Oscar night is nearly here, and EW’s own Libby Gelman-Waxner is back just in time to ponder the big questions about Hollywood’s biggest and most over-the-top extravagant event:
Do you really think The Descendants is deserving of the Oscar praise or is it just because George Clooney is in it and the Academy is scared/infatuated with him?
Dear PJ —
Like everyone else in the world, except maybe for a few Republicans, I worship George Clooney, especially because he’s so suave and sexy, but in The Descendants he’s playing a regular person, a lawyer in Hawaii. The movie was directed by Alexander Payne, who also did Sideways and About Schmidt, and who clearly believes that you can’t have too many movies about depressed middle-aged white guys. Now, I’m married to a depressed, middle-aged white guy, so when my mind wandered during The Descendants, I pictured George playing my husband, Josh, and putting braces on whiny rich teenagers in Manhattan. I thought about George telling those teenagers that even with straight, bonded teeth, sooner or later everyone dies, and then I decided that maybe George could have a meaningless affair with his hygienist, and smoke pot and wonder why his life was so empty, and whether, despite the rubber gloves, his hands would always smell like middle school saliva.
That movie would be terrible, but George might get another nomination, for wearing a white nylon smock and looking lost. George is like Alec Baldwin, because they’re both handsome, confident liberal dreamboats who are a teeny bit embarassed about being actors, so sometimes they make noises about running for office and play characters who have troubled kids and drive SUVs instead of Maseratis. George and Alec are always terrific, but I sometimes want to tell them it’s okay to make entertaining movies and have great hair. As Josh told me, “I would love to be played by George, but only if he used his dental equipment to kill terrorists and get into Charlize Theron’s mouth.”
Why is it that certain people who are nominated are almost never interviewed or paid attention to by the red carpet police? I don’t think I’ve seen the following people interviewed ONCE during the awards season: Glenn Close, Tilda Swinton, Nick Nolte (I didn’t even know he was nominated for a SAG), Kenneth Branagh, or Armie Hamer. I saw Christopher Plummer interviewed 1X despite the fact that he’s won everything this season. Don’t the tv reporters get tired of Angie, Brad, George, Stacey, the Glee girls and the 30 Rock stars? I’m so bored by all of them — Clooney included — that I’m seriously considering not even bothering watching the red carpet if it’s going to be more of the same
Dear Diane –
While I totally understand your rage, the whole point of the Oscars is that they’re always the same. Every time a new producer announces that he’s going to shake things up, there’s still one of those space-age sets that rises and rotates for no reason, the clips for Best Picture will always make each nominated film seem shrill and desperate, and the camera will always cut to Jack Nicholson or Tom Hanks sitting in the front row… so that my Aunt Sylvia, who’s in a nursing home in Tampa, can ask, “Is that Henry Fonda?”
I love the Oscars because they force wonderful, quirky actresses like Glenn and Tilda to dress up like Beverly Hills hookers, and because there’s always a Best Documentary winner who tries to make a brave statement about acid rain, which no one ever listens to because the words “Best Documentary” are a universal signal for the world to go to the bathroom.
So sadly, it never does any good to complain about the Oscars, because even this year’s Academy slogan, “For the movies in all of us,” makes the ceremony sound like an intestinal blockage. So just sit back and enjoy the TV star presenters, who are supposed to attract a younger audience, meaning people who’ve only just begun to use coupons for laxatives and Viagra. And don’t forget to watch the memorial section for all the Hollywood folks who’ve died during the past year, because it’s always fun when only the actors get any applause.