After a bit of the old Getting Lost, I found my way to the apartment of one beeker121. Now, I had formed no mental picture of her and thus would have been surprised regardless, but I will say that the VM4 sure is an attractive lot. I was also surprised to hear her describe herself as "thirty-ish" because I'd pegged her as late twenties. I'm pegging everyone as late twenties these days. I have no concept of age.
We walked over to her friends' house. This would be an Oscars party with theatre folk, and I didn't mind. Wil was TiVoing the ceremony so we could start late and skip the commercials.
The pre-show entertainment included playing with kitties, looking at fish, watching some bizarre trailers for A Boy and His Dog, and ordering pizza.
Really, the ordering pizza is the important part. Because it went like this:
Since I'm technically on a business trip, the company is paying for my food. So I wanted to get my pizza on a separate receipt. We began to work out who wanted what. Wil & Heather and Rebecca decided on pepperoni and some combination of vegetables, whereas I chose chicken and onions, and Rin, who had a British accent and was therefore awesome, took the other half of my pizza with cheese. Wil & Heather also recommended cheesy garlic bread, and I told them to put it on my tab, since it was totally a reasonable expense.
Heather called Fast Pizza and gave them the sitch. And this was their solution: after she gave them both orders and the credit card for her order...she had to hang up and call them back in order to initiate my order. I gave the guy my credit card information (he had me confirm that August was, in fact, the eighth month).
But wait. It gets better. Because less than five minutes later...Steph & her boyfriend whose name I cannot remember showed up. And wanted pizza. So they called. And ordered.
Thus, we had three different orders coming to the same house. It was glorious.
The viewing of the Oscars was very enjoyable and possibly the most fun I've ever had watching the Oscars. I thought Jon Stewart was very funny, if a bit uncomfortable at times, and the fake Best Actress ads nearly killed me with laughter. I'm not kidding; my chest was hurting and I was trying to stop laughing because I thought something bad would happen. The Sound Mixing ad was a hilarious bonus.
As you all know, I love making people laugh, so I was glad to get off at least one good zinger during the show. Everyone was commenting on Dolly Parton's not having backup dancers. They kept mentioning that there were no backup dancers. So I said, "They're all wearing green suits." It was a hit, especially since we'd all enjoyed Ben Stiller's schtick.
Unfortunately, Wil beat me to a joke I should have made myself, about Dolly Parton needing an Oscar for each of her boobs.
We all agreed that George Clooney had the best speech of the night.
And all right, it's time to talk about what's got everyone all riled up.
I loved Crash. A lot. So I was glad to see it win. I know many people think it's too heavy-handed and self-important, and, yeah, there are moments of pretension in there. It happens when you're trying very hard to SAY something.
When I first saw the trailer, I thought, "Blah blah blah racism blah blah blah." I didn't really have a desire to see it. But it got a lot of critical buzz. Then there was a free screening sponsored by a campus organization whose name and function I can't remember, but they were basically trying to use the film to start a dialogue about racism and get people talking. And watching Crash in an auditorium with people who really wanted to see it and discuss it was quite an experience.
When the movie ended, I had that "Wow, that was a good movie" feeling. I felt as if I had taken a journey, that I had really followed the lives of all these characters over the course of a day. It was so damn engrossing waiting for the spectre of racism to claim its next victim. It's kind of like Final Destination in that way. Except I think Crash excelled at pretty much every element of filmmaking, and Final Destination is just a fun movie.
I loved Crash. I liked Brokeback Mountain. Which, really, was a more memorable theatergoing experience. Melanie (toughcookie42) and Rohin (mangopickle) and several others and I drove an hour to the only theater in Michigan that was playing it. I knew it was the Big Gay Movie; it was an event. But it didn't affect me like Crash did. Nearly everyone who saw Brokeback said that it stayed with them and made them cry days later; I got nothing.
The two movies are very different, in the sense that one is a thematic movie centered around a great many characters and the other is a movie centered around two characters that inspires a theme. Yet, they both give an epic feel to small stories.
But here's the thing: I think Brokeback Mountain is a teensy bit overrated. I think all the hype and emotional reactions to it and cultural importance have turned it into much more than it really is. If it were some small indie flick that no one had heard of, would people love it so much? I don't know. I don't think it's, like, the greatest love story ever or anything. It's a very specific tale about the forbidden love between a cowboy who mumbles a lot and a cowboy who whines a lot and how it tears their lives and everyone connected apart. It's a good movie, don't get me wrong, and I appreciate that some people are very personally attached to it, and I hope it's had a positive impact on the perception and treatment of gay people. But, yeah, I honestly don't think it's all it's cracked up to be. And many people have the same opinion (well, actually, a much more negative opinion) about Crash, and that's fine. They're wrong, but that's fine.
In conclusion, Kevin Kline.