The second most interesting thing Gothamist found about the Oscars last night was that Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit cinematographer John Schwartzman is Jason Schwartzman's brother, which means he's cousins with Sofia and Nic, nephew of Francis... The first most interesting thing was how bored we could be watching the Oscars. BORING BORING BORING. Gothamist hates your producing, Joe Roth. Hate hate hate!
A few moments before the show officially starts, Billy Bush makes Keisha Castle Hughes meet Johnny Depp. Johnny looks 16 - totally Officer Tommy Hanson and how cute is it that he brought his mom Betty Sue? - and Keisha is sweet and adorable, but can we chip in and ship Billy Bush to a place without a satellite feed?
The show opens with Sean Connery introducing a montage of films, "Blah blah blah film blah humanity blah blah." Luckily, he is not wearing a puffy shirt, the way he did last year. Gothamist happens to like the Chuck Workman film montages. Unfortunately, it's not a Chuck Workman film montage but a film with Billy Crystal inserted into various Oscar nominated films from 2003. There's too much naked Billy, from the T3 spoof to Something There's Gotta Give. Lesson to anyone: Naked Billy Crystal can maybe be funny once. But more than that, people will demand their money back. He does mention A-Rod going to the Yankees and Michael Moore makes an appearance in the film, but still, it's going to be a long goddamn night.
Billy comes onstage and does some monologue: Disney troubles, The Passion, Clint Eastwood, sexy Johnny Depp, you name, it was in there. This is his eighth year hosting. We were amused he pointed out that Keisha Castle-Hughes is 13, he hosted the Oscars first 13 years ago (well, actually 14 years ago, but it was so good!) when there was a Bush in the White House, the economy was tanking, and we finished a war in Iraq. He segues into his usual "What a Wonderful Night for Oscar" medley that sums up films to the music of familiar standards. The first, oh, seven times this was funny. This time, not so much. ABC - if you want to keep your precious 18-49 demographic engaged, try to get Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, or Conan O'Brien to host. The house orchestra is directed by Marc Shaiman, whose South Park and Hairspray music gives him a little cred but not much tonight; not much because he'll be musicing people off stage.
Last year's Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner, Catherine Zeta-Jones comes out to present Best Supporting Actor. She looks skinny and glorious in red. Hey, we believe the Atkins diet works. The award goes to Tim Robbins for Mystic River, and gives a speech that's only shocking for its sucking up to Clint Eastwood and lack of political statement; he does, however, say some nice things about how people shouldn't be afraid to get help if abused, in order to stop the cycle of violence.
Ian McKellan comes out to present a clip of Best Picture nominee The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Gothamist loves Ian and his hot, young boyfriend.
Angelina Jolie presents for Best Production Design. She's wearing a Marc Bouwer white halter dress and looks hot. Everyone should have an poorly planned spontaneous marriage to a man with a history of many wives and allegations of spousal abuse and then divorce him, plus reconcile and then re-estrange with one's father, be linked and then not linked to various ex-husbands or co-stars, to look this good. She's a little too skinny, though. Anyway, the Production Design Oscar goes to The Lord of the Rings.
Robin Williams and Billy do some schtick. Robin is wearing one of his wacky tuxes again! Gothamist looks around for a razor to slit our wrists with. He's here to present Best Animated Feature, which goes to Finding Nemo. Director Andrew Stanton accepts and says something nice, but we take a call from our parents.
UGH! There's a new segment with this year's telecast: "The Sounds of Oscars" where they replay the announcement of a big winner, but this time you see the winner from before the envelope is opened to when their name is announced. This is pretty stupid, it's not really adding anything unless the nominee/winner is picking his nose or smirking. This runs for more than a minute and this is why the show will run too long. Hate hate hate you, Joe Roth.
Nicolas Cage comes to introduce the second clip of a Best Picture nominee, Master and Commander. That's nice of him, to shill a film he has nothing to do with (he's not even foreign) for the blinging Oscar gift basket.
Chris Cooper, last year's Best Supporting Actor, ambles onstage to present the award for Best Supporting Actress. A moment for how gorgeous Shohreh Aghdashloo is. No shock - it's Renee Zellweger. She looks fabulous in her sweeping Carolina Herrera dress with a very long train.
There's a long tribute to Bob Hope. Watching the clips of Bob Hope hosting past Oscar ceremonies makes us wish for a day when we had short, deadpan, witty hosting. Oh, yes, that was last year.
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson come out to bring the funny. They are funny (Ben is wearing Starsky clothing, to pimp Starsky & Hutch, opening this weekend) but not as funny as they were two years ago. But Gothamist will take it. Best Live Short Film goes to Two Soldiers, based on a Faulkner story, and Best Animated Short Film goes to Harvie Krumpet, whose directed thanked his boyfriend as well as uncle Geoffrey Rush for lending his vocal talents. Hey now, Geoffrey Rush also lent his vocal talents to Finding Nemo. Does Geoffrey Rush + animated film = Oscar gold?
Liv Tyler comes out to introduce not one, not two, but THREE Best Song nominees - two from Cold Mountain ("Scarlet Tide" and "You Will Be My Ain True Love") and one from Lord of the Rings ("Into the West). Liv seems to like pulling out the cat's eye glasses to read the Teleprompter (she did this at the SAG Awards as well)...we'd say "Who is she kidding?" but Gothamist needs corrective lenses, so we'll refrain. Billy Crystal does an audience bit where he pretends to be able to read the minds of stars sitting in the audience. Julie Andrews, targetted last year by Steve Martin as someone he slept with, gets it worse this year: Billy implies she's wearing a starburst nipple piercing, a la Janet. Billy, why must you do that to Maria Von Trapp and our poor little minds?
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith come out to hand out the Special Effects Oscar to the team behind LOTR. Gothamist, meanwhile, is confused by Jada's dress: We realize it's a flowery Valentino print, but the shades of green and greyish green make it seem more punk bedazzled camouflage dress we could get behind. But it's not.
Jennifer Garner, looking much better in vintage Valentino this year over last year's too-tight Versace, reveals she spent her Valentine's Day giving out awards for the Oscars' Technical and Scientific branches. Aw, she's cute.
Jim Carrey is in charge of giving an Honorary Oscar to Blake Edwards. The presentation is so unhinged, complete with Blake Edwards going through a wall in a wheelchair, that we're worried Blake suffered a stroke during it - he didn't quite seem to be there immediately after coming through the wall.
Yippee! Orchestra plays "What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding," and Bill Murray walks out to introduce the Lost in Translation clip. He talks about crew members wanted to quit because the director was so terrible. It's true but played for laughs, yet we're unsure whether we should laugh because we're afraid Francis Ford will come through the TV and beat us up if we laugh at Sofia's expense. Then Scarlett Johansson comes out, looking amazing in a green with blue tint Alberta Ferretti dress, to give the Make Up Oscar to LOTR.
Sandra Bullock's stylist hates her, or Oscar de la Renta hates her, because her dress sucks. But, admittedly, not as much as her "banter" with John Travolta before giving the Sound Design Oscar to LOTR and Sound Editing Oscar to Master and Commander.
Huh. Julia Robert's hairstylist isn't her friend either, giving her kind of a trampy 70s 'do. See, some stars can pull it off. Julia, not so much. Her dress, though, is beautiful. The audience doesn't quite laugh when she reads the tribute to Katharine Hepburn, which was actually funny and interesting.
Serious and Regal Oprah presents the clip for the serious film, Mystic River.
Diane Lane, in one of the most beautiful dresses of the evening, and John Cusack, looking slightly bloated, come out to give Best Documentary Short to Chernobyl Heart. While Gothamist would have liked Ferry Tales, about female friends on the Staten Island Ferry, to win, we understand the Academy likes messages films (Chernobyl, plus heart surgery...it's Oscar bait). They are followed by Naomi Watts and Alec Baldwin, who presenting one of the few interesting categories, Best Documenatry. All nominees seem worthy, but the winner is Fog of War. Director Errol Morris unabashedly says thanks for finally recognizing his films; while it's not humble, it's very honest. Morris also makes the most political statement of the night, saying he's worried that the Bush administration has put the U.S. into a rabbit hole much like the one we were during the Vietnam War.
Academy President Frank Pierson begins the "In Memoriam" segment by paying tribute to former Academy President Gregory Peck. Gothamist decides to forgo listening to who the audiences claps loudly for because it's depressing when there is less clapping for lesser known people, like Andrew Kuehn who basically created the modern film trailer.
Easy listening standard fare, Sting and Phil Collins, give the Best Score Oscar to Howard Shore for LOTR. Then co-stars of the upcoming Laws of Attraction, Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore (her nude dress is only okay), give the the Best Film Editing Oscar to LOTR. Yes, LOTR is a fine film, it should be honored. But it makes for bad TV. Billy cracks a joke about how at this point, everyone in New Zealand has been thanked. We're so tired of watching, we manage to "heh." Resistance is futile.
Jamie Lee Curtis, sadly snubbed for her tour de force performance in Freaky Friday (don't believe us? Buy it, rent it), comes out to present Best Song nominees. She is very excited to present "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" because it's from husband Christopher Guest's film, A Mighty Wind, but Gothamist is excited as well. And the performance doesn't let us down: Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara play Mitch and Mickey beautifully and the Oscars telecast finally has some life.
Then Curtis presents "Belleville Rendezvous" from Triplets of Belleville and that performance, with Betty singing, three backup dancer-singers, and a band as well as Benoit Charest playing a bicyle, is totally rousing and gets the audience excited. Too bad it's almost three hours into the telecast. Gothamist can't believe we're contemplating this, but maybe there was something to the tacky, elaborate production numbers of yesteryear.
Jack Black and Will Ferrell come out and continue to build upon the momentum by singing a song about boring show, boring speeches. "Booooriinnngg," they trill. EXACTLY. Best Song Oscar goes to LOTR; eh but Annie Lennox is very cool.
Charlize Theron presents the Best Foreign Feature Film Oscar to Denys Arcand's Barbarian Invasions. Hello, overtanner. She looks lovely, but too orange for her hair color. Oh, it seems this is the first Oscar for a Canadian film, versus an American film shot in Canada. Eh again. Gothamist is tired and wants this end.
Jude Law and Uma Thurman [thanks, Tony, for catching one of our many boredom-induced typos] present the Cinematography Oscar. Now, Uma is wearing a white lacy, kimono-y white dress with a blue sash/ribbon. This may be couture, but it looks more suited for the Independent Spirit Awards, not the Oscars. Uma sort of looks like a bohemian young mother from the Lower East Side or Carroll Gardens, not glammy star. Oh, and the Oscar goes to Master & Commander. Poor director Peter Weir - always a bridesmaid, never a bride. He's the Aussie Martin Scorsese.
Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola come out to present Best Adapted Screenplay. Her hair is wavy, her dress is predictably black but longer and more feminine than the Golden Globes' dress; does Sofia have scoliosis, because she slouches like there is no tomorrow. It's both cute and scary how excited Francis Ford Coppola is. Gothamist wonders if he'll cry like a fat little pig the way Paul Sorvino cried when Mira Sorvino won for Mighty Aphrodite. Though Bill Murray looks confused by their banter, they present the Best Adapated Screenplay award to the LOTR team, and Sofia says something nice to Peter Jackson, it seems, who we imagine she's gotten to know on the awards circuit. Check it out: Peter Jackson doesn't tie his tie all the way. He's so Kiwi.
Tobey Maguire presents a Best Picture clip for Seabiscuit, this year's negligible studio film. The Spiderman 2 trailer actually looks good. That opens in May. Oh, sweet May - the Oscars will be over by then, right?
Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon (slamming in her sexy black Tom Ford for Gucci gown that looks like it's falling off) present the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay to Sofia Coppola. For this award, the crowd is actually excited. She gives a short sweet speech, calling Bill Murray a muse and saying she was influenced by Antonioni, Wong Kar-Wai, Bob Fosse, Godard and others. That's legitimately interesting. She might be one of the few people tonight to salute other filmmakers not associated with her own movie.
Best Director is presented by Tom Cruise. Hurry it, Tom, shake it like a Polaroid. Finally - Peter Jackson gets his Best Director Oscar. The DGA tracks with the Oscars. He does deserve the acclaim; Gothamist has just been bored the past three plus years of LOTR hype. It's just sad that in year three of the trilogy, it's less interesting to hear news about them.
Everyone's favorite boy from Queens, Adrien Brody comes out to present the Best Actress Oscar. Gothamist loves seeing him in the Zegna ads. Clever, clever Adrien sprays his mouth with Binaca before announcing Charlize Theron's win. They just peck each other on the lips. Charlize thanks her mom for her tremendous sacrifice; we wonder if this includes killing her father in self-defense.
Nicole Kidman wears a drab grey gown, one that our aunt thought looked like a window treatment. Burn! She is so Botoxed - Nicole has to stop lying about that. She looks more pinched and tight-faced every single appearance. The Best Actor Oscar goes to Sean Penn for Mystic River, and he gets a stand ovation. The camera cuts away to Jude Law, who looks like he's thinking, "I'm so pretty, it don't matter I don't win." Penn starts his speech by "One things actors know besides there weren't weapons of mass destruction..." After Penn leaves stage, Billy Crystal asks Bill Murray not to leave, making the audience give him some sympathy applause.
Steven Spielberg - hurry hurry hurry. Best Picture: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Many of the actors for the fim come onstage. Aside from Liv Tyler and Ian McKellen, none of the young Hobbit actors are really going to break out from the character acting mode. Unless they start a forty-something star.
That's it, that's all, Gothamist can't believe it took four hours to write this. Yikes.
The winners from Oscars.com
The Daily News' David Bianculli agrees that it was super boringsville at Oscar town.