NY Mirror

9:30: Right after the song from Cars comes "I Need to Wake Up," MELISSA ETHERIDGE's earnest tune about carbon emissions. She's gay, she survived cancer, she looks like HILLARY CLINTON, she can't lose. Besides, the environment is the least controversial issue of all time. No one could argue with wanting to stop the polar ice caps from melting, yet no one can get all that worked up over it. Give them some awards and maybe they'll shut up and let me enjoy my warm winter.

10:25: AL GORE looks like Divine. JACK NICHOLSON looks like DON RICKLES. PETER O'TOOLE looks like the Crypt Keeper. CATHERINE DENEUVE looks like Hillary Clinton. This dyke chic thing is really catching on.

JENNIFER HUDSON is very classy in her win, thanking JENNIFER HOLLIDAY even though Holliday just essentially said in an interview that Hudson copied her performance. Move on and take a holiday, Ms. Holliday. And you wonder why some people don't want to work with you?

11:14: Little Miss Sunshine claims original screenplay, which might be a good chance for me to finally state that the film is a tad overrated. When the once rebellious son insists, "Go give Mom a hug," you know it's gone strictly into formula land. And the ending just didn't work. But I'll shut up now.

By the way, this year's most prominent gay characters were in that film (suicidal), Notes on a Scandal (psycho), The Devil Wears Prada (superficial), and Borat ("You mean the man who tried to put rubber fist up my anus was a homosexual?") I hear Wild Hogs might not win Oscars next year, but—spoiler alert—it has definite gay elements, like William H. Macy developing a yen for JOHN TRAVOLTA, only to be repeatedly swatted away. Suddenly this little heifer wants to see Hogs.

11:20: The Dreamgirls medley! They're gonna show this clip at Pieces for the next 50 years! Hudson gets to sing along on "Listen" and shows BEYONCÉ up one more time, though our star then reclaims center stage, drawing upon the angst from her double-nomination dis to belt with some real rage. I just realized that in the movie, JAMIE FOXX dismisses two of the three nominated songs with, "We can't release this."

11:35: Closety Travolta and LATIFAH present the award to, sure enough, Melissa Etheridge, who kisses and then thanks her wife! Yay!

11:55: HELEN MIRREN wins Best Actress, duh. But the movie leaves out the fact that—am I crazy?—the Queen was no doubt thrilledwhen Di died and in fact I'm pretty sure she killed her! OLIVER STONE needs to remake this! MERYL STREEP was a good sport to not schedule knee surgery today.

12:05 a.m.: If SCORSESEand Alan Arkin weren't getting their sentimental wins, Peter O'Toole would be nabbing Best Actor. They can't have more than two lifetime-achievement-type choices on the same night. FOREST WHITAKER cops it.

12:08 a.m: This thing is dragging on so long that "I Need to Wake Up" is sounding more relevant than ever. Scorsese wins for lifetime, but also because for once he didn't try. The New York Post's capsule review of The Departed has long said, "Scorsese stops chasing Oscars long enough to return to his roots with a corking crime thriller." Bravo to Marty, the SUSAN LUCCI of corking crime thrillers. And how was the food at my house? Gorgeous—and I made my own ice.


musto@villagevoice.com

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