bunt sign

Sunday, March 25, 2001

Before I could enjoy the Oscarcast tonight, I had to decide that I wasn't going to mind if Gladiator swept all the big awards. (Except best actress — there were women in that movie, weren't there?)

I almost made it to a last-minute movie today. I even jotted down the start times for Traffic and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on the back of a daily calendar page. Those would have turned out to be good choices, since they each won four awards tonight.

But when I woke up and found it was Sunday, the one day I don't have to leave the premises, I decided to stay home and watch the Big Kids marathon on Noggin. (Yes, I did figure out the magic trigger, midway through the first episode.)

It's about movies, but it's a TV show, the original reality programming. Overlong, overblown? Never. I can't get enough of it. I'm no movie expert, but I watch plenty of television and I know when I'm being entertained (most of the time). I like cleverness, wit and an occasional profound moment. I like it when the hair on the back of my neck stands up. I like it when I can't help laughing, and I like it even more when I can't help crying. I'm the perfect target audience for almost anything that's about people, more than clamor and commotion. TV is such an intimate medium that it brings me in, often even more than big-screen films.

But cinema (as we who have taken the one-semester appreciation course like to call it) is the greatest art form to come out of the twentieth century, and it's right to make a big deal out of it. Oscar night is a highlight of my TV watching, and I'm always ready to give the show a chance to dazzle me. That's why I was a little disappointed with this year's show. They did everything right, but there wasn't much that was memorable.

Steve Martin did a wonderful job in his first time as host. This was reminiscent of the Bob Hope years, except of course that Steve writes more of his own material. His monologue was crisp and funny, and his quips between segments had just the right touch to move the show along. It was a classy show this year, and no, that's not a synonym for "boring."

I didn't miss the production numbers, but the montages, what few there were, lacked something in inspiration this time around. Past Oscar telecasts have shown a lot more imagination when it comes to getting movie clips into a show about movies. Last year, I think I said just the opposite.

This time around, only two movies that I've seen won any awards at all, so I guess I have no right to be picky about winners and losers. But I'm as thrilled for Julia Roberts as she was for herself. Well, almost. I'm glad she took the time to make the speech of her life, because she might not get another chance (which she admitted).

And as much as I expected Gladiator to win, about halfway through the ceremony my odds on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon got much better, since it seemed to be winning everything in sight. Then when Traffic won for its screenplay and director, I didn't see how they could give best picture to any other film. So, even though I've been convinced since the nominations were announced that Gladiator would take it, I was still surprised when it did.

The award for best song was a kind of test for the Academy voters. After the first two songs (the one by Sting, and the one from Mulan ... oh, wait), I was ready for Randy Newman, because I knew his song at least had a melody. I thought it might be Randy's year, but it was bound to come down to Bjork vs. Bob Dylan. The Boomers won this round. I'm just grateful to any project that inspired Dylan to write new music, since most of his best songs are at least thirty years old.

I also liked Britney's new Pepsi commercials. I guess Hallie Eisenberg got too old for the gig.

And I was relieved the show ended by nine, so I could watch The Sopranos.

ground cover

On another note, I've surrendered to the birds trying to nest under my eaves. They're just too persistent for me. I was outside twice today with a hose, spending time and energy trying to discourage them. I still wish they'd pick another place, but they were bringing in more straw almost as soon as I got back inside.

Even after I ruined one nest a couple of weeks ago, this bird started rebuilding right next to the old one, on the other side of the A that forms the peak of the roof. That nest has been getting more substantial over the last few days, and now I can barely budge it with the jet spray.

So, you win, Janice (that's what I named the bird, after a character on The Sopranos). I feel better since I made the decision. I'm not one to keep fighting a losing battle, especially when I don't necessarily have the moral high ground. Any creature who is so convinced it deserves something probably does.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendations:

Mo's Oscar wrapup left me breathless! (I obviously disagree with her about clips and tributes, though.)

And Patrick has a new entry.

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.