Sunday night’s telecast of the 74th Annual Academy Awards is one that had a few highlights, but far too many lowlights. I’ll recap the bad first and get it out of the way.
FOR STARTERS, GET RID OF WHOOPI
The biggest problem of the night was the host. She may have been funny once, although I can’t recall when, but the woman who’s current claim to fame is that she is the centre square on the remake of the TV game show “Hollywood Sqaures” should be banished from the Oscar stage. She wasn’t funny, she had nothing to offer, and for an program that requires a host that is as big as the event itself she is…, well she is the centre square on the remake of the TV game show “Hollywood Squares.”
SECONDLY, WILL SOMEONE GIVE HALLE BERRY A CLUE
She did the same thing when she won the Emmy for “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” a few years ago. She thought the Award was given not for her performance but becuase the voters wanted to award her colour. I find it hard to believe that any of the 5700 people thought to themselves, “Hmmm, let’s give it to Halle Berry to make up for decades of injustice.” Sorry, but the award was given to her because of what the voters thought of her performance in “Monster’s Ball.” Period.
When she decided that it was done as a political statement and blathered on about “…opening the door…” and being pleased that she was “…the person people can now aspire to follow in the footsteps of…”, plus thanking everyone who ever worked for her and demanding more time because her award was “…74 years overdue…” she lost the empathy of the audience, the viewers, and the guy writing these words right now.
Yes, she won the award, but she lost the chance to ever win again. People want to be happy for the winner, not uncomfortable because of what they say. She said the wrong things and I hope she enjoyed her career’s lone Oscar highlight.
ALRIGHT, ENOUGH NEGATIVITY DAN, GET TO THE GOOD
The good begins with Woody Allen. As a huge fan of his and someone who has always wanted to see him just show up at The Academy Awards, I got my wish. I had no idea that he would be there and even as horrible host Whoopi Goldberg stumbled through her over- written introduction I still had no idea. The Woodman always foregoes the evening, even when he is nominated, to play jazz with his friends and band. To see him there, and to have him be so funny, and spot on with his comedy, made me wish that he was hosting. He was my treat of the night.
THEN THERE WAS RANDY NEWMAN!
After 15 tries the man who loves L.A. and has mixed feelings toward short people finally won an Academy Award. You could tell by his speech that he was genuinely moved, and so was I! Congrats, Randy!
In the end I will take away the class and grace that was displayed by Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier while accepting their Awards. There place as upper- statesmen in Hollywood was ensconced forever in my opinion. I’ll also fondly remember the Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson skit, and have many dreams about how great Jennifer Connelly and Jodie Foster looked.
It wasn’t the worst Oscar show I’ve ever seen, but it was close. In the end, my suggestion would be bring back producer Laura Ziskin, continue to produce short films to honour the evening’s various showcases, and try and have one Woody-esque size surprise every year. But retire Bruce Villanch and his stale writing team. They just didn’t seem to have anything interesting or topical for the presenters or host to say. And that host must go as well!
Back to the centre square with her!
And congratulations to all of the winners!