March 2, 2014

Oscars. Are you watching at all?

We did for a bit, but have signed off. Interesting seeing Kim Novak, but she was used irrelevantly. Nervy of Jim Carrey to imitate Bruce Dern right at Bruce Dern. Carrey declared it "intense," and we enjoyed the contrast to Ellen DeGeneres, whose squishy niceness doesn't really fit the grandeur of the occasion, and then she was bitchy to Liza. I didn't get that. And they keep trying to incorporate the idea of social media — Ellen tweeting from the stage, that sort of thing. They need to keep up the grandeur or it's just incoherent and boring. Eh. We turned it off. It was sluggish and draggy. We're out. But keep up the Oscar talk here if you like.

71 comments:

St. George said...

Just saw "Non Stop" starring the very old looking Liam Neeson and the equally tired looking Julianne Moore.

The plot aboard a hijacked jetliner is advanced--over and over and over--by the hero sending text after text after text to the villain.

Zzzzzz.

Completely incoherent movie.

Seeing Red said...

Only taped it to watch the In Memorium. Will do that tomorrow.

SteveR said...

Never thought about watching it

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Oscars? Who are they?

Seeing Red said...

Maybe a week from Monday. No point in giving them ratings.

Michael K said...

I understand "nonstop" has a weird plot involving a 9/11 relative as a terrorist. No thanks/

Matt said...

No. It is hard to watch millionaires congratulate themselves for achievements that are of such small consequence.

Tom said...

Walking Dead is better than most movies. So why would I watch an award show instead of a great TV show.

Edmund said...

Watching, as I have family in the business. None with an Oscar nomination - yet- but have worked on Oscar nominated films. And one has a regional Emmy.

Thought Ellen's open was pretty good, poking fun at some of the self-importance of Hollywood. Some of the later gags have fallen flat.

Emil Blatz said...

No.

St. George said...

I am now watching Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain," a 1964 Cold War thriller starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews.

Dated, except for the classic wordless farmhouse murder scene in which Newman dispatches Gromek, his greasy Stasi minder. He is abetted in this by the farmer's wife, a Liv Ullman lookalike, who has a problem with a butcher knife. Here it is.

wildswan said...

The Oscar show is on tonight and I have tears in my eyes.

A severe cold with every dread symptom is why. Headache, teary eyes

Or - am I watching the Oscars but in Denial About It?

furious_a said...

Completely incoherent movie.

Why wouldn't the air Marshall look for the guy the flight attendants kept asking to turn off his phone?</

ndspinelli said...

The Oscars are never interesting if you're too neurotic and pompous to get off your ass and go to a theatre.

Anonymous said...

I've never been interested in watching the Oscars. Very little of what they recognize is about films I have any interest in. And I'm not very involved in the cults of personality that surround actors.

jr565 said...

I'm stuck watching it because it's on at the house and we have guests. Ellen is really underwhelming so far. Way too bland and not particularly funny.
The one good but she did was the selfie with a bunch of actors.

St. George said...

Furious--

Half of "Non Stop" involves Liam Neeson grabbing passengers' cell phones to see what they've been texting. It's just that interesting!

wildswan said...

Apparently I am at the Oscars. PJ media asked me to cover them and then the NSA changed my computer for a new one that has strange powers. I've been sucked onto the screen, teleported to California and reassembled in the audience. No one can see me yet in my pajamas but my NSA minder has said that at a certain point each member of the audience will hold up a picture of me in my pajamas in front of themselves unless I confess. If you don't see a very surprising picture tomorrow you will know I cracked. And that won't happen. (It's not a sign of cracking to see and admit that Hollywood has no liberal bias. That is the real truth and Roger Simon is so wrong.)

jr565 said...

Benedict Cumberbatch did the most interesting thing at the oscars so far.he photo bombed a picture with U2 in it by jumping in the air..

That's the.most interesting thing so far.

The Godfather said...

I turned it off about the same time as Althouse, but this is a public ritual, like the World Series, or the Super Bowl, or the State of the Union Address -- I don't think we should ignore it completely.

NOW: About Kim Novak. She is almost exactly 10 years older than I am; she's 81. I live in a community with a lot of retirees, and I will assure you that there are not a lot of 81-year old sex kittens (or studs, for that matter). But I know quite a few very attractive women of that age. But poor Kim's face-lifted face is freakish. Why oh why didn't she listen to that old advice about growing old gracefully? I bet if she hadn't had the work done, she'd be a very attractive woman. She might even be as pretty as Betty White (11 years older).

Fen said...

I hate these fucking people. But I would watch if you promised explosions and running and screaming.

Big Mike said...

I never turned it on.

Fen said...

In Non-Stop the killer is a 9-11 survivor.

No need for you to see it now.

You should be thanking me.

el polacko said...

good grief ! ellen didn't "get bitchy" with liza. it was a JOKE about 'mistaking' her for the "best liza impersonator ever". what an odd, humor-deprived take some people are having on what has been a rather sweet and funny telecast !

Deirdre Mundy said...

We're watching "Grave of Fireflies"--- An animated movie about two orphans in Japan at the end of WW2 struggling to stay alive after the firebombing of Tokyo.

It's incredibly good. Highly recommend it. (Paused at moment, because the kids' happy movie ended and we have to get them settled before we watch more. It's only rated PG, but since it features kids starving to death, we figured it wasn't appropriate for the 10 and under crowd.)

It really drives home how hellish ww2 was in Japan. You forget, sometimes, since the US came through fairly unscathed.

William said...

This is the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind. I just saw the young lady's acceptance speech for her role in 12 Years a Slave.......Hollywood--celebrating the joys and sorrows of slaves and slaveowners for three generations.

Revenant said...

The Oscars are never interesting if you're too neurotic and pompous to get off your ass and go to a theatre.

Hell, I'm too neurotic and pompous to watch television, let alone get off my ass and go to a theater :)

David said...

12 Years A Slave (Or How I Got Off Easier Than Most.)

I have avoided watching it. I'm very interested in the subject but I've Hollywood and history usually don't mix well.

The best thing about the Oscars is that it brings Oscar Month on TNT. I watched a good part of Gone With The Wind to see Gable, Vivian Leigh and Hattie McDaniel. A long movie like that with only three real characters. But great ones. I can't watch it all the way through. As history it sucks but those three make it worth watching.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

No, not watching.

But this struck me as something you would like, Althouse. Via Breitbart.

MayBee said...

I love movies and The a Oscars, but holy schnikeys there's a lot of filler. Pink singing, Bette Midler singing, clips of "heroes in movies", college students who won a contest.

Get to the awards, already!

Freeman Hunt said...

Not watching them. The list of winners will be interesting. but I don't want to watch it read off slowly over the course of hours.

Freeman Hunt said...

Just looked at the list. No surprises. Glad Spike Jonze got Best Original Screenplay for "Her." It had many interesting ideas.

Pogo is Dead said...

I had to wash my hair.

paminwi said...

Fell asleep but happened to wake up just as they were naming the nominees for Best Actor. Matthew McConaughy won and the first person he thanked was God and the almost complete silence was deafening.

I thought both he and Jeod Leto did good acceptance speeches.

Didn't want to hear Lupita Nyongo give her speech since she stayed at the hotel where my daughter works. My daughter said Lupia was very disrespectful to the staff. She actually said to my daughter "my people will talk to your people" when there was a question about who was to pay for charges to her room. Looks like she has gotten a big head.

On the flip side daughter says Meryl Streep is a real class act!

David said...

"It really drives home how hellish ww2 was in Japan. You forget, sometimes, since the US came through fairly unscathed."

US service deaths: 405,399
Wounded: 1,076,245
Missing: 30,314

traditionalguy said...

The usual winners are the new culture winners of escaped slaves be they Africans, Gays or Women.

But the picture Gravity seemed to hit a nerve with scene after scene of good people hopelessly trapped inside a broken down human support system, which of course is a metaphor for the the Kingdom of Obama.

The only picture to earn nominations for all three, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Film couldn't get a win in this circus. But it remains the best film to spend your money on. It is American Hustle.

Chef Mojo said...

Biggest loser: Mia Farrow.

Anonymous said...

The year they put a winsome but undeniably male host in a stylish and revealing dress to run the thing I'll watch it. Ellen has broken new ground but we need to move beyond her mannish garb and strike a blow for freedom for all of humanity.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

You missed a tasteless Jimmy Kimmel skit, the selfie retweeted round the world, and Hollywood proving they're not racists by giving 12 Years a Slave best picture.

Other than that, Cate Blanchett won, Woody Allen lost, and Matthew McConaughey gave another of his motivational speeches.

The highlight was Bill Murray's shoutout to Harold Ramis.

Revenant said...

"It really drives home how hellish ww2 was in Japan. You forget, sometimes, since the US came through fairly unscathed."

US service deaths: 405,399
Wounded: 1,076,245
Missing: 30,314

Our casualties were restricted to service personnel and the merchant marine. Our troops suffered in the war; the USA and our civilian population did not. Of the fifty *million* civilians who died due to the war, fewer than 2000 were Americans. That's why the 50s and 60s were such a boom time for the American middle class -- the foreign competition was dead.

rcommal said...

Cate Blanchett. A thoroughbred.

rcommal said...

(Aside: Love that Dame Judi Dench was too busy to attend on account of her being in India working. At 79.)

Indigo Red said...

Academy Award trivia: Had there been no slavery, there would have been no Best Picture Oscar this year.

rcommal said...

Yep. Watched on delay (not recorded) and didn't even flip it on until almost half-past 10. Busy day in a busy weekend, and, frankly, I'd forgotten it was Oscar weekend until my husband noticed I wasn't watching and asked why. Jeez. That'd be a first. Not just not watching , but forgetting.

Wtf?

rcommal said...

I'm losing track in the ways unanticipated, as opposed to the alternative. Day-um.

Ceoshea said...

I did appreciate the kindness and respect Angelina Jolie showed toward Sidney Poitier. And Bill Murray's Harold Ramis comment.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Where are the crazed knife-wielding bands of Chinese Uighurs when we need them?

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I saw all the movies and 12 Years a Slave was easily the weakest but the Best Picture Oscar was depressingly predictable. Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey were the best choices to me as was Jared Leto for their respective awards. I didn't have a problem with the Kenyan women but Jennifer Lawrence would have been better.

Nebraska was my personal favorite but I didn't think it would win much.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Oscars were last night? Dang! Missed them.

Why didn't somebody tell me?

Did I win anything?

Jason said...

Missed it. How many gay self-congratulatory moments were there?

paminwi said...

Nebraska didn't win any awards but it is a great movie. A wise way to spend your $ IMO.

Tim said...

"We're watching "Grave of Fireflies"--- An animated movie about two orphans in Japan at the end of WW2 struggling to stay alive after the firebombing of Tokyo.

It's incredibly good. Highly recommend it. (Paused at moment, because the kids' happy movie ended and we have to get them settled before we watch more. It's only rated PG, but since it features kids starving to death, we figured it wasn't appropriate for the 10 and under crowd.)

It really drives home how hellish ww2 was in Japan. You forget, sometimes, since the US came through fairly unscathed."

Hellish in Japan my ass. WWII was hellish in China, made so by the Japanese, and hellish in Europe, made so by the Germans.

In order to save their victims, we had to go to war. But if you think the Japanese had it bad, I invite you to read up on Nanking and the horrors of the Japanese occupation of China.

Tank said...

Mrs. Tank watched.

And laughed. Must of been some funny. I stuck my head in the room when the pizza arrived, which seemed lame, until Ellen started looking for someone to pay for it and tip the driver. Cute ... and funny in a Hollywood way..

Bob Ellison said...

Our yellow dog won Best Dog again. It's getting predictable. The black dog won Most Improved for coming back from the brink of death. Brown dog had been expected to win, given her fine efforts to get the barking under control, but her failure to also undertake goose control killed her shot at the award.

Anonymous said...

Dierdre,

You did know that "Grave" is an Althouse favorite, right?

Kevin said...


I thought both Harry Belafonte and Harrison Ford looked like good candidates to add to your dead-pool, if that's something you do...

MadisonMan said...

Twelve Years a Slave is a safe movie. I read that somewhere, and agreed with it. Make a movie like that, and everyone *has* to at least claim they like it.

How is that art?

Ann Althouse said...

If you click on my profile, you'll see that "Grave of the Fireflies" is in my short collection of favorite movies (where it has been for the entire time I have had this blog).

The movie is about 2 children in Japan after the war and how they suffer. It's a great example of what animation can do that live-actor movies cannot. It would be insufferably sentimental or melodramatic if real children played out that story, and you could not get to the transcendence without animation.

Ann Althouse said...

@t-man Thanks for remembering and linking to that old post.

jr565 said...

"The highlight was Bill Murray's shoutout to Harold Ramis."

I didn't realize this until recently but Ramis and Murray didn't talk to each other for years. They had a falling out with each other while filming Groundhog Day because Murray was acting like a dick while filming.
So, Murray probably feels guilty over his gutting of the friendship now that Ramis has died.

Kelly said...

Goldie Hawns face needs a date with John Travolta's plastic surgeon.

jr565 said...

Madisonman wrote:
Twelve Years a Slave is a safe movie. I read that somewhere, and agreed with it. Make a movie like that, and everyone *has* to at least claim they like it.

How is that art?

it could be safe and still be art. But,
How is Dallas buyers club different. Gays, aids, actors losing weight to play parts.anorher actor playing a transvestite. how can you not love that movie?

grackle said...

Our troops suffered in the war; the USA and our civilian population did not. Of the fifty *million* civilians who died due to the war, fewer than 2000 were Americans.

Thankfully, yes. But why does the commentor seem so disappointed? One would almost think that the commentor wished that WW2, started by nations other than America, had proved more costly to the USA in civilian casualties. And of course the obligatory swipe at "boom" times in the USA, caused by the USA's WW2 perfidy is the implication by the commentor.

Which is another bone to pick. Why be sneaky and implicative? Why not just openly declare your opinion?

One reason might be because clear-cut statements are easier to knock down in debate. Vagueness, false assumptions and implication gives a bit of cover for ahistoric nonsense. If challenged one can always deny that's what you REALLY meant.

St. George said...

Great essay about 'Groundhog Day' by Jonah Goldberg.

Murray's character "slowly realizes that what makes life worth living is not what you get from it, but what you put into it...'The curse is lifted when Bill Murray blesses the day he has just lived. And his reward is that the day is taken from him. Loving life includes loving the fact that it goes.'”

Thorley Winston said...

We're watching "Grave of Fireflies"--- An animated movie about two orphans in Japan at the end of WW2 struggling to stay alive after the firebombing of Tokyo."

You picked a good one. I chose to watch the new episode of "The Walking Dead" and get caught up on "One Piece" On Demand.

Revenant said...

Thankfully, yes. But why does the commentor seem so disappointed?

Because you have poor reading comprehension skills, I guess? I neither expressed nor felt any disappointment.

Someone stated that the US was fairly unscathed in the war, someone else pushed back on that by citing our military losses, and so I pointed out the difference in civilian population.

And of course the obligatory swipe at "boom" times in the USA, caused by the USA's WW2 perfidy is the implication by the commentor.

I pointed out the boom times as further illustration of our comparatively limited suffering relative to other participants in the war, enemies and allies alike. In point of fact our allies suffered an order of magnitude more civilian losses than the Axis did.

Which is another bone to pick. Why be sneaky and implicative? Why not just openly declare your opinion?

That's so cute -- you think *I* hesitate to openly express my opinions? You must be new here. :)

Save your paranoid delusions for someone who cares, kiddo.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Ann- I totally missed that it was one of your favorites! I tend to avoid the list, since it fills me with guilt that I STILL haven't seen "My Dinner with Andre!"

For the people complaining about my comments about how horrific the war was for Japanese civilians--

I think the movie was important because it DOES humanize the Japanese during WW2. I grew up knowing all about Nanking, Pearl Harbor, Kamikazes, the horrible treatment of US POWs, the way the Japanese, like creatures from a horror movie, crept through the jungles and would silently kill US soldiers in their sleep..... I heard how every man, woman, and child in the home islands was trained and ready to kill GIs with bare hands in the event of an invasion.

My Grandfather used to say that Hiroshima was the happiest day of his life, because it was the first day he realized there was a chance that he might make it home alive.

So I grew up with this idea of WW2 Japanese as souless demons bent on destruction who miraculously became human after the US came into their country and remade it.

Grave of the Fireflies reminds you that people are people - and that we should feel compassion for the Japanese civilians starving at the end of WW2...

Which, I think our grandfathers got, seeing as how they shared their chocolate rations with German and Japanese children, and encouraged their kids to sacrifice to send food to the starving kids in Europe and Asia.

As Americans, we had a fairly luxurious WW2. No children starving to death in the streets. No droves of orphans or homes destroyed. We mostly sent young men to their deaths. In other countries, the war hit EVERYONE.

When I was younger, the film may not have affected me as much. Now, I look at those starving kids and see MY kids. War is hell on the Civilians, and the people in charge have never cared about that because they think in terms of 'historical moments' rather than individual lives.

Revenant said...

Twelve Years a Slave is a safe movie. I read that somewhere, and agreed with it. Make a movie like that, and everyone *has* to at least claim they like it.

Well, just because a movie is "safe" doesn't mean it can't be a great film. Look at "Casablanca", for example -- how much safer can a movie get? The film came out in 1942, is set a year earlier, and features an American who decides to give it all up in order to bring the fight to the Nazis.

Then again, the people making Casablanca neither thought nor claimed that they were making a great, important film. It was just another studio picture among countless others. Maybe what makes the chatter around "12 Years" comparatively annoying is that the studio and actors are praising themselves for making it.

Revenant said...

Grave of the Fireflies reminds you that people are people - and that we should feel compassion for the Japanese civilians starving at the end of WW2

What I found most interesting about the film is that the American bombers are more of a natural disaster than an enemy force. There's no fighting, just periodic fire from the sky.

The antagonists, inasmuch as the film has any, are all Japanese -- people who out of selfishness or self-preservation refuse to help the orphans.

Freeman Hunt said...

Most of these criticisms of 12 Years a Slave would make sense if it weren't any good, but it is really good. .