The best Oscar telecast in years and an Oscar wrap issue to match (#373, April 4). And Geoffrey Rush in an ascot and evening coat — wow. He can dance cheek to cheek with me anytime. But hey, go easy on David Helfgott. He was just fine on the telecast; and as for the cries of exploitation, I’ll believe them when they start selling ”I Got Groped by David Helfgott” T-shirts in the foyer. VICKI WALKER Stockton, Calif.
After reading your Oscar issue cover to cover, I was surprised that the references to acceptance speeches didn’t include that of Frances McDormand. Am I the only person who noticed how ironic it was that she strutted up to the stage, spoke with intensity about women’s roles in film, then proceeded to thank three males for making her an actor, a woman, and a mother? She forgot to thank her own mom for ”making” her. JULI WARD Oceanside, Calif.
I would like to applaud A.J. Jacobs’ ingenuity and chutzpah in impersonating Shine star Noah Taylor at the Oscars. It just goes to show Taylor’s talent has been overlooked for so long, no one knows what he really looks like. I take some issue with whether or not he’d really sign autographs with ”Shine On!”, but I digress…. If you want to read more about the real Noah Taylor, check out a Web page devoted to him, Noah’s Lark, at http://members.tripod.com/~noahtaylor. EMILE ST. CLAIRE Los Angeles
Is the salient, newsworthy feature about Billy Bob Thornton his strikingly original directorial vision or the fact that he’s from the South? In your Oscar issue, you describe Thornton as a ”good ol’ boy,” ”Kentucky fried,” ”hog wilder,” ”down-home,” and call his movie the ”gen-yoo-wine redneck article.” Not only is this ”bubba” leitmotif offensive, it’s boring. But what do I know? I’m just a stupid Southerner. DAVID BALL New York City
Why the big mystery over Anthony Minghella’s use of uxoriousness? All you have to do is look at the most honored film of the year: It’s clearly defined by Geoffrey Clifton when he and his wife first meet Almasy (page 28 of The English Patient’s published screenplay). DAN CAHILL New York City
Your coverage of the Oscars was, as usual, excellent. However, you failed to commend Susan Sarandon for blowing off the TelePrompTer to give the Best Actor winner 11 extra seconds. Maybe the producers can learn a lesson from that and shorten the much-too-long ceremony. PAT JOHNSON Maryville, Mo.
In your review of Chasing Amy, you refer to the profession of the lead characters, New Jersey-based comic-book artists, as ”the perfect scruffy-but-chic, lowbrow-boho profession for the ’90s.” As a successful comic-book artist from New Jersey, I naturally take great umbrage at your remark. How would you feel if someone referred to film critics as talentless armchair quarterbacks whose only capacity for participation is snide commentary and laugh-free attempts at witticism? ADAM HUGHES Atlanta