Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscar-Party Review, or lack thereof

Alas, there is no review of the Oscar party to which Monique and I were so generously invited. Why? Because I came down with some brutal intestinal virus late Saturday night and spent the entirety of Sunday laid out on the couch of the guest cottage. I shan't go into further detail, gentle reader, because with further detail you would move from "gentle reader" to "horrified by too-much-information reader."

Nonetheless, today I am now sitting upright and managed to hold down a plain bagel for breakfast and a scone for lunch, so with a return to solid food I seem to be on the mend. I will, however, stop for a moment to whine that getting sick while on vacation always seems a bit unfair. Ironically, I was planning to work today, so I have now called in sick from working while on my vacation.

As God is my witness I have no idea how that should go on my timecard.

I did manage to watch the Oscars themselves, though. I thought it was a good show with lots of glitz and glamour. Hugh Jackman made a surprisingly good host, funny in the right parts and filled with enough star-quality charisma to hold the stage in that setting. I also liked the new layout -- with the orchestra on stage and the stars all the way to the front of the orchestra pit. In fact, the only thing that I didn't like was the nauseating gush-fest of the various best actor/actress awards, where they had five previous winners going on-and-on about the greatness of this year's nominees. Not only did it ooze Hollywood phoniness, but its worst sin was that it was flat-out dull. I hope they kill it next year, but I fear it will live on. The only thing most actors and actresses love more than droning on about their own greatness is hearing other people drone on about their greatness.

The best bit of the evening was Ben Stiller doing his Whacked-Out-Joaquin-Phoenix impersonation. Tremendous stuff, and a great change of pace from the usual three-wisecracks banter that makes up most of the writing for the award presenters.

As for the winners, I'm happy for Slumdog and more determined than ever to catch Milk on DVD. After the broadcast Monique and I watched Man on Wire (the movie about the French tightrope artist who walked between the Twin Towers in 1974) which had just won the Best Documentary Oscar. It had been sitting at the top of our Netflix DVD queue, but I was in the mood to watch it, so we watched via Netflix instant streaming on the laptop. It was really good, a bit of a caper movie, really, with a lot of joie de vivre. And it was all the more poignant for being set at the start of the Twin Towers' career when nobody knew their terrible fate. It's well worth watching.

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