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OSCAR NIGHT

This year's Oscars are a month early, but somehow they feel a season late. There's no real joy at the spectacle. There's no bitter studio battles. Both Miramax and Dreamworks crapped out on their prize flicks. Miramax's "Cold Mountain" proved that Harvey pulled way too many favors in "Gangs of New York." Dreamworks thought they could play Miramax's game by producing "House of Sand and Fog" – from the author of "In the Bedroom." But it also showed Academy members were still bummed out from Todd Fields' little seaside downer to vote up another one. So Harvey vs. Spielberg was called off this year. And so goes the spectacle of the scorecard.

The only big battle is over a tiny trophy. The Best Animated short might have a moment since Roy Disney is nominated for his Dali inspired short. Eisner probably does not want to see his mortal enemy clutching Oscar gold and getting a free shot at the company that just dumped its hand animation department – Roy's favorite division. There could be a nice "divorce moment" if Roy gets his named called out. Hopefully he'll be classy, but deadly.

The big moment for me is Best Editing. A classmate was an assistant editor on "Seabiscuit" so if the horse comes in first, his name will get called out by the editor during the "thanks to my talented crew."

The painful part is that most "contested" award isn't until the end of the night. I want Bill Murray. But Sean and Johnny would also be nice. Sean deserved Best Supporting for "Fast Times At Ridgemont High."

Can I mention that I have voted in the past for the Oscar? I did. Got to fill in a real ballot and mail it out to Hollywood.

NOW LET'S WATCH THE PRE-SHOW

You can tell how bad your career is by how early you hit the red carpet. Beg for attention from the Italian press! For many stars, it's a chance to say, "I'm still alive!"

E! once again has paid Satan to animate the bones of Joan Rivers.

Jamie Lee Curtis is busting out on her top. Christopher Guest is a very blessed man. Joan Collins asks Ken Watanabe if he's also presenting as well as being nominated. Thank goodness Joan doesn't research before the show. It's not like there isn't a published list of presenters. But what's the point of creating a cheat sheet with Joan. Nothing will top her non-interview with Buckethead at the Grammys. How do you rate a guy wearing a yellow rainslicker and a bucket of KFC on his head? Fashion victim or victim of a garbage strike?

Lenny is married to Superman's mom! What does Squiggy and that Duke boy think about this? Ben Kingsley has married a Sexy Beast. Didn't Melissa Rivers get traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets? How come no one is asking Naomi Watts if she felt her career was knocked off kilter by playing Jet Girl in "Tank Girl." How come Paris Hilton isn't up for Best Director? More people has seen her film than Sophia Coppola's flick. Tim Robbins needs more butch wax. Gary Ross needs to wear a horseshoe around his neck.

Has Vera Wang ever designed a Wang computer? It's Elvis Costello without T-Bone Burnett. One of the first albums I ever bought was T-Bone's "Proof Through the Night." It's good that his finally getting his time in the sun. Joan is now going after United Artist for Pieces of April for not pushing it harder. Joan will be the new indie maven!

Bobcat Goldthwaite is on the red carpet? Did Police Academy finally get its lifetime award for cinema? Scarlett Johansen….why didn't she wear the cub scout shirt? Here come the hobbits…what will they do next year when they can't show up based on that film? Will they attempt to get into the award show claiming they are in "Lord of the Rings: We Lied – There's a Fourth film!" Peter Jackson has had three years to look good in a tux. Maybe he should have a Hawaiian shirt fitting for black tie.

Will Ferrell and Jack Black are angling for a project. Eugene Levy is here! It's a shame Eugene was overlooked for Best Supporting Actor, but he's going to sing with Catherine O'Hara so that's even better. SCTV rules. I hate Carson for having NBC bump the show. Funny Jude Law doesn't sound so Southern in person. NC State is about to lose to UNC. The Wolfpack are frauds this year and their victory over Duke insures The Gollum (Herb Sendak) will be back as the State coach. Peter Jackson needs my mom to dress him.

Stingy is in the house! Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are on the carpet. Are these two secretly married? I'm not pumped for Starsky and Hutch. It looks like an extended sketch from Mad TV. Liv Tyler…why did she marry a washed up musician? Does she really think Spacehogg will come back? Does she believe they really happened? At least she didn't marry Larry King.

Nicole Kidman is wearing a windowsill flower planter for a top. Joan Rivers is going to bitchslap the BBC announcer when we return. Sophia Coppola has a really strange smile. It seems like it's drawn by a four year old child. Shame she broke up with Spike Jonze. Charles Theron…I still feel cheated that she was so rough looking in "Monster." When I first heard she was playing Christina Ricci's lesbian lover, I was going to buy season tickets. Diane Keaton will bite people with those teeth.

Uma Thurman just doesn't cut it tonight. Pierce isn't looking too Bondly in his tux. Hopefully he didn't shave because of a movie role. Julia Roberts looks twice as annoying as a blond. The skinny Anna Nicole Smith looks more bitchy than before. She also doesn't seem as messed up. Her nose offends me.

Shrek is on Barbara Walters. I'm already bored of that film and it hasn't come out. Sir Ian is on. He's been a guest of Party Favors, but since he's not up for an award, there's no mojo going out his way.

ABC just cut off E! so now I have to suffer through network losers throwing softballs. Hey remember when Chris used to work for Billy Bush is talking to Scarlett. Slap that Bush. Now he's asking what Bill Murray whispered in her ear at the end of Lost in Translation. What a fraud. The only way Billy Bush could be a bigger fraud is to coach NC State basketball.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are so charming. Will Will ever make a bearable movie? I Robot looks to be Tercentennial Man. Billy Bush is back. Ben Stiller predicting the Oscar and look here comes Owen Wilson. The countdown clock sign is a bad bleeding red. Didn't anyone in the booth see this red bleeding beforehand? Morons! This staged red carpet crap is unbearable. Owen Wilson checks out Maria's breasts.

Is anyone wearing a ribbon this year? Are ribbons over? Chris just said "posse" and "in the house." Eck. Catherine Zeta Jones is posing with Abe Vigoda. Oh wait, it's Michael Douglas. Billy Bush – get your hands off Bill Murray. Show us your gut, Bill! Did Billy Bush just stick his head next to Bill Murray's crotch? Well I guess he might be a Bush seeking a quickie marriage in San Francisco.

Johnny Depp shaved. He's sold out or making Astronaut's Wife 2. Angelina Jolie's nipples are sticking out. Sorry, Mrs. Jackson – but she's showing some back too! Goodness. And to waste her time with Billy Bush. Did I mention I hate this guy? If Billy Bush and Carson Daly married and had a baby, I wouldn't be surprised. The stopping of CVD is confusing. I thought it was an evil kin to Napster.

Nice to see Alec Baldwin telling Ben Kingsley he cribbed his performance from "Sexy Beast." And Tom Hanks talking about popping pills at the ceremony. Peter Jackson needs to visit the Granimals section. Oprah doesn't look happy to see Billy Bush do the "Uma – Oprah" routine. She must destroy his career in showbiz. Johnny Depp wants to talk to the Whale Rider girl. But not in front of Billy Bush.

NOW THE SHOW

No more Billy Bush. And here comes Sean Connery. He's going to talk crap about Steven Norrington. Sean sounds hoarse. Get the man some tea. Now a promo film. A naked Billy Crystal. I thought they were supposed to prevent this!

What's up with the naked old people! Enough. Billy has bigger boobs than Janet Jackson. I can't believe Michael Moore appeared in the bit. Thanks for devaluing yourself in the name of shameless promotion. But Jack is good as the wizard. Now it's time for the monologue with the song. Grrrrr. Wonder if this will be over in 3 hours?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…

No one laughs at The Passion jokes. They fear Mel's retribution. First anti-Bush joke. You can laugh at him. He won't destroy you. What's up with the band playing? He's now singing the fake themes. But Sean Penn did show up. Clint must be packing heat. An Eisner joke. A Sondra Locke joke. Have we given out an award? This is almost a Grammy award. A harpsichord? Cool. It's nice that the Oscars have a semi-sense of humor about downloading films. Nice to see a Russell Crowe violence joke. Unlike the Grammys, the people who perform aren't going to win the next Award. What if "Mr. Saturday Night" won – it would have been Butterfly all over again.

An award going out at 18 minutes into the show. Best Supporting Actor…still think the toy from the end of "Requiem for a Dream" was robbed. He gave Jennifer and her gal pal lots of support. I'm picking Tim. But Oscar goes to…Tim! Shame he didn't win for the Bob Robert soundtrack. And will he go political? He sucks up to the other nominees. Praises co-workers. He does have his peace sign on his lapel. Thanks the family. And he actually plugs people who were like his character to get help.

Billy Crystal jokes about the Texas National Guard. Wonder if Billy Bush laughed. Now Sir Ian plugs "Lord of the Rings." Angelina looks sexier with Billy Bob removed from her arm. I think the production designer on Master and Commander did an amazing job with that ocean. How did he get so much water? Well it's Lord of the Rings for Art Direction Oscar. Here comes whacky Robin Williams. Doing the Mas Macho joke from SNL. A nipple joke. Best animated feature leads to a trashing of Eisner. And now he does Elmer Fudd. No surprise. It's Finding Nemo. Hey, a fish didn't direct this film? I've been duped. Where are the talking fish?

Now they are giving minor recaps of the winners. They should run a ticker every hour to let the home folks know the winners in case they were tuning in late because they were brewing in the basement. What's up with the "Someone once said in the future you'll be famous for 15 minutes" in the insurance ad. It was Andy Warhol. Can't they do research.

Renee Z – if she marries Jack White, will he take her last name like he did with his last wife? Costume Award. Another Lord of the Rings win. Will this be the Tech Oscar night for them? They only care about the last two. Fran Walsh seems to have been dressed by Peter Jackson. Fun with favorite films of famous people. Lot of 21 Gram jokes. Nick Cage comes out to an Elvis song. Guess he must still be on the good side of Lisa Marie. How come Nick introduces Master and Commander? Didn't they get a cast member to pimp it? It's Chris Cooper giving away another Award. I guess they figure the faster the awards go out, the faster they get to the goodie bags. Here comes the award for the best Irene Ryan impersonation. The Oscar goes to….Granny Clampett the early years. The House of Sand and Fog woman deserved it…. Harvey is back and fatter than ever. Remember when people thought Harvey was going to be pimping Kill Bill for Oscar gold? There's a hoot. Tom Hanks comes in to "Hail to the Chief." For he is the President of Oscar-vania. A tribute to Bob Hope. Did he die? You mean Bob Hope didn't win for Son of Paleface. When is George Burns coming back in Oh God! with his CGI ghost? That was like the first announced CGI project. Guess Pixar hasn't been able to drain the funny out of the programming.

Ben Stiller is shameless in wearing his costume. Talk about a hardcore plug for Starsky and Hutch. Has anyone figured out how Owen Wilson screwed up his nose? Did he get it messed up in shop class. Two Soldiers was shot in Winston-Salem using film student from NCSA. I'm rooting. And the home state wins. Betsy Pollock gets props – she was a producer at the school. And he thanks my film school. This film won because it was the only American film in the batch – plus the war business. It's the Lee Greenwood of short films. Now comes the ugliness with Destino and Disney vs. Eisner. Some guy named Adam Elliot beat Roy Disney. Can you smell that Eisner stuffed the ballot box against his film? A bunch of clay beat a Dali project. And a nepotism shout out, plus a plug for a guy lover. Liv Tyler is going blind from being married to Spacehogg boy. Cute glasses though and a nice bustle.

More Sting. Stop the Sting. But now it is T-Bone time! How come no Snoop Dogg is Oscar nominated? What about his work in the Wash? Annie Lennox is putting me to sleep. Sweet dreams will lead to this. Target has the first season of Starsky and Hutch for $34.99. I don't know if I could take that much bad 70s cop action. Although I do like me some Huggy Bear.

Comedy break. Gimme some awards. He got Sean Penn to smile. Julie Andrews laughs at a nipple piercing joke. But wait, there's awards! A special effects award given away from Jada Pinkett Smith. Her effect is that she has a high profile acting career. Another LOTR award – a sweep for all three films in the Visual Effects category.

It's train night with Jennifer Garner dragging along a nice orange. And now the Tech Oscars. Would it have killed Joe Roth to put up their names and awards on the screen long enough. Jim Carrey gives a tribute to Blake Edwards. What a hideous transfer on the Pink Panther films. You can't even read the film titles. Who put this together? Joe Roth, you need a real technical advisor. Blake Edwards snagging the Oscar on the motorized wheelchair is amazing. The funniest thing he's done in 22 years. It's good to have a smash gag.

Bill Murray is presenting his film. He cracks up everyone as he talks about ousting Sophia from the film. He might be serious about it. Another LOTR win. A night of tech to them. Does this burn Harvey that Miramax dumped this project and stuck to Gangs of New York and Cold Mountain? Peter Jackson looks like he was messed up by the cops.

Time for sound. You figure with Travolta and Sandy, they'd make a Grease joke. But no and their banter stiffs like a line from Pluto Nash. Another LOTR award. Now Sound editing. What are the odds LOTR is coming back. Hey a Blow Out joke. Guess Sandy has been watching HBO. No LOTR. And Master and Commander swoops in to grab Oscar! I'm sticking with the Peter Weir upset.

Julia Roberts looks like she could eat a leg of lamb in one bite. Her brother Eric deserved the Oscar for "Star 80." A tribute to Katherine Hepburn. Why didn't Meryl Streep give it? Julie must have begged for a goodie bag. It would have been nice if Roth had put the info on the screen for the performances that won or were nominated for Oscars. But why clutter the screen with information. Joe Roth would never cut it at Fox News.

There's over a dozen awards left and two hours to go. Why did it feel like the night was moving faster than the Grammys.

Now it's time for Oprah. Oprah is introducing "Mystic River." Why? Couldn't Kevin Bacon intro his film – and plug his upcoming child molester movie? Oprah will probably give away her goodie bag on her show and see those women maul each other in the mayhem. John Cusack and Diane Lane for documentaries. I bet John wouldn't mind me documenting him smooching on her. Chernobyl Heart wins for best short docu. That sounds like a painful dish at a Scottish diner. Next up is the question of Errol Morris finally getting his due. Alec Baldwin looks so dapper for a guy in a bitter custody battle. Errol wins the award! He deserves it for his amazing Miller High Life ads. Those showed the truth about beer. And rightfully, he is the first to truly mention how things are really going in America as he spoke of going down the rabbit hole. Frank Pierson blows his lines so bad. Who did he sleep with to get his goodie bag?

Instead of stars who died, next year they should have a segment for stars whose careers have bit the dust. Anyone who appeared on a reality show – dead. Plus they should have a tribute to stars that are still alive.

The music scores. Howard Shores wins his second Oscar for LOTR. He should have won one for Ed Wood. But since he didn't have the Max Steiner orchestra, it didn't compete. How many people rent Short Cuts in order to see Julianne Moore bottomless? Now it's editing time! Editors rule cause they make sure we don't want 100s of hours of raw footage. Oh well its LOTR and not Seabuscuit. Well its a tech award.

Jamie Leigh showing off amazing cleavage. And now it's time for Mitch and Mickey! Yes. That was such a beautiful moment. Eugene Levy was robbed of getting a Best Supporting actor nom. Shame "A Mighty Wind" DVD came out, since this would have an amazing bonus feature. The Triplets of Belleville song was cute. But too much "kaka" in the chorus.

Will Ferrell and Jack Black come out to scare the masses. They are the future of comedy box office bonanzas. Now they will sing the "get off the stage Oscar song." It's funny. Wow a funny banter bit. And Del Taco gets a plug. Those guys are loving it. That crapo LOTR song wins. How pathetic. Thanks for proving that you can pull a straight ticket on an Oscar ballot. Oh well. It's Annie Lennox getting a trophy. But Fran Walsh and Howard didn't get to say anything. Oh wait, Fran fights for time. And another Kiwi awakens to a Oscar dedication.

It's that Monster gal. And the award goes to Quebec. I bet Triumph didn't vote for these people. Habs stink. The second thanks to Harvey for the night.. Uma's dress looks like a sheer curtain collection. Cinematography goes to….Russell Boyd for Master. Sneaking feeling that Weir might win. The guy did show up.

Sophia and Francis are on stage. A good Godfather joke from Francis. I'm rooting for American Splendor for Best Adapted….but no. It's LOTR. And that might mean no Oscar for Peter Jackson for directing. It's a curse. Here comes Susan Sarandon & Tim Robbins – an Oscar winning couple. And Sophia Coppola wins for a script that was mainly due to Bill Murray being Bill Murray. This award was as anticipated as LOTR going on a blitz of technical trophies.

Tom Cruise showing up to make sure his we don't forget him. Oh well it went to Peter Jackson – thus busting the screenwriting directing curse. Peter Jackson will now be hired to star in the adaptation of "The Office." Adrian Brody needs to get smooched. Charlize wins. So pretty much this evening has gone to script.

Now it is the best toss up – Best Actor. Nicole Kidman's hair needs to loosen up. Could it be an upset? Is there really an upset in this batch? Sean looks young in the audience. And Sean pulls it off. Clint has that corpse appeal. Sean needs to thank his dudes! And a nice shout out to Mr. Hand for making him go the extra effort. No love to Madonna?

Spielberg shows up just in time to catch his goodie bag. Shouldn't he spend less time announcing awards and more time working on the script for the 4th Indiana Jones movie? They've crapped out on it again. And the best picture goes to…LOTR. No surprises.

This will probably be listed as most non-suspenseful Award ceremony. There will be no "can you believe they voted for that person…" Pretty much it was predictable from Renee to LOTR. I guess they learned their lesson for voting Roman last year. Ah well. What will they do next year when they don't have Lord of the Rings? Next year Jim Carrey will win.

Now it's time to dig through my goodie bag and find the M&Ms.

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Tibby's Bowl Entertainment Magazine copyright 2005 by Kenneth Plume. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited. All articles, stories, and columns contained within are copyright their respective authors.