Canadian Rambler – 9/3/06

Colin shoots a flutter of glee up the lumbar



With Colin Moore

Big Night

It’s here! It’s back! And with it comes an annual tradition that shoots a flutter of glee up the lumbar just thinking about it: grand avoidance of the pre-Oscar smoltz. But I will watch the awards.

By now you know the results, the winners, the duds, the noses, the clotheses, the speeches, the bean counters from Price Waterhouse who sense their true insignificance when a billion people around the world simultaneously don’t give a damn about them, Jack grinning in the front row, and so on. It’s over. But I’m writing this now, live, thirty minutes before its official kick-off, Toronto time. The pop’s (soda) in the fridge, discounted chips in the cupboard, and no matter what mind-blowing pinnacle of technology today’s computer animation has reached, there’s sure to be some horrible presentation involving bad cartoons and Cuba Gooding Jr. It’s great though, all the same. So in the spirit of the night and my laziness, this weeks Canadian Rambler will be play by play catalog of the shindig’s most memorable moments, as they happen. Happened. Whatever.

7:48 pm Wiped the sheet of dust off the television with some toilet paper and was again amazed at how stuff you can’t even see sticks to everything.

8:00 pm Alright, here we go….shhh. Oh yeah, I’m alone.

8:01 pm Amazing CG intro where we’re flown through the streets of Hollywood, passing by a who’s who of
classic movie characters. But no Indiana Jones. Come on.

8:06 pm Right off the bat, a quick shot of Catharine Keener playing with her cell phone behind Phillip
Seymour Hoffman. I almost turn the whole thing off right here.

8:10 pm Joke about Dick Cheny shooting Bjork sets the mood early on. Jon Stewart has come to play.

8:19 pm Nicole Kidman presents Best Supporting Actor. Good job George. Batman and Robin took years off my life but Clooney has made up for it with almost everything since. Best speech so far tonight, though it is the first award. He gives a boost to artists everywhere by saying he’s “proud to be out of touch.” Cheers.

8:27 pm Ben Stiller. Ha.

8:30 pm King Kong wins a techie award. That Peter Jackson guy’s just not going away is he?

8:33 pm Nick Park and the other guy win Best Animated Feature for Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and accept with those ridiculous giant bow-ties. I almost turn the whole thing off right here.

8:35 pm Puzzled why Michael Jackson is singing Dolly Parton’s song.

8:59 pm A short clip from Star Wars Episode III during the Best Make-Up Award gets the blood boiling for what Lucas did to those last three films. Should have bought alcohol.

9:02 pm Morgan Freeman speaks. He could make ordering pancakes seem Oscar worthy.

9:25 pm Kathleen “Bird” York gives a great performance of “In the Deep”, the song nominated from Crash. Makes me want to rent the film, maybe illegally download the song.

9:33 pm The words “art direction” and “set decoration” remind me what point we’re at in the show, so I make coffee.

9:45 pm Salma Hayek.

9:46-49 One of the night’s definite highlights so far: a selection of Best Original Score themes by a violin soloist. A stirring reminder of the raw power of sound and image, and a wave of primal urgency washes through my very being, shocking me into spiritual submission. Feeling a little artsy at this point.

9:50 pm Another montage of clips, this time celebrating Hollywood Epics/ Spectacle films. Essentially all Charlton Heston’s films plus Braveheart.

10:04 pm The Irving G. Thalberg Award is presented to Robert Altman, This is the great human moment of the night where an artist and their body of work is stripped down to basics. We get to see the artist
as a person rather than the person being an artist. I think whether you get his films or not,
seeing Altman as someone who is thankful for what he has, is great. His nod to his family and wife
sitting in the balcony box was a nice moment. I’m that much more interested in his films now. Hell of
a marketing concept.

10:19 pm It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp. Try being a viewer.

10:24 pm NO…..WAY. The Pimping thing won. I need a walk.

10:31 pm George Clooney introduces the montage celebrating those artists lost during the past year. Some great names in that list. Shelley Winters. Robert Wise. Ernest Lehman. Long time John Carpenter partner Debra Hill. Richard Pryor. If anything it’s a reminder of how unique we all are.

10:35 pm It begins. A commercial for The DaVinci Code, pegging it as “The most anticipated thriller of our time.” After the Pimping award I’ll believe anything.

10:45 pm Best Actor in a Leading Role goes to Phillip Seymour Hoffman for Capote. These awards are worth staying up for for a reason. Hoffman gets the heart jumping with a nod to his mother for all her hard work and support, but I love the off-the-cuff remark about a Van Morrison song that he throws out while getting his thoughts together.

11:00 pm Reese Witherspoon wins Best Actress for Walk the Line. Nice, but as she walks up to accept her award, a voice from above spits out a list of facts about the actress, Reese’s pieces I guess, that supposedly we should know. It’s distracting. Let us enjoy the moment without another sidebar of information. No wonder my attention span is shot.

11:08 pm Ha. Good to hear Dustin Hoffman laugh again.

11:12 pm Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana accept their award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain. Larry is cut off while reminding the world of the importance of the written word, which is akin to bringing peanut butter and jam to a ham and cheese convention. Nice try.

11:20 pm I’m happy now. Ang Lee picks up his second Oscar (previous 2000 Best Foreign Language Film
winner for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), this time for Best Director. The right sleeve of his tux seems to be covered with lip stick marks. But his wife is sitting on his left. What’s happening to me? Blame it on the Pimp thing.

11:22 pm Jack speaks. People laugh. What does he say? Who cares. Imagine how nuts the crowd would go if he even whispered “chicken salad sandwich”? Anyhow, he’s here to present the final award for Best Picture.

11:24 pm Crash? Wow. I lost five bucks.

11:28 pm A lady deodorant commercial.

11:29 pm Crash? Wow. I’m not saying it wasn’t deserving, but I was really pulling for Brokeback. It seemed like the right film with the right message at the right time. Love man. But as much as Oscar trumphs the human spirit it’s been there for the dark side as well. Godfather. Deer Hunter. Unforgiven.
Where there’s triumph there’s adversity, something to triumph against. Can’t have one without the
other I suppose. Maybe I’ve been too hard on Lucas after all. A great time though, as always. Hope
you had the same. Night.

- Colin Moore