Jon Stewart to Host the Oscars: Round Two

Jon Stewart is back, hosting the Academy Awards for a second time.

Excuse me if I’m not overly ecstatic. In fact, I’m just “eh”. For one, it doesn’t make me any more or less excited for the Oscars.

Just because I don’t really care, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I can guarantee that with Jon Stewart hosting, it will be a quality, entertaining event.

Usually the Oscar host doesn’t make a difference to the Oscar telecast.

Especially this year, because all the hoopla surrounding the Oscars is not going to be about the host, the movies nominated, the stars in attendance, or E!’s shitty red carpet with Ryan Seacrest.

It’s the 80th Annual Academy Awards, and that is what most people are going to care about.

My 2006 Academy Awards Recap

The Oscars were really good this year (definitely much better than last year’s show.) Where to begin?

The opening montage of every classic moment/actor digitally animated… wow. For a classic film freak like me, it was fun trying to see how many movies I could name. Then the comedy bits started. I loved it when Jon Stewart woke up in bed with George Clooney. “Is this a dream?” “No.” Great way to start the show.

Stewart’s first few jokes completely bombed but after that he picked up steam. Then he lost it again. That’s okay. Nothing can stop me from loving Jon Stewart. I loved the tribute to Westerns and the innuendos. “The gayest genre” according to Stewart if you watched Oprah today.

Best Supporting Actor goes to… George Clooney, as predicted. He gave a great speech. “All right, so I’m not winning director.” Then he added, “I’m proud to be out of touch”.

March of the Penguins won best documentary, although it should’ve gone to Enron. Still a great movie nonetheless and I loved how the director (I forget his name) dedicated the award to all the children who saw the film and how hopefully it could influence then when they’re making the important decisions (with environmental issues and such) by 2041.

Rachel Weisz winning was awesome and she looked gorgeous for being 7 months pregnant. In her speech she thanked those who do the humanitarian work like her character did in The Constant Gardener.

I guess the old fart’s don’t run Hollywood afterall. I mean, 36 Mafia won for best song. By far the most excited (and more shocked than the cast of Crash) to win.

Robert Altman, director of M*A*S*H and Nashville, received the honorary oscar. Well-deserved. He’s been denied too long. His next feature is A Prarie Home Companion. Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan star in a great ensemble cast.

Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his role as Truman Capote in Capote. And he dressed for the occasion.

Another shocker. Reese Witherspoon won.

Love Ang Lee. Great director. He deserved it for Brokeback Mountain.

But the best moment of the evening had to be when Crash pulled the biggest upset in recent year’s. Yes, I was expecting that it could happen and as the night went on, it was becoming a little more clear to me that it could, but stilll I was shocked. My jaw literally hit the floor. And then I was pissed. Why? The acceptance speech was cut off. Come on now. They make this big deal during the show to promote great Oscar moments and the producer ruin one by turning off the mic.

I’ll respond to the controversy surrounding this win tomorrow.

The Crash posse

Other great moments:

  • The mock political campaigns fro Best Actress. “Keira Knightley, acting while pretty.”
  • Lauren Bacall. Need I say enough.
  • The montage tributes to epics, film noir, and biopics.
  • Itzhak Perlman, playing selections from each nominated score.
  • Stewart, ” “‘Good night and good luck’ — the line that Mr. Clooney ends all of his dates with.” The look on Clooney’s face… priceless.

Overall a great night at the Oscars. Can’t wait until next year. I’m thinking Scorcese could finally win.

The Revolution will Be Televised

I smell a change coming and it’s about time. Be sure to check out the video feature on The Carpetbagger site. It debates wheteher or not Jon Stewart can save the Academy Awards.

The Carpetbagger – January 6, 2005

People have been saying for quite some time that the movie business is in the midst of profound change. The tick-tock of evidence need not be repeated, but it can be summarized thusly: The practice of erecting enormous theatrical releases, pushing them into the marketplace with brute marketing dollars, and then counting the grosses as obedient audiences show up in droves is running just this side of empty. And no one knows what the new New Thing will be, exactly.

The Bagger doesn’t either, but yesterday’s events cemented his belief that it could be the Oscars, of all things, that tradition-bound kabuki of self-congratulation, that will lead the way. Ironies abound. As things are shaping up, big movies are getting short shrift, gravitas is trumping fluff, studio muscle isn’t working, and Jon Stewart, a media guerrilla who machine-guns convention, will serve as ringmaster on the industry’s crowning annual moment. The line between camp and cool, always tough to discern at the Oscars, is becoming even more ineffable.

The Academy can rightfully be seen as the soul, if it has one, of the industry. Every year among Oscar deconstructionists, there is much talk about The Academy Sending a Message. And boy howdy, at least one guild spoke loud and clear yesterday.

Let’s begin with the nominations from the Directors Guild. It is hard to overstate the predictive nature of the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the winner of the Directors Guild award has gone on to win the best director award 51 out of 57 times. And this year, the guild chose to cite a crop of relative directorial newbies who made Message Movies, period pieces like Capote, Good Night, and Good Luck, Brokeback Mountain, along with Crash, a contemporary take on racial conflict in Los Angeles. The only nominated director that Old Hollywood could lay claim to was Steven Spielberg, and he has always kept the major machinery of the business at significant remove.

King Kong, the epitome of modern movie craft in all its glory – Big Movie, Big Dollars, Big Effects – got bupkes from the Directors Guild, and just about everyone else for that matter. Kong was seen as a potentially explosive blend of art and commerce, the kind of brawny winner that could bring ratings to the Oscars and put fannies in the seats, but the industry’s hopes of grabbing the hairy back of the big guy and being pulled to that new, happy place are dimming.

As the thinking man’s anti-intellectual, the Bagger is not one to read too much into this, but when miniatures like Capote and Good Night, and Good Luck look like they are going to clobber $200 million movies, it is bound to create some soul – there’s that word again – searching among the captains of this industry.
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Very interesting indeed. What are your thoughts? Let me know.

Jon Stewart to Host Oscars

from NY Times  by Sharon Waxman

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 – Billy Crystal was on tour. Steve Martinwas prepping a movie. Whoopi – we’re really not too sure what’s up with her.

So in an act of either pure inspiration or complete desperation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts Sciences has asked Jon Stewart, host of a popular fake news program on Comedy Central, to host the movie industry’s most prestigious event, the Academy Awards ceremony.

Mr. Stewart, 43, was appropriately humbled by the invitation. “As an avid watcher of the Oscars,” he dead-panned in a statement, “I can’t help but be a little disappointed with the choice.”

Gil Cates, the producer of the Oscar telecast, which will air on March 5, said in a statement: “I’m very excited,” adding that Mr. Stewart “is a superb choice witty, current, intelligent and charming.”

Mr. Stewart is also young and hip, something the Oscars has been striving to achieve in an environment of declining ratings for award shows. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has won Emmy and Peabody awards for Mr. Stewart’s politically-barbed, too-close-for-comfort satire, which also spawned a best-seller, America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide To Democracy Inaction.

The host is a constant critic of the Bush administration and its decision to go to war in Iraq, and his program has become a central stop on the political media circuit for both right and left-wingers, a sign that this year’s Oscar telecast might well include anti-Bush political humor. […]

Last year the Oscars looked to shake up their sagging telecast by having the irreverent comedian Chris Rock play host. But some Academy members found Mr. Rock, who took several jabs at President Bush, too irreverent toward the movie industry.


I love Jon Stewart and he is an excellent choice for Oscars host. Chris Rock was too much for often stuffy Academy members to handle; Billy Crystal doesn’t appeal to the younger generations as much (although I like jim). Jon Stewart is a great choice. This year’s telecast should be (crosses fingers) be a good one. The best movies plus a great host equals one awesome night.