Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscars: I apologize for not having faith in Hugh Jackman

Wow! This guy is good! Not only handsome, but also a terrific dancer and singer. And that smile! Okay, it's clear that I'm head over heels for him. Let's move on.

"Slumdog Millionaire" won Best Picture, to almost no one's surprise, though "Milk" had its partisans, too. Sean Penn won Best Actor for "Milk," beating out Mickey Rourke, of "Wrestler" comeback fame, who had won all the minor awards shows leading up to the Oscars in recent weeks. A comeback story is always compelling. But at the Oscars, often it isn't the brilliant newcomer or comeback king who wins -- it's the actor who has earned the respect of his or her fellow actors. And Mickey, good start, but you've got a ways to go on that count.

The most amazing thing about the show this year was the set. The rounded stage of the Kodak Theater glittered with thousands of crystals strung from the proscenium, above a floor of intersecting circles that changed color. The most gorgeous set I've ever seen at the Oscars.

Another great innovation this year was that groups of previous Oscar winners, young and not-so-young, came onstage to speak words of praise to the acting nominees before the winner was announced. Among the star introducers were Sir Ben Kingsley, Eva St. Marie, Sophia Loren, and Adrien Brody. By the way, Sophia at 72 still is going strong, but that dress -- heavens! a nightmare of mustard-colored ruffles. Time to have your glasses checked, dear.

Nearly all of the nominees wore wonderfully simple, elegant gowns. One diagonal strap was a dramatic look on many of them. Kate Winslet, Best Actress winner, wore an iron-gray satin dress that was sleek and sophisticated, with a Grace Kelly-like hairdo to match.

To read more, in case you missed the show (What a pity!), go here. You can see some pictures of Sean, Kate and Penelope. Also, Heath Ledger's parents and sister, who accepted his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for "The Dark Knight." Lots more pictures here.

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