February 28, 2004 02:55Skip The Banter And Open The Damn Envelope
My Academy card is smoking after the last few weeks of screening every single Oscar-bait movie that’s still playing in local theatres. The slim pickings for worthwhile fare among the supposed top movies of the year just goes to show what a dismal year 2003 was for cinema in general. Some of the nominated “best” out there are anything but, and a few of the performances deemed worthy of a nod are so embarrassingly over the top they mark the absolute low point of careers that were hardly stellar to begin with. I’ll point you at Diane Keaton’s crying/writing montage in Something’s Gotta Give as an example of some screen time that should bar her from any awards show for life. Or you could just pop into the neighbouring cinema over at the multiplex and catch a few minutes of Cold Mountain to see Renée Zellweger playing the least convincing black woman since Halle Berry. Was there ever a time when they didn’t hand out Oscar nominations like beer tickets? Certainly you used to have to do more than flash your middle-aged tits (Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates last year), play yourself (Bill Murray), put on some eyeliner and do an impression of Keith Richards (Johnny Depp), direct an easily-solved whodunit (Clint Eastwood), or write a thirty-page treatment for something you’re just going to let your actors improvise anyway (Sofia Coppola).
Since the competition is so dismal, I can at least look forward to watching Peter Jackson fulfill my three-year-old prediction by going home with director and film for the third entry in his Rings trilogy. There’s no suspense to be had there. For a bit of intrigue I’ll have to amuse myself by waiting anxiously to see who made this year’s Oscar tribute to the fallen. The death list is always my favourite part of the show. It’s the last great popularity contest, when we’ll see who will get more applause (Katharine Hepburn or Bob Hope) and who will be deemed worthy of inclusion. Spalding Gray is missing and presumed dead. Will he get a mention? Leni Riefenstahl is dead and presumed burning in hell. Will she be acknowledged even posthumously? Place your bets now.
As you hope for some celebrity surprise nudity to make it past the network time delay, and await the announcement of best picture to cue you that it’s time to go to bed, remember that Oscar season for the 2005 awards has already begun. Yes, this week’s release of The Passion of the Mel means the race is on for next year’s top spots, setting the pace for the competition that will be dribbling out over the next ten months. We’re only in February, but we already have one movie that’s pretty much guaranteed some sort of nomination a year from now. It may have no bearing on Sunday’s show, but if this little opus of anti-Semitism seems like a sure contender, then maybe there’s hope for Leni to get her death list nod after all.
February 10, 2004 05:40I’ll Have You Naked By The End Of This Blog
It’s day nine of America’s titty crisis, and the country remains on high alert. Award shows and other celebrity events are being guarded by SWAT team snipers and broadcast on a five-second delay in case another pop diva or publicity-hungry actress decides to whip out a breast in mixed company. Immigration has closed the border to anyone traveling from Brazil, France or other boob-friendly nations. Attorney General John Ashcroft was last seen cowering in a closet, asking his mommy to “make the bad brown nipple go away.”
Despite these precautions, I’m afraid the damage has already been done. There’s no denying that the festivities and seasonal cheer of Groundhog Day were dashed by the previous day’s Half Time atrocity. The financial market fallout threatens to throw America’s economy back off the rails just as it was recovering from the disastrous effects of George Bush’s election in 2000. And millions of decent, law-abiding, church-going, beer-soaked, injury-list-gambling Super Bowl fans will be forever scarred by their two-second exposure to Janet Jackson’s right-hand knocker.
Reaction in Canada has been typically muted, as it always is in these moments of international calamity. Once again, the silent neighbour to the north has refused to step up to the plate and take part in the panic mongering and histrionic overreaction like a good citizen of the world. Instead, Canada spent the entire morning of February 2nd doing little more than debating the merits of Jackson’s choice in nipple ring before returning its attention to self-centred local issues of the day like hockey, Belinda Stronach’s money, hockey, Paul Martin’s money, hockey, and of course, whether the Liberal and the New Conservative parties can settle their differences by playing a game of hockey. For money.
Oh sure, Canada may point to how their broadcasters offer unbridled cussing on prime time television, or how you can hardly flip past the French stations at any hour of the day without seeing a tit. But that sort of smut isn’t going to fly with the FCC, whose job it is to make sure the public airwaves are safe for parents and their children to gather together in front of their television and spend some wholesome quality time watching Paris Hilton suggestively milking a cow, Richard Hatch picking sand out of his optically blurred foreskin, and thousands of Iraqi civilians being bombed to mush in the name of a little White House fib. Yes, the FCC will save us all, because they’re our front line of defense in this war on basic human anatomy.
They know, as I do, that this world will never be safe for our children until the only breast they see is the one stuck in their mouth when it's time to feed the baby. But we’re working on a way to optically blur that one as well.
While you weather the crisis, enjoy some damn dirty apes.