I just finished reading two articles about the Oscar Telecast. It happens that I agree with both authors–the program was dull beyond belief and Merill Streep’s speech was very good, self-effacing but still good.
What surprised me most was Billy Crystal. His timing was so far off that it seemed he was on Qualudes, although his speech was clear, not dragging like a 714 freak. I never saw him so ‘off’ as he was last night, proving that even the best comics can have an off night, although professionals like Sir Billy should not. Robin Williams could have covered it up with a few well placed “Nanoo Nanoos” and most of the audience is old enough to remember (hopefully not too old) Mork from Ork. Billy’s hair was another thing, black as out of a can of Esquire shoe polish, but not as shiny. Why? We know he is old. He is entitled to gray hair, but not to such bad timing on his deliveries.
Most surprising and disappointing for me was the lack of awards for the movie, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE. Or, was it extremely close and incredibly loud? I’m so confused. I still don’t know whether the Tiger is crouching or hidden, and what’s with the Dragon anyway. People swordfighting on bouncing tree branches is totally believable and if a lizard can run up a wall, why not a person? The ELIC movie was the finest of the year in my opinion, with both Tom Hanks and Sandra Bernhart(?) giving wonderful performances. Max von Sydow was also good and hasn’t changed much since he was in that Ingemar Bergman movie whose name I forget. I just wish they had written “Yes” and “No” in black marker on his hands–my ears AND eyes are both failing. I cannot think of a movie that has made me so sad, happy, surprised, and interested as ELIC, not since AVATAR which I feel is one of the great love stories of all time.
OK, lest you think that I am seeking a career as a movie critic, perhaps replacing Gene Siskal, I am not.
After all, look what happened to him!