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February 23, 2009


(from my blog at whatgives.gainesville.com)

I’ve loved the Oscars as long as I can remember.

And you know what they say: “You always hurt the ones you love.”

So let’s have at it.

First off, Hugh. Mr. Jackman if you’re nasty.

Whose bright idea was it to scrap the comedian host for the Broadway one? This is the price we pay for making “Dancing with the Stars” such a big hit. Didn’t anyone tell them that Broadway doesn’t work on the small screen?

At one point, after a big number in the middle of the show, Hugh screeched, “The musical is back!” And I thought, “Er ... no, this is the day the musical died. Your Honor, the killer is that man in the tuxedo!”

Secondly, you may think “Slumdog Millionaire” was the big winner, but I’m here to tell you it was just edged out.

By montages.

You name it and there was a montage for it. Past speeches? Check. An ode to romances? Check. A tribute to those who died? Check.

For that one they had Queen Latifah on stage singing “I’ll Be Seeing You” as they showed photos of the deceased. (I half expected them to weave in a clip of Haley Joel Osment whispering, “I see dead people.”)

You couldn’t watch Queen perform and see the photos at the same time so mostly you just heard her voice, which made the whole thing seem really pointless. Occasionally, they would cut to her and shortchange some deceased fellow on the screen. “Sorry, Sir, there’s no 15 minutes in the afterlife.”

It didn’t make any sense.

Speaking of which, let’s move to the main acting categories.

They had five past winners come out and say nice things to the nominees one by one. Can anyone say awkward?

It was like an episode of “Oprah” broke out all of a sudden. Or an intervention. “And now a moment brought to you by the author of ‘I’m OK, You’re OK.’ ”

Finally, just a few quick observations.

* Running time, not counting the red carpet, about three-and-a-half hours.

* First social/political statement? Twenty-eight minutes in.

* The guy who won for best short film said it took him four years to produce a 14-minute film. You do NOT want this guy to cook you dinner. “When will the roast be done?” “Oh sometime in 2013.”

* Jessica Biel wore a dress with a giant white poof over one breast. It made her look like rhinoceros breasticus.

* Sarah Jessica Parker showed way, way, way too much boobies. They were practically pushed up to her ears. Surely she can afford some earmuffs. (I’m not sure men are with me on this.)

* Mickey Rourke was robbed.

* The banter between the presenters was less vomit-inducing than usual.

* When it was all said and done, they could have made a montage out of all of the “Slumdog Millionaire” wins. I’m sure they’re working on that for 2010.