Oscar Postscript

Well, as far as the show itself is concerned, my moderately upbeat assessment of it in last night’s live blog seems to have me in the minority. Certainly, my old fellow-in-film-blogging, Brian Doan, found plenty to dislike as did Roger Ebert in his Twitter feed, and even I’m likely to agree that either Martin or Baldwin alone might have been funnier than the two of them together. There were a number of very professionally done and actually funny tandem gags after their initial notably rough start — but, yeah, much of the material — from who else but Bruce Vilanch — wasn’t that much fresher than stuff from the Bob Hope era.

As for other complaints, I don’t disagree. On the other hand, from where I sit doofy production numbers are par for the course and part of the fun. Less fun are film montages that too often seem to miss the point of the genres of they are celebrating, but they are a tradition as well, except when Chuck Workman’s involved, anyhow.

Brian Doan and I definitely agree about the short shrift given to Governor’s Award winners Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, and Gordon Willis and, having read a number of negative comments at various reportorial, geek, and cinephile blogs, I wonder if I went easy on any number of things including Mo’Nique’s somewhat defiant/entitled acceptance speech, which I reviewed more like a performance than for content. I certainly did go very easy on the evening’s one obvious moment of weirdness but I’d rather do that leap to a conclusion about something I really don’t know anything about.

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And there’s also the fact that I just like the Oscars. Every year when people complain about the show, I’m always scratching my head and I’m equally flummoxed by the outsized praise certain years get. I’m always entertained by these particular awards because, whether or not I agree with the awards or the nominations, the results will have a pretty crucial effect on any number of careers and that’s more than enough suspense for me.

However, with three locks in the acting nominations, there was less of that for me than usual. If it had been up to me, many awards would have been different. The fact of the matter is, though I intend to take a second look at both of them, neither “Avatar” nor “The Hurt Locker” really grabbed me in a strongly emotional way. Objectively, though, I’m pretty sure “The Hurt Locker” is the better, or at least the less-flawed and vastly more intelligent, film. I’m glad it won, if only because it’s probably the least fiscally successful film to win the Best Picture award but seems to earn praise from almost everyone who sees it. It’s an award for quality, not marketing and I appreciate that even if my own tastes run more towards “Inglourious Basterds” and, to a somewhat lesser degree, “Up in the Air.”

Anyhow, just in case anyone out there needs an update, below the jump are a complete list of awards and nominees that I promise you I did not simply cut and paste from someplace.

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Play “Youth in Revolt” again, Sam

Courtesy of Funny or Die and via JoBlo we have the new red band trailer for the upcoming R-rated comedy directed by Miguel Arteta, starring Michael Cera and adapted from the epistolary (look it up!) novel by C.D. Payne¬† featuring his Nick Twisp character, “Youth in Revolt.” Since this is red band and we have some of what you might call “coarse sexual language” F-words included, the usual warnings about watching this at work apply. (Of course, assuming that you’re allowed to even be here at all…you are on your break, right?)

Youth In Revolt Red Band Trailer – watch more funny videos

Pretty funny stuff but, at least on the surface, this seems almost like a teen, WASP version of an earlier film, and if you haven’t figured it out already, you can find out what it is right after the flip.

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Ms. Bacall, is that you?

I’m intensely skeptical, but someone claiming to be movie/stage legend Lauren Bacall has an account on Twitter and is doing a pretty good job of sounding like the woman born Betty Joan Perske. Well, some of the time, anyhow.

For those of you who may not be familiar with her, Bacall’s status is entirely earned. A born entertainer, she became one of the screen’s sexiest young sirens playing opposite the substantially older Humphrey Bogart, whom she married. After starring with Bogie, and stealing all her scenes, in Howard Hawks’ “To Have and Have Not” and “The Big Sleep,” she graduated to more mature roles over the years and she became a Broadway star and occasionally popped up in great movies like “The Shootist,” and TV shows like “The Rockford Files.” Now nearing her mid-eighties, she continues to work and be terrific in movies like Paul Shrader’s political thriller, “The Walker.” She even allowed herself to be robbed and mistreated by Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) on an episode of “The Sopranos.”

Lauren Bacall in As Karina Longworth points out, her posts do have a Betty Bacall like cadence, so if you’d like to think that’s actually her, I can’t stop you and I might be tempted to join you. I’m in awe to even think it might be for real.

It’ll be sometime before we find out the truth behind these Tweets. In the meantime, a great Bacall moment or two. We’ll start with her most memorable scene from “The Big Sleep,” which was actually added to boost her role after the success of “To Have and Have Not” and their marriage made Bogart and Bacall one of Hollywood’s hottest couples.

After the flip, I’ve got a couple of iconic clips with Lauren Bacall in her way, way pre-Twitter days.

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It doesn’t seem right…

…to let Independence Day weekend go without any mention of John Wayne, especially so close to the 30th anniversary of his death in 1979. So here’s a trailer for Don Siegel’s 1976 film of “The Shootist,” probably the most fitting final film any screen icon ever got.

Directed by one of mid-century Hollywood’s greatest action directors, and with an astonishing supporting cast that includes two equally iconic classic era greats, a young man who’d become one of the dominant players in modern Hollywood, and some wonderful character actors from past western classics, “The Shootist” had a brutality and frankness that classic-ear Hollywood would never have tolerated, but really does feel something the final true classic-style Hollywood western.

People still wonder about just how westerns went from being the dominant genre to an occasional change of pace. (Innumerable dull TV westerns didn’t help; I know I avoided westerns for years because of them.) In any case, it seems that when Duke’s real-life lung cancer finally got him three years later, he kind of took westerns with him. Seems fitting.

Here’s a tribute from last June by Roger Ebert.

  

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