(So, anyway, yeah, we've been largely absent, and that's because there are big doings here at SDD that we can't yet tell you about. But we will very definitely be letting you know in the next couple of weeks what's going on and what the blog's role in that will be. Thanks for checking in! -- ed.)
All right. We're going to watch the 1989 Oscars and try to remember just how weird 20 years ago was. We have pizza. Popcorn is imminent. At some point, we're going to break out this mini-pie and weep as we gorge ourselves. Let's go. (This idea is pretty shamelessly stolen from X-Entertainment's yearly Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade review.)
Todd VanDerWerff: Do you want to look up who all won?
Libby Hill: I like to be surprised!
The red carpet portion begins, and we are reminded of just how hard it was for announcers of the olden days to talk about folks who were shackin' up but not married since the announcer couldn't say, "Yeah, they're screwin'."
Announcer: And here's first time nominee and best friends Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith!
Libby: Yeah, they're totally besties. And look at what Melanie Griffith used to look like.
Todd: I like that since they're all movie stars, they need to come up with different descriptors to tell them apart. "Tap-dancing star, Gregory Hines! Comedy actor Tom Hanks!"
Libby: And this MUSIC is great.
The orchestra segues into a Muzak version of "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong."
Todd: LUCILLE BALL IS THERE. IT'S LIKE VISITING ANOTHER COUNTRY WHERE LUCILLE BALL IS ALIVE. And they introduce Marvin Hamlisch as "tonight's maestro" and as though non-gay men would know who he was.
Libby: Did he just say, "cuddly Dudley Moore?"
Todd: I think it was "studly."
Libby: Mine makes way more sense. Ooh, look at those accountants! They have their ...
And then, Army Archerd shows up and he's talking to Snow White and ... oh ... SHIT.
Libby: Wait. The 1989 Oscars. I KNOW WHAT THIS IS!
Todd: I forgot!
Libby: You didn't! You TRICKED ME! I thought, "Oh, the 1989 Oscars. No reason those are so famous. BUT NOW I KNOW."
Todd: I seriously forgot.
Libby: I'm going to get my pie!
I honestly thought we'd make it farther than that before we needed therapeutic pie. Anyway, Snow dances around with a bunch of anthropomorphic stars after Archerd tells her to "follow the Hollywood stars."
Libby: Why are the stars wearing shoes?
Todd: I like how uncomfortable Snow is making Sigourney Weaver. This can only end in blood.
Libby: Why Snow White? Why not Dorothy from Wizard of Oz or something?
Todd: Well, they got in trouble because they used Snow White without clearing her for copyright with the Disney corporation.
Libby: How do you work in Hollywood and NOT know you have to clear things with Disney?
Merv Griffin shows up to sing "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts." For realz. This is what they did for fun in 1989.
Libby: Well, this makes perfect sense.
Griffin then introduces a long panoply of faded stars like Buddy Rogers and Cyd Charisse. Charisse is the only one we can recall without long thinking of who she might be. Other than that, we're just yelling, "Who?!" Griffin finally introduces Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whom we HAVE heard of.
Libby: Except it makes no FUCKING sense that they'd be at the FUCKING Oscars.
Todd: Well, I don't know. Trigger should ...
Libby: this is the gayest thing I've ever seen. I don't mean that in a derogatory sense either. I literally mean this is THE MOST HOMOSEXUAL THING I have ever seen.
Vincent Price and Coral Brown show up.
Libby: This is so depressing! It's like a long game of "Guess who's not dead?" Except they're ALL dead now.
Finally, Rob Lowe, trying to make good with Hollywood after sleeping with a 16-year-old, shows up to sing a cover of "Proud Mary" with Snow. He is not very good. Then Snow kicks it up a notch. The costume design also goes a little nuts.
Todd: Libby, what is THAT?
Libby: Well, it's a woman in a sparkly blue dress dancing around with a SHIP on her head, but have you noticed in the background there are men DRESSED AS TABLES? And this is all a few years BEFORE Beauty and the Beast.
Todd: Imagine what Disney would have done with that! Oh that is some MAD xylophone work in the musical arrangement.
Libby: They DO have Hugh Jackman tomorrow night. I hope they do a shot-for-shot recreation of this sequence.
Todd: Anne Hathaway can play Snow!
Libby: And Gus Van Sant can direct!
Rob Lowe leers at Snow and then kisses her hand a little too slobbery-like.
Libby: "I wish you were a 16-year-old girl."
A group of dancers dressed as Graumann's Chinese Theater workers does a kickline, further confirming that this whole sequence is really just a dream a deeply repressed gay man is having in 1954.
Libby: Kicklines don't really work if you're wearing pants.
Todd: And now they're singing "Hooray for Hollywood!" Have you EVER heard anyone sing this song outside of the Oscars or a similarly-themed event? At least the anthem of Broadway, "No Business Like Show Business," is OCCASIONALLY SUNG at, like, youth beauty pageants and high school show choir competitions. No wonder everyone hates Los Angeles.
The sequence ends spectacularly, and what's interesting is how INTO IT the crowd is. This is the DEFINING DEBACLE of the Oscars' history, and the crowd is EATING IT UP. The applause throughout this conclusion is literally continuous and deafening, as though everyone in the crowd thinks they've accidentally wandered into a taping of The Lawrence Welk Show and is WAY more excited for that.
Libby: They definitely enjoyed it more than that Crash interpretive dance number.
And then, oh then, the dancers split, and a figure emerges down the gleaming white staircase. You'd think it would be the hottie of the moment in 1989, which was Jessica Tandy, if I'm remembering correctly, but ... no ... it's ...
Libby: It's the Cryptkeeper!
Todd: I think that's ... Lily Tomlin?
Libby: No, it's the Cryptkeeper! Or someone who's too old to be ... oh, it's Lily Tomlin. This is sad. She was, like, TOP OF HER GAME in '89.
Lily goes on with her monologue despite LOSING A SHOE on the staircase in her descent. A dancer crawls out toward it like Linda Blair skittering around on the stairs in The Exorcist, then half-assedly tosses it in Tomlin's general direction, letting it fly out into the crowd where it, presumably, hits Sigourney Weaver, who's really having a bad night. Tomlin talks about turning the whole world into Hollywood.
Todd: I guess now we know why communism crumbled in 1989. The Oscars prepared the way for FREEDOM.
Libby: And THAT'S why everyone was singing "Hooray for Hollywood!" when they tore down the Berlin Wall. See, I KNEW I'd heard it somewhere else.
Lily welcomes everyone to the "shoe," making us realize that the whole shoe thing was just a REALLY LAME PLANNED GAG. And now, part 2. And some actual awards, God-willing.
Todd: Sadly, our recording is going to cut off some of the introductions, so we're just going to have to guess who this boring guy is. Richard something. (I was later able to confirm his name was Roger Kahn, and he was the president of the Academy at the time. -- ed.)
Libby: I'm going to pretend he's Roy Cohn.
Todd: He refers to the Oscar as a "little fella." So I guess he's some scarred abuse victim's Little League coach.
Richard something informs us that this is the first time the Soviet Union ever watched the Oscars. Hey! The Oscars DID end communism! He then gives a really long-winded intro to Tom Selleck, which includes the phrase, "diapering a baby or making love to the world's most beautiful women."
Todd: At the SAME TIME.
Libby: He just had SEX with Tom Selleck backstage!
Tom wanders out in an indistinct wide shot. He restates Richard's name, but we STILL CAN'T catch it. Tom lets us know he's not the host, even though he feels like one, but he's really, really not.
Libby: This really feels like an inside joke drinking game thing, where you see how many times you can say the word host.
Tom then explains at length how, if you know something, someone will be there to explain it to you, and sometimes, it'll just be one guy like him, and sometimes, it will be a group of people -- co-stars or couples or companions or compadres.
Todd: And sometimes, it will be seven hobos in an abandoned boxcar.
Libby: Were they really worried this no-host thing was going to blow everyone's mind? He's really holding our hands here.
Todd: And the electric piano underneath him makes him sound like he's Benny Hinn, inviting people to put their hands on their TVs and be healed.
Libby: It sounds like the in memoriam!
Tom tells us all about the very first Oscar ceremony -- the THIRD TIME IT HAS COME UP SO FAR -- and reveals that Douglas Fairbanks gave out all the awards in FIVE MINUTES during that ceremony.
Libby: Yes! More like that please!
Tom continues to blather on about how the show is going to be long, but we'll always have someone like him there to guide us.
Libby: What is this? He sounds like our SPIRIT GUIDE on our mystical journey into the UNKNOWN. WHAT THE HELL?
Tom introduces us to our first presenters, Melanie Griffith ... applause ... Tom raises his voice to be heard ... "and her BEST FRIEND, Don Johnson."
Libby: Besties! Besties!
Todd: Were people that terrified of cohabitation in 1989? I guess I always thought it was a little more with-it of a time than, like, 1932, but I guess not?
Melanie's hair bounces seductively as she walks to the podium. She kinda looks like Detroit Tigers phenom pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych with breasts. Griffith and Johnson talk at length about their tawdry, tabloid lifestyle. The crowd eats it up, but as this is THE FUTURE and Griffith and Johnson could not possibly comprehend how little we care about them now, we do not laugh.
Libby: I think he's dead now!
Todd: He's not dead!
Libby: He could be. You don't know. When's the last time you heard about Don Johnson?
Todd: I wish Michael Mann had given him a cameo in the Miami Vice movie.
Libby: Do you think after this, he and ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE EDWARD JAMES OLMOS hung out at some afterparty?
Todd: Johnson's probably angling to be the last Cylon!
Supporting actress nominees: Joan Cusack, "Working Girl"
Libby: I love her! I bet they thought Cusack was gonna win with Griffith presenting.
Todd: She kinda looks like Mel from Flight of the Conchords!
Geena Davis, "The Accidental Tourist" -- she's there with a badly mulleted Jeff Goldblum; Frances McDormand, "Mississippi Burning" -- who is disconcertingly hot; Michelle Pfeiffer, "Dangerous Liaisons; Sigourney Weaver, "Working Girl"
Todd: I'll bet they thought Weaver was gonna win, since she was double nominated that year.
Geena Davis wins for The Accidental Tourist, a movie that no one has thought about ever again, and goes on to a career of Thelma and Louise, A League of Their Own and then that pirate movie that killed her career. She gives a pretty standard speech. Except she's revealed to be Jeff Goldblum's wife. Who knew?
Todd: Hey, do you wanna bet Sigourney Weaver was pretty sure she WOULDN'T be the only one out of that group to NEVER be nominated again? I mean, I wouldn't have placed money on it.
Libby: That's the most depressing thing I've ever heard. Well, not really, since I love McDormand and Cusack, but ... Pfeiffer ...
Libby burns with fury towards her hated Michelle Pfeiffer.
Todd: But it's true! Davis was nominated for Thelma and Louise, Cusack was nominated for In and Out, Pfeiffer was nominated for The Fabulous Baker Boys, and McDormand was nominated and won for Fargo and was then nominated for Almost Famous and North Country. Yet, Sigourney Weaver was never nominated again, and not for lack of trying, what with her long string of prestige pictures in the '90s. Still, she was nominated for ALIENS, which was one of the cooler nominations ever, so that's gotta be good enough.
Libby: GET AWAY FROM HER, YOU BITCH!
Jane Fonda shows up to tell us about the five Best Picture nominees and how we're going to see scenes from all of them. She then implores us all to go watch them in theaters and makes a joke about her exercise videos and how they're better than watching the movies on video.
Libby: Baby killer!
Todd: Secret Vietnamese spy!
Todd: Exercise enthusiast!
Jane Fonda: Our first nominee for Best Picture is Rain Man. It's about what happens when a slick young hustler discovers his long-lost older brother, an autistic savant.
Libby: Man, to have been a fly on the wall at that Hollywood pitch meeting.
Todd: And all subsequent ones! "It's like Rain Man, but the older brother is a penguin." That's how Happy Feet got made. True story.
Libby: "It's like Rain Man, only Rain Man has a daughter. And also Michelle Pfeiffer."
Todd: "It's like Rain Man, only there are dinosaurs!"
The picture clip is the one with the bathtub that features Dustin Hoffman screaming, which is strangely reminiscent of his 2002 Grammy Awards introduction.
Todd: Rain Man is weird. It, like, raised autism awareness, but it also made everyone think autistics were good for fun party tricks.
Libby: They are.
Fonda describes Jimmy Stewart as "a part of my life growing up." Yeeeeeah! Go, Jimmy! He shows up with Kim Novak to present something and rattle on about Vertigo. Most of America is baffled by a Vertigo reference.
Todd: Jimmy Stewart looks oddly like Orville Redenbacher?
Libby: He has the BEST Jimmy Stewart impression.
Jimmy Stewart gives a long, rambling monologue about how he's good friends with the sound man when he's working on a movie.
Libby: I guess he's giving us his best Grampa Simpson impression?
Nominees are Bird, Die Hard
Todd: DIE HARD! YEAH! I'LL BET THAT WINS BEST PICTURE!!!!!
Gorillas in the Mist, Mississippi Burning, which is introduced through the weirdest intro ever from Novak ...
Kim Novak: ... who made sure that we understood all the actors, even when they were wearing hoods
Libby: WHAT?! Let me just say, that if you are a sound man, and you are working on a movie about the Klan, if you can't make sure the actors are understandable when they're wearing hoods, YOU HAVE FAILED. That is, like, the base minimum of your job as SOUND MAN.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Todd: ROGER RABBIT! YEAH! I'LL BET THAT WINS BEST PICTURE!!!!!
Stewart and Novak open the envelope, and it takes Stewart, seriously, 15 seconds to read the card. Novak reads it a long time before he does and looks enthralled, but she doesn't just SAY it, and she lets Jimmy just STAND THERE and look puzzled until he blurts out "BIRD!" like Bambi or something. This kicks off Oscar's 16-year long fascination with awarding everything Clint Eastwood does. It's a pretty good movie nonetheless.
Stewart and Novak move on to introducing the Sound Effects Editing teams, and this time, Stewart gets through the torturous introduction pretty well after having adjusted his glasses.
Libby: IN ALL FAIRNESS, he appears to be Mr. Friggin' Magoo, and he's reading off a cue card, so let's just cut the man a little slack.
The nominees are Die Hard, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? -- Stewart breaks out a strained Harvey reference -- and Willow. Roger wins.
Todd: Man, Roger Rabbit is SUCH a better movie than ALL of the Best Picture nominees from this year? So is Die Hard. As a matter of fact, as this night goes on, it's a catalog of movies history has treated more kindly than, say, Mississippi Burning.
Libby: Can I just say thank you so much for choosing to have us screen this?
A fat man and a bearded man give a rather long-winded speech. The fat man tells his wife and kids to clear the mantle.
Libby: I'll bet he doesn't even HAVE a mantle. No one has a mantle.
Todd: I hope his wife and kids dutifully rose from the TV and went over to the mantle and, like, swept their arms across it, sending wedding photos and commemorative plates and flower vases and shit scattering to the floor.
Libby: Why was his wife not with him at the ceremony? Did they force him to take beardface as his date? I understand that the tech categories kinda get the shaft, but that seems kind of unfair.
Todd: I hope he took that talking car from the movie. You would understand if I took a talking car to the Oscars instead of you, right?
Libby: I'll clear YOUR mantle.
Part 3 begins with a hair-slicked-back, cape-wearin', VERY YOUNG Robert Downey, Jr. and Cybill Shepherd introducting the makeup nominees.
Libby: WHAT IS HE WEARING?! He looks like a Newsies extra?! That looks like something Johnny Depp shows up wearing at an awards show when he hasn't bathed.
The nominees are Beetlejuice, Coming to America and Scrooged -- which is one of the all-time great casting calls for a movie that wasn't good enough to deserve that good of casting. Bill Murray as a modern-day Scrooge should have KILLED. It almost does regardless. Anyway, Beetlejuice wins, and Tim Burton's ever-shrinking group of fans cheers.
Todd: The woman who won this award appears to be Marcia Wallace of The Bob Newhart Show.
Libby: Congrats, Marcia!
Patrick Swayze is now here to discuss how he's been dancing "just about from the time I could walk."
Libby: Don't laugh! He's dying!
Swayze now says that, besides Tarzan, those who starred in movie musicals are his greatest heroes.
Todd: He probably saw that Tarzan stage show SO MANY TIMES!
Oh God, it's a clip package of famous movie musical performers.
Libby: They just find a way to work a Singin' in the Rain clip into every Oscar ceremony, don't they? Were there even any musicals AROUND at this time?
Todd: Nah. Newsies was still three years away. It was a dark time.
Libby: Probably inspired by Robert Downey Jr.'s outfit!
Most of the movies celebrated in this montage are, frankly, pretty awful. When's the last time YOU tried to watch Oklahoma! the movie? Libby begins rambling on about Ethel "The Merm" Merman, and how much she loves her. Debbie Reynolds turns up and reminds us all of that movie she was in where she played that seductive teenager, which is a really weird film.
Libby: You know, you're the only one reminded of that when they see Debbie Reynolds. The rest of us think of Mother, also starring Albert Brooks. But thanks for playing.
Several of the performers are introduced through only their first names. Judy! Mitzi! Were the '80s really this deeply, subconsciously gay or IS this just a dream a gay man is having in 1954? Up to you. Swayze claps robotically and says, "Imagine having such wonderful composers to work with!" leaving whomever wrote "I've Had the Time of My Life" to cry bitter tears into their chardonnay.
Libby: Yeah. Yeah. It's the COMPOSERS who got small. EXACTLY. THAT'S why we have so few great song-and-dance movies now.
So, as it turns out, this is all just an elaborate way to get us to the score medley, which is mercifully brief. The nominees are The Accidental Tourist -- proving John Wiliams will always be nominated -- Dangerous Liasions, Gorillas in the Mist, The Milagro Beanfield Wars and Rain Man. The Milagro Beanfield Wars wins, which makes sense, since no one's ever heard of it. Apparently the composer wasn't there, so Swayze accepts on his behalf, but all he does is say, "I'm sorry!" as though he's apologizing for the win and seizing the Oscar. He probably still has it.
Libby: He deserves it. He's dying.
Olivia Newton-John is the next presenter, which is odd, since I figured she stopped being popular in 1984. But all she's there to do is introduce Kiefer and Donald Sutherland. They are there, I shit you not, to present an award to CANADA.
Libby: The Kief looks like a skeevy drifter who hangs out at the convenience store in your hometown.
Todd: Donald looks like a cross between Chris Cooper in American Beauty and Daniel Plainview!
OK, so they're giving an award to the NATIONAL FILM BOARD of Canada, which makes slightly more sense, but it's still boring. I mean, Canada?
Libby: It doesn't REALLY make sense. I mean, yeah, I guess, because we are SO MUCH BETTER than Canada, so we are in a position to reward them, for we are in a position to JUDGE them because Canada sucks.
Ugh. Why couldn't they have gotten some AWESOME AMERICANS to introduce this award and get off some great CANADA JOKES? The Sutherlands aren't gonna make fun of the Motherland.
Libby: I can't believe our greatest fucking American hero is a fucking Canadian.
Part 4 begins. Anjelica Huston introduces Mississippi Burning as a film that has inspired much political controversy. Ah, yes, the '80s. When race was still "a thing."
Todd: Man, Mississippi Burning is just the epitome of the boring, middlebrow stuff that kept getting nominated in the '80s.
Libby: Yeah. That only happened THEN.
Todd: Well, it's a LITTLE better now. I mean, not THIS year, but now, in general.
Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe come in to present the next award, and Dafoe explains that his hair is shaved short -- at Hackman's prompting -- because he has just come from filming a movie about the Holocaust. The audience applauds wildly.
Todd: Ah, applause for a theoretical Holocaust film. I assume Steven Spielberg was in attendance and realized what he had to do.
Libby: Look at how PISSED OFF Dafoe looks. He looks like he wants to punch Hackman in the nutsack!
Art direction nominees: Beaches, Dangerous Liaisons, Rain Man, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The winner is Dangerous Liaisons.
Todd: Well, those certainly ARE some sets, if the clips are any indication. And that was a really short speech!
And now, Bo Derek and Dudley Moore are here to present an award and provide an INCREDIBLY STRAINED BIT OF BANTER based around their work on the movie "10."
Todd: Man, why did America take to Dudley Moore so heartily in the 1980s? He's just tiresome.
Libby: he's like a less-entertaining Mr. Bean.
The costume design nominees are Coming to America, Dangerous Liasions, A Handful of Dust, Sunset, Tucker: The Man and His Dream. In short, a bunch of movies you've never heard of. Man, the Oscars have no real staying power. Dangerous Liasions wins, unsurprisingly, and thus concludes the design categories where it must have been the prohibitive favorite.
Libby: They better give another acting award soon, or I just might start to lose interest. That Dudley Moore/Bo Derek thing was almost more than I can stand. Plus, the cat just threw up. It was really gross.
On to part 5! Billy Crystal shows up to present a series of clips on tap-dancing in the movies. No. Really. He uses the opportunity to audition for the hosting gig at future Oscar ceremonies, and he's much better than he ever was when HOSTING the thing. He also makes fun of Edward G. Robinson saying "Where's your Messiah now?" before Chief Wiggum did.
Libby: The sad part is that our modern equivalent would be Dane Cook going up there. And, in actuality, surprisingly, Billy Crystal is ... this is preferable.
Todd: Hey, he just made a Dan Quayle joke!
Libby: If only they knew ...
Todd: There's SO MUCH WORSE AHEAD OF YOU, people of 1989. Bail out! Bail out NOW!
Billy Crystal now makes tap dancing noises with his mouth. It sounds like he's eating Ruffles.
Libby: I guess Dane Cook's pretty to look at?
Todd: You find Dane Cook ATTRACTIVE?
Libby: I just cover my ears and think of Ryan Reynolds.
Todd: I guess the DOPE, at least, was good in 1989, because the audience ate that shit UP. I can't wait until Robin Williams shows up, and they love HIM too.
The montage commences and concludes with tap-dancing star Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr.
Libby: I remember this time in the '80s, where every awards show, they had Gregory Hines show up and tap dance! I don't remember what films he was in, I don't remember the cultural reference, but I DO remember that!
Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr., introduced by a montage, come in to introduce YET ANOTHER MONTAGE of Oscar's greatest musical moments.
Libby: Oh, this is just the greatest circle jerk of all time!
Todd: Liza Minelli is now singing "What's New, Pussycat?" Is there a way to sing that song and NOT sound like your being harshly confrontational with the audience?
Libby: And here's Michael Jackson crooning to a rat ...
Todd: And a short-haired, very young Jodie Foster!
Libby: And Barbra Streisand, looking like a lion! And Endless Love!
Todd: OK, this montage is kinda awesome. I always forget the guy who sings "Time of My Life" kinda looks like Rutger Hauer.
Try not to stare at the glass eye ... try not to stare at the glass eye ... try not to stare at the glass eye ... At least Sammy gets off a vaguely amusing joke. The best song nominees -- sans performances! -- "Calling You" from Bagdad Cafe, "Let the River Run" from Working Girl, and "Two Hearts" from Buster. "Let the River Run" wins, ensuring that Carly Simon now has one more competitive Oscar than Alfred Hitchcock. If only he could write soft-pop hits! Carly closes her speech by telling her kids how proud she is of herself and asking if they're still watching on "that island where you are."
Todd: They're probably on the run from the smoke monster.
Libby: It could be one of those Most Dangerous Game islands!
Todd: RIGHT NOW, Carly Simon's kids are bow-hunting some poor, innocent castaway!
Candace Bergen and Jacqueline Bissett come out and blitz through some French in preparation for the foreign language film award. Bergen even gets in a cute shoutout to her husband, Louis Malle, another person who's not dead in this strange world known only as "1989." But FIRST, they have to introduce Jack Valenti to help them. Snore.
Libby: Listen. Tomorrow night. We're watching the Oscars. Every time, someone comes out solely to introduce another person, I'm taking a shot.
Todd: You'll ... you'll DIE!
The nominees are Hanussen from Hungary, which is about a clairvoyant exploited by some Nazis? awesome?, The Music Teacher from Belgium, Pelle the Conqueror from Denmark, which we've heard of, so it probably wins, Salaam Bombay from India, which we've ALSO heard of, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, from Spain. Man! That's a lot of foreign films from the '80s we've heard of. Pelle wins, which delays Pedro Almodovar's big Oscar moment another nine years. Women on the Verge ..., incidentally, being another one of those movies that has aged much better than the Best Picture nominees and winner. Anyway, Pelle guy talks very briefly.
Libby: I didn't know Nervous Breakdown was Almodovar! There were no giant vaginas.
On to part 6, featuring Naveen Andrews' main squeeze, Barbara Hershey, who is all business when introducing The Accidental Tourist. Show must have been running long.
Todd: William Hurt did so much interesting work in the '80s. It seemed like every other Best Picture nominee starred him back then. And then he just apparently lost his damn mind until he randomly turned up again in A History of Violence. And now he's on Damages? For shame, Bill! For SHAME!
The clip from Tourist randomly turns into a montage of big close-ups of smiling faces.
Libby: Was that actually a clip from the movie, or did they just dissolve into a montage for no reason?
Michael Caine and Sean Connery, the previous two best supporting actors, turn up now, presumably for one of the bigger awards. Caine and Connery have some great comic chemistry, particularly as Connery looks like he's going to unhinge his jaw and swallow Caine whole. Caine takes the opportunity to give the speech he didn't get to give when he won for Hannah and her Sisters -- he was off making Jaws: The Revenge and couldn't accept -- and it turns out his wife is Shakira?! Or something?! And then Roger Moore comes out and ruins the bit, and Connery REALLY looks like he wants to unhinge his jaw and swallow HIM.
Libby: In my head, that was all unplanned, and people just wander out on stage at the Oscars, Like, "Oh, hey, I know that guy! I haven't seen him in forever. I'm just gonna go out there and talk to him!" It's like the speeches at a wedding reception.
The Best Supporting Actor nominees are Alec Guinness, Little Dorrit -- another movie no one sees anymore, mostly because it's SEVENTY HOURS LONG; Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda -- another movie that's aged better than the Best Picture nominees; Martin Landau, Tucker: The Man and His Dream -- further proof that Francis Ford Coppola still carried SOME clout; River Phoenix, Running on Empty -- and, hey, I forgot HE was nominated; Dean Stockwell, Married to the Mob -- a career highlight for Jonathan Demme and another movie that's aged ... y'know, I'll skip it. Kevin Kline wins, of course, and he gets to kiss Phoebe Cates at the height of her sheer hotness. Sigh.
Todd: Kevin Kline's win in this category is one of my more favorite wins of the '80s. I don't think it's an all-time great performance, but it's a well-tuned comic one, and the Oscars never notice those. It's like if Robert Downey, Jr. randomly wins this year for Tropic Thunder.
Libby: I think it's interesting that they had two comedic nominations with Kline and Stockwell. Usually, if they have a comedic nom, it's just a throwaway. They need to do less of that and more of what they did in '89.
Todd: And Kline almost forgets Phoebe. But he remembers and lives on to share a bed with her another day!
Lloyd, Jeff and Beau Bridges wonder which category Tom Selleck mentioned at the top of the show they fit into. There are three of them, and they're presumably not having sex, so they don't fit into couples, but they finally settle on companions, and then Lloyd gets all passive-aggressive with Beau. Sadly, this doesn't result in a fistfight. They present the nominees for visual effects, starting with Die Hard, wherein they show off the remarkable blue screen action involved in making sure Alan Rickman didn't ACTUALLY fall to his death.
Libby: That is some REMARKABLE special effects.
Todd: I had assumed Alan Rickman died.
Libby: When's the last time you heard anything about Alan Rickman?
Beau gets distracted and lets a long clip of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? play out before he finally says ...
Beau Bridges: Did you ever think a car could have a mind?
Todd: Somehow, if anyone did, I imagine it's Beau Bridges.
The final nominee is Willow, but Roger Rabbit wins, of course. The Bridges are swept aside for some techies.
Libby: The Dude abides!
Todd: I still don't know how they did some of that stuff in Roger Rabbit. I mean, I'm sure I could figure it out if I wanted to, but it's awesome that they made something that sophisticated looking with minimal computer involvement.
Libby: Listen. Let's stop watching this and put that in instead. I will give you a million dollars.
Todd: THE INTERNET IS COUNTING ON US, LIBBY. THE INTERNET. IS COUNTING. ON US.
Libby: I hate you Internet.
It's on to part 7, and we're off to have more mini-pie and try to wake ourselves up from our stupor.
*****ONE MINI PIE LATER*****
Here's Walter Matthau to prolong a show that's already too long with LONG JOKES. C'mon, Walter! Pull it all together! Anyway, the Teleprompter goes too fast for Matthau, so he complains about that, and then he pulls out a PRINTED COPY OF THE SPEECH and starts to read it verbatim.
Libby: I hate old people so much.
Todd: This whole SHOW is the charming adventures of poor-visioned old people.
Lucille Ball, in her last public appearance, and Bob Hope show up now to talk some more, as Matthau was apparently just there to introduce them. Hope actually ALMOST MADE it another 20 years.
Libby: Morissey should have written a song about Bob Hope called "LAST of the Gang to Die."
Bob Hope: I haven't seen this many beautiful girls since I spent Father's Day with Steve Garvey.
Lucy and the crowd: LAUGHTER!!!!!
Libby: Who the fuck's Steve Garvey?
Lucy points out that Bob Hope has been on the Oscar show 26 times now, but he's never won. Hope takes this all in stride. Then he kills her. And makes a joke about Billy Swaggart, badly messing up the name.
Libby: It's really sad how Lucille Ball's voice went from cute, quirky Lucy speak to chain-smoking truck stop waitress by the end of her life.
They just keep making lame jokes about events that weren't current even in 1989! Jokes about Ishtar?! ANOTHER joke about Dan Quayle?! This is just going to go on forever.
Libby: At least Dan Quayle's daughter didn't have his baby for him!
Todd: What are you? The mainstream media?!
As it turns out, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball were just there to introduce the REAL stars, Blair Underwood and Holly Robinson -- now Peete.
Libby: She DID things before Hangin' with Mr. Cooper?
Joely Fisher, Keith Coogan, Patrick O'Neal, Jr., Tyrone Power, Jr., Carrie Hamilton, RICKI FRICKIN' LAKE, Tricia Leigh Fisher, COREY FELDMAN, Patrick Dempsey, Chad Lowe, Tracy Nelson, D.A. Pawley, Christian Slater, Tony Award winner Savion Glover, Melora "Jan Levinson-Gould" Hardin and Matt Latanzi join Underwood and Peete to sing a song. About how they want to win an Oscar. It's a song written by Marvin Hamlisch and Fred Ebb. It's directed by Kenny Ortega. And then they dance. So, you see, Walter Matthau, Lucille Ball and Bob Hope were just build-up. TO THIS.
Todd: All right, we're just going to pause things for a moment here because we just watched this whole thing in something approaching slack-jawed astonishment. We, honestly, may need to walk around the block or something. Because this? I mean, the Snow White thing? Yeah, Oscar gets a bad rap for that, but this? This is quite possibly even worse. Or better, depending on your view of things.
Libby: This HAS to be on Youtube. They aren't going to understand. They're not going to understand unless we FIND it for them.
Todd: It's just ... amazing ... in that way that only pop culture ephemera from the 1980s can be. And look at that list of names. How many do you recognize? How many are Oscar winners? It's vaguely like if tomorrow night's ceremony kicks off with Miley Cyrus and ALL OF THE OTHER DISNEY CHANNEL STARS singing about their dreams of making a film just like Frost/Nixon (with Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato).
Libby: It's on YouTube! It's on YOUTUBE!
Todd: All right then. We'll leave you to it. All we're going to say is that this whole thing features a long sequence where the "stars of tomorrow" fence aimlessly about the stage. Yes, you read that correctly. They are about to prove to you that fencing can be done aimlessly. Also, Corey Feldman does a dance that looks like something out of Fiddler on the Roof (while trying to look like Michael Jackson), Patrick Dempsey does a weird little softshoe with a cane, Savion Glover does a Benjamin Button impression, everybody sings intricate choral harmony on "Say what?!" and Jan Levinson-Gould wears a really whore-y costume. This, really, has to be seen to be believed, so, please, watch. AND MAKE SURE YOU CATCH THE GUY AT THE END, PUMPING HIS FIST ECSTATICALLY IN THE AUDIENCE.
Libby: I feel like they're all auditioning for the Oscars audience!
Todd: I guess that didn't work out so well.
Libby: It's making me uncomfortable. We never should have watched this a second time.
Libby: OK, now that you've watched it, let us know in comments: Of all of the up-and-coming stars of tomorrow, whose star would you say has risen the highest since this aired?
Todd: I think you HAVE to go with Patrick Dempsey. I mean ... he's the male lead on one of TV's most popular shows. Obviously either him or D.A. Pawley.
Libby: I'd probably go with Blair Underwood, just on the respectability platform.
Todd: Obviously, not a one of these people has an Oscar, so this song is a failure as a predictor of the future.
Libby: To be fair, Chad Lowe was definitely SUPPOSED to be mentioned in an Oscar speech!
Todd: And I think she remembered the second time!
Libby: And then they got divorced!
Todd: I am going to watch this at least three times every day for the rest of my life.
Moving on, reluctantly ... Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum's unfortunate hair come out to present something. Goldblum looks like a majestic falcon. Our screener has a CTV crawler, which means that the Canadians of 1989 are going to have to wait a while for their news.
Todd: These two have no sexual chemistry. I like to imagine that instead of doing whatever it was they did in the bedroom, Goldblum just made funny faces at her until she fell asleep.
Libby: They just kinda sat around awkwardly and kinda shrugged.
They're here to present Documentary Short, and the nominees are a bunch of movies you don't care about, except for a movie that is called "You Don't Have to Die." Goldblum, too cheerfully, tells us it's about kids with cancer who BEAT THE ODDS.
Libby: They had to film it four times before they found a kid who didn't die!
Davis breaks out her Sally Jessy Raphael shades -- nay -- her TOM DASCHLE READING SPECTACLES to read the winner, which is ... YOU DON'T HAVE TO DIE! YES!
Libby: Good thing they found that fourth kid. The first three weren't nearly so inspirational!
Oh, this is a movie about that kid who wrote that "My Book for Kids with Cansur" shit that was everywhere in the late '80s. Whatever.
Libby: I don't remember that kid! I remember that kid with the hemophilia!
Todd: Ryan White?
Libby: Yeah! Him!
Todd: Yeah ... that was AIDS. AIDS.
Libby: But he had hemophilia too!
Anyway, now Max von Sydow and Edward James Olmos are here to present Documentary Feature. The nominees are The Cry of Reason, Hotel Terminus, Let's Get Lost, Promises to Keep and Who Killed Vincent Chim?, which is a great title! The winner is Hotel Terminus, which is a movie about Nazis. Of course. Spielberg narrows his brow in concentration. Something is brewing in that great brain of his. He stands and runs from the auditorium.
Todd: I don't care about this guy winning, so let's talk about who WASN'T nominated so that they could give this to this German dude: Errol Morris. Errol Morris for The Thin Blue Line, quite possibly the best documentary of all damn time. This category is a joke.
Libby: why do we even WATCH the Oscars? Why am I investing my time in a piece of shit awards show from 20 years ago? It was a piece of shit then. It's going to be a piece of shit tomorrow night.
Announcer: ... a special surprise guest!
Libby: I do like surprises, though.
Todd: And, plus, only at the Oscars would you see Corey Feldman dancing like Topol while dressed as Michael Jackson.
Part 8 begins with Anne Archer. She's here to talk about Dangerous Liaisons.
Todd: Dangerous Liaisons is all right as costume dramas go. I find the whole genre a little stultifying, but this one at least thinks a little bit about what it's trying to do, and it has a killer cast and the chameleon-y Stephen Frears behind the camera.
Libby: Here's my thing. How the hell is Malkovich scoring so much ass in this movie?
Todd: How does Phillipe score so much ass in Cruel Intentions?
Libby: He looks kinda like a chick?
Todd: Touche. You know what's inside Malkovich's head? A bunch of other John Malkovichs. Y'know. Just in case.
Here comes Robin Williams wearing Mickey Mouse ears and making Dan Quayle jokes. Man, no wonder Middle America thought Hollywood hated it for so long. He's ... tiring. I can't believe I used to like this dude. And now he's bringing out Charles Fleischer, the voice of Roger Rabbit, to help him. This can only end poorly. And, indeed, it does, as they do a long series of voices inserting cartoon characters into things like Rain Man and A Streetcar Named Desire.
Libby: Here's the problem. The guy who does the voice of Roger Rabbit can ONLY do the voice of Roger Rabbit.
Todd: AND, to be fair, a bad British accent and a very stereotypical black man.
Libby: And ... now they're rapping. As Popeye.
Todd: I love back when white people were trying to appropriate hip hop culture but had absolutely no idea how to do so.
Libby: So it all just came off as vaguely racist?
Todd: Libby! EVERYthing white people did until 1995 came off as vaguely racist!
Anyway, they were just there to introduce the great Richard Williams, who received an honorary award for his animation work on Roger Rabbit. Williams had been toiling in the Hollywood underworld for decades, trying to get his passion projects funded. After Roger Rabbit he ... was promptly returned to the Hollywood underworld, and Miramax bought his long-gestating "Thief and the Cobbler" and hacked it into "Arabian Knight." Williams closes with "The best is yet to come!"
Libby: it really isn't, Richard!
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore come out to present cinematography, and they illustrate this by showing some BAD cinematography in the form of a home movie Willis shot, of Moore feeding their infant daughter.
Libby: That is the best Rumer Willis has EVER looked!
The nominees are Mississippi Burning, Rain Man, Tequila Sunrise, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Lightness is another film that has aged well, but the award goes to Mississippi Burning, for no apparent reason.
Libby: Congratulations! You're not winning anything else!
Todd: Peter Biziou is probably a great cinematographer, but he's making creepy eyes at me.
Libby: He appears to have been played by Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk.
In part 9, Martin Short and Carrie Fisher appear together to prove that cross-dressing humor was still riotously popular 20 years ago when Short turns up wearing the same outfit as Fisher. The entire conceit of the bit relies on the idea that Fisher and Short went to the store together so Fisher could show Short what she was wearing.
Libby: Wasn't this her crazy alcoholic author phase? Why would she go shopping? Much less with Martin Short?
Todd: I'm just going to entertain the notion that whomever the Academy haphazardly shoves together to present went shopping together. It will make it that much more entertaining when Gene Hackman and Dakota Fanning are presenting together.
Short stalks offstage to change, and Fisher presents Animated Short. Among the nominees is the terrific The Cat Came Back and Pixar's Tin Toy, which indirectly led to Toy Story. John Lasseter and William Reeves win for Tin Toy. Lasseter thanks "everyone at Pixar." Reeves thanks Steve Jobs.
Libby: I'm sure everyone thought that was the last they'd ever hear of John Lasseter!
Todd: Jack Nicholson was probably, like, "Pixar? What the hell's a Pixar?"
Short returns in a tux to present the next award. The live action short nominees are not as interesting, except the winner is The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, which is somehow the production of Steven Wright, the deadpan comedian. It was unbeknownst to us that Wright had an Oscar. He thanks Johnny Carson.
Libby: How can you be a sadsack, deadpan comedian when you have an OSCAR?
Michael Douglas, the previous Best Actor winner for Wall Street, comes out to present Best Actor.
Libby: I prefer how they do the opposite sex presentation thing now.
The nominees are: Gene Hackman, Mississippi Burning -- all yell-y!; Tom Hanks, Big -- the sort of performance that might not be nominated today, it being in a huge commercial hit and a comedic performance and all; Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man -- possibly worse than you remembered it; Edward James Olmos, Stand and Deliver -- awesome combover, dude! too bad they don't award men for deglamming; Max von Sydow, Pelle the Conqueror -- ANOTHER performance that might not get nominated today, as von Sydow couldn't get nominated for, essentially, much the same work in Diving Bell and the Butterfly last year ... the Oscars are going to always skew away from the foreign and the quiet, and von Sydow excels at understatement and is, obviously, foreign. Anyway, Hoffman wins in a very unsurprising moment.
Todd: So we're getting into the part of the show when Rain Man starts to win things, and I've always kind of been of the same mind as William Goldman as this. Hoffman turns in an excellent TECHNICAL performance in Rain Man, and it's great that people knew what autism was after his work in that movie, but it's a gimmick performance, and the Oscars have always been too in love with someone doing an obvious job of fakery instead of something more quiet and calm. Goldman has always maintained Tom Cruise has the harder role in that movie, and I'm sort of inclined to agree. I think Hoffman's all right, and of course he deserves several Oscars (though I'd take his other win in Kramer vs. Kramer -- new on Blu-Ray! -- over his win for this), but this is just not a performance that has aged particularly well, especially as we've learned more about autism.
Libby: Don't blame him! He didn't go full retard!
Todd: Anyway, Hoffman closes out by talking about his dad watching him from the hospital he lives in, where everyone is drinking champagne and watching the ceremony on a big TV. Aw. Hoffman sprung his dad for the Globes, but not for the Oscars, apparently. And this is a nice speech, so I won't begrudge him the win for now.
Here's part 10 and the home stretch, which opens with Ali McGraw introducing ... Working Girl? For some reason?
Libby: I love this movie a lot, except for Melanie Griffith, which makes me the only person in the world who likes Working Girl except for Melanie Griffith.
Todd: I'd wager this has almost aged the BEST of the five nominees from that year. It's not spectacular, and Mike Nichols is oddly workmanlike on it, but it's a fun movie, and it doesn't try too hard, though it IS very obviously of its time.
Libby: I think Griffith is really what KEEPS it in the '80s. It's a really dated performance, and she's a really dated actress. A similar movie from that same era is Broadcast News, which has aged much better because Holly Hunter's at its center, not Griffith.
Todd: Working Girl is also the kind of movie that a.) wouldn't be a massive hit today like it was and b.) consequently wouldn't be Best Picture nominated (unless Fox Searchlight was somehow involved). It's so clear that this was the populist branch of the Academy throwing a sop to the people who hadn't seen the other films, even though Rain Man EXPLODED at the box office (it was the number one movie of 1988!). But the audience for middlebrow dramas has just DRIED UP in the last ten years, and that has caused the phenomenon of the Oscars nominating a lot of movies with low, low box office. Yes, pop entertainment has been the big driving force in Hollywood since Jaws, but there used to be a narrow Venn diagram of big, middlebrow dramas that hit with the Academy AND the public, and now the public refuses to go to middlebrow dramas, and the Academy refuses to embrace pop entertainments (usually with good reason, admittedly).
Libby: And yet, the one place where the general populace and Hollywood will always, always meet is middlebrow Clint Eastwood dramas.
Todd: Except for Gran Torino! His biggest hit ever. Though I think that would have made it in if it had been released even a month earlier.
Libby: The old people don't have the Internet to spread their word of mouth! They actually have to use word of mouth! They needed a little more time.
That was A LOT about Working Girl. Anyway, Ali introduces Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett as two people whose "love story is real." Heh.
Libby: Aw. This is the Oscars of broken relationships!
They're presenting Editing, where the nominees are Die Hard, Gorillas in the Mist, Mississippi Burning, Rain Man and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Improbably, Roger wins.
Todd: Here's the point where we speculate about what was probably close to being nominated for Best Picture. Because it's obvious that Working Girl and Accidental Tourist, from their sporadic placements, weren't that close, most likely. Die Hard was probably somewhere in the top ten. Roger Rabbit probably actually was in seventh (it's in a lot of big picture predicting categories, but not screenplay or director, admittedly), and Gorillas in the Mist was probably in sixth. Maybe Fish Called Wanda, which got in in screenplay and director?
Libby: I would have nominated The Thin Blue Line!
The announcer introduces Angie Dickinson as "Oscar's special friend." Ooooooooookay.
Libby: What does that MEAN?
Todd: Oh, God, this is the technical awards portion of the show.
Libby: Can I just say that the technical awards bitch role has gotten way hotter since then!
Todd: They gave an award for the ZOOM LENS on the home camera. Man. That has REALLY IMPROVED OUR LIVES.
Libby: I liked how they only gave out three awards. Now they give out, like, 75!
Todd: They're showing this long, boring thing from the scientific awards. I'm glad they got rid of this and turned it into a sexy montage featuring Scarlett Johansson or whoever's "hot" that year.
Libby: Why didn't they just give the awards at the actual ceremony if they were going to dedicate five minutes to it anyway?
Todd: Well, at least they gave an award to KODAK. For all their help.
Part 11 begins with Richard Dreyfuss and Amy Irving.
Todd: Who are ... two people who have probably slept with Steven Spielberg? *drum riff*
The original screenplay nominees are Big, Bull Durham(!?), A Fish Called Wanda, Rain Man -- "for their chronicle of newfound brotherly love"
Libby: If you know what I mean ...
and Running on Empty. Rain Man, of course, wins.
Todd: I'll bet screenwriters miss the days when they could take a little-known disease and win an Oscar for writing a script about it instead of worrying that it would be co-opted by House.
Ron Bass, one of the writers on the film, went on to write My Best Friend's Wedding, which Libby likes, so I'll let her talk about that and/or Julia Roberts instead of ranting about Rain Man again.
Libby: I'm excited for that Duplicity movie!
Dennis Quaid and Michelle Pfeiffer show up to present Adapted Screenplay, and Michelle Pfeiffer looks ANGRY that she lost that Oscar earlier. Quaid is fumbling his way through this and surely angering her even further. The nominees are The Accidental Tourist, Dangerous Liaisons, Gorillas in the Mist, Little Dorrit and The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Anyway, Dangerous Liaisons wins, continuing a long tradition of playwrights and/or novelists winning for adapting their own work, as Christopher Hampton wrote the play this was based on. Just like if this were the REAL Oscars, we're fading fast!
Todd: If they ever make a Christopher Hampton biopic, they totally have to cast Judah Friedlander. If he can do the ponce-y accent.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell come out to talk about how they're co-stars, compadres, companions and a couple, even though they're not married. Hey! How come they're not best friends?!
Libby: Because they have kids!
Anyway, Russell channels Dustin Hoffman to thank Tom Cruise and Barry Levinson. Hawn and Russell flirt disgustingly. It's like watching your parents. Really. The director nominees are Charles Crichton for A Fish Called Wanda, Martin Scorsese for The Last Temptation of Christ -- WHY WASN'T THAT NOMINATED?! and man does Marty look resigned to losing Oscars for almost another 20 years, Alan Parker for Mississippi Burning, Barry Levinson for Rain Man and Mike Nichols for Working Girl. Russell says that Nichols can give dictation with the best of them, and he emphasizes the first syllable, so it sounds a lot dirtier than he probably intended. Levinson, of course, wins.
Todd: I know the directors are iconoclasts, but it's so weird Frears didn't get in for Dangerous Liaisons. Oh well. He popped up years later for The Queen, so I'm sure he's not complaining. What are your thoughts on Barry Levinson, Libby?
Libby: How weird is it that they did actress after director? I'm still kind of, like, thrown by it. Why would they do that?
Todd: I liked Diner. Avalon's pretty good too! Actually, I like a lot of Levinson movies, but winning the Oscar kinda shorted out his career as he seemingly kept trying to outdo himself and/or justify his win for one of his weaker films.
And we're on to the final part, which opens with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman presenting the award for Best Actress. Hoffman thanks even more people, which is just goofy.
Libby: Man, why wasn't Tom Cruise nominated?
Todd: Because he was Tom Cruise. He got in the next year for the first time.
Libby: For Born on the Fourth of July, right. And it's funny. Because Tom Cruise can't get nominated NOW because he's fuckin' Tom Cruise. Just for very different reasons.
The nominees are Glenn Close, Dangerous Liaisons -- remember when she was nominated every year and never won?; Jodie Foster, The Accused; Melanie Griffith, Working Girl -- for which we've made our feelings quite clear; Meryl Streep, A Cry in the Dark -- MYBEE THE DINGO ET YOUR BAYBEE and isn't it weird how Seinfeld has cemented our opinion on so many Oscar nominees?; Sigourney Weaver, Gorillas in the Mist. Jodie Foster wins.
Todd: I have no idea if this was unexpected. It FEELS like it should have been, since this was The Accused's only nomination and since Close was and remains "due." So due, in fact, that she keeps winning awards at other ceremonies to make up for it. Foster looks adorable and approachable, which is probably why she's still a pretty bankable star, even though she only makes a movie every four years or so.
Libby: Man, The Accused messed me up. I saw it on cable in my formative years. All I know is I remember someone getting raped on a, what was it? a pinball machine? a pool table? I don't know. All I know is it put me off bar games for a long time.
Todd: And, as it turns out, Foster won the National Board of Review and the Golden Globe. So I guess everyone just assumed she only had this one performance in her, and Close would keep coming back. Instead, Foster won again, and I think Close was never nominated again? (You are correct! -- ed.)
So here we go with Best Picture. The announcer says, "One of the most exciting words in show business -- CHER!" and now I KNOW this is all a dream a repressed gay man is having in 1954. Thanks for confirming, Oscars! The nominees, of course, are Accidental Tourist, Dangerous Liasions, Mississippi Burning, Rain Man and Working Girl. Rain Man wins. The producer is cocky enough to say that he's been told he should maybe prepare for this.
Todd: This producer looks like he stepped out of a Thomas Dolby video.
Libby: And it's just the one guy on stage! Nowadays, it's like a big celebration up on stage when something wins Best Picture. It sounds like the auditorium's all cleared out, too, like everyone wants to beat traffic.
The producer thanks his "foster" kids.
Libby: And I'll bet they're glad to be referred to as such!
Todd: Do YOU have any thoughts on Rain Man?
Libby: No, but I have thoughts on these pedestrian sponsors of the Oscars, like Coca Cola and J.C. Penney.
Todd: Hey, Bruce Vilanch wrote this! No wonder we suffered so!
The credits play over footage of the various winners hoisting their trophies aloft backstage.
Todd: Do you have any final thoughts? I know you just want to get to bed.
Libby: I like how no one commented on how heavy the statue was. I get tired of that. How many people do you think will say it tomorrow night? I bet 50.
Todd: I'll say 60.
Libby: And now they're using Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! I hope they get sued for using THIS song too.
Todd: Well, I just want to say that that was a pretty odd Oscars. Aside from it being inadvertantly amusing and an excellent time capsule of the weird repression of the late '80s ("Best friends!"), it was a pretty pedestrian awards ceremony. I daresay those were the most pedestrian nominees until ... this year. So with that, we bid you good night, and we hope you join us tomorrow, when we may or may not live blog this year's awards and the inevitable Slumdog (sigh) sweep. See you then!