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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I am a Montreal-based actor, writer and comedian. When U.S. President John F. Kennedy was shot, I was three days old. I cried all day. My favourite books of all time are Moby Dick by Herman Melville, The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis and The Ewoks Fun Time Activity Book by Chirpa and Pamploo. I am a member of The Vestibules, On The Spot Improv and The Best Buy Battery Club. Except for the Battery Club, I've been at all this stuff for over 20 years. Enjoy my blog.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Oscars Timeline

Last night, as has been the case for the last 35 years, I watched the Oscars. For the first time, though, I found myself taking notes on the show. Here then are my random first impressions of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. 

7:48 PM: Turned on the preshow. These red carpet interviews are a dream come true if you love seeing your favourite stars being really awkward.

8:06 :  I resolve not to have any "best dressed/worst dressed" coverage in this post. To paraphrase what my Mom used to always say, "You go to The Academy Awards to honour excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, not for a fashion show.".

8:12: I briefly switch over to Fox. I discover that the network's counter-Oscar programming is, for reasons that I cannot fathom, all of their Sunday night animation show's Xmas episodes.

8:22 :  Note to ABC: fire the guy controlling the audio levels between the show and the commercials.

8:27:  Show is about to start. IS has just broken out the wine. I know it's gonna be fun show now, no matter what.

8:30: The opening film segment. The Oscars are still ripping off that old MTV Movie Awards bit all these years later…

8:43: Nice try on that tricky spin to keep a billion people interested in the Best Art Direction award there, Mr. Hanks.

8:47: Wally Pfister wins the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Inception. Note to self: when I win my Oscar, remember to make one more last minute check to see if I'm still wearing my glasses on my forehead before making my acceptance speech.

8:56: Only a 94 year-old, stoke-surviving Kirk Douglas could get away with holding up announcing the Best Supporting Actress Oscar....twice .

Here's Michael's dad when he was slightly younger...

8:58: Melissa Leo's acceptance speech proves that live television no longer uses the seven second delay. Man, would I have loved to see what Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Billy Crystal or even Bob Hope woulda done in response to that baby.

9:04: The Lost Thing from Australia wins Best Animated Short. The short “was produced over eight years from 2002 and features a mix of computer animated and hand-painted elements.” Note to the Music Director of the Academy: update the Best Animated Short walk-up music from that loud wacky Carl Stalling-style silly symphony stuff you insist on playing every year. Very few of the nominated short animated films these days feature Daffy Duck or Chilly Willy.

9:07:  Toy Story 3 wins Best Animated Feature. Oh, man, that movie is gonna be impossible to rent for about a month now on account of all the six year-olds who will suddenly want to see it just because it won an Oscar.

9:26:  I predict that the Canadian media today will not be able to shut up about the Quebec-made film Incendies not winning Best Foreign Language Film. You won't see quite as much of that in the French media who are considerably less needy for American attention than their English Canadian counterparts.

9:32: Christian Bale becomes the second Oscar-winning actor in history who has also played the role of Batman. There's hope for you yet, Mr.West.

9:44: Did that guy from Nine Inch Nails just win an Oscar?

9:57:  The Wolfman wins for best make-up. It’s nice to see a technical award that just focuses on the actual technical achievement. Too often the Academy hands that Oscar over to a less deserving technical achievement that happens to be in a movie that is sweeping all the awards that night.

10:20: Hey, Coen Brothers, the camera is on you! Yes, now....look...yeah, that's right...over there...see...oh, darn...it's too late....

10:32: Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law officially become The Funniest Thing in The Whole Show (there wasn't really a lot of competition in that department). I'm sure I'm not the first person to float their names out there as contenders for next year's hosts.

If Downey can make jokes about his heroin bust then he can certainly handle all the bitchiness that the internet reviewers like to dish out on Oscar hosts.

10:55:  The In Memoriam segment. Claude Chabrol and the guy who directed The Poseidon Adventure died?

11:07: Francis Ford Coppola directed some of the greatest American films ever made: The Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now and The Conversation, to name a few. Eli Wallach is one of the greatest living method actors still working today. He has appeared in such classic films as The Misfits, The Good The Bad & The Ugly and The Magnificent Seven. Jean Luc Goddard reinvented filmmaking as part of the French New Wave movement of the 1960's. Among other things, his landmark film Au Bout du Souffle influenced mainstream Hollywood cinema throughout the 60's, 70's and beyond.  Kevin Brownlow is a film maker and film historian responsible for documenting and preserving many of the greatest films of the silent era including the restoration of Abel Gance's lost 1927 epic, Napoleon. He also directed the excellent alternate history mocumentary It Happened Here.
Coppola, Wallach, Goddard and Brownlow are suitably honoured during a three hour broadcast with a 90 second film clip highlighting a previously held awards ceremony. The clip is reverently followed by three out of the four film legends briefly appearing live on stage, waving to the crowd without speaking. The audience slows down the the entire show by stopping to give them a standing ovation.

11:25: Jeff Bridges does not win the Oscar for Best Actor in True Grit, proving once and for all that he is no John Wayne.

11:34: In addition to launching a huge campaign amongst Academy voters for The King's Speech to win Best Picture, Harvey Weinstein apparently also lobbied to have The King's Speech dominate the montage of this year's nominated films.

11:36: The King's Speech wins Best Picture. Harvey Wienstein must have hired Karl Rove to advise him on how to snatch the Best Picture Oscar from the jaws of The Social Network.

Midnight: I frantically put together all my observations before hearing, seeing or being influenced by any other media comments or reviews. It's not easy.

And, oh yeah, I suppose I have to close by saying, yes, I am indeed a dummyhead...

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