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March 29, 2001

Oscar Wrapola, Baby!

Okay, so here's how I won the Oscar Pool for the second year in a row. I didn't bet the list I'd made for my column here. Just moments before the award show began, and after hours of watching Joan toss it to Melissa, I jotted down who I thought would win. Not who I thought should win, not who I'd heard would win, but who I thought would win. I beat out my friends and managed to make notes along the way. Now I'll share them with you.

Pre-show's best moment was seeing Joan kiss the ass of the new E! CEO. Worst, was hearing her say, "It's great to see the Asians here." It's like she's at a party, going, "Oh, look, there's the Goldsteins. Oh, and the Johnsons came. Oh, and I'm so glad the Asians made it." What an idiot!

E! had this thing going called a Sizzle Meter, and you could go online and rank whomever Joan was interviewing. It was in poor taste to leave the graphic up when Sting's final score was revealed (a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10).

I do want to thank Joan Rivers for wearing a dress with netting across her back. Since the camera angle takes in more of her back than anything else, I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you for covering that skin well.

Winona Ryder... what were you thinking? Your hair's a mess, your eyes are all black and smudged... oh, I get it, she'd just watched "Edward Scissorhands" and got all nostalgic.

I'm very glad to know that Ellen Burstyn won the Independent Spirit Award Saturday night. That makes it okay that she didn't get the Oscar.

Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson... what a cute couple! They did Goldie and Kurt proud.

I saw Siguorney Weaver autographing someone's bottled water. That was sweet. Loved her dress. She actually looked quite classy... for an old broad.

Speaking of old broads, Judi Dench was just gorgeous. You go, girl!

On the red carpet, I'd said, "Oh, thank God Jennifer Lopez covered up her breasts with this dress. Then I saw the twins. Now I know what J-Lo stands for.

My epiphany of the night: I live my life like an interviewer on the red carpet. I'm listening to you. I'm asking (somewhat) intelligent questions. I'm right there with you. But I'm constantly looking just over your shoulder, in case someone better is coming up the path. Now, that's deep.

Um, Juliette Binoche, uh, Madonna overdid the pearl thing in the mid-80s. And what bad hair! Matched only by those scary gloves. Wow! What a fashion don't!

Marcia Gay Harden - gorgeous! And right behind her, there's Joaquin Phoenix, jumping up to give high-fives to the folks in the bleachers. Pretty cool. I feel really bad for the stars who start arriving at 3pm. But, the chaos at 4:50pm is way too much. I wonder if they could have the actors take numbers, like at a deli, and arrive in that order. Sounds fair to me!

Okay, James Coburn, are you doing your own private tribute to "Shadow of the Vampire" or do you just want to look worse than your tin-foil wrapped wife?

Angelina Jolie looked great. She dressed like a grown-up and she left Billy Bob and her brother at home.

Faye Dunaway, on whom I usually bag, looked great. Good for her! But Frances McDormand, put on some makeup when you go to the Oscars, for God's sake!

Willem Dafoe is such a cutie pie. Casey and I watched "Wild at Heart" Saturday night, so I'm in a good mood toward him even more than when I wrote up my predictions.

Ashley Judd with some bad hair -- oh, man, she got dressed with Juliette Binoche!

I liked how unflappable the older stars were, when interviewed by various media types. Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, just too cool.

Chris Connally? Who knew you could go from being on MTV to landing a big gig on... oh, wait, it's just ABC. Never mind. Lateral move.

Julia and Benjamin are a royal couple. Wow. They just look like movie stars. Casey tells me a story about seeing Ben and his brothers in a head shop in San Francisco last Christmas Eve. Then he asks me to edit the story so that it's clear the head shop is also a place to buy hippie bracelets and hats and things. So there.

The awards begin. Steve's already cracking me up. I'm sorry, but Russell Crowe is still a dang sourpuss. Get a sense of humor! Steve Martin is funny!

Oh, here's that Pepsi commercial everyone is talking about. The consensus at the party is that every girl under 16 will now want her navel pierced just like Britney. Oy vey!

Okay, what's the facial hair thing? Ben Stiller, you're at the Oscars, wash your face! Leni tells me it's cool, it's indie, it's rebellious. Whatever, it's unshaven Ben. Clean it up and comb your hair while you're at it.

Sting looks like Celine Dion whilst he sings. Have we gotten that old?

Dustin Hoffman, is that a rug on your head? If so, can't you afford better?

Sarah Jessica Parker, for the first time, has lovely hair. I've always bagged on her stringy hair. Now, instead, I'll bag on her dress. It was fine, but where was the rest of it? This ain't HBO, sweetheart. Cover up those bowlegs.

Next Pepsi commercial. As a stockholder in the Coca-Cola company, I must protest the idea that people who work for Coke would ever drink Pepsi. It's just not true. People who work for Coke have been brainwashed since birth and will burst into flames with just one sip of that Pepsi swill. Pepsi, stick to making tacos and chicken and pizza and leave the beverage market to the professionals. Of course, I don't even drink soda, but I still have a vested interest, dammit!

Bob Dole makes a comment to his dog, upon seeing Britney, "Easy boy!" Leni suggests he's talking to his Viagra-assisted penis and not to the dog. We laugh about this for the rest of the commercial break.

Oh, shit, I didn't know Billy Barty died. He was so great in "Foul Play."

Augh! Another Ben with a micro-beard. The worst part of it is, they work to get their facial hair to look like that. What a waste!

We notice that Jennifer Lopez is in a camera shot that crops her tighter than other presenters. Hmm... why is that? Leni comes up with another quip: "Elvis' hips, J-Lo's nips!" More laughter.

Casey deduces that Danny DeVito wants better eyesight, since he's wearing shades and eating carrot sticks. We're an intellectual group at this Oscar party, lemme tell ya.

Hillary Swank! Oh my God, where did those boobs come from? And those hips? We decide she's pregnant. I'd bet money on it!

Russell Crowe wins? Oh, shit, I didn't take into account the fact that he should've won last year for "The Insider." Oh, they were feeling bad. I totally didn't add that fact into the mix. Oh well, at least I still won the pool.

Thank you, Julie Andrews, for having had no work done. It's so nice to see a woman look her age. Especially in this town!

Okay, Paul Newman could be 100 and I'd do him in a heartbeat. He's just that damn sexy.

Casey makes a comment here about how a Hollywood exec can make a producer feel "like he's got an endless supply of jelly beans in his underwear." No one knows what this means, but Casey made guacamole, so we think it's brilliant (or maybe it's because we had cheap wine).

I'm so proud of my fellow Georgia gal, Julia, for showing all those teeth and being giddy and happy. We southern belles know how to share our joy!

The screenplay adapter from "Traffic" looks like David E. Kelley, no?

Oh, I'm so glad I was wrong about the Best Director winner. Go, Steven! That's a well-deserved win.

Look at those "Gladiator" producers. That's a bunch of rich, white, impotent republicans if I ever saw any. They were financiers, not artists! Boo, hiss!

Considering only 5600 voters make up the Academy, I'm surprised there weren't more surprises. Okay, so besides the fact that the night ended with a big downer on Best Picture, I still collected my money with the proper amount of gloating, promising to continue my streak at next year's Oscar party, wherever that may be. Of course, it is my intention to attend an Oscar party thrown by the studio who put out my next film. That may put a cramp in my betting, but I bet it'll be a hell of a lot more fun to be catty about everyone else when I've got my own dose coming up from Joan and Missy. Do you think I can pull off wearing jeans?

Posted by bonnie at 2:05 PM

March 22, 2001

Oscar Picks, 2001

Okay, so we're gearing up for the event that was so much cooler when it fell on a weekday. Yep, up until a couple of years ago, Oscar Day was an official day off from work. So, now it's on a Sunday, Billy's not hosting, and every employer knows to expect hangovers and Oscar Pool Collections come Monday.

Last year, I won the Pool at the party I attended. I'd seen exactly one of the nominated films. I passed out before hour one of the award ceremony. But I knew how to vote. Mainly, I know how to do this because of my secret weapon: My Cousin Joni. The reason my Oscar Picks are Subject to Change, at this point, is because Joni's predictions don't come to me until much closer to the witching hour, like on Oscar day.

Until then, here's what I'll predict on my own.

Oooh! I've seen two of these. Can you guess which two? I think the winner will be "CT,HD," even though it's already going to win the Foreign Language Film. If something really amazing were going to happen, I'd say "Traffic" would win, but Best Director would go to Ang Lee.

Wow, I would so love to see Javier win, just because he's so damn hot. Russell Crowe can suck a fart out of my ass for being such a bad sport at the Golden Globes. I doubt he'll do too well, being considered the Official Homewrecker of 2000 (and that's a tough race to win in Hollywood). However, just like Norm McDonald used to say on SNL, "Germans love David Hasselhoff," I think "people love Tom Hanks." It's weird, but they just love him! And he gained and lost all that weight, that hair, and had some sort of sporting equipment as a costar, right? All that aside, my pick is Ed Harris, because he's gone overlooked far too many times - and he really worked his ass off on "Pollock." Of course, I haven't seen any of the nominated performances.

Please, oh, God, please, let Ellen Burstyn win! What a goddess! And, I'm pretty sure Oscar's not into boobs, so Julia's will have to rest on either side of her Golden Globe instead this year. Of course, when I interviewed Christian Slater's mom, who cast "The Contender," she predicted Joan Allen would win. I think she's probably right - and not just because she called to say her son loved my column.

As much as I love [to look at] Benicio del Toro, I think Willem Dafoe will win this one. What a stud!

I adore Judi Dench, and I actually saw "Chocolat," so I can also say I really liked her job and not just her body of work. I think Goldie Hawn Junior got her goods on Golden Globe night, and sharing the category with Marge from "Fargo" won't help her. I wonder if the Academy will reward Julie Walters, simply because "Billy Elliot" is under-nominated. There's always one really nice shocker, and this may be the one. I'm going to place my bet on Marcia Gay Harden. How 'bout that?

Steven deserves it for "Traffic" but he won't get it. The night belongs to Ang Lee. Hope he has as much fun as Roberto Benini did.

Oscar doesn't like Cameron Crowe, so even though that was probably a better script, I'm thinking Lee Hall, for the under-nominated reason mentioned above. Gladiator's going to be shut out (and thank God). Besides, scripts with more than one screenwriter tend to be more like "Get Over It" or any other crappy teen movie that'll be forgotten before the trailer ends.

I'd love for it to be Robert Nelson Jacobs, because I met him at the screening for "Chocolat" and thought his responses to people who doubted some of his choices in adaptation were honest, intelligent, and well-justified. I'd love to see the Coens win, just because I know they'll liven up the acceptance speech portion of the night. "Wonder Boys" has gotten good press. "Traffic,"
I'm sure, is worthy. I just see a "CT,HD" sweep - forget my earlier rule about multiple screenwriters. It's an action flick and it's a foreign film. All bets are off.

"CT,HD." Thanks, everyone else, for playing.

I think "CT,HD" could do it, but I also think "Gladiator" will get a few pity votes, this being one of them.


This category always gets me... but I'm thinking John Williams always does pretty well on these things. So, assuming "CT,HD" and "Gladiator" split their votes up, that's a win for "The Patriot."

Bob Dylan. It's a tough year, and, what?? no Phil Collins?? No Marc Shaiman?? Well, then it has to be Dylan.

No idea. I need to read up on what "they" are saying about this category. Just based on titles, I'll go with "Sound and Fury." Why not?

Gosh, for a minute, I thought "Big Mama" was "Big Mama's House" and I wondered how Martin Lawrence's "I wanna be Eddie Murphy" flick could be considered short. Again, I'll guess, and I'll go on titles, and choose "The Man on Lincoln's Nose." What the hell?

No clue. "The Periwig-Maker"?? Sounds good to me.

"Quiero Ser..." gets my vote.

Yip yip yip for Yip! "CT,HD" continues its sweep.

Tougher, and I'd love to say Yip, again, but I think either "Gladiator" will be thrown a bone here, or maybe "Grinch" will see some gravy. Doubt it, though. Cast my vote for "CT,HD" yet again.

Ah, well... if Willem weren't enough of a kick-ass actor for this film, his makeup surely helped. However, "Grinch" was some serious makeup, and for many more people. So, it's a tough call, but I'll go with "Grinch" by a nose hair.

Maybe "Cast Away," just so it can get a little something, but more likely "Gladiator," since everyone's going to be feeling sorry for its absence in larger categories, and it's a way to reward the film without rewarding Sir Russell Sourpuss.

What fucking bad choices. "U-571" because it has fewer old farts in it.

"Perfect Storm." No one liked "Hollow Man," even though its effects were top-notch.

There ya go! I'll let you know once my cousin's opinions get stirred into my own. Take care!

Posted by bonnie at 2:06 PM

March 8, 2001

I Could Never Leave the House

I don't understand the Unabomber. Remember him? I remember, back in grad school, seeing his manifesto printed in the New York Times and thinking, "Y'know, he's not crazy. He just really, really hates technology." Now, maybe that's not an accurate summary, but that's what I was thinking at the time.

Today, I'm thinking that I could live like he did, alone in the woods in a shack with none of the technological conveniences of the day. I could do without watching television, listening to music, knowing what time it is, talking on the telephone. I love to write letters, so I could still communicate, much like the Unabomber did (sans bombs, of course). I love to read, and there's daylight for that, since, in this scenario, I would have no electricity. I don't cook, so the kitchen is a non-issue. I could totally remove myself from all types of communication.

As long as I had the Internet.

For example, I can log on to Pink Dot and order food, drinks, sundries, household goods aplenty. Yes, there's a Ralph's 1/2 block from my apartment, but I'd rather go to PDquick.com and click on the list they've created, showing me everything I've ever ordered from them, and have the heavy things brought right to my apartment for just a few bucks more than it would cost to get dressed, brush my teeth, comb my hair, and walk to Ralph's (and that takes too much time, once you factor in wandering up and down the aisles, standing in line, schlepping the bags home).

I can read all of the news on my favorite websites. I can post on boards where people with common interests live and lurk. I can update my website a dozen times, manage my eCircles, and shop, all from home. Amazon.com loves me. Think I'm overstating it? Well, like Pink Dot, they keep up with my purchases. They also, bless their hearts, keep up with items I own that did not come from their site. More importantly, they care what I think about these things that I own. When no one in the world cares about me, Amazon.com wants to know if I like the things I've filled my shelves with. Oh, they are so sweet! I've ranked over 600 items, just so they can suggest the perfect Robyn Hitchcock CD, the coolest toys, and books written just for me.

Of course, if I'm here living the Unabomber life, I can't listen to the CDs they've recommended I buy. I can't watch the videos they suggest I add to my collection. That's okay. I don't need technology. I'll use Launch.com to hear music and watch some streaming video on some of those sites that have yet to go out of business. Let me add those lists to my bookmark file on the Palm Pilot. Oh, I'll just beam it over later.

Okay, so where was I? Oh, yeah, living without technology.... I don't know what the big deal is. I mean, it's not like I'm unreasonable. My iBook and my Palm Pilot (which really isn't a Palm Pilot, it's a Visor) aren't technology. They're pets!

Oh, wait. Maybe I'm not up for a technology-free existence. I'm just lazy. Whew! That's better. I can totally live with that. www.lazybutts.com? Hmm....

Posted by bonnie at 2:07 PM