Critics' Corner: Grandpa Still Owns The Oscars. Get Off His Lawn.

Critics' Corner: Grandpa Still Owns The Oscars. Get Off His Lawn.

Feb 28, 2011

Dave and Grae rant on the Oscars' hosting, abbreviated songs, and fashions on Hollywood's biggest awards night.

Grae: The Wolfman has an Oscar now!

Dave: I know. It was my favorite boring Hammer horror movie of 2010, so I was pleased by their award for achievements in stuff that is “gross,” to quote Cate Blanchett.

Grae: Take THAT, The Kids Are All Right. Okay, so I’m excited to do my first Critic’s Corner with you, but it was a little hard waking up this morning. I’ve been asleep since about 5:30 yesterday afternoon.

Dave: Did all that second-hand Pineappy Express smoke make you doze off?

Grae: The very same smoke that made James Franco stare suspiciously at the camera.

Dave: And notice that Seth Rogen was nowhere to be found. Which means he was off in the wings with the mini-bong. Now, as a man whose own mom has suffered a stroke and come out the other side, I am a big fan of bulletproof old people who keep on punching. Which is why I think they should have Kirk Douglas host the whole thing next year.

Grae: I would watch all 22 hours of that.

Dave: But after this it’ll probably be Billy Crystal again and some holograms of dead people.

Grae: Appropriate, because the machine is old and creaky and stiff—

Dave: Which makes hosting, no matter who it is, a thankless job. An especially young, hip host will only draw that into sharper relief.

Grae: Right. The creaky machine does not support our current system of freewheeling Twitter snide-itude.

Dave: And so, in spite of Anne Hathaway’s dorky cheerleading and Franco’s “I’m too ice-cold-awesome for this. Are you getting that?” attitude, the machine chugs on anyway. You can’t improve it. You can’t ruin it. It’s geriatric by nature and nurture.

Grae: Let’s talk about our various important complaints.

Dave: I have a few. First, song snippets. I hate the American Idolization/abbreviation of songs in performance. Florence and Her Substitute Machine got out there for 45 seconds and moaned in a way that even the Cocteau Twins would consider formless and lazy.

Grae: Somewhere Enya was cracking up and thinking, “That’s what you get when you don’t call the professionals in to do the job.” But yeah, not enough to even get what the song was supposed to be. Gwyneth Paltrow’s microphone was pretty, though.

Dave: But she was nervous. And the sad thing about that is that only WASPs get nervous. Which is what she is. And it bummed me out a little because she is right in the middle of her current and otherwise triumphant “Hey Everybody I Am Actually A Super Badass Who Does Lots of Cool Stuff and I’m Real Chill and I Hop On Pianos With Puppets and I’m Also On Glee” Makeover Tour. So that was a pothole in the road.

Grae: Next beef: I hate that they left Corey Haim off the dead person clip package.

Dave: And Eric Rohmer. Except maybe Rohmer was on last year’s clip package? I’ll have to check. The problem is that I wouldn’t be surprised if they left him off. Their methodology is mysterious and lacking in grace. They’ve left people off before and it’s always feels disrespectful. I suspect that non-accidental drug deaths might get an automatic no-go?

Grae: The optimist in me wants that not to be the case. Judging them by how they died is wrong.

Dave: My biggest complaint is that no one mentioned Jafar Panahi. Now for the readers who are suddenly thinking, “Who?” I will tell you that Jafar Panahi is a great filmmaker from Iran who has made terrific movies like The Circle, Crimson Gold, Offside and The White Balloon. And he’s in prison now for making them. His own government put him there. That should anger you and make you want to join Amnesty International. And while big names like Spielberg and Scorcese and a lot of other people have spoken out about it in other places, no one remembered to say his name last night and I was hoping they would. I will now climb down from the soapbox.

Grae: Yeah this was a very non-political show. Except for the people who won for Inside Job. As for non-complaints, can we both agree that we loved the P.S. 22 kids?

Dave: Absolutely. I think those kids are rad. And I hate listening to children sing. That’s how good they are. I saw them do that Ariel Pink song on YouTube and I became a big fan right away.

Grae: Now if they’d only get out of those terrible Do the Right Thing t-shirts.

Dave: Watch Fashion Police rip them apart for it.

Grae: I suppose it keeps them scrappy and NYC-looking. So whatever. Should we discuss the actual winners?

Dave: What, again? Everybody won who they said would win and that’s one reason it was boring. We predictify so much now that it’s like a done deal beforehand. And a million more award shows give out statues to the same people. That’s why outfits are all anyone cares about now.

Grae: Ooh, speaking of that, I loved Cate Blanchett.

Dave: True, she looked like a fancy chair—

Grae: --covered in purple outerspace alien bubblewrap. So great. And Scarlett Johansson looked like the sexy, voluptuous velvet curtains next to the space chair. And her hair was fantastic, like she’d just had a romp in the limo on the way over. ‘SCREW YOU, RYAN REYNOLDS! I CAN HAVE ANY MAN I WANT, ANYWHERE I WANT! IN A CAR EVEN!”

Dave: What did you think of Christian Bale’s beard? I ask because I know the answer.

Grae: It sparked outrage in me.

Dave: He’s got it because he’s going to play Herman Melville next. It’s for a role.

Grae: Really?

Dave: No.

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