OscarBlog 2009 – Stave 8

Eddie Murphy, very appropriate choice to introduce Jerry Lewis. Yes, because he starred in the remake of “Nutty Professor,” but because he was once a true giant in entertaiment who sort of frittered it all away with a string of really weird and embarrassing film projects.

I cannot wait to hear Jerry’s speech. No other entertainer has been so utterly desperate to receive acknowledgement of the love of an audience, and so hostile when the expression of that love seems lacking. No other entertainment wants and emotional connection more fervently, and is willing to do anything to get it. No other entertainer holds Show Business in such reverence

And now, the most showbizzy expression of love is being given to him, and he’s being placed in front of a live camera to one of the largest worldwide audiences imaginable.

Okay. Here he is. Annnd…?

Wow! Short, kind, humble, and very restrained. Sort of like what we got when Elia Kazan was given a lifetime achievement award and I was expecting him to say something more than mutter “thanks” and then shamble off the stage.

Nicely done, Mr. Lewis.

Now back from commercial. And it’s time for the music awards.

With “Original Score” it occurs to me that producers are starting to settle in to the new HD world. They’re playing an orchestral medley of the nominated scores while a big screen above the musicians perform. I’m watching on an analog set and you really have to watch closely and carefully to make out the title of the nominated film in that teeny type on the screen.

Another category which I wish I knew more about. What are they judging here? Memorable cues and themes? Or are they honoring how well the music amplifies the story and visuals? When I make my picks, I normally seem to vote for the movies I like instead of the scores. I wonder if the same’s true of the actual Oscar voters?

“Slumdog” wins. Hmm. Maybe that’s it.

“Best Song” is next. Again, what an idiotic presentation; cram all of these wonderful tunes into a single medley, where they do nobody any good.

Oh, and what joy! An interpretive dance! Well, it’s Indian dancers for “Slumdog” so maybe that makes sense. You kids wouldn’t understand, but I grew up in an age when Debbie Allen was allowed to choreograph Oscar dance numbers. It’s been more than a decade and I don’t think I’ve regained my sense of trust in Oscar dance numbers yet.

And here’s that “controversial” Peter Gabriel song from “Wall*E.” He refused to perform a truncated version. Good for him.

I think it’s a swell tune but do keep in mind that it’s an “end credits” tune. Has nothing to do with the movie, has no scenes that support or amplify it…it’s just someone for the people cleaning the theater to listen to. Always a pretty song, but you really do feel like it’s a mercenary effort to bump up the movie’s number of Oscar nominations.

Gee, y’think “Slumdog” is going to win?

Gotta say that I think the voters aren’t going to vote with their ears on this one. They’re going to vote for the nominee that they feel good about voting for. The two “Slumdog” songs I’ve heard are rather dull and flat.

(And really, Academy? You believe that only two movies produced Oscar-worthy songs? You’re just not trying. Honestly.)

Yes, it’s a song from “Slumdog. “Mecca-Lekka-Hi, Mekka Johnny-Ho” (which might actually be something that Jambi the Genie used to chant on the Pee Wee Herman Show, come to think of it; well, look, I can’t be arsed to look up the right spelling.)

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