I’d like to spank the academy

Random thoughts on the Oscars:

1. Reese Witherspoon is what all humans will be like once we get this genetic engineering thing down pat. Did you see that speech? Even when she stumbles over a word, it’s so perkily appealing you can’t help but love her. I mean, come on: Her momma and daddy were proud of her whether she was “making my bed, or making a movie”! Gosh darn it, I want Reese to be my best friend. And without that scowly, Doogie-Howser-esque husband of hers, please. He and Heath Ledger are totally overrated in the sex appeal department, if you ask me.

witherspoon pearly whites

2. Why is Meryl Streep always so hap-hap-happy? She’s one of the greatest film actresses ever, she has more Oscar nominations than anyone, she’s beautiful and glamorous, and she has an adoring family and a Connecticut estate. Why bother accruing such an embarrassment of riches unless you’re trying to cover a deep, paralyzing depression? She must really stoke up on the Zoloft before these award shows.

Meryl Streep in agony

3. Why was Jon Stewart so hard on Three 6 Mafia, composers of Best Song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”? He went on and on, in apparent shock that a rap song actually won something, culminating in the observation that “for those who are counting, it’s Martin Scorsese: zero, Three 6 Mafia: one.” My god, what a travesty! Maybe if Scorsese started composing pop songs, he’d finally win an Oscar, as obviously there’s no serious competition if those rap guys could get one. Sheesh.

4. Philip Seymour Hoffman seems like a complete shlub when he’s being himself, yet he can be amazingly suave and sexy when acting. Does he ever “act” the part of himself, like when he’s trying to pick up women, to be less shlublike? Or is the shlub thing really the act? Who is this guy?

Mr. Sexy

5. The Huffington Post has a mildly amusing collection of “mashup” film titles here. Best title: “Crapote,” described as “A brilliant, effeminate journalist researches racial tension and road rage in Los Angeles and becomes an advocate for the death penalty for reckless driving.” Great Whatsit crowd, surely you can come up with something better.

6. Never go to the grocery store at 6 p.m. on Oscars night. You will be trapped behind 37 people purchasing chips -n- dip and beer for their big Oscar-night parties.

7. Jake Gyllenhaal is hot. But his sister Maggie is hott.

8. It’s official: with her turn in Crash as a brittle, social-climbing, snobbish LA neurotic, Sandra Bullock is now a Real Actress. Not that her work in Miss Congeniality 1 and 2 didn’t establish that already. She looked lovely last night next to the ever-inscrutable Keanu Reeves, who Washington Post writer Hank Steuver brilliantly dubbed “Dope Face” in an online chat today.

Keanu the dope face

9. Okay, I admit it: I didn’t actually watch the Oscars. We watched “Bottle Rocket” on DVD most of the evening (Ca-caaawww!), then tuned in to the last half-hour of the show. Ha! You’ve all been Jayson Blair’d!

10. There’s no real number 10, but it’s a nice round number to end on.

11. Oh, hell! I never know when to stop.

12. This is how many apostles there were.

13. Baker’s dozen!

14. I’d like to thank my agent, my lawyer, my shrink, my accountant, and most of all, more than anyone… my ghostwriter.

20 responses to “I’d like to spank the academy”

  1. G-Lock says:

    The Academy Awards are dead to me since Jack Nicholson announced “Crash” as Best Picture winner. Only an honorary Oscar to Madonna for her “Evita” snub in 1997 will make things right.

  2. Dave says:

    Re: #2: I think Meryl Streep has actually filled that deep void in her life with golden statuettes, a Connecticut estate, beautiful children, etc. It worked. She bought happiness.

    And it seemed like she was on something other than Zoloft when she and Lilly Tomlin were up there presenting. I heard they went backstage afterwards and made out.

  3. JaneAnne says:

    Reese Witherspoon is the spawn of Satan.

    Just so you know.

  4. WW says:

    This is what I got so far (but it’s early):

    Brokeback Virgin
    The 40-Year-Old Virgin of the Traveling Pants
    The Sisterhood and the Whale
    Crash Point (when a movie clonks you on the head, repeatedly, with its Big Ideas)
    Elizabethtown is Illuminated (because it needed to be)

  5. ep says:

    How could you say such a thing about Ryan Phillippe?

  6. #1 No, I love Reece and Ryan! Did’t you see Vanity Fair?

    #7 So, so true. I was thinking the very same thing, in fact.

  7. Lisa Parrish says:

    Spawn of Satan! Perhaps… But is that reason not to love her? Nay. It’s reason to love her more.

    But that Ryan Philippe, feh. What a milquetoast. Kind of like HiIlary Swank’s husband… what’s his name… Chad? ’nuff said.

  8. Okay, it’s time for me to chime in. I take it personally that Brokeback, my namesake, didn’t win best picture. As some of you know, I’ve been called “Brookeback Maury-tain” by a Seattle living bear who has been pictured on this very blog rocking some kind of fucked up outfit. I know, it’s funny. Ha ha, let’s all call Brooke an epic gay cowboy movie. Funny? Yes. Original? Not really. Apparantly, other people had the same idea — I’ve heard Brookeback Maurytain or variations thereof on numerous occasions, from people who don’t even know each other, over the last few weeks.

    I’m quite proud to be called Brookeback. To me, it means I’m epic, larger than life, and thoughtful enough to spit on my johnson before riding my tent partner to a nirvana they have never known before. To misquote Academy Award winners Three 6 Mafia, “It’s hard enough out here for a pimp, so please use whatever lubricant you have available.” This is me in a nutshell, folks, and goddamned if I and my namesake movie don’t deserve an Oscar for it.

    I can see Hoffman for best actor. I have my qualms with Clooney for supporting actor. Reese Witherspoon was outstanding as June Carter. But Crash for best picture? No way. It was a good movie, timely, relevant, etc. But it doesn’t hold a flame (giggle) to Brookeback.

    A lot of people in SF are saying that the Crash surprise represented the latent homophobia still festering in Hollywood, or at least amongst the Academy voters. Maybe that’s true. If it is true, it also says that the people who vote for the awards missed the bigger picture of Brookeback — it was a story of unrequited love (as my sister described it), of people unable to connect with one another due to a host of obstacles, personal and societal. It’s kind of like Romeo and Juliet, but Juliet has a schlong. I actually agree with another theory posted here. The basic angle in this theory is that Hollywood is a bunch of pussies.

    Who knows? All I know is that one of the more memorable films I’ve seen in the last few years didn’t get its propers, and that’s a drag. So I don’t want to spank the Academy, but I wouldn’t object to a little lubricant next time you plan slipping me a surprise…

    And that’s my rant! Carry on…

  9. great rant, brooke. like your links too. glad to have found your blog, but i’m pissed at r&f for not having pointed me there earlier …

    i didn’t even think crash was good. it was a piece of shit. we almost couldn’t finish it. and i think that giving it a screenplay award was almost as much as a travesty as giving it best picture.

    brokeback should have won, jake’s makeup at the end notwithstanding.

  10. G-Lock says:

    I had totally declared a moratorium on feeding into conspiracy theory in the way of “Brokeback”‘s tragic loss on Sunday for fear that it would validate an organization that, I have been constantly reminded in my deadened stupor this week, rarely honors art or merit. That is an easy cop-out answer since some well-deserving films did demonstrate the Academy’s sterling track record in granting Best Picture kudos to modern classics, like “Pulp Fiction” and “Moulin Rouge” …. oh, wait, nevermind (that would be, uh, “Forrest Gump” and “A Beautiful Mind,” respectively).

    From speaking to industry colleagues and poring over the admittedly “Brokeback”-friendly blogosphere, I’ve gleaned the following lessons:

    1 The Acadmey does not like being told what to do. Aside from being arrogant as a collective body, more than one voting member thought a little “shock” would be a fun way to thumb a nose at all the critics, the Golden Globes, the guilds, and even moviegoers (who made “Brokeback” the most financially successful – by a longshot – of the relatively modest crop of Best Picture nominees).

    2. “Crash” was set in L.A. where most Academy members live and work. They were reminded time and time again by distributor LionsGate, during the Oscar campaign season to think about how “Crash” made them feel … how close it hit to home … how it affected people they knew.

    3. “Crash” DVD screeners literally flooded the market. Every single Screen Actors Guild member (approximately 100,000 actors) received a screener for free from LionsGate. I repeat: EVERY SINGLE ACTOR. In addition, LionsGate sent out about 20,000 *more* screeners to producers, directors, and other possible voting members. This technique all but bought the SAG Ensemble Award (the first major upset for “Brokeback” in Jaunary), probably swayed the 22% of the Academy populated by SAG performers, and assured that every pasty, below-the-line schmuck in Hollywood had either seen the movie or read endlessly about LionsGate’s “brilliant” tactic. Bear in mind, too, “Crash” was the only nominee to also be available to the public on DVD and was released at the end of the year just in time for another marketing blitz.

    4. The fuddy-duddies in the Academy just did not care to sit through “Brokeback.” Tony Curtis – he who, lest we forget, went in drag for “Some Like it Hot” and, according to urban myth, begat a hermaphrodite named Jamie Lee – had publicly said he and more veteran Acadmey members assumed – without watching – the movie spoke to them as it upended classic Western motifs. He even intimiated that the late John Wayne would be offended. How dare Hollywood reinvent and deconstruct itself! Unlike some smaller categories, like Foreign Film, Academy voters do not need to affirm that hey have seen all nominees before checking off their ballot box choice. So, if some of those ancient – and, let’s face it, some younger, more nervous and homophobic (yea, I said it!) – members did not see “Brokeback,” by default “Crash” was the choice for quasi-liberalism and assuaging white guilt.

    5. Maybe “Brokeback” was not the Best Picture of the year. Perhaps I was too emotionally invested in it as it spoke almost directly to me and my friends. Suddenly, this little gay-themed movie that everyone seemed to adore and cherish and throw awards at morphed from underdog to juggernaut. Perhaps “Crash” blindsided it because Academy members saw through the hype, got sick of the buzz, were bored to tears, and/or were not emotionally touched by “Brokeback” at all (though I doubt that could be the case as, straight or gay or trannie, no one I know can sit through it without at least welling up).

    Perhaps Hollywood kowtowed to the American public’s general consensus that we’re not ready for the so-called “gay agenda.” Time and time again during the Oscar telecast, we were reminded about the magic of movies through endless (endless!) montages in a desperate ploy to remind moviegoers to eschew piracy, ignore the glut of sequels and insipid brainlessness of most feature films, and fork over ten bucks to surround yourself with the Great Unwashed in a real, old-school movie theater and be transported to a celluloid fantasy world. Box office slumped yet again this year, so Hollywood is clinging desperately to the idea that it has not “lost touch” with middle America, that it is still the dream factory it has always prided itself on being.

    Well, all told, the Academy sent that message. Whether “Crash” was just the spoiler that won by default since people voting figured, “Hey, everyone else is voting ‘Brokeback,’ I might as well pick something else … um, and, hey, ‘Crash’ had a lot of black people in it!” or voters truly felt it was the better film, I think in trying to please all its constituents, it bit the proverbial hand that fed it: fervent moviegoers, avid “Brokeback” fans, and, yes, me.

  11. G-Lock says:

    Sorry, in my rant, I neglected to be clear that Tony Curtis and his ilk did NOT feel “comfortable” even watching “Brokeback.” But you could’ve figured that out …

  12. I had a feeling early in the evening, when so much of the canned script dwelt on how progressive Hollywood was and how it constantly broke barriers for civil rights movements that Brokeback would lose. They wanted to have it both ways. Hooray for white liberal guilt!

  13. Matt C. says:

    Brooke RULES! (And thanks for the shout-out.) Angelo and I got back from our trip just in time to see the last hour or so of the awards and when Best Picture was announced, our next door neighbor (a young 25-year-old woman who has decided that our floor of the condo complex is her dorm and she is the RA) pounded on our door in anguish after Brokeback lost. She seems OBSESSED with the film, has talked about nothing else since she saw it and has now declared it the official “theme” of her b-day party this weekend. I personally thought the film was lovely but, oddly enough, didn’t feel particularly moved by it. Maybe somethings wrong with me (can I get an AMEN in here?) but I’m a little taken aback by how much influence it seems to have had on others. Maybe its because I grew up with similar cowboy “types” and the story tended to depress me through repetition rather than inspire me with any novelty or escape….sigh, if only Brokeback had been a romantic comedy! Ah well, make it work, people.

  14. Dave says:

    Amen, Matt, something IS wrong with you.

    Brokeback was beautiful and tremendously moving, but I thought Munich was the standout film this year.

  15. pandora brewer says:

    The Brokeback-Crash dilemma aside (Can I admit to being moved at times by both of them? god i am easy.), I am just bummed that the Bush Administration is delaying the progress of genetic engineering so that I can look/be like Reese Withersppon, or create children that look/are like her, or buy grandchildren that look/are like her. Another reason to hate the bastard.

  16. Jeremy Zitter says:

    2 cents: Although I (somewhat) enjoyed “Crash,” ultimately I felt it was a cartoon, a caricature of race in Los Angeles–or, better yet, a (white) Canadian’s nightmare of race in LA. Its view seemed incredibly distorted and manipulative, and I was annoyed by the ridiculous coincidences, which made this “serious” film seem all the more cartoonish.

    2 more cents: I usually don’t want my favorite films to win or be nominated for an award that isn’t generally indicative of 1.) a film’s merit or 2.) my own taste in movies (two totally different things, for the record). But, for obvious reasons, and despite loving the film, I still really wanted Brokeback to win. (Incidentally, I would’ve loved the film all the more had Farrell not taken off his cowboy hat before entering the theater…)

    Lisa, I loved the post. (And, Brian, your very interesting and enjoyable rant should be its own post… when are Brian and Robbins going to start posting?).

    (P.S.: Lisa, I got the article you sent. Thanks so much–what a wonderful read.)

  17. rebecca says:

    farrell and i left crash feeling quite manipulated, mostly because we were aghast at how much it ripped off magnolia. it seemed so derivitive. the scene at the end, when the aimee mann-like song was playing and ashed were falling from the sky, and the camera panned across the faces of all the characters, each of whom had arrived at their own personal revalation about the topics at hand. i was thinking that it reminded me a lot of the ending of magnolia when farrell leaned over and said “aren’t there supposed to be frogs falling from the sky right now?”

  18. if only there had been frogs. at least PT Anderson knows how to write, even when the movie’s flawed.

  19. Stephanie says:

    I thought the EXACT same thing about Crashnolia, Rebecca, and when the frogs I mean ashes began to fall, I wondered whether every character were about to croon a different line from the Aimee Mannchild (which I hated about Magnolia–the different singers singing lines, not the song itself) and if Ludacris were gonna rap his.

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