Movie Article

Award to the Wise reviews the Oscar show. Jennifer Garner mixes it up with Mickey, Adrien Brody curses -- twice! -- and Eminem doesn't show to pick up his trophy, says Bruce Fretts

Mickey Mouse, Jennifer Garner, ... | SMALL WORLD Garner and Mickey take one for the home team: Disney
SMALL WORLD Garner and Mickey take one for the home team: Disney reviews the Oscar show

Even during wartime, it's a grand old tradition: The show must go on. Or, in the case of the Oscars, the show must go on and on and on. So I'll go on with an annual tradition: my Oscar night viewer's diary. But like the Academy, I'll dispense with the preshow hoopla and cut right to the ceremony.

8:30 p.m. The telecast opens with a montage of great Oscar-movie moments, projected onto diamonds in honor of the awards' 75th anniversary. With any luck, Bette Davis' line, ''Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night,'' won't prove prophetic.

8:37 p.m. Emcee Steve Martin cracks, ''Nicole Kidman has worn a fake nose in every movie she's ever made -- except 'The Hours.''' So why didn't he get nominated for wearing a fake nose in ''Roxanne''?

8:38 p.m. In the first of what's sure to be many Jack Nicholson reaction shots, the ''About Schmidt'' star cackles at Martin's gag about sharing a hot tub with Kathy Bates: ''Who hasn't?''

8:44 p.m. Here's Jack again, camping it up after Martin ''outs'' him.

8:51 p.m. The special-effects wizards from ''Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers'' become the first winners to have their speeches rudely cut short by Bill ''Stick Man'' Conti.

8:57 p.m. Man, Chris Cooper looks nervous. No need: He wins best supporting actor for ''Adaptation.'' Among the also-rans, Ed Harris looks happy, John C. Reilly looks disappointed, and Christopher Walken looks stunned -- but he always looks stunned.

9:02 p.m. John Travolta introduces the first best song nominee, ''I Move On,'' from ''Chicago'' -- which is weird, since Travolta passed on Richard Gere's role in the movie.

9:10 p.m. Peter Jennings breaks into the broadcast with an update on the war. Okay, now we're all depressed.

9:13 p.m. ''Alias'' goddess Jennifer Garner presents best animated short with Mickey Mouse. Now, that's a loyal ABC/Disney employee.

9:19 p.m. Mira Sorvino stumbles over her lines presenting Best Costume Design. It must be contagious, as winner Colleen Atwood (''Chicago'') commits a Freudian slip: ''Bill Condon's strip? script.''

9:26 p.m. Paul Simon performs his best song nominee, ''Father and Daughter,'' from ''The Wild Thornberrys Movie.'' It ain't exactly ''Mrs. Robinson.''

9:32 p.m. My wife asks, ''Why are there only two nominees for Best Makeup? They didn't use makeup in any other movies?'' I don't have an answer for that one.

9:34 p.m. What the hell is Sean Connery wearing? Is that the puffy shirt from ''Seinfeld''? Must be a Scottish thing.

9:37 p.m. Connery announces the winner for Best Supporting Actress: ''Catherine.'' That'd be his ''Entrapment'' costar, Catherine Zeta-Jones -- but you've gotta wonder if Kathy Bates was confused.

10:08 p.m. Sorry, I dozed off during ''Y Tu Mamá También'' star Gael Garcia Bernal's endless introduction to the ''Frida'' song.

10:13 p.m. Peter Jennings is back. In case you forgot, we're at war.

10:17 p.m. Michael Moore gets a standing ovation for winning Best Documentary. Then he gets loudly booed for dissing George W. Bush as a ''fictitious president.'' Just like Mike planned it, I'm sure.

10:19 p.m. Following Moore, controversy-averse Academy honcho Jack Valenti looks stunned -- but he always looks stunned.

10:21 p.m. Um, did one of the best documentary short winners just thank Maury Povich?

10:27 p.m. Um, did Shirley Jones just say, ''Winning an Oscar improved my sex life''?

10:33 p.m. A rambling Colin Farrell introduces fellow Irishmen U2. Gael Garcia Bernal, all is forgiven.

10:50 p.m. In one of the most shocking -- and thrilling -- upsets in Oscar history, first-time nominee Adrien Brody beats past winners Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicolas Cage, and Michael Caine for Best Actor. ''The Pianist'' star deserves another statuette for his tour de force acceptance speech.

11 p.m. Here's a phrase I never thought I'd type: ''Oscar winner Eminem.''

11:08 p.m. Here's a phrase I always knew I'd type: ''Oscar winner Peter O'Toole.''

11:11 p.m. As Brody's reaction to winning is replayed, he can be heard to utter, ''Holy sh--!''

11:17 p.m. Man, Renée Zellweger looks nervous. She should: Nicole Kidman beats her for Best Actress. Okay, I guess I'll see ''The Hours.''

11:23 p.m. Do we really need a montage of former Academy presidents' speeches? What's next, a Price Waterhouse retrospective?

11:27 p.m. Fifty-nine former Oscar winners are introduced, one by excruciatingly slow one. Who knew George Chakiris was still alive?

11:41 p.m. Singing the praises of ''Chicago,'' Richard Gere's voice cracks. Finally, he's hit puberty.

11:53 p.m. Roman Polanski wins Best Director for ''The Pianist.'' As Adrien Brody might put it: ''Holy sh--!''

12:04 a.m. What a surprise! Not that ''Chicago'' won Best Picture, but that the Oscars actually ended almost on time.

What were your favorite -- and least favorite -- Oscar moments?

Originally posted Mar 18, 2003

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