March 25, 2002
Oscar thoughts

So last night Tiffany and I attended an Oscar party thrown by our friends Pete and Tory. It was one of those parties where guests are asked to dress up as if they were attending the actual Academy Awards. I've never quite understood this, and it's not just my normal phobia of wearing nice clothes talking here. I mean, do people ever put on cleats and shoulder pads to watch the Super Bowl? What's up with that?

The good news is that we were not expected to take the whole pomp-and-pageantry thing seriously. We were not there to worship the stars (okay, one woman had a pretty huge crush on Denzel Washington, no big surprise there) but to be snarky about them. That was fun.

What was the deal with Tom Cruise's spiel before Whoopi came out? None of us could figure it out, though we were too distracted by his retro Risky Business look to really concentrate on the question. When he talked about seeing 2001:A Space Odyssey at the age of six, I blurted out "Holy crap! He's gonna be forty this year!" (On July 3, in fact. Mark your calendar.)

Oh, and if the idea of Tom Cruise turning 40 doesn't make you feel old, go check out Modern Maturity's movie awards. They call them La Chaise D'Or (The Golden Chair), but it's pretty clear from the picture that "chair" is a bit underdescriptive. How do you say "Barcalounger" in French?

Nobody, and I mean nobody, liked JLo's hair. She looked like she was channeling Elizabeth Montgomery from Bewitched. If the sprinkler system had gone off, her dress would have remained dry. Second-worst hair of the evening went to Cameron Diaz, who appeared to have driven to the awards show with all the windows down in her car.

Okay, Woody Allen was funny, but his intro went on waaaay too long. And I agree with Jeff Jarvis - Any decent film montage of New York City should include the Twin Towers. It would have been a nice moment, not a bad one.

(Side note: I was channel surfing awhile back and caught a few minutes of Working Girl. One of the scenes I saw was of Tess on the ferry going back to Manhattan after she's just caught her boyfriend in flagrante. There's this gorgeous nighttime shot of the skyline from the ferry, including the Towers, all lit up. Seeing that churned up all sorts of emotions, but none of them was anger at the filmmakers or editors who could have cut that in order to spare my delicate sensibilities. It is respectful to remember the dead, to talk about them and all the things about them that we liked and loved and put up with and miss. It is disrespectful to ignore them and to pretend that by ignoring them we are helping ourselves to "get over" them.)

Second biggest reaction of the evening, right behind the reaction to JLo's hair, was to the clip from Saturday Night Fever. Admit it - you heard the guitar lick, you saw Tony Manero strut down the street, Barry Gibb's voice kicked in - your hips started to sway.

I don't know whose knee Ian McKellen had his hand on, but wowzer. Success does have its rewards.

We didn't stay very late - I get up very early (5:15 AM) for work, and Tiffany needed to be up almost that early today because her whole company is moving to a new office that's 15 miles farther away from our house. There's only so much of that I can take, anyway, even with all the smack talk to keep me occupied. So yeah, I missed out on Halle and Denzel getting honored. And no, I don't care if their awards were partially motivated by racial guilt. They did good work and they were rewarded for it. Move along, nothing to see here.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 25, 2002 to TV and movies