Sunday, 7 March 2010

Flashback: Oscars coverage

I FILED this piece for the Liverpool ECHO TV column on March 25, 2002. It was written hurriedly after having been in the esteemed Crosby pub The Edinburgh the evening before with my mate Cormac Austin who had been visiting from Belfast.
When I say hurriedly, I mean (to use film parlance) it was one take right on deadline - in the old days a copy boy would have ripped it from the typewriter and ran like stink to the compositors rubbing sweat from his visor.
No rewrites and no self-analysis and still the favourite thing I ever wrote there because the emotions will be similar to those watching tonight's schmooze fest. It shows that sometimes it's better just to write what you think and be damned.

Oscar Special (BBC News 24) 
OKAY, okay, its not officially last night's telly, but the early-morning Oscar coverage from LA got the hatred meter rising through the roof.
As the nation slept and young parents like me were blearily calming down hyper-active weeuns, the biggest shower of over-paid prima-donnas were praising and analysing more prima donnas giving wee gold statues to other more highly paid prima-donnas.
So as billions of dollars were wasted on analysing the classic simplicity of Sharon Stone's dress, I was screaming at the telly: 'Of course she looks good, she gets paid $20m a movie, she's got people employed to make her look good.' 

Then we were told it was a great night for the African-American actors; it was a triumph of the great American dream. Did Martin Luther King die just so we could get the chance to see Halle Berry ham it up like the hammiest pantomime dame?
'This is for all the women of colour,' she blubbed unconvincingly, while I was sat shouting 'he's behind you' and waiting for Jim Davidson to come on as Buttons and start the song.
Even Sidney Poitier came on and made the sort of fawning, luvvie-speak acceptance speech that makes you want to kick in the TV.
The roll call of puffed-up luvvies in designer dress rolled on and on and on. By this stage steam was puffing out of my ears like a big old cartoon villain.
Leave it to the Brits: At least Jim Broadbent and Julian Fellowes looked as if they saw the ludicrousness of the whole thing and just pretended to be underwhelmed for a while.
Then as the parties started after the ceremony, Rosie Millard and some mad Yank woman with a big jaw from Vogue magazine started to analyse the couture, the haircuts and the shoes. Then I blew a gasket.
I began to shout: 'There's people dying of hunger in the world. Can't you see this is wrong? That it's immoral, that it's ridiculous. Why aren't you listening to me? Are you deaf? Argggghhh?'

And then I realised that sitting shouting about world hunger to the TV in the early hours of the morning is perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of Oscar viewing. 

1 comment:

  1. Without even bothering to watch the Oscars this time round... I know what you wrote here for 2002 will still be 100% apt today. Kudos for ringing so true. These awards are certainly the most bullsh*t aspect of the film industry, repeated year after year to provide actors with so much boosted self-worth that even THEIR egos can't take it, causing them to break down and blub out a thank you list 10 minutes long... cringy to say the least!