By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
My chronological impressions? 8:55 p.m.: Tim Robbins urges everyone who's been abused to come forward. OK, Tim: I am the victim of terrible abuse. Mystic River was torture! 9:02: The Finding Nemo guy thanks "my adoring children." He must be fun to live with. 9:22: Winner Renée Zellweger is acting all quivery and humble. Nicole forces a smile. Even Harvey doesn't look that happy, and it's his movie. 9:40: I just can't stop singing "You Will Be My Ain True Love." Kidding. If these weepy, pretentious dirges are all they can come up with, they should abolish the song category. Bring back "Shaft" and "Flashdance." 10:40: Errol Morris makes his fabulous "rabbit hole" remark. He'll probably be found in one next week.
11:50: Charlize Theron wins for Monster (a/k/a The Passion of the Dyke), a rare baddie character to nab Best Actress. But the flick was actually so sympathetic to Aileen Wuornos, it almost had you rooting for her to kill more of those horrible males. I loved Charlize thanking her "leading lady," Christina Ricci. I only wish she hadn't also thanked everyone else on three continentsand I pray she doesn't now throw her long-awaited credibility into the garbage pail à la Halle Berry.
Midnight: More angsty, showy acting is crowned when a showered Sean Penn takes his prize (though he excellently tosses the "WMDs" lie into his first utterance). Sorry, Bill Murraylet's have more screaming and emoting next time, I guess. By the way, all these mournful flicks are clearly a direct result of 9-11. Gee, thanks, Osama!
The angstiest moment of all came when Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl was memorialized in the montage of recently deceased screen folk, as glowing music played. For a second, I could swear I heard Mel Gibson and his dad cheering all the way from Australia.