Poor, adorable Abigail Breslin. She was the belle of the ball on Oscar night, even though she didn’t win a trophy. So many people were rooting for her — but not her Little Miss Sunshine costar Alan Arkin, the cranky mofo. Didja hear what the Best Supporting Actor winner told Access Hollywood on the red carpet? He said he was hoping the pint-sized starlet would lose. Scandal! But, wait, wait. You know, maybe he actually had a point. Winning an Academy Award at such a young age can kill a kid’s childhood and cause all sorts of damage. Just look at Tatum O’Neal. I mean, owning one of those little gold guys isn’t as potentially problematic as, say, drug abuse, but it’s still worth considering: Maybe Abigail Breslin was better off going home empty handed.
That’s just one of the thoughts still floating through this hazy brain of mine, 37 hours after the end of the seemingly interminable big show. Here are a few more; weigh in at will:
• How does The Departed measure up against other Best Picture winners, and will it stand the test of time? I, for one, believe that it’s one of the best Best Pictures we’ve had in a while — in fact, it’s my first favorite-movie-of-the-year to win the top award since, like, The Silence of the Lambs. And this L.A. Times column makes a good case that genre flicks resonate best as the years go on.
• Ellen was great, but Jerry Seinfeld killed! Maybe he should host next year?
• Viewership for the telecast (39.9 million people) was up slightly over last year (38.9 million), probably because at least one box office hit (The Departed) was nominated this time around. Still, ratings are awfully crappy compared to several times in the past decade when 10 million or 15 million more folks tuned in (especially when blockbusters like Titanic and Return of the King were contenders). Why is this happening? Awards fatigue? The 500-channel universe? No Billy Crystal? Dare I suggest that if this weekend’s box office winner, Ghost Rider, which has already earned more dough than all but one of the Best Picture nominees, is tapped next year, then more people will watch? (It won’t happen, of course, but still.)
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• Does winning an Oscar wash the stink of Caligula off Helen Mirren? How does it do for The Departed’s screenwriter, William Monahan, who previously penned Kingdom of Heaven? Or Alan Arkin and Havana/The Rocketeer/North/The Jerky Boys?
• I know everybody loves her, but, honestly, will we ever hear fromJennifer Hudson again? Think of all the Best Supporting Actress winnerswho have all but disappeared, starting with Mercedes Ruehl.
• If you were a favorite for Best Supporting Actor and lost, would you take this awards show and shove it, like Eddie Murphy reportedly did?Actors have had unique ways of dealing with the disappointment oflosing — is it better to cry, throw a hissy fit, or just blow the wholething off?