I've got to get home first. The flight to Madison is boarding, so let me get going. Start without me!
ADDED #1: Hey, I made it home. No flight delays, but you should have seen how buried my car was. Well, you will see, because I took pictures. Anyway, I can see you're way ahead of me talking about this. 29 comments as I start. But the TiVo is running, and I've seen the really charming Errol Morris film that kicked things off. A sweet, self-effacing attitude. And now, here's Ellen DeGeneres, continuing the sweet, charming, self-effacing tone. She's wearing a dark red velvet tuxedo -- with white shoes -- and looks very sharp. Her first joke makes me laugh. She has a nice joke about Americans not voting for Jennifer Hudson (on "American Idol") and then how they did vote for Al Gore. For no apparent reason, a gospel choir comes out and Ellen dances and plays tambourine. Now, for the first award, for Art Direction, and it's Nicole Kidman, looking very Barbie-like, all plastic-y and shiny. She's wearing an impossibly tall, thin red dress, with a knot at the side of the neck. The award goes to "Pan's Labyrinth."
ADDED #2: They didn't start with a supporting acting award. Good! Now, there's a comedy song, and I'm using it as a chance to try to catch up with you guys. On to the next award: makeup! Again, with the "Pan's Labyrinth." The makeup did look pretty cool. Ooh, now it's Abigail Breslin and Jaden Smith. Kids. They're short, so they do the nominees for shorts. Sorry, it's another fast-forward opportunity.
ADDED #3: Wow, you guys are up to 43 comments. I'm desperately trying to catch up with you. Ooh, it's Rachel Weisz. She looks just great in a strapless beige dress that has a nice jeweled swirl across the chest. I like her dark red lipstick and piece-y dark brown hair. She's doing the Supporting Actor award. Aw, Eddie Murphy looks like he really wants to win. It's Alan Arkin. My favorite. I love this guy. He puts the Oscar down on the floor so he can pull out his speech. The film -- "Little Miss Sunshine" -- can help us in our "fragmented times." It's a choice not to act out the speech. Surely, he could have memorized it. Maybe he was acting the part of a guy reading a speech.
ADDED #4: Melissa Etheridge performs the song from "An Inconvenient Truth," and then out come Leonardo DiCaprio and Vice President Al Gore. Al looks happy (and carries his great weight well). Leo asks him if he's got anything he'd like to announce. He says he's "just here for the movies." He thanks Leo for being "such a great ally" in his anti-global-warming efforts. Leo's all "thank you, sir," and the camera -- pretty randomly -- goes to Jerry Seinfeld, who's caught looking like this:
Cameron Diaz, who also has piece-y dark brown hair, gives the award for animation to "Happy Feet," and she's unbearable cutesy and phony. Nice clip show about movies about writers. At the end, we see Jack Nicholson -- who was featured in the clips for both "The Shining" and "As Good As It Gets" -- and he's shaved totally bald. (A tribute to Britney Spears?)
ADDED #5: "The Departed" wins Best Original Screenplay. Hey, you guys are up to 75 comments. I'm still not reading them, because I'm trying to catch up. I'm sure it's all clever and stuff. There's a great commercial for American Express -- must be a Jerry Seinfeld thing, explaining the "random" shot noted above. And a beautiful ad for iPhone... of lots of hellos from movies. (No need to convince me to buy one of those things when they are available, so the commercial seems to just be about getting me more excited about it.) They're doing the costumes award now. "Marie Antoinette" wins. Tom Cruise presents the Jean Hersholt "humanitarian" award to Sherry Lansing. We're in the depressing "dead" center of the show now, so let me regale you with pix of my car, as I encountered it after my long trip home. It was in this deep:
And here's how it looked after digging just enough of a space to back it out:
How did I get it dug out? Am I the kind of person who keeps a shovel in the trunk? No, but as I was walking to the car, dreading seeing how locked in it was, I ran across a woman with a shovel, and she loaned it to me. Then, carrying a shovel, I attracted a man who helped me because he needed a shovel and a second man who had his own shovel. These two guys dug out the snow while I scraped the windows and lights. (I do keep a scraper!) And I was out in no time. And don't just say: Guys! Because there was also that woman with the shovel. I asked her, "Do you work here?" And she said no, she just drove over with a shovel because a friend called her up, and she trusted me to return the shovel to a spot in the snow that we agreed on. I left that trust with Guy #1 and I'm sure he kept it.
ADDED #6: Speaking of movies, I got my little movie up at last in the previous post. You can hear me and my long-time ex-husband RLC talking about things seen in a record store window. Whoa! You guys are up to 119 comments! Okay, I've gotta rush. Visual Effects. Doesn't Naomi Watts look lovely in that yellow-gold, strapless dress with a thick black band under the breasts? "Pirates of the Caribbean" wins. Now, we see Catherine Deneuve for... what the hell is this? Ah! There's Sacha Baron Cohen in the audience. He's so adorable! "Best Foreign Language Film. "The Lives of Others." Oooh! It's George Clooney. He's handsome! Best Supporting Actress!!! Jennifer Hudson!!!!! She says: "Look what God can do!"
ADDED #7: It's Jerry Seinfeld. He's doing the Documentary award. Oh, so they showed him before when Al was on stage because later he was going to present the award for which Al is nominated. Seems too fix-y to me. And Al wins the Oscar!!!!! Closeup of the oh-so-pleased Steven Spielberg. Why did they make the film? Because of the problem of global warming??? Oh, no: "We were moved to act by this man." So says the director, reaching over to touch the hem of Al Gore's garment. He's gasping with awe. It's kinda embarrassing. He pumps the Oscar weirdly twice in Al's direction and he says "We share this with you." The camera goes to Larry David, clapping righteously. Now, Gore speaks: global warming is "not a political issue, it's a moral issue." I like Al. He makes his wooden squareness hip and cool.
ADDED #8: Kirsten Dunst is wearing a beautiful, witty dress. It's gray and has a see-through section at the top with a collar that seems to belong on a prim blouse. It's intelligent. And the dress makes me love Kirsten! The award is Original Screenplay, and it goes to "Little Miss Sunshine." Now, we see Jennifer Hudson sing a song, which must be fun for her, having already won the Oscar. I try to imagine how Simon Cowell would detect deficiency. Beyonce joins her, and -- isn't it true? -- Beyonce is the better singer. Does Beyonce feel she needs to prove her superiority?
ADDED #9: There's a Michael Mann montage about "America." We're racist war mongers, you know. Then the elegant Thelma Schoonmaker wins the editing award for "The Departed." Now, we see Jodie Foster, dragging excess yards of slate-blue fabric along with her. But she's introducing my favorite segment, In Memoriam. I'll impolitely name the ones that had the most effect on me: Don Knotts, Sven Nykvist, Robert Altman.
ADDED #10: Phillip Seymour Hoffman arrives to give the Best Actress award. It's no surprise that the wonderful Helen Mirren wins. I love the array of actresses as the award is announced. They all do a perfect performance of the thought: Indeed, Helen Mirren is grand! I love the way Mirren "salutes" Elizabeth Windsor.
ADDED #11: It's Reese Witherspoon, here to give the award for Best Actor. She's got major hair extensions and a simple black strapless gown. Oh, don't you want Peter O'Toole to win? Yikes, what is that incredibly smarmy look Jada Pinkett Smith gives Will? Does she hate him + is a terrible actress? And it goes, as expected, to Forest Whitaker. The look on Peter O'Toole's face says: And now, it's impossible. He's very old. Whitaker raves -- touchingly -- about how acting is the belief that we can connect to others and create a new reality.
ADDED #12: Coppola, Lucas, and Spielberg gang up to deliver the long-awaited Oscar to Martin Scorsese, and the Oscar really does go to Marty. Li'l Marty hugs C, L, and S. He stammers and just thanks a lot of people. "So many people over the years have been wishin' this thing for me."
ADDED #13: Damn! I never caught up! I've been struggling and fast-forwarding, but I never could make it. I hope you accept my belated scribblings! Well, Best Picture now. Presenting: Diane Keaton (swathed in black) and Jack Nicholson (gloriously bald). I'm just thinking about how nobody made a political statement tonight. They kept it clean and elegant. And the winner is... "The Departed." Excellent!
ADDED #14: I turn off the lights and collect my bags to trudge upstairs after a long day. I peer out the front door and see the people came to shovel my walks as I was watching the Oscars. I'd parked my car in the street and stalked through foot high snow when I got home tonight. So I put on my big down coat and went outside to pull my car into the driveway. Let me leave you with one last shot of my car at the airport. Actually, this one is so abstract, I'm not positive it is my car: