Comedy in Crisis

Horrible Bosses (2011) by Seth Gordon

Bridesmaids (2011) by Paul Feig

Maybe it’s just me but I hate comedies of late. Simply, because I don’t think they are especially funny. Most of the time, I have enough after the trailer and don’t wanna see more because I did not laugh at anything in the trailer – and we all know they pick the funniest scenes for the trailer (I am going to stop writing trailer now). So, these last few years I have watched a lot of horror movies because they make the better comedies.

For some inexplicable reason, I have become obsessed with Jennifer Aniston lately (I don’t know why but it is not necessarily out of the ordinary since I get obsessed with actresses sometimes and get over them… it’s not usually somebody that has been around for so long, though, and I never liked Friends and always liked Courtney Cox much better, so, that is the surprising part…) and this is why I wasn’t too disappointed when my favorite movie theater showed Horrible Bosses in the sneak peek last night. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t have watched it if it hadn’t been for the sneak peek but I have thought about it – simply for the sake of Jennifer Aniston.

And it is not not funny. It has it’s moments, definately. But it also has a lot of this-is-so-not-funny-why-is-everybody-else-laughing-moments. Because sometimes people laugh because they know they are supposed to laugh despite not finding something funny. For example, there is this scene where two of the main guys argue about who would get raped more in prison – each wanting to be the one who gets raped more… This is not funny at all. Seriously, makes one (that is me) wonder if men are not being raped enough (which I wrote for provocation’s sake not because I believe it). But I laughed along with everybody else before I stopped myself, looked around, shook my head (at myself). I said it is an example, and it really is an example for the kind of jokes that we are presented with in comedies these days… there were also some gay quibs that I could have done without, as every buddy movie has to have those.

In my opinion, there is something wrong with comedies – maybe not even lately but for some time now. They are either romantic (straight) comedies I have absolutely no interest in because, well, they are heteronormative and all the same, or they are, I don’t know what to call it, maybe adult comedies with an annoyingly great amount of jokes about excrements, body fluids, and dicks.

No wonder, I haven’t watched comedies in so long…

The sad part is, I love comedies. My favorite movie of all times is a comedy (The Philadelphia Story, 1940). The 30s and 40s produced witty comedies, they were sexy in a way, you would almost call innocent today. Romantic comedies of today try to immitate that style but it is more often smothered by the “love story.” I want to blame There’s Something About Mary for this – as I see it – crisis in comedy. It may not have been the first that had me completely grossed out but it was probably one of the most successful. I mean, yuck!

I really wish that I could say that Bridesmaids which I have watched on Tuesday and deliberately was an example of a more intelligent form of humor. It wasn’t. I liked it, yes, but I have felt a kind of desolation, a discontentment with it after I left the movie theater. It has a great cast and some great messages, yes, but it has also some really disgusting barfing and such… I wonder, do you really appreciate that in a comedy? Really? Well, I don’t. And as I said, maybe it is just me. There were parts of both movies, Bridesmaids and Horrible Bosses, that I liked but overall I left the movie theater wanting to punch someone in the face – and I am a friggin’ pacifist, y’all!

I am aware that not all movies that are funny have the sort of excrement humor in it that I hate – but those that are called comedies usually have. Or they are the other kind that I hate, romantic comedies – I don’t know which are worse.

So, where does that leave me and my love for comedies? Nowhere, I am afraid. As by today, I will again ignore everything that is supposed to a “comedy” and will once again concentrate on horror movies. And I will probably get some more 30s and 40s comedies – screwball and sophisticated alike. What else is a person to do to get her laughs on?

On ‘The Hours’

The Hours (2002) by Stephen Daldry

Another class, another movie review. Actually it is the same class the second time around, and another movie review because I blogged the first one, so that I could not use it again (the one about The Women, 2008). Here goes (minus mistakes, hopefully):

The Hours was the working title Virginia Woolf gave the novel that was going to be published as Mrs Dalloway in 1925. In 1998 a novel of this same title was published; the author was Michael Cunningham, and the plot concerned itself with three women: the writer Virginia Woolf, a fictional reader, Mrs. Brown, and an equally fictional character of the same first name and character as Mrs. Dalloway, Clarissa Vaughn. This novel was made into a movie in 2002, and – just like the novel before it – won awards and critics’ appreciation.
I had read both novels before I even heard that there was going to be a movie featuring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. And, even though I am naturally suspicious of novels being made into film – if The Scarlet Letter (1995) taught me anything, it’s that it’s not necessarily a good idea to make adaptations – I was looking forward to it just because Meryl Streep was going to be in it.

I think the importance of being Meryl Streep cannot be underestimated. Casting her for a movie, producers and directors are aware that it might not be what people call a blockbuster, it might not even be a good movie, but you have cast somebody who knows her craft – and let’s face it, that is so often not the case that it sometimes hurts the eyes, yes, I am talking about you, Mr. Orlando Bloom. In a world (the movies) where things can go so terribly wrong as to cast Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett (another bad idea for an adaptation that came later), Meryl Streep is a constant pleasure to watch – even if she stars in a bad movie (not that I remember a really bad movie starring Meryl Streep). She is already a movie icon – and she’s not even dead. So, hearing she was going to play Clarissa Vaughn in the The Hours-adaptation got me hooked from the start.
And I was not disappointed, and am still not. Watching the movie again after several years, I was again sucked into the lives of the three women who are portrayed, I was again fascinated by the incredible performances Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore gave.
But let’s run down a little bit of the plot, so we know what happens. The movie starts with Virginia Woolf’s suicide in 1941 (I do not remember if the novel starts there as well, though I think it does). Everything that comes after pretty much explains why it had to come to this tragic end of so talented and tortured a writer. But we also meet her when she was just beginning to write her famous novel, and how her daily life poses a burden she does not easily handle.

The audience is introduced to Laura Brown, who is unhappily married with a second child on the way. In 1949, she is reading Mrs. Dalloway as a way out of her own life and finds a kindred spirit in the character. Laura is the heroine that does not die (as Clarissa Dalloway in Virginia Woolf’s novel).
We meet Clarissa Vaughn, who lives in New York during the 1990s, and she is organizing a party (like Mrs. Dalloway) for her friend, and ex-lover, Richard, who is dying of AIDS (he is the poet that has to die so that the heroine can live).
The similarities with “Mrs. Dalloway” are obvious. The movie describes a day in the life of Virginia, Laura, and Clarissa – as Virginia Woolf’s novel described a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. Their stories are begun with the same sentence the famous novel does: “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself,” Virginia writing it, Laura reading it, Clarissa saying it. For somebody who is a declared fan of Virginia Woolf and especially of Mrs. Dalloway (as I am) it is like revisiting the novel without actually reading it (or even watching the excellent 1997 film adaptation). There are moments to rediscover and maybe even to reevaluate.
The details that Michael Cunningham conveyed in his own novel are taken up by director Stephen Daldry and are translated beautifully onto the screen. It is a pleasure to watch the movie. It is visually challenging (as times and places change often), the actresses (and actors) show a raw vulnerability that makes the stories believable and hard to watch at the same time. Nicole Kidman (who was awarded the Academy Award for her performance as Virginia Woolf) is portrayed without her beauty and charms, she is awkward and intense, and shows an ability few people would have granted her.
Julianne Moore shows a truly stunning performance as Laura Brown, the woman who leaves her children and husband to start a life of her own. Of all the truly great performances, hers moved me the most. And it wasn’t even her only outstanding performance of the year as she was nominated as both Best Actress in a Supporting Role (for The Hours) and Best Actress in a Leading Role (for Far From Heaven) – and surprisingly enough went home empty handed.

Since the performances were all fantastic and the movie was overall pleasing to eye, ear (it has a wonderful instrumental soundtrack as well, not that I hear a lot of the music that is being played in the background), and intellect, one might assume that everybody was happy and that there’s nothing to critique. Well, one could have gone home happy and not find anything amiss, had one (that is me) not read Michael Cunningham’s book. And really, maybe it is just my overcritical self that finds fault with one aspect of Stephen Daldry’s directing. In Mrs. Dalloway, Sally kisses Clarissa. The Hours (the novel) takes up this kiss in each of the three segments: Virginia kisses her sister Vanessa at the tea table behind the back of the maid, secretly, sweetly; Laura kisses her friend Kitty in her kitchen, longingly, passionately; Clarissa kisses her partner Sally in passing at the foot of the stairs of her townhouse in New York, habitually, passionless, pointlessly. Daldry takes these kisses up, and unfortunately twists them into something it should not have been. While he is true to the place and circumstances of the kiss between Laura and Kitty, he gives it an innocence the book was not aiming at. While Laura in the book seemed to have her passion awakened by that one kiss with a woman, Laura’s concern with Kitty in the film seems almost too consoling (Kitty is about to go to the hospital and it is indicated that she might have cancer). Virginia almost violently places a desperate kiss on her sister (the indication is clear, as without that kiss the audience might not have known that Virginia was involved with women throughout her life and possibly also with her sister in younger years), giving the scene a sensationalist element. But the most misleading kissing scene is the one between Sally and Clarissa, as the one in the book indicates the ending of their relationship. The film turns it around into an inevitable happy ending as we see Clarissa and Sally sitting on their bed. Clarissa finally turns toward Sally and her efforts to save their relationship and places a good and wet one on her. It is a little disconcerting to see the characters and situations of the novel turned into Hollywood standards. The need for a happy ending, a resolution in at least one of the stories, the rehabilitation of a female character who has been unhappy without even knowing why, these are narratives you will find more likely in a movie than in a book where situations are allowed to remain unsolved.

Just dropping a note: The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech (2010) by Tom Hooper

Well, I watched The King’s Speech this week but don’t really feel like writing a whole long blog post. So I thought I just drop a note that I have watched it and that I thought it is a great movie, with excellent actors. It is also about male bonding, that is, about a friendship between King George VI (Colin Firth) and Lionel (Geoffrey Rush), his speech therapist.

Of course, we all know that Colin Firth won an Oscar for his role as King George VI, but everybody was very well cast. The best moment for me, though (if you consider that the stopping of one’s heart is a sign for having a good time), was when I realized that Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy were in the same room together. Cryptic enough? Well, Jennifer Ehle who played Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC-version of Pride and Prejudice (1995) played Geoffrey Rush’s wife and she and the king (and Colin Firth played Darcy in the same production, as you probably know) meet once briefly and I almost swallowed my tongue watching.

All in all, it is a good movie, very solid, but also not out of the ordinary. It is another film about a monarch who had some struggles and overcame them with the help of a friend, nothing we haven’t seen a gazillion of times already. Of course, I cherish every movie with Helena Bonham Carter (wasn’t it her cousin Crispin who played Bingley on the same version of Pride and Prejudice?) but I came out of the theater knowing that I would struggle to remember what I had watched the next day – and I did. The word “forgettable” comes to mind.

Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)

An era ended yesterday morning in L.A. when US-American actress Elizabeth Taylor died.

I cannot say that I especially like the term diva but with Taylor it was most definately deserved and worn with pride. But she was not just a diva, she was also a talented actress, a beautiful woman and a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She fought as one of the first and most dedicated against AIDS and HIV. She was a real lady even before Elizabeth II declared her one in 1999.

There are many great movies she starred in and you should probably make sure to see some of them. My favorites with her are: Father of the Bride, Suddenly Last Summer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Giant, and Little Women where she played Amy in the 50s version of Louisa May Alcott’s novel.

An era ended.

It’s called a genre, dude: Musicals

The draft for this is almost one year old now but I always wanted to do it because, genres are a good way to categorize one’s likes and dislikes (there should, of course, always be exceptions to any rule), and also because I LOVE MUSICALS!

I am not even sure when it started. I have a feeling that Barbra Streisand had something to do with it, then again I loved Judy Garland before I even knew there was Barbra Streisand (and yes, my cd-collection looks very gay).

There always seems to have been musicals around. I remember watching “Grease” with the whole family on a Sunday afternoon. I remember getting up in the middle of the night because some channel or other showed a classic musical at 1 a.m. (and by classic, I mean a Warner Bros. from the 30s or an MGM from the 40s). I bought The Wizard of Oz on video after seeing it once on tv – it was one of my first videos ever (I still haven’t got it on DVD, though, shame on me).

What I like most about the genre is the inhibition with which the actors (singers, dancers) erupt into song and dance. By the way it is almost always taken for granted by everybody around that people should sing and dance on the street. I love musical numbers because they tell a story, they tell us how a person feels, they have an artificiality about them that is almost always sappy but heartfelt. And what great songs have been written by people like Rogers & Hammerstein, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, and, of course, Cole Porter. Don’t think, I don’t know more but these for me are the best (I hate men from Kiss Me Kate comes straight from the heart…).

(I just read that Kathryn Grayson died about a year ago. I bow to her talent, she made musicals colorful. I really loved her Katherine Minola.)

Strangely enough, I have only four musicals on dvd that I constantly watch and rewatch and they are not the classics one might suspect. I don’t know why these in particular, they are neither the best musicals ever nor are they very similar to each other. I enjoy them because they are fun, and trashy, and have great actors in them (some of them are not even good singers). They are not my favorites, they are just the ones I have around and cannot get around:

The music is good, the actors are good, the film is fun… and I love the message, especially in a world that sometimes denies that racism still exists or where it is just glossied over, this is important. But the main attractions of it are:

Exhibit A.

And exhibit B.

And then there’s:

And there is, of course, no question why I love this so much. It’s queer. It’s so 80s. It’s about AIDS (or HIV) and yes, I still think that’s an important topic and another one we should not be silent about. And it’s got lesbians in it (and it’s a bonus that they are played by Idina Menzel and Tracie Thoms.


Oh, the music! It’s brilliant, though not conventional. And Johnny Depp has not the worst voice ever, and Helena Bonham Carter… well, she is one of my all-time favorite actresses, she’s simply devine in everything she does. I am fan.

And here’s a woman who can really wear those sun-glasses… the movie also has some other Potter-Alumni: Rickman and Timothy Spall. And it has in an absolutely insignificant role: Anthony Head (that’s Sir Giles to you!).

And last and probably least:

Yes, I am the one person you know that is over 17 and admits to having High School Musical on DVD (only the first on, mind you, the second was bullocks, though I will probably own the third one at some point).

It’s not really anyone in particular but I really like Sharpay (that girl’s got sass) and Taylor (she’s got all the brains of the group, how could I not love like her). Also, I like that the girls have already been together in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (and no, there is absolutely nothing I feel embarrassed about having watched andam  sometimes still watching).

Musicals make people feel good. And, what is more important, it makes me feel good. Sometimes I pretend I live in a musical and sing along with my MP3-player but people tend to look at you somehow irritated when you do that… not that it stops me but… hey, it’s just music. I know, I am no Barbra Streisand but hell, Yentl is one of my favorites.

So, this is musicals (which has little to do with Bollywood and/or Andrew Lloyd Webber!). Sing and dance on!

Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire

Eleanor Powell (we share a birthday)

Judy Garland & Gene Kelly

Bill Bojangles Robinson.

For me the best dancers Hollywood ever had…

Natalie Portman IS the Black Swan

Black Swan (2010) by Darren Aronofsky

When I watched V for Vendetta late last year I was quite amazed at how good Natalie Portman was in it. Not because she was good but how good. I was never a fan of hers but I always regarded her as a talented actress. Well, V for Vendetta convinced me that there was more than talent but Black Swan

Every now and then (but probably not that often) you watch a performance by an actress that just blows you away. Even an hour after leaving the theater you feel drugged and dazed and confused. Such a performance I saw in Black Swan by Natalie Portman. It was amazing, it was catching, it was sad and heart-wrenching, stunning, and, yes, sexy.

I’m still over-whelmed to tell the truth. From the first moment Natalie Portman appeared on screen she was like a force I could not look away from. And it was not just her. The female cast seemed to take their cues from her and showed amazing performances. Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder, they were all brilliant. But Natalie Portman was breathtaking.

You might wonder if I did not think Vincent Cassel was good as well but honestly I did not even see him. Maybe that is because I think women are the better actors per se, or maybe I just ignore men per se, I don’t know but this movie was made by the women in it not by Vincent Cassel.

And I also don’t want to talk about the story because I would have to unearth some of the raw clichés that inhabit the movie and the fact that it bows to heteronormative standards in the end. And I don’t want to do that. It would make me cherish the movie less and nothing should lessen the joy, the enjoyment, the amusement, the horror I felt watching this movie. It was truly a pleasure.

And if you ask me what it’s about I’d say: A woman who admires another woman, wants to be like her, wants to be her, wants to be with her. Not necessarily in that order and you are never sure which woman is which and what the others have to do with it… it’s complicated and gripping and frightening.

It is almost comical how glad I am these days to see Winona Ryder again. I could almost imagine watching The Dilemma. Almost.

Well, the Oscars are coming up and, of course, there was no way around Natalie Portman and her performance and I hope everyone in the Academy will vote for her. I bow to Ms. Portman.

Avatar (3D)

Avatar (2009) by James Cameron.

What I want for Christmas this year? My own avatar! Or at least Sigourney Weaver’s.

I have just watched the movie – and I know what you’re thinking: you’re a little late, aren’t you? And yes I am. There were reasons I won’t go into now but they had nothing to do with not wanting to see it. I wanted to and now I have.

Sometimes I feel that through my studies I have lost the ability to just read a book for enjoyment, and I get the same feeling about movies and tv shows – sometimes. This did not happen while I watched Avatar but sitting here now, doing what has become second nature (analyzing a story, that is) I start to forget how wonderful the movie looked and felt. I am not exactly a fan of 3D – who has been since now? – but it was pretty amazing with the world Cameron has created. Feeling Pandora – let’s face it, it was amazing. The whole world, the animals, the Navi, the trees and everything about it… AMAZING.

The idea of a world like this is not new, the idea of “surrogates,” even “Sims,” we want to have someone perfect in this world to represent us. The way Cameron filmed this vision was mind-blowing, though.

But alas, the story… Was I the only one who was reminded of Aliens? And not just because of Sigourney Weaver. Think about it: in Aliens we had the Terraformers who inhabited this really gruesome place (I forgot its name). Then the aliens come and kill them or preserve them and then there come the army guys. Okay, you could say, that’s completely different from Avatar, it’s pretty much the other way around with some American history thrown in. The Aliens are not the bad guys anymore, they are the savages, the natives, indigenous (to use PC). And who are the terrorists now?… Right. The army guys who want to take over because of something valuable in the earth of this paradise.

Maybe it was just the characters. When you make the link between Giovanni Ribisi’s character and Burke from Aliens or between Trudi and Sanchez… it’s quite obvious. Put Sigourney Weaver into the mix and yes, it is another Alien-movie. Distorted, yes, but the essentials are still there. This is not a bad thing, per se, but it makes clear why Avatar did not win as many Academy Awards as some thought it would. While it is stunning to watch, the story is neither new nor especially innovative.

And I guess for an economic utopia fairy-tale I personally would have preferred a female hero (even if that is a clichée). Maybe it is just that I fell in love with Sigourney Weaver’s avatar on first sight, maybe I am still angry that Cameron let her die, maybe it felt like all the times great female heroes in films did die and only men were left to save the (any) world… maybe it is because I thought of Aliens the whole time I watched Avatar. And maybe this is one of the reasons Avatar is not really a great story for me: because it is the repetition of the myth of the male fighter, the savior is male, strong females die or succumb to male charm. I do not buy into that anymore, it bores me. Call me a lesbian feminist if you want (after all that’s what I am!) but… having a movie with Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez in it and letting both die – that’s lame!

I guess, it’s the little things that can make or break a movie for me. I know, I will own it on DVD and will find many reasons to like it. I will also write about it some more, compare it to Aliens and other movies… I will always be amazed at the sheer splendor of it, sure, but it will always be bitter sweet. The moment Grace died, it felt like the movie was over – for me.

I know that I am quite the sucker for people in movies. Characters and the people who play them are my main focus, they have always been. I do not watch films with certain actors in it although the movie might be good. I am also pretty tired of films that underline machismo too much, where extras (people in the movie) are killed just to have one hero to make it all worth it. And look at Avatar! It is done there, too. Seeing all the Navi die… it was disturbing and though Cameron meant it to be disturbing it is still done in the most brutal way. We had a discussion once in a film class about this: is it still a critique on violence and war when it is done so elaborately and almost sensational? I don’t think so. I think, killing living things in such splendor is like making war propaganda… and even though I know Avatar is a critique on war, on environmental polution, on genocide, the ending – ultimately, the victory of one hero who saves everybody – makes these things necessary and inevitable. For the hero to be a hero there has to be bad guys who kill everything that is good. I wonder if a different ending – one in which even the hero dies and the bad guys win – would not have had a greater impact.

But that’s just me, I guess…

And the Oscar goes to…

I remember a time when the Oscars were not available for every movie lover to watch – in Germany, that is. And so, I always try to watch it which is not as easy as it sounds since I do not own a tv set and I do not even have internet at the moment. So, I watched it over at my sister’s and we actually made our bets and saw some surprises unfold – and Kate Winslet (which is for some – so as not to say for me – the best part of the evening). [Just to make it clear: she did not unfold herself, the surprises did. She was there and it is no coincidence that there is no “just” in this sentence.]

I personally like the red carpet pre-show a lot. That is, I used to like it a lot, now people are just rushing from one reporter to the next and there are more people pushing stars around than actual stars to ask questions, and these organizing people are quite pushy! But there were sights to be seen none the less, everybody was beautiful and nice (though Sandra Bullock seemed a little tight, didn’t she —- I guess that was just her nervousness, well-deserved nervousness). Kate looked stunning, then again that is a given since we’re talking about Kate. George Clooney, though, was the coolest because instead of talking to reporters he went to the other side of the carpet and signed autographs for the fans there. Well done!

Then the Oscars began and Neil Patrick Harris sang a song. For my part, every award show could start with Neil Patrick Harris singing, loved it. And it makes the whole event a little gay-friendly to start with and that can’t be wrong. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosted and they were very well matched.

Okay, since I do not want to reminisce the whole thing word by word, here are the highlights (highlights for me are not necessarily highlights for everybody else but sometimes I coincidentally match the opinion of everybody else. Strange, how that happens, really.). Kate Winslet. The jokes about Meryl Streep were hilarious. I think by now she should be put on the list of nominees even if she had not made a movie (like that will ever happen!). Just because she is Meryl Streep and she is always at the Oscars and always good-humored and fun to watch. I would not want to watch an Oscar-show without her. When is she hosting, already? Then again, only people who are not nominated are hosting — fat chance of that ever happening to Meryl.

I cheered for Mo’nique a lot. Once, because I had actually seen the movie she was in and because she was so good in it. And because she was right in her speech to say that a lot of times Hollywood (and therefore the Oscars) is about politics. And as far as I remember she was the only African American who won at the awards who mentioned Hattie McDaniel in her speech. When Halle Berry won her Oscar for “Monster’s Ball” she seemed to have forgotten that there had been an African American woman who had ever won an Oscar before her, not to mention that it happened 1939. Which reminds me of a question on of you might be able to answer: Since “Gone With The Wind” premiered in Atlanta (which means, the South), did Hattie McDaniel sit among the white audience? Was she there at all?

A lot of the movies that were nominated had not even been shown in Germany. For example, “The Blind Side.” I have only watched two of the nominated movies so far: “Precious” and “Inglorious Basterds.” I liked them both and was happy for Christoph Waltz to have won the Oscar for his role as Nazi. I guess, it still holds true that Austrians are the better Nazis, there still has to be a German one to win anything. Yeah, I know… But let me tell you, the experience of watching “Inglorious Basterds” as a German is a little different from watching it anywhere else in the world.

I was a little confused about where Tina Fey went. She was interviewed on the red carpet with Steve Carrell and they were supposed to present together and suddenly Cameron Diaz stood beside Carrell when presenting. Where did Tina Fey go? Did she have such a good time sharing jokes with Baldwin and Martin behind the scenes that she forgot to come on? Did she walk ascend or descend one of those dangerous looking stairs and fall and break a leg/a neck? Will we ever know? Whatever happened I hope someone has secured the crime scene.

Sandra Bullock held a great acceptance speech. She is at least the second leading actress in a row to mention Meryl Streep in her speech. While last year Kate told Meryl to “suck it up,” Sandra dwelled on the kiss she shared with Streep at another award show and finally called her her lover. Uhhhhhh…. Nice one, Sandy.

Barbra Streisand presented “Best Directing” and I was reminded of the Preliminaries of the Democrat Party in 2008 when Bee told us that it could be the first time a female director could win or an African American. Well, we know how those Preliminaries went, it was just the other way around at the Oscars. The woman won. And I was wrong once again, because this time I had my money on the African American. More precisely: Kathryn Bigelow won the Oscar for “The Hurt Locker,” Lee Daniels did not win for “Precious.” I think, it is a little sad, that these things have to be accentuated so much. But Hollywood IS a sexist and a racist place… and the Oscars are a good place to accentuate it. So much for a non-politcal Academy Awards show.

I cannot think of anything else that I would refer to as a highlight. The dancers were cool, though. Great performance!

Sean Penn looked a little bit worse for wear – maybe that was just my impression. And I for one do not like it when some people are too uppity to sit in the audience during the show but present an Oscar – like Tom Hanks and Barbra Streisand. Usually, I would not criticize Barbra (I am a really huge fan!) but… I don’t know – it feels like some people are better than others. I mean, we already know that the Oscars is a class act, actors/actresses are sorted into A-, B-, C- and other Lists. But this sort of thing leaves one wondering if there wasn’t something like a super-A-List. And I don’t know about you but for many of those people on that list I would not even buy a ticket (i.e. Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson [if he is still on that list], Tom Hanks – I am sure, there are women I would not buy a ticket for but Bee is not one of them, then again, are there women on that list beside Barbra?).

Well, it was a nice show. And I am actually grateful that “Avatar” did not get too many Oscars. The movie is huge and everybody knows it. It’s important to make other movies that do not get the same attention (especially worldwide) known to a bigger audience.

One word to Kate Winslet: I am obsessed with her, it’s true. If I was stalker material she would have had one since 1998, luckily for her, I much rather sit in front of a screen than in a tree looking into other people’s bedrooms (has anyone of you ever considered the close link between Paparazzi and stalker? Do.). She looks more stunning everytime I see her – and especially at the Oscars. And there are not many people who can pull off telling Meryl Streep to “suck it up” but she did and I lover her the more for it. To me, Kate Winslet is the ideal, the perfect woman, my muse.