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what i liked about this year's oscars
by reem al-omari (@Reemawi)
pop culture

Each year the Oscars come and go, and I must admit that since Whoopi Goldberg hung down from the ceiling of the Kodak Theater and parodied the Moulin Rouge line "Come and get me boys!", I have not sat down and watched the entire night of awards and jokes. Of course, inevitably, I kept up on the dresses through the many galleries online, but not much else.

This year for some inexplicable reason I was drawn to the TV tuned on ABC. I caught the celebrities making their way down the red carpet and saw some awkward interviews and stunning dresses. From then on, I was pretty much hooked. Before that moment, part of me planned on flipping to ABC every once in a while to see what Ellen DeGeneres had in store as first-time host, and perhaps catch a glimpse of a favorite actor (a handsome one), or watch the people and movies I wanted to win. Another part of me wanted to treat the event the way I do each year: with total obliviousness, save for the dresses, of course.

Needless to say, with the exception of a few minutes, I sat through the entire event from start to finish. Here is a list of the things I liked about this year's oscars:

- Ellen DeGeneres as host

- The guys who contorted their bodies to represent a silhouette of Oscar, representations of Happy Feet, Little Miss Sunshine, The Devil Wears Prada and The Departed-- Little Miss Sunshine being my favorite

- The bit when Ellen went behind the screen and did her own puppet show, only to be attacked and eaten up by the guys described in #2--hilarious

- Rachel Weisz's dress

- Nicole Kidman's dress

- Gwyneth Paltrow's dress

- The sound effects group and their maestro-- phenomenal

- Seinfeld's bit while presenting the Best Documentary category

- Ellen mysteriously having a screenplay in her hand while talking to Martin Scorcese-- hilarious

- Martin Scorcese finally getting an Oscar

- Al Gore alongside Leonardo DiCaprio; Leo's a democrat! YEY!

- George Clooney

- Helen Mirren getting Best Actress

As I mentioned above, I did miss a few minutes, so I might've not listed a great moment. All in all, it was an enjoyable Oscar viewing, but I don't know if I can handle that many hours infront of the TV with commercials...


Reem lives and writes about it. She thinks that's what writers do, anyway. If it's not, then she also has a degree in journalism under her belt, along with the titles of reporter, editor (in chief, even) and, of course, opinion columnist.

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alex b
2.26.07 @ 2:05p

Rachel Weisz rocks. I've loved her since "The Mummy."

reem al-omari
2.26.07 @ 2:35p

Oh come on!!!! Little Miss Sunshine overrated??? It's a great movie! The thing got popular through word of mouth, and no advertising! Any movie that can do that is safe from being overrated in my book. Maybe Alan Arkin wasn't the greatest choice to win best supporting actor, but the movie itself was not overrated, I'm sorry. I haven't seen Dream Girls, so I can't say much about Eddie Murphy being shafted. I will ask this though... did anyone feel that Jennifer Hudson deserved her award? I haven't seen Dream Girls, so, I'm wondering if anyone was annoyed with that decision. I was pretty surprised she won.


ken mohnkern
2.27.07 @ 9:39a

I did what you intended to. I caught bits and pieces, and spent an hour with the sound muted while I talked to my mom on the phone. I so wanted to unmute for Seinfeld's bit, but it was my mother's birthday, so I didn't.

It was the first year I didn't watch the whole production.

ken mohnkern
2.27.07 @ 9:46a

Alan Arkin winning any award is fine by me.

I haven't seen Dreamgirls (and probably won't), so I can't say Eddie was better or worse than anyone else this year, but it's easy to believe that he gave the performance of his career, given what he's been doing lately (is this his first movie where he hasn't been in drag and/or a fat suit?).

reem al-omari
2.27.07 @ 1:47p

I don't plan on seeing Dreamgirls either. The title just says it all to me. Maybe I'm being a little too narrow-minded, but the word "dream" just conjures up so many cheesy pictures in my mind. Kind of like "rainbows" or "frollicking"... ok, "frollicking" just makes me laugh.

ken mohnkern
2.27.07 @ 2:02p

I would see a movie called Frolicking Girls, though.

reem al-omari
2.27.07 @ 3:02p


mike julianelle
2.27.07 @ 3:35p

I don't plan on seeing Dreamgirls either. The title just says it all to me. Maybe I'm being a little too narrow-minded, but the word "dream" just conjures up so many cheesy pictures in my mind.

That's one of the most ridiculous reasons to not see a movie I've ever heard. The title says it all? Anything that uses the word "dream" is automatically cheesy? I'm no big "Dreamgirls" backer, but that's nonsense. What about "Requiem for a Dream?" Watch that, let me know how cheesy it is.

Did you also avoid "The Shawshank Redemption" because it wasn't called "Uplifting Movie About A Falsely Accused Prisoner Who Digs His Way To Freedom And Forms A Strong Platonic Bond With A Black Man?"

reem al-omari
2.27.07 @ 4:03p

OOOOOK.... I think we need a paper bag over here... someone?

I saw "Requiem for a Dream" and no, it wasn't cheesy... then again, it didn't have BEYONCE or an AMERICAN IDOL contestant on the bill....

I also saw "The Shawshank Redemption" and I felt the title was perfect.

Thanks for letting me know what sets you off, though :-D


brian anderson
2.27.07 @ 4:11p


Wow, I've been reading that movie the wrong way.

mike julianelle
2.27.07 @ 4:26p

I actually considered including a "(?)" next to that word in my post.

And Reem, if you wanted to know what sets me off, we could be here for a while!

Semantics aside, I didn't need a title to know "Dreamgirls" would likely be cheesy. It's a musical! The words are synonymous.

reem al-omari
2.27.07 @ 4:38p

So, what were you p***in' about then??

You think it's cheesy simply because it's a musical... I think it's cheesy because of the title. What's the difference? I'm not gonna see it and you're not gonna see it because it's CHEESY. What we use to come to that conclusion is irrelevant.

And by the way, I don't think Dream Girls is a musical... just because people sing in a movie doesn't make it a musical.

mike julianelle
2.27.07 @ 4:42p

Ahem. I saw it.

My fiance LOVES her some musicals.

I don't know how to define "musical" - Heather? - but anytime characters start to sing their dialogue to each other, that's what makes it a musical for me. And while many of the songs in Dreamgirls are done in concert/studio settings, there are a lot of moments of singing dialogue and conversation. But that's all moot.

It was a BROADWAY MUSICAL. Now it's in the theaters, but it's still a musical if that's the way it started, unless they bleed the songs out, like that Liam Neeson Les Miz, which doesn't count since the novel wasn't a musical. I'm babbling.

reem al-omari
2.27.07 @ 4:46p

You are correct. I haven't seen the movie, so I was not aware that they sing their dialogue. Hence, that makes it a musical, and me acting like a person I hate... ignorant. So, I admit my wrong.

I still think it's cheesy.

jael mchenry
2.27.07 @ 4:51p

I saw Dreamgirls. Eddie Murphy's performance was good, but I didn't necessarily think it excelled so far beyond that of the other nominees that him not getting the award constituted "shafting." I was fine with Arkin's win, because he's awesome in general.

As for Jennifer Hudson, she was excellent in her role. My only issue with her was during her big huge showstopping number, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," which came off more as a hissyfit than a genuine emotional moment from a real person. This was the only category I saw every performance in, and I have to say, I would have given it to Rinko Kikuchi from Babel. Of those five performances (Adriana Barraza, Cate Blanchett, Rinko Kikuchi, Abigail Breslin, Jennifer Hudson) hers was far and away the most affecting, and the only one where I never thought, "Oh, look at that actress acting."

heather millen
2.27.07 @ 4:58p

I thought Dreamgirls was among the most fun I had in the theater last year.

Yes, it is a musical, but it was well-done and well-acted. Truth be told, I didn't even much like the stage show of Dreamgirls but that cast did a great job.

As for the Oscars, I liked the Dreamgirls performance. But I am constantly aghast at why Beyonce will perform next to Jennifer Hudson, because that girl blows her away EVERY TIME. And at the Oscars, on Beyonce's song.

I might appreciate that the movie gets negative reaction because someone who was on American Idol is in it, but there is NO denying that person is more talented than most singers out today.

Eddie Murphy was good, but in a "Hey, Eddie Murphy isn't in a fat suit!" kinda way. It's rumored that he stormed from the theater after his loss... that's just tacky.


mike julianelle
2.27.07 @ 5:06p

I agree, Jael, that it did come off like a hissyfit, but dunno that that was Hudson's fault. Seems more like the song's fault, with its context and lyrics and everything.

And I said to Heather, during the Dreamgirls performance on the Oscars, that Beyonce seemed like she was trying to belt her song out to compete with Hudson. Her voice is not as strong, but who cares? She should just stick to the pop stuff, she's doing fine.

I love Arkin as well, as you know, Jael (he rules in GPB!), but he was nothing special to me in that movie. I think it's an easy standout, a drugged up, loud and inappropriate grandfather. He's always good, and likeable, but there, meh. I also agree about Murphy.

I saw all but Honsou's performance, and I thought Jackie Earle Haley deserved that award.

heather millen
2.27.07 @ 5:09p

Did you hear what Arkin said about his little costar Breslin? On the red carpet he said:

"I hope she loses frankly. No, I'm serious. I am not joking. What, next year the Nobel Prize? It's enough. She has had enough attention."

reem al-omari
2.27.07 @ 5:12p

Blood Diamond was a great movie. It unfortunately didn't win anything. I was surprised the score wasn't nominated, as it was really really good. Also, cinematography. I can't remember if it was nominated for that, but if not, it should've, and should've won, too.

mike julianelle
2.27.07 @ 5:16p

That Arkin quote RULES!

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