Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2010:The Complete Chronicle, Conclusion

We conclude herewith our journey into the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, and there is much to be learned, so let us resume our explorations.

By about the third hour, Gina Tuttle was running out of ways to say "The 82nd Annual Academy Awards will continue in a moment here on ABC!" Announcers, as most of us do at times, have this bizarre knack for running out of steam. That could not be said for the show, which had now reached Best Documentary Feature, with Matt Damon wielding that particular envelope. The team behind the unusual documentary The Cove was called to receive their award. Fisher Stevens has grown somewhat, I would say. Once upon a time, he had co-starred with Steve Guttenberg in something called Short Circuit. Maybe you saw it. "It was an honor," he said, "to try and make an entertaining film that would also try to enlighten everybody. I have ot thnak Jim Clark, who financed the film, and was also kinda the guiding wisdom behind the film; Paula DuPre Pesmen, my producing partner [and one-time Harry Potter alumnus]; and my hero Ric O'Barry who was not just a hero to this species, but to all species."

The last of the major technical Oscars of the evening was Film Editing, and Tyler Perry, who by now is an expert on the subject, began his segment with some visual jabs at the film editing art, ably assisted by the commands given silently by Hamish Hamilton in the booth (and if anyone out there has put this year's Oscar telecast credits on YouTube, please leave them there. I would love to see them). What I didn't love, however, was The Hurt Locker nabbing its fourth award of the night. "This is definitely the night to be here: a tribute to horror films and Roger Corman --- it's unbelievable," gushed Bob Murawski. Chris Innis, meanwhile, went for the routine thanks before Bob again took the mic to thank the Academy for honoring a movie that "didn't have any preview screenings or focus groups or even studio notes. Everybody made the movie that we wanted to make, and it turned out great, and so I'm glad everybody liked it."

Someone else who liked The Hurt Locker: Keanu Reeves, who expressed thus accordingly in his dissertation. Afterwards, the eeeeevil Quentin Taratino was joined by El Deseo dude himself, Pedro Almadovar, for a radical take on Best Foreign Language Film. In Argentina's The Secrets in Their Eyes, directed by Juan Jose Campanella, we meet former District Attorney Ben Esposito, who has retired from the post to begin writing a novel about a 25-year-old rape-and-murder mystery. Long haunted by the tragedy of that case, Ben seeks out advice and input from two friends and former colleagues. The film marks the first win out of six Foreign Language Oscar nominations for the Argentinians.

Director Campanella thanked a cast and crew comprised mostly "of people that I love and that are very close to my heart. .... and I want to thank the Academy for not considering Na'vi a foreign language, first of all." .... Juan, amigo, that's a very good way not to win friends or influence people. Happily, I'm sure that the Na'vi were convinced as to the friendship of Kathy Bates, for hers was the final dissertation of the evening; and, as you might guess, it was all about Avatar. And so, with all the formal nonsense properly out of the way, it was left to Gina Tuttle to lead in to commercial teasing the final four awards of the evening. This she did.

Footage of the five nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role was followed by comments from Tim Robbins, Colin Firth, Vera Farmiga, Julianne Moore and Michelle Pfieffer. But it was Kate Winslet who would wield the envelope, and Jeff Bridges' reaction was not like any other Oscar accpetance speech I'd heard:

"Thank you, Mom and Dad, for turning me on to such a groovy profession. They loved showbiz so much. I remember my mom, getting all of ud kids to entertain at all those parties, y'know, and my dad sitting me onto his bed and teaching me a lot of the basics of acting for a role on Sea Hunt."

Now it was the ladies' turn, and footage of the nominees were followed by remarks from Michael Douglas, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Stanley Tucci and Peter Staarsgard. Sean Penn had the envelope, however (this turning the tables routine is getting old!), and here is Sandra Bullock's reaction:

"Did I really earn this or did I just wear you all down? I would like to thank the Academy for allowing me in the last month to have the most incredible ride with rooms full of artists that I see here tonight and that I've worked with before and I hope to work with in the future, who inspire me and blaxze trials for us all. Four of them that I've deeply fallen in love with, I share this night with, and I share this award with.

"Gabby, I love you so much. You are exquisite. You are beyond word s to me. Carey, your grace and your elegance and your beauty and your talent make me sick. Helen, I feel like we are family thorugh family and I don't have the words to express just what I think of you. And Meryl, you know what I think of you, and you are such a good kisser."

Now, some personal thoughts, before submitting to the irony of Yentl (that would be le Streisand), whom the Academy had never honored for Best Director, presenting that trophy to the first woman to be so chosen, Kathryn Bigelow, let me, at the risk of being pelted with e-mails proclaiming me as such, plead guilty to being that insufferable form of humanoid known as a male chauvinist pig. Perhaps I am that at best, and a crotchety old fart at worst --- but better for me to dive into that undignifed pool on my own, lest I be shoved in by my own ego. So, with that little caveat properly dealt with, here are Miss Bigelow's comments:

"There's no other way to describe it, it's the moment of a lifetime. This is so extraordinary to be in the company of so many powerful filmmakers who ahve inspired me and whom I have admired for, some of whom for decades. And thank you to every member of the Academy. This is, again, the moment of a lifetime.

"I'd just like to dedicate this to the men and women in the military who risk their lives on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world --- and may they come home safe. Thank you."

The last presenter, Tom Hanks, simply opened up the Best Picture envelope and before long, those connected with The Hurt Locker found themselves onstage. I hope you're proud of yourself, Nicholas Chartier! Had you kept your big mouth shut, you would be celebrating your victory with your colleagues! But instead you chose to insult Avatar with some e-mail rants; well, despite your picture's win, your own career as a film producer is doomed, do you hear me?! Doomed, doomed, doomed! In fact, let me go on record as saying that I doubt if anyone will want to make a movie with your name in the credits ever again!

"This has been such a dream for all of us who've lived for so long with this story," said Mark Boal, "and, y'know, we had this little fantasy about making our film our way with the talent that we hoped to have, and that, hopefully, we'd find a distributor and that somebody might even like the movie. So, to be standing here was really, truly, honestly never part of anything we even imagined in our wildest dreams, so thank you so much to each and every member of the Academy for really honoring our little film beyond anything we could've ever imagined."

And here, my children, endeth our revels. Three hours and thirty-two minutes of action, talk, film clips, and far too many challenges for even ONE Dragonmaster. But I have survived nonetheless, else would there be any means whereby I could tell you these tales? Wizards, you see, always have a seventh sense --- and mine is right now telling me to go seek out some Coca-Cola Classic! Toodles for the moment!