“To sing ‘Our Town’ from Cars, James Taylor and composer Randy Newman.” I don’t know why, but every time I hear “Randy Newman,” I think “Yay, bathroom break!” Yes, I know, I have no soul. Wow, I timed that exactly. And here's Melissa Etheridge, who I really like, with "I Need to Wake Up," while Things You Can Do to Stop Global Warming play on a screen behind her. Well, I would like to travel by light rail when possible, Inconvenient Truth, but Birmingham has no public transportation. Seriously, we have a couple of buses and, like, a trolley downtown. So don't look at me, okay?
Ah, it's Leo with Former Vice President Al Gore, who must be our Special Guest. Too special for banter? Why, no! "Is there anything you would like to announce?" (Audience: "WOOOOO!") Gore thanks Leo for being "such a great ally in this effort." Jerry Seinfeld looks bored. For the first time ever, the Oscar show has gone green. "Check out www.oscar.com to find out how you can do your part!" Also, Leo says, he is very proud to be standing next to Mr. Gore at this moment. "Now... are you sure you're not inspired to make any kind of major, MAJOR announcement?" "Well... even though I honestly had not planned on doing this... since a billion people are watching... my fellow Americans... I'm going to take this moment to formally announce..." Okay, Al Gore is a good enough actor that I honestly got scared he was actually going to throw his hat into the ring during an awards show. He is not, however, a good enough actor to fake convincing surprise when the orchestra breaks out the cymbals so he can't finish. Thank God. And I voted for Gore, y'all.
Commercials so soon? I'm going to run out of avatar gowns at this rate--oh, that doesn’t even count! That was like thirty seconds!
“Since we’ve gone green, the Academy wants me to recycle some jokes from earlier in my career,” says Ellen, breaking into Gilligan’s Island jokes. Wow, I’m actually glad to see Cameron Diaz now. Best Animated Feature! You ramble on about Snow White, girl, I just got a dinner delivery. (Oh, for God’s sake, don’t do that shit where you have animated characters in the audience.) WHOA, HAPPY FEET. Holy crow. I mean, I’m glad, because I wasn’t impressed by Cars at all, but... wow. Also, it cracks me up that it’s George “Mad Max” Miller accepting, too.
“Ladies and gentlemen... Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ben Affleck!” Wow, I didn’t expect that sentence to end that way. Nancy Meyers has compiled a montage of how writers have been portrayed in the movies, and I can tell you right now: not boringly enough. Seriously, the act of writing is not terribly exciting, which is why so many movie writers are crazy, drunk, depressed, blocked or psychotic, because being a functional writer: not interesting. I think it’s telling that Meyers has to end the montage with the M:I theme, because it’s not interesting otherwise.
Helen Mirren and Tom Hanks! Best Adapted Screenplay (including nominee “Baratt,” according to Mirren). Wow, I didn’t even realize that the Clive Owen character in Children of Men was spiking his coffee when the first bomb went off. I like the whole reading-from-the-script thing; we should do this more. The Departed wins. “Valium does work,” William Monahan announces. Trufax: Lawrence of Arabia made him want to be a screenwriter, and here’s Peter O’Toole in the same auditorium, and duuude. Gently, the orchestra begin to play him off with a piano, and I swear for a moment the melody sounds like a lullaby. Backstage: more to come, "like a battle royale in Costume Design!" WHAT DO YOU KNOW, CHRIS CONNELLY? WHAT DO YOU KNOW? "More fun!" says Connelly, and Hanks echoes, "More fun!" I think Hanks may be under the influence of something.
(Aww, I kind of love the Wes Anderson American Express commercial.)