Freaks

Last nights presentation of the 83rd Academy Awards was very sad, don’t you agree? I even dressed up for them, well I bathed and put on clean underwear at least. I know, I know, we the audience are pressing our collective noses against the window from the outside looking in, but…it’s everyone’s air. The Academy Awards show is kinda like candy, but like candy it can give you an upset stomach. Such was last night’s ceremony. It needed something to bring it down to earth. I thought that Hathaway and Franco would make for an interesting evening. It didn’t work. Hathaway came across as a cheerleader looking for a team and Franco replayed his role as one of the freaks on “Freaks and Geeks” for that wonderful 99-00 season. Most of the critique that I read today was that the Academy made a mistake choosing actors as hosts. Maybe. When Billy Crystal made a brief appearance on the stage I was reminded how good he was. Quite frankly I would have taken Ricky Gervais, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel or even Glenn Beck’s blackboard. (Can you tell I didn’t have a good time?) I know I could have changed the channel, but a live (albeit delayed by 7 seconds) is worth watching just in case something interesting happens.

Kirk Douglas brought one of the lighter moments when he was tapped to give out the Best Supporting Actress award. His delaying “You knows” were classic. Please, these are awards for entertainment from the entertainment industry not us. A little levity or clever-ness would have been a nice distraction. Now is the time of year I bring up my adventures at the 42nd Academy Awards show in 1970 honoring the best of 1969. Here’s a trivia question for you, a year after the first “G” rated movie ever to win Best Picture Award, the first (and only) “X” rated movie won Best Picture, what was the name of the “G” rated movie and what was the name of the “X” rated movie? Give up? The answers are at the bottom of this piece.

Meanwhile back at the 42nd Awards show, walking the red carpet into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was a thrill with all sorts of people whispering “Who are those guys?” referring to me and my friend and source for the tickets. It was a dazzling evening with no host. Yes you heard me right, no host, just presenters. And yes it was a long show, but being there was fun. John Wayne won for “True Grit” Barbara Streisand gave “Duke” his award. Elizabeth Taylor gave out the award for Best Picture wearing a huge diamond around her neck given her by Richard Burton. I saw most of my heroes giving out the awards that evening, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Raquel Welch, Franco Zeffirelli, Gregory Peck and so on and so on. It was a good evening, not great but a good evening and I wasn’t disappointed. Last night, I was disappointed until the kids from New York sang “Somewhere over the rainbow” at the end. I’m not sure that was worth the time investment though. So I blame myself…

Answer to the trivia quiz now that you have had time to “Google” it: First G-Rated movie to garner “Best Picture” was “Oliver!” and the first (and only) “X” rated movie was “Midnight Cowboy.” Gutzy.

and so it goes…