I don't usually write about pop culture; BeckEye does that far better than I can, but it's what I'm thinking about right now. I'm watching the Oscars, and as much as I love looking at the dresses and the beautiful faces, I'm a little sad about something that's missing. I don't know what it is, it's hard to identify. Then the clips of old Oscar shows start to roll, and I know.
Nothing stunning is going to happen. No one is going to run naked across the stage behind Nicole Kidman or Jon Stewart. No one's going to refuse to accept their Oscar. No one is wearing something insane (there might be a few people in unflattering dresses, but nothing insane). And no one is going to make a memorably goofy speech.
For the last 2 weeks or so, every time I've been online, or reading the paper or a magazine, there's been reams worth of advice to presenters and nominees on how to avoid the eagle eyes and talons of the media and blogosphere. Don't end up like Sally Field, making a giggling, gushing acceptance speech, because we'll replay it mockingly until...well no "until". Forever! It will never end! Don't wear anything too creative or daring (Bjork, you'll rue the day you agreed to wear that swan dress). And don't even leave the house until your your teeth are superhuman, your face is flawless, lineless, and poreless, and your upper arms are nothing but skin stretched over sinew (anything less, and we'll write and talk about "muffin tops" for weeks).
So everyone's scared good and proper now. No one is going to fuck up and end up the victim of a blogswarm or the cable network fashion gestapo. Just call a stylist, get a recognizably impressive dress, borrow some jewelry and don't say anything stupid. The Oscars are still pretty to look at, just not too inspiring.
A few bright spots:
Tilda Swinton. She doesn't look like anyone else, and her acceptance speech was wry and funny and she looked genuinely shocked.
Marion Cotillard. Amazing dress and she was so charming and delighted when she won.
Diablo Cody. Stripper-turned-screenwriter. That's the rule; no one is permitted to mention one of Ms. Cody's occupations without reference to the other. (Parenthetical: I don't know a single heterosexual over-18 American male who hasn't been to a strip club or to a bachelor party where strippers entertained. Not one. Interestingly, a man who is now a scientist, politician, bricklayer, or mathematician is never referred to as a "viewer of strippers-turned-scientist/politician/bricklayer/mathematician". Just an aside). Anyway, she's so interesting and brave, and I liked her outfit better than anyone's.
3 of the 5 musical numbers. I liked Amy Adams' performance of "Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted" and the performances of "Falling Slowly" from "Once" and "Raise it Up" from "August Rush". The other 2 songs I could have done without, but I usually hate all 5 musical performances, so 3 of 5 is excellent. And Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova were charming when they accepted the award for "Falling Slowly". They look like people, and they were so beautiful, and it was touching that Ms. Irglova was brought back to give her acceptance speech when it was realized that she hadn't had the chance to speak.
So now it's 11:20. There are a few awards remaining, and I'll stay up to see them, but I'll have to finish this post tomorrow morning.
It's Monday morning now. No surprises. I was happy to see Diablo Cody win the screenwriting award, and I haven't seen "No Country for Old Men" or "There Will Be Blood", but everyone predicted that Daniel Day-Lewis would win for his performance in TWBB, and that "No Country" would win Best Picture. This might be my last pop culture commentary until next February.