All week long I watched as Matt Drudge tried his best to stir up controversy with this year’s Oscar host, Chris Rock. Even after Rock opened the show, getting a standing ovation (sort of shooting Drudge’s concerns in the foot) and then asking the audience to put their asses in their seats, Drudge felt compelled to rail again. The show was still in progress and he was going off on Rock!
The must be some sort of Drudge grudge at work here.
I’m a big Chris Rock fan and I thought his opening monologue was great. OK, maybe he hit Jude Law a little hard, but the rest was really funny and I laughed aloud though I was watching in a room by myself. Of course the very stuff I liked was creamed in USA Today and lambasted last night by one of my co-workers, who was not favorably impressed.
The rest of the show was watched by me in ‘collapsed’ form off the DVR.
It was a fairly lackluster telecast. I was disappointed there wasn’t more of Rock in his other appearances during the evening. He needed to do more than hit and run. There needed to be one or two more extended pieces with him. That being said, I hear the ratings were very, very good. So, obviously, I’m not as good a judge as I’d like to be.
I was touched by the acceptance speeches of Morgan Freeman, Hillary Swank (“I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream”) and Jamie Foxx. Then, this morning on CNN Headline News, I heard someone say Foxx had given the virtually same acceptance speech at two other awards shows. That’s not right.
Winner of the “David Niven Funniest Ad Lib Award” went to Jeremy Irons. Chris Rock introduced him, as “comedy superstar,” to which Irons replied, “It’s so good to be recognized at last.”
Then, as he was delivering his nominations, a sound… something like a gunshot, rang out. Without missing a beat, Irons said, “I hope they missed.” His timing was perfect.
Last night’s taped pieces, including the Johnny Carson tribute and annual “death medley,’ weren’t as good as I wanted, or had come to expect from the Oscars. Whoopie Goldberg was used in the Carson package, but why not Billy Crystal and Steve Martin, two recent hosts who had a lot of contact with Johnny.
I was also stunned that “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” won an Oscar. As I had written last April, it was one of the worst movies I had ever seen. What were they thinking when they made it and voted on it?
What strikes me as most interesting as bout the show was the rise in the ratings this year even on a night where few movies produced any kind of passionate following.
I wonder if Billy Crystal will be back next year?