By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Maybe some people preferred Brokeback way back when it was called Midnight Cowboy. Happy Endings' director Don Roos certainly did. He just told the Sydney Star Observer, "I was so irritated by those stupid, stupid cowboys . . . It's the perfect film for the BUSH years: 'Don't be gay, America!' It's the kind of movie that makes you glad to be straight. Is that the kind of movie we should be rewarding people for? It's an anti-gay film!"
I guess Brokeback got it from both ends: The squeamish ran screaming from the lovin' on all fours while the Rooses (and Mustos) couldn't bear the fact that it wasn't fully consummated. (Roos directed Happy Endings, remember?) The telecast's shock ending culminated three-plus hours of abuse reminiscent of two classic '05 scenes: the chest waxing in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the fingernail torture in Syriana. But as painful as it all was, I was still glued to the set, reveling in the timeless thrill of seeing four people lose in each category. My tawdry thoughts as it all transpired were:
8 p.m.: The very first image shown is of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, saying, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Clearly, this ceremony is going to be gayer than a home furnishings store on Super Bowl Sunday.
8:07: Everywhere you look, there are Huffmans and Hoffmans, if not Huffalumps. Alas, things are already so poorly paced it's like the sag awards. A few minutes into the telecast, CATHERINE KEENER is spotted checking her text messages in the audience. JON STEWART is amiable enough, but he seems self-defeatingly low-key and as declawed as SIEGFRIED AND ROY's new pets. Nabbing him as host and not letting him rip into the administration even once is like hiring SARAH SILVERMAN to write greeting cards or KATHY GRIFFIN to hostess a massage parlor. Sick!
8:17: GEORGE CLOONEY praises Hollywood's consciousness, remembering that "the Academy . . . gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters." Yeah, buttrue storythey made her sit in the back of the Oscar theater!
8:31: The big gay love story won a prize: Wallace & Gromit. Let the queer juggernaut begin.
8:46: Is this the same MARTIN MCDONAGH who writes those impossibly butch, bloody plays of hetero aggression? In accepting for best live action short film, he's coming off all sweet and light and brokebacky. I want to have his babies.
8:51: For no ostensible reason, they're showing the campiest clip of all timethe "wire hangers" scene from Mommie Dearest. This shit can't get any gayer.
9:00: Whoa, nellyyes, it can. MORGAN FREEMAN is suddenly quoting from Sunset Boulevard. What next? Dame Judi Dench swiveling out with, "But you are, Blanche"?
9:05: The pre-taped comedy bits (the montage of gay subtext in westerns, the faux Best Actress commercials) are spot-on, but the live shtick (the overanxious presentations by BEN STILLER and WILL FERRELL) is more strained than gay spaghetti. Most annoying of all is the orchestral music blaring the second the winners start speaking. It makes it sound as if the trophy holders are voicing over a Glade commercial. Soon enough, perhaps, they will be.
9:12: LAUREN BACALL shakes and stumbles through a prompter read. Finally, some spontaneity.
9:20: It's a good thing the March of the Penguins people won or they'd be sitting there all night with those penguin puppets, looking like complete assholes.
9:25: The Crash song's production number is very Lilith Fair meets Cirque du So-lame crossed with a Great White concert via a dinner theater production of Medea. Make it stop, Jon.
9:31: He can't. He seems defeated. He's not even trying anymore. Are you still there, Jon? We can't afford to lose you to something so silly. Call me!
10:22: I'm so delirious by now that the pimp song sounds just like the Crash one. Give me drugs.
10:29: Don Knotts obviously croaked too late to make the cut for the dead-people montage. Note to celebs: Die in early February.
10:55: Memoirs of a Geisha is proving that you can have the best costumes, cinematography, and art direction of the year and still have the lousiest movie.
11 PM: Oscar loves weight change! George Clooney packed on 30 pounds and won, but FELICITY HUFFMAN only shed nine inches. It wasn't enough. Ballsy REESE wins Best Actress. RYAN PHILLIPPE looks suicidal. I give them six weeks.
11:20: Stunner. Crash nabs Best Picture. Go to the back of the theater, queens. Race relations trump the gay problem. Oscar is too busy oppressing gaysas a rule, out actors never have a chanceto make homophobia the night's shining concern, even with straights allegedly playing the parts. But hey, wasn't Ryan in Crash? Yeah, I'm pretty sure. Reese's marriage is back together again.