glad "March of the Penguins" won an award. However, Tim Burton looked like he was ready to hop on a Gypsy caravan.

Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin were the highlight of the evening with their comedy act. You go girls!

And Dolly Parton at the age of 60 looked swell bouncing around the stage. Her waist size is unbelievable.

Lauren Bacall showed up (not smiling) and at age 80+ looked good.

As usual it was sad to see the montage with all the stars that left us this past year including Anne Bancroft, Teresa Wright, Shelley Winters and Sandra Dee.

Reese Witherspoon was a delight and so happy to win the best actress award. I saw the movie "Walk the Line" and she was wonderful.

It was good to see Mickey Rooney and Jack Nicholson in the crowd.

The 3 best song nominees were awful. And when "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" won best song, it was the end of an era at the Academy Awards.

Also liked the art deco look of the stage, the film noir clips and the 'gay' parody of the old westerns.

 

Of course I'll be watching the show again next year.

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Ralph,

 

I really like Will Smith and George Clooney as presenters and think they would make great Oscar hosts. Loved the Lily and Meryl show, they were great and Robert Altman seemed geniunely struck at receiving an award from such an established group.

 

Lionsgate took a page from the Weinstein How to Win an Oscar playbook. They sent every member of the Academy a DVD shortly after the first of the year. Plus, they ran full page ads in the LATimes damn near every day touting the two or three critcs who wrote favorable reviews. I'm sure they did the same with the trades, Variety and Hollywood Reporter. Plus, as I understand it, the movie plays better on DVD than it does on the big screen. (perhaps because they could pause, go to the bathroom, get some food, come back and that would alter the experience of watching it from beginning to end).

 

I don't think "Good Night and Good Luck" ever really stood a chance but David Straithern did give a great performance and the Academy did acknowledge it by nominating it. Of the remaining BP nominee, I thought "Capote" by far the best film

of the bunch.

 

Loved PSHoffman's and RWitherspoon's acceptance speeches. Didn't care for the "Hard to be a Pimp" song but the other nominees were down right dreadful. I don't think by winning it is the end of western civilization, just that for once, the younger members of the Academy were finally able to break the voting bloc of the older members. I suspect that the majority of older voters didn't bother to vote for Best Song. The winner of that category is usually the one that you could imagine Jack Lemmon singing in his shower and I think the older bloc couldn't imagine him singing any of them so left that category blank.

 

Tom Cruise will never be in the same league with George Clooney and Tom Hanks, let alone the classic greats, in my opinion. I know there are posters around these parts who don't like Clooney mainly because of his politics but I like the choices he makes (except for Oceans 12) and think he is a damn fine actor. Still wish TCM would do a night of chain gang movies-ie "Prisoner", "Cool Hand Luke" and "O Brother".

 

Still can't remember who Marc Anthony was oogling while holding JLo's hand but it seemed so apropo.

 

Loved Lauren Bacall.

 

Did not like the music cues on the majority of the montages though I did enjoy the western montage and the "In Memoriam". Still believe it's time to retire Chuck Workman.

 

I think one reason more older movie stars don't show up is

a) tickets are expensive and not easy to come by

B) getting there and back through the traffic truly sucks even if someone else is doing the driving. The show starts at 5:00 pm PST so you have to start getting ready early in the day so you can leave with plenty of time to sit in the traffic.

c) why put up with all of that when you can have friends over, watch it on tv, see more of the show, not have to answer the stupid questions from reporters while walking the red carpet or risk being ignored because the young reporters don't recognize you.

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I liked it, would watch it again, am admittedly starstruck, and think a quadra-host idea (Will & George + Meryl and Lily, e.g.) would be a good one. Time for the single cringingly painful to watch even if I do like Jon Stewart a lot host idea to end.

 

But tell me. Just one thing?

 

Whyohwhyohwhyohwhyohwhy doesn't Tom Hanks wash his hair and go to a barber?

 

He.........looks............dis............gusting.

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Stoney,

 

I think that Tom Hanks grew his hair long for his role in the upcoming "DaVinci Code" film helmed by Ron Howard.

 

A different look for Tom, no doubt, though I didn't think it looked dirty or greasy.

 

I also agree that it is time to move away from the single host (especially if Billy Crystal is unavailable).

 

I really like your idea of Will, George, Lily and Meryl.

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Ralph,

 

I'm sorry but I didn't watch the show and only heard about it through friends and here on TCM's reviews....

 

I don't think that the 'old stars' are invited anymore because "nobody but us'uns knows 'em!" anymore......

 

Larry

 

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vecchiolarry

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Thanks, everyone. I enjoyed reading your responses - and your opinions.

 

Larry and Liz, you know as well as I do that old stars never die and seldom fade away if given a chance to appear. Here's my idea for next year: Meryl and Lily to co-host. Theme: Yesterday and Today; presenters who appear in pairs are stars of yesteryear and of today. For example, Kim Novak with Ashton Kutcher. June Allyson with Russell Crowe. Jane Powell and Colin Firth. Sally Field and Tom Hanks (together again!). And on and on. But don't drag out the ill and infirm - only those who can operate under their own steam. I bet there are dozens of older actors/actresses who would love to appear.

 

David Strathairn always gives a good performance; this has put him on the map.

 

You must have enjoyed the acceptance speech by the Director of Best Foreign Film - Tsotsi (is that it?) Very emotional and his two young black stars in the audience really made me want to see the movie.

 

You're right about the songs, none of them were very good. Why only three; was there a dearth of songs in movies this year? Did you see what that lady posted over on another thread - that there is another song from "Hustle and Flow" that she says is better than "Cold Out Here for a Pimp." The other song is "Whomp your Trick!"

 

I missed Lauren Bacall - I had to go downstairs and microwave some food. But I saw her recently on "Parkinson," a TV talk show from England. Usually, Parkinson's guest walks down a staircase to applause and welcoming music, walks across the stage and sits down next to Parkinson. But Lauren Bacall didn't. When Parkinson came back from commercial, she was already seated beside him - while he did the intro. I thought at the time, something strange here. But she still comported hereself as the star she was and he was very gracious, treating her as if she were in the bloom of her youth (Parkinson is a lovely, older man - always gracious and warm to his guests. Except to Meg Ryan - but that's another story).

 

And doesn't Morgan Freeman have a great voice! Another actor whom everyone seems to admire and respect.

 

I didn't see Jane Russell. Mickey looks fine, but it's just as well they didn't let him speak; once he gets going it's difficult to shut him up.

 

Well, I guess I've beaten this horse to death. Until next year.

 

Ralph

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Hi Normandie,

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for that really great picture of Jane Russell. She looks great and I believe she's about 85. Wow!!!!!!!

 

I had no idea she was at the Oscars. Did they interview her or use her as a presenter. Nobody seems to know that she was even there.

Current Hollywood is so stupid. Here's a glamourous older star and they don't utilize her. What crap.....

 

If you can post any other photos of her, I'd really love it and so would many others here....

 

Thanks again,

 

Larry

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Hello Larry,

 

Doesn't Jane look just great? There is something so touching and dignified about that photo, hard to put into words...

Anyway, I've found a few more shots of her:

 

http://www.imdb.com/gallery/granitz/3049/JaneRussel_Grani_4855905_400.jpg?path=pgallery&path_key=Russell,%20Jane%20(I)&seq=3

 

 

http://www.imdb.com/gallery/granitz/3049/JaneRussel_Grani_4856232_400.jpg?path=pgallery&path_key=Russell,%20Jane%20(I)&seq=4

 

 

 

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/partypictures/2005/11_03_05/images/LA/Jane-Russell-Rhonda-Fleming.jpg'>http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/partypictures/2005/11_03_05/images/LA/Jane-Russell-Rhonda-Fleming.jpg'>http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/partypictures/2005/11_03_05/images/LA/Jane-Russell-Rhonda-Fleming.jpg'>http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/partypictures/2005/11_03_05/images/LA/Jane-Russell-Rhonda-Fleming.jpg

 

 

 

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/partypictures/2005/11_03_05/images/LA/Jane-Russell-Rhonda-Fleming.jpg

 

 

 

Do you know her personally? She seems like such a classy lady.

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Hi Normandie,

 

No, I did not know Jane Russell nor Rhonda Fleming but they do look like nice ladies. Most stars are; only a few are miserable.....

 

That photo of Jane in the red hair is from the movie "The Revolt of Mamie Stover". I remember seeing that when it first came out because Agnes Moorehead plays a madame in it. Agnes is in a tacky blonde wig and looked crappy and I asked her why she did that role. She said, "I have to eat too, you know!!"....... She liked Jane very much.

 

Thanks again,

Larry

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I like that idea of pairing younger Hollywood with older Hollywood that would be cool I think. I enjoyed the pics of Jane-YOU GO GIRL! I was surprised at the win of Its Hard Out Here for a Pimp since I thought it didn't have a snowball's chance. Let me say also I haven't seen Hustle and Flow but maybe it stuck closer to the movie I mean the song matched the movie? And therefore a better choice? I couldn't understand the singing by the lady for the Crash song I could grasp a word or two but it was boring and like I said muddled.... Same goes for Dolly's song it was no 9 to 5 which I love and it totally fits the movie to a "T" but this song Traveling Through hated it it was blase. However, the camera went to Felicity Huffman while Dolly was singing and Felicity was singing the words with Dolly and I thought that was sweet. Didn't Eminen win for 8MIle well the song from that movie am I remembering that correctly? See that song fit that movie and as much as I hate to admit it that was a good movie. I also enjoyed It's Hard.. writers accepting their award it was refreshing and truly exuburent(MSP-sorry)

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For those of you who don't have me blocked out (HA HA) FWIW I thought Jon Stewart did an OK job at the Oscars. I'm beginning to think it's a thankless job that really no one should take. However, I did LOVE the attack ads they did for a couple of the catagories. The funniest one was the one against Judi Dench and she actually participated in it by dressing up in those crazy disguises, especially the one where she's wearing the patch over one eye. Funny stuff. Those folks in Hollywood do take themselves too seriously. That's why I couldn't be mad about It's Hard out here (for a pimp.) 36 Mafia was so excited and you couldn't help but be excited for them. Plus, Loved Jon's joke about "For those of you at home keeping score--36 Mafia, 1 Oscar--Martin Scorcese, NO OSCARS." Maybe the Oscars should go the Golden Globes route and have no host and have a voiceover read the nominees without all the silly banter and time wasting.

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Looked at that photo of Jane Russell--she looks good, I should look that good at her age, but what's with the orangey-red lipstick? A lot of old stars wore that shade or something similar--Hepburn comes to mind. Was it a very popular color in the 40's and they just stuck with it?

Anyone know?

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Everything composed in her appearance would be working fine (nice hairstyle with an elegant transitioning of colour, for example) if she had only remembered to wipe her mouth after finishing that bowl of Campbell's Tomato Soup. Somebody should have told her.

 

It is so curious - human vanity.

Eye of the beholder, and all that.

 

What was she thinking when preening in the vanity glass?

 

LOOK AT MY MOUTH! LOOK AT IT!!

KISS THESE LIPS, DAMMIT!!! KISS 'EM!!!

:P

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Hi Tracey and Sam,

 

Yes, most women in the 40's and 50's wore bright red lipstick.

It had been introduced to the world by Pola Negri in the 20's along with bright red nailpolish......

 

And by the 40's, everybody had that over emphasized mouth of Joan Crawford.

I remember quite well at around age 5, I ran to greet Pola Negri, who was arriving for a dinner party at my grandmothers and kissing her on the lips and with enthusiasm too since I adored her. When I entered the living room, everybody started laughing since I had bright red ruby lips and Pola's lips were denuded. That lipstick came off in those days.

That's why everybody air kisses in Hollywood, so as not to ruin their makeup.

I learned fast and am among the best air kissers in the world!!!!!!!!!

 

Larry

 

Message was edited by:

vecchiolarry

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