Monday, February 27, 2017

Now for the latest fake news

And the winner isn't... (Kodakotype by Pants)

I was just saying to TQW the other day, isn't it rich and isn't it queer how there's a weird time/space continuum thing going on between Washington and Hollywood. We had been macro-dosing on LSD, but still. Something supremely spooky is happening there. Tinsel Town could be the last stand of political conscience. Clint Eastwood would be turning in his grave... What's that Barney? You say he's not dead yet? Okay. Fatty Arbuckle then. I'm pretty sure he's dead. Then again, he could be inhabiting the body of d.j. trump, currently MC in da big whitey house. You simply can't trust in dimensions these days.

We three are gathered on the Pants family sofa as usual for our annual Oscars fest. Barney is the surprise show this year. He's been fired as a Trump advisor. He assures us he's in good company. He slides back into his old role of general factotum as if nothing in the least extraordinary has happened in the last six months. Least said, soonest mended.

Charge your glasses, comrades, it's going to be a long afternoon, potentially only redeemed by a great deal of alcohol and some very fetching canapés.

Wait up, there's a naff alert, right out of the gate. A Justin Timberlake medley and close-ups of Nicole and Keith singing along and mum-n-dad dancing. Doesn't get any better than that. JT cedes the stage to host Jimmy Kimmel and does that weird angry/grumpy look that would get you thrown out of every acting school in the world but is somehow fine for a prize-giving ceremony for the best acting in the world? How we pray for a catastrophe on the scale of Hugh Jackman's opening number in 2009. Not to be.

We have to content ourselves with a Mel Gibson joke from Kimmel.

There's only one brave heart in this room and he's not going to unite us.

Guffaw. And then one that would be funny if it wasn't actually true in dimensions beyond our ken but would make perfect sense if we lived the kind of multicultural harmony we claim to inhabit.

Black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz.

At Seat of Pants, we've been complaining for years about how restrained and tasteful the Oscars have become. And missing Joaquin weird-outs, impeccably bad dresses (seriously, what has become of Sarah Jessica Parker?), with a desperation we'd have found hard to contemplate even five years ago. Maroon velvet jackets. We never thought we'd pine for them. Even a whiff of Jared Leto wouldn't go amiss at this point. Looks like Casey Affleck is trying to mess with convention at least. As much as he dares given he's up for an Academy award and accusations of sexual harassment in the same season. Probably not a record.

Meryl Streep gets her 20th nomination this year. We saw Florence Foster Jenkins on DVD here at Seat of Pants. It was one of two films we've seen this season. The other was La La Land, which we took in at the Larrikin's End Cinema/Squash Court. Research, people, research. For the record, we're with the Blah-Blah Bland brigade. It's pretty, fun, crass, not really a musical and better than Xanadu, just. Kimmel has to make a Streep joke, for reasons too numerous to mention. A spat with Lagerfeld did need to be cauterized as a matter of urgency. Kimmel obliged.

That's a nice dress, is it an Ivanka?

Two birds with one stone. Cut, print, moving on. I'm noticing something odd.

Guys, did anyone pick up on tonight's theme?
No. I don't think there is a theme this year.
Oh, come on, there's always a theme.

Note - if Hollywood is not hitting you over the head with a theme, something is very, very wrong. We hate all that dream big dreams shit. But, the absence of it is worse. Pointless is ground zero, non? And also a BBC television show that might not be half bad in one of those other dimensions we mentioned earlier.

We go through the motions. Mahershala Ali wins Best Supporting Actor. He thanks his teachers who apparently told him, It's not about you. Good advice for any human. It's a miracle that an actor finally took it up and made it work in Hollywood. Respect, Mahershala.

And that's as thrilling as it gets for the next couple of hours. Kimmel cracks the obligatory sexist joke,

This is the fun part of the evening before people start losing and you realise you've taped your dress to your boobs for nothing. We're thinking Casey Affleck has done no such thing, so will inevitably win for Best Actor.

Four-time Costume Design winner Colleen Atwood claims to be 'genuinely', (and yet somehow utterly implausibly), 'floored' by her win. You can't even count on Dwayne Johnson to break the dress code. 

Hacksaw Ridge gets the Oscar for Sound Editing. You can't go wrong blowing a lot of things up and I suppose we have to be grateful for white-soled shoes when we can get them. The guy's Mom was called Skippy. And he almost cries. I sure hope Skippy's enjoying a Miller Lite with Matthew McConaughey's Daddy. Is MM nominated for anything this year? He can always be counted on to go Fresno on us. What are they putting in the Vitamin B shots these days? Must be actual Vitamin B. How else is all this sense and sensibility explicable? How useful would a star gate be right now?

Next best thing. Mark Rylance explains that women are much better at opposing without hatred - the whole supporting/opposing metaphor thingy falls flat. Way too psycho-sensitive for Hollywood. But may go some way to explaining why the winning Supporting Actress, Viola Davis, rolls her Oscar up in her red dress. Less explicable is her speech.

There is one place where all the people with potential are gathered. That's the graveyard. Exhume those bodies of the people who dreamed.

Not quite what we had in mind when we waxed nostalgic about the absence of dreaming and dreamers.

There are lots of shots of Haraji P. Henson looking delighted. Lots of shots of Nicole and Keith looking like they think they're twenty thirty years younger than they actually are. Lots of shots of Mel Gibson looking confused. Lots of shots of Denzel Washington looking, well, very Denzel.

Finally the theme for tonight's show is revealed. It's Inspiration. Frankly, none of us here at SOP would have guessed that. Turns out that Charlize Theron's inspiration is Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment, because,

She makes a black-and-white film feel like it's colour. 

That so needed saying.

Barney, is there any of that Trump jerky left?

Finally, someone mentions the wall. That task falls to Gael García Bernal, self-describing as a migrant worker. It would be tragic if he could never work in the US again not to mention Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón. And if that wall was built, you can bet those guys would be the first behind it.

The will to live is on drip feed at this point until Zootopia wins for Best Animated Film. And the makers explain that they had the crazy idea of talking about the world through talking animals. Imagine. Now that's what we call inspiring here at SOP. We're cooking.

Barney, would you mind inspiring my glass?

You know things are dire when you find yourself hanging out for the In Memoriam segment. And wondering if they'll fit Bill Paxton in.

Barney, my plate could do with a little inspiration of the canapé variety.

Seth Rogen was inspired by Back to the Future? Different strokes. At least he's wearing non-reg shoes. And there's another shot of Haraji P. Henson enjoying herself.

Question - if we nodded off, would we miss anything?
That's a question?
Point taken.
ZZZ...

The Sci-tech awards. Hope springs. Someone who is responsible for the techy stuff that makes all this magic possible is bound to come on and tell us he/she doesn't know how it all works really but is sure that it's a spooky marriage of big dreams and super daring. No such luck. All we get is a picture of Matt Lucas's face needing no adjustment at all to play Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Javier Bardem was inspired by The Bridges of Madison County? Whatevs.

Emma Stone says her character in La La Land was inspired by an ant. That explains a lot.

Ah, Samuel L. Jackson. What would the Oscars be without him? Is that a  Royal blue suit? Good man. Lord, let it be velvet lest we give up on showbiz completely.

La La Land wins for Best Original Score. Original? Well if that means a combination of notes that no one has put together in exactly that order before, well, yeah, we can see how that might work.

Jimmy Kimmel is inspired by We Bought a Zoo? Oh, he's making a joke. Nice. Almost resuscitory. Almost.

Ben Affleck looks old. And fat. Sweet. Manchester by the Sea wins for Best Original Screenplay. Moonlight wins for Best Adapted. Ducks are lining up. Where's The Rifleman when you need him?

Speaking of which, Barney, the champers flutes are a little short on inspiration over here. Thanks old bud, we're going to need all our strength for the final push.

Damien Chazelle wins Best Director for La La Land.

Barney, how about some inspiration in a julep glass? Vodkamisu time, I think. Do you get the feeling that we're carrying this theme here are SOP?

Denzel's stopped smiling. Casey Affleck wins Best Actor. Casey says he was inspired by Denzel. Not a consolation, apparently.

Best Actress - Emma Stone. Who, we will recall,  was inspired by an ant.

Enter Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to state the appallingly obvious. Man they look old.

La La Land. Cue the self-congratulation masquerading as humility,

Repression is the enemy of civilisation. Keep dreaming your dreams...

Barney, my glass is gagging for some inspiration over here.

Oh wait. Something very weird is happening here. There's been a mistake. No, not the donuts falling from the ceiling in little parachutes or tourists bused in to receive blessings from the sainted Denzel. An actual bone fide miracle. A correction in the time/space continuum, if you will.

It's Moonlight that has won Best Picture. We can't even begin to unpack the ironic complexities tonight.

Best Oscars ever. Thank you Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Now, on to Washington...