Honestly, we’re not inclined to reflexively bash the Oscars telecast. We maintain only the lowest standards for it and take it, usually, for what it is, and wonder why its critics pout about it year after year.
But this year it was dreadful. From the very beginning, with the opening segment on the nominees, right to the point when we just turned it off and went to sleep, the show was about as interesting as waiting on line at Starbucks.
We don’t think that Ellen DeGeneres is funny, so we had no expectations for her stewarship of the broadcast as its host, and we were not disappointed, although she did get off a few lines that surprised us and drew a laugh.
That said, DeGeneres was a tad creepy and more than a tad in over her head. If the broadcast had been only an hour long, she might just have been able to manage it. But a second hour with her induced fidgeting and foot tapping, at the point where we would normally be mildly amused and slightly entertained.
Seeing a senescent Peter O’Toole near the front of the audience was a bit heart-rending, given that we never expected him to make it to that age and actually look old.
Yet Clint Eastwood, also seated down front, continues to appear vital for a man nearing 80.
Gwyneth Paltrow came out on stage wearing a dress that made her look like a broiled filet of Atlantic salmon.
Al Gore came out looking nearly as depleted and swollen as his older cousin Gore Vidal, and made some painfully uninteresting remarks about how this year’s Oscar broadcast was “green.” Leonardo DiCaprio stood at his side and unaccountably swooned. Both of them looked washed up, frankly. We were already asleep when Gore won the Oscar for his documentary on global warming, so we were spared a second helping of that.
And we were happy to hear this morning that Marty Scorcese finally got the statue for best director. About time.