Monday, March 8, 2010

Hollywood (and Vine) Seedy

What was that all about? And I'm a shoe-in. Die-hard loyal. Never miss the production. Ever.

Not even when touring another continent. I have watched the Academy Awards, the mother of all award shows, over the years in every place imaginable. Haven't missed a beat. Not once. Not since I was old enough to stay up past my bedtime.

Over the years the venue changed drastically, but the TV was tuned to the broadcast. Once at a come-as-your-favorite-nominee watch party in the third floor walkup belonging to Duard and Steve (or was it Billy and Jukebox?) on St. Catherine Street. Me as Ali MacGraw's Jenny to my sister Robin as Ryan O'Neal's Oliver. Not sure if either won, or was even nominated. But we were toasted. Um. Mostly from the rum punch. Certainly not our Kentucky Home tweeds which really were not costumes at all. But no one was the wiser!

A few years ago my cousin Jeanne and I, dressed to the 9s and looking our version of sultry, perched stunningly on bar stools in Manhattan swilling dirty martinis, the three televisions hanging over the bar trained to the Kodak Theatre's red carpet. As svelte twenty- and thirty-something couturier clad actresses paraded along the red carpet on the other coast, frustrated sports fans bellowed loudly slamming billiard balls and tossed the occasional peanut in our direction.

Another year, snuggling in a 600 count Frette duvet on a cushy over-stuffed sofa in the foyer of a most charming Relais et Chateaux auberge near Avignon I sipped bubbly alone while in the quietude of a sleeping village watching Les Oscars entièrement en français. Hollywood glamour and sizzle melts me always.

But last night's production ... to put it mildly ... sucked. Not the winners (and hey, when did they go back to "The Winner Is" instead of the more neutral and not condescending "And the Oscar Goes to"?) ... but the show itself. Two baby boomer comedians not one bit funny. Not one bit. And we all had high hopes for our Saturday Night Live alums. The lines played out like Bob Hope or Jack Benny. Lame, if you ask me. Fell flat. The four hour extravaganza lopsided. Neil Patrick Harris belting out show tunes rediculouso... a 21st century's pathetic rendition of Billy Crystal memorable opening sequence a decade ago. Dismal. To think they pay real $$ for that ... boatloads to boot.

Redeeming factors? Those fabulous dancers choreography extraordinaire. And Hurt Locker's stunning sweep

I am a small movie kind of gal so was cheering in my darkened bedroom when Avatar was shunned over and over. Kathryn Bigelow , a triumph. Sweet revenge. Grabbing not one, but two golden boys and looking oh so faboo in that pewter gown. BIG ... the first Oscar to a female director. Not for puffery. No Meg Ryan or Diane Keaton romantic comedy. But a sucker punch of a film. Tense, intense, brilliant. The horrors of war and (confusing to this pacifist) the adrenalin rush addiction shot on a bona fide hot, sandy dessert several hundred miles from Humvees and roadside bombs. Crash. You go girl.

My bags are packed. Head to La-La-Land at o'dark thirty tomorrow. So apologies in advance for sporadic posts on my take of an over-the-top event where over-the-top events are the norm. My Kentucky pure-bred sister, Mary, has been trying ever so diligently to tighten the reins on those Beverly Hills caterers on no Bel Air pocketbook and keep this refined and elegant. A most gracious week comparable to the Twin Spires inspired hospitality to which we are accustomed.

Hollywood, you can do better than that. Way better. But to Ms. Bigelow, I add an extra olive to my glass. Cheers!

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