Steven A. Taylor's Academy Awards Brouhaha Round-Up.

All I'm reading about is, "Jon Stewart sucked this and Jon Stewart sucked that," and it's got me wondering. I did get the same feed as everyone else, right?

I'm not saying that the Oscars weren't a collosal bore. They were. Anyone over the age of 50 whose name is NOT Jack Nicholson should not be allowed anywhere near a plugged-in microphone. That means you, you yammering senile old Director, Robert Altman! That means YOU, you near-coronary, stammering, probably-never-practiced-a-day-of-her-life-for-this-speech, Post-Stroke-Dick-Clark-Sound-A-Like Lauren Becall! Just because you people were great 40 years ago, and might have had some recent mild success as late as five years ago, does NOT mean you get to take up half the show with your "uh's" and your stilted breathing. You're part of the Hollywood elite, and as such, you should take your cue from the recluse-likes of Marlon Brando ... and DIE!!!

So, when people try to tell me that Jon Stewart was a terrible host, I say look at the tripe he had around him! The Oscars, every year, lumbers along like a five-mile Hippopotamus marathon through the Rocky Mountains. So maybe this year that five-mile Hippopotamus marathon took place on the flatlands of Nebraska, that still didn't make it any more pleasing to the aesthetics. Of course, I missed most of the Monologue due to a late arrival and my mom calling me, but I heard some good zingers in there. Plus, the added touch of some of the Daily Show's production values (the fake commercials, the cowboy montage) and the obviously cringe-worthy pot shots at Hollywood's mainstays made the night at least somewhat enjoyable. And, if the audience in attendance can't see how stuffy they've become, then obviously they're in the wrong business. It seems like everyone BUT the major Hollywood stars can laugh at themselves, and not in that Billy Crystal, Middle-America-Friendly sort of way either.

Moving on. This year's Oscars were about exceptions. All of the musical performances bit the big one EXCEPT "It's Hard Out There For A Pimp". All of the presenters were dull and lifeless EXCEPT the comedians: Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, and Steve Carrell. All of the major awards were predictable EXCEPT for Movie of the Year.

Of course, I tried to pick some upsets and was subsequently knocked off my pedestal. Jake Gyllenhaal didn't take home a surprise Supporting Actor award. Steven Spielberg didn't completely trump Ang Lee's mastery. And, in a move I should've seen coming (though I originally picked Brokeback Mountain), the Best Picture went to anything but.

I haven't seen Crash. I can tell you from snippets I've read and let sink into my head that it's about racism and a car crash and set in a 36 hour period. In other words, it's got an interesting gimic, and it probably plays the racism bit a little too heavy-handed for anyone who ISN'T a complete sucker-moron. I'll watch it when it comes out on video, but I remain skeptical. It could be like Spike Lee at his best or at his worst (because, really, you don't see people making too many race-related movies that acquire such broad national attention ... relatively speaking, for a movie that only made 55 million dollars).

This is what I'll tell you (what I told Melody last night on AIM), ten, twenty years from now, maybe even beyond, people will still be talking about Brokeback Mountain. It could be on par with that woman whose name nobody remembers who first ran for president back in the 1800s. Or, it could be the Jackie Robinson of gay-themed movies hitting the mainstream. Granted, the last thing you'll want to do is exploit this wave with a lot of really crappy gay movies (Cocksploitation Cinema); but if they're done right, like this one was, it could be a monumental shift. A shift that may one day actually garner a Best Picture award.

But, I'll tell you what, NOBODY will be talking about Crash. That's the "Chicago" of the recent Best Picture winners. On down the line, you've seen a bevy of Best Picture upsets. This one probably beats them all.

I mean, seriously, how the hell did they not even NOMINATE Hustle & Flow???

I think Bill Simmons said it best when he said, "Raise your hand if you thought Reese Witherspoon was going to forget to thank husband Ryan Phillippe"

(raising hand)