I'll be watching the Oscars tomorrow and not expecting much. I willl be drinking Murphy's Irish Stout, however. There will be the typically awkward pre-telecast interviews on the red carpet bluntly attempting to precipitate viewer enthusiasm for the fun to come. In that first hour on the carpet we're to believe that the earnest, self-congratulatory pap that the Oscars telecast will unavoidably descend into will be equal to the suspense and intensity ("Who will take home the Oscar?") of any one of the Governor of California's Cameron-helmed ("I'll be back") films. And while I like Ellen DeGeneres's mellow, gently subversive vibe as much as the next stay at home Dad or retiree, I'm also sad to see the producers deciding that after Rock and Stewart, mildly seditious hosts at best, it was time to return to something cozier and less potentially threatening to the excess of industry glorification on parade.
I'm lucky or cursed by the fact that there are innumerable things that ultimately make the show bearable and, actually, fascinating- but a host willing to take the stuffing out of the gushing grandeur of it all (Letterman's "Oprah....Uma....Uma....Oprah," from several years back comes to mind) helps to lesson the chances of later regretting having spent four hours just to see something as bombastic and saccharine as Crash win for Best Picture. Thankfully it's finally Marty's year, long overdue and all but that's just fine. He gets both Director and Picture this year for The Departed. I don't think anybody thinks it's his best but then, so what- when I saw it at the theater it was the most fun I had at any film last year.