Who wants to be a slumdog ? surely not the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ( aka The Industry ), which may have awarded numerous honors to the Mumbai-set “ Slumdog Millionaire ” but danced — often literally — around the issue of hard times, particularly as glimpsed in the night ’ s adult winner.
barely a “ Slumdog ” achiever — not bouncy British film director Danny Boyle, not screenwriter Simon Beaufoy — saw fit to acknowledge the garbage-picking slum kids of India whose real-life betroth gives the feel-good movie its voyeuristic charge. possibly, like the film ’ s preternaturally lucky young supporter, the inadequate kids will all win big on a crippled testify ? Not surprising or shocking
That this class ’ south Oscars would pretend to confront economic adversity and other Important Issues — as in the bargain-priced school play sets ( empty pizza boxes ! ) of a few early gags — only to show that we ’ ve got a fortune of what it takes to get along, as Busby would say, isn ’ t the least bite surprising or shocking. Maybe it ’ s not evening bad. It ’ sulfur precisely what Hollywood does, what it has always done, what we love and apparently need it to do.
indeed, way back when Ginger Rogers was shimmying atop a stack of coins in the high-grossing “ Gold Diggers of 1933, ” the Oscars were putting a glad expression on asperity. not even FDR ’ s trust holiday, much as it hurt credit-crunched studios, could stop the Academy from putting on the ritz for its annual party of self-promotion. According to the record “ Inside Oscar, ” the Hollywood Reporter hailed the 1934 ceremony as “ one of the most bright affairs that the Academy has always held, ” evening while noting that expenses were kept relatively low — not counting the pretty penny spend to secure Duke Ellington and his band.
Dustin Lance Black accepts the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Mostly ’34 all over again
Seventy-five years by and by at the Oscars, it was ’ 34 all over again, except for “ Milk ” man Sean Penn ’ s shout-out to “ you commie, homo-loving sons of guns ” or “ Milk ” writer Dustin Lance Black ’ s authentically advanced pep talk to brave and lesbian kids watching at dwelling — well the even ’ s loveliest moment. ( The acceptance of the late Heath Ledger ’ s supporting actor award by his Aussie family members came in second base. And third ? I ’ five hundred nominate hard-luck Jennifer Aniston for her animated notice about CGI : “ We [ movie stars ] are very cursorily becoming disused. ” )
Give or take the curious event of Philip Seymour Hoffman ’ s déclassé skullcap, celebrity dresswear barely suffered an era-appropriate downsize. As bubbling campaigner Taraji P. Henson ( “ Benjamin Button ” ) put it in the red carpet preshow, gushing to EW ’ s Jess Cagle ( the only journalist advancing a career these days ) : “ I ’ ve had dresses thrown at me ! Diamonds thrown at me ! It ’ south equitable amazing ! ” Playing a nazi in “ The Reader ” ( ugh ) and an infelicitous wife in “ Revolutionary Road ” ( ugh ), gold-winning Kate Winslet started the evening at 5:01 PST by flaunting her other double-feature — gown and footwear, both by Yves Saint Laurent.
Let ’ s hear it for exempt advertise ! Academy corner-cutting this year could be seen chiefly in the host of low-cost “ Australia ” star Hugh Jackman ( starring next year in the downsize “ New Zealand, ” he joked ), the corps de ballet hurl of acting award presenters ( why have one unpaid star on the stage when you can have five ? ), and in the end-credit collage of total attractions for 2009, tickets available soon. Can ’ t say Hollywood failed this class to fill all available billboard space in depressing times. That ’ randomness entertainment .
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