“Obviously, the voters really, really liked Adrien Brody...although he has a serious nose issue. But it was a big night for noses all around.”


These Are the Days of Whine and Noses at the Aromatic HITS Cesspool—but What Else Is New?
In the following exchange, our own stupid white men (hey, it’s not like Michael Moore invented the category) express—at great length—their profound disbelief that Sunday Night’s Academy Awards didn’t quite go as they’d predicted. Lenny Beer has chosen to express his frustration by venting on host Steve Martin, as well as hurling abuse, and some inadvertent saliva, in the direction of his longtime straight man, Roy Trakin. Hey, nitwits, can’t we all get along?

Lenny Beer: Surprises are good, but the surprise winners and losers weren’t quite as surprising as how bad Steve Martin was.

Roy Trakin: I felt he did a pretty good job, considering the circumstances. I laughed out loud a few times... I thought the opening monologue went on a little long, but his impromptu comment about Michael Moore being helped into the trunk of his limousine by the teamsters backstage was pretty funny.

Beer: Monologue a little long? Do you spell boring with a capital “B” or small “b”? The Moore line came two and a half hours into the show. Where was he for the first two and a half hours?

Trakin: I’m surprised you feel that way, because most of the reviews I’ve read praised Martin’s performance. What would you have preferred?

Beer: Something funny. Something clever. Something less boring.

Trakin: Given the tone of the evening, I felt he was a calming influence. You wanted more political and war jokes?

Beer: More jokes that made me laugh. Or a much, much shorter monologue.

Trakin: What was your favorite part of the show?

Beer: Halle Berry... I also liked Jennifer Connelly a lot.

Trakin: What happened to Gangs of New York? That was a real Academy snub if ever I saw one. Was it just the anti-Harvey Weinstein vote kicking in?

Beer: Clearly, people hated it. In fact, they hated it so much, they wouldn’t even give Best Actor to Daniel Day-Lewis, who was deserving.

Trakin: It was a night when the Holocaust trumped even sex with a minor, as the Village Voice’s Michael Musto quipped, or, as Wanda Sykes imagined Martin Scorsese complaining, “Who do I have to rape in this town to get an Oscar?” You went against one of your golden rules, though: Never bet against the Jews and the Nazis, always a winning combination with the Academy voters.

Beer: Well, I had it pegged in the Foreign Film category. The Roman Polanski thing blew me away. I didn’t think they were going to go with that movie.

Trakin: Do you feel that Jack Nicholson and Day-Lewis split the so-called favorite vote, allowing Adrien Brody to sneak through?

Beer: Split what vote? They’re not in the same movie or on the same team... What’s the analogy? Obviously, people liked him, they really, really liked him...although he has a serious nose issue. But it was a big night for noses all around. Do you think Brody was wearing a fake nose, like Nicole Kidman did in The Hours?

Trakin: Any explanation for the Polanski upset?

Beer: I think Rob Marshall got robbed. He conceived the movie, he directed it; it was completely his vision. How did it get to be Best Picture?

Trakin: Do you think the current events had something to do with the Academy turning against Chicago over the final weeks?

Beer: They didn’t really turn against Chicago. It just wasn’t a complete sweep. And no, I don’t think the war issue mattered... It still doesn’t explain why Polanski won. I just can’t rationalize the choice.

Trakin: What did you think of Michael Moore’s rant? Appropriate or buffoon-like?

Beer: I already read his book, Stupid White Men, where he says the same thing.

Trakin: So you weren’t surprised? Actually, he said almost exactly the same thing the night before during the Independent Spirit Awards, where it was accepted more warmly. The boos kinda shocked me.

Beer: I was hoping he’d say something more original, but he just repeated the same mantra. Let’s go back to Rob Marshall for a minute. He won the DGA vote, which is a 95% historically accurate predictor. If all his fellow directors voted for him and a majority voted for Chicago as Best Picture, how did Polanski win? Was there a big vote from 13-year-old girls?

Trakin: Do you have a moral problem with the Academy honoring Polanski?

Beer: I have a moral problem with Polanski, but I don’t have a problem with his win. I just don’t think he deserved to win.

Trakin: You didn’t really like The Pianist. Though it seems piano players are usually a shoo-in for this prize.

Beer: You’re right. I’ve seen every Holocaust movie ever made. I’m a Holocaust junkie. I don’t think it gave us anything new, nor a compelling lead character, nor a particularly unique story.

Trakin: So it wasn’t as good as, say, Schindler’s List?

Beer: Not even close. It wasn’t even as good as Nowhere in Africa. And it definitely, definitely wasn’t as good as Rabbit-Proof Fence, which was the most compelling story of the year about a truly evil, racist, Holocaust-like government policy.

Trakin: Were you surprised that Eminem beat out U2 for Best Song?

Beer: Very surprised and very happy. The U2 song was a big bore. I really thought they would vote for Bono because of his political crusades, but in the end, they voted for the best song, so I have to give them credit for that.

Trakin: Were you surprised at the lack of political statements from outspoken liberals like Barbra Streisand and Susan Sarandon?

Beer: I thought Susan Sarandon looked great.

Trakin: Can’t Babs afford a neck job with all her money?

Beer: Bashing Barbra Streisand and you’re a Jew. Shame... You could afford a neck job. George Chakiris didn’t look very good. And who even knew he was alive? I love Mickey Rooney, though. It was good to see him. And what happened to Liz Taylor? I wonder if she’s really sick. She made a statement that this would be her last Oscar ceremony. Why didn’t she show up?

Trakin: Steve Martin had a good line about honoring those people you thought were dead.

Beer: Like Karl Malden. I could’ve sworn he was dead.

Trakin: Don’t leave home without him. You know who looked pretty good? George Kennedy? He hasn’t aged since Cool Hand Luke.

Beer: How about Queen Latifah’s dress? That was one of the most unattractive dresses I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad she didn’t have to go on stage with that thing.

Trakin: I read somewhere they needed a lift to get her and Catherine Zeta-Jones on-stage for their number.

Beer: Latifah made even Catherine look small. And did you notice they shot them only from the breasts up? And had to use a wide-angle lens at that.

Trakin: I would’ve loved to see that in high-definition.

Beer: Diane Lane looked beautiful.

Trakin: My wife thought she looked a little ragged—and didn’t care for the schmata she had around her neck.

Beer: I thought she looked beautiful and sexy, no matter what your wife thought. And what about Sean Connery with that puffy shirt? Was that a leftover from that Seinfeld episode with Kramer and the pirate shirt?

Trakin: It looked like he should have been wearing a kilt and toting bagpipes. The show did come in on time, though. I thought it was pretty crisp.

Beer: Except there was no entertainment factor. The Paul Simon song is better than any Xanax I’ve ever taken. The four songs they did were terrible. It’s too bad Eminem didn’t show to sing his song. He would have brought down the house.

Trakin: Do you agree with his decision to stay away, citing overexposure, or would you have showed up?

Beer: If he wants to be in the movie business, he needs to be there.

Trakin: Does he want to be in the movie business?

Beer: With $75 million in billing this week for the DVD? Are you kidding? Of course he wants to be in the movie business.

Trakin: Who would you like to see host next year’s Awards?

Beer: Anybody but Steve Martin. And I’m a fan, but I thought he was bad. Billy Crystal’s always been funny.

Trakin: Wonder what Ray Romano’s doing next Feb. 29. And Wayne Brady’s an incredible improvisation guy. He's a mad talent.

The Met brothers have a new label home. (5/18a)
Another record-breaking debut week. (5/18a)
A think piece—cool! (5/18a)
Won't be long now. (5/18a)
We can't wait to see what he's got up his sleeve. (5/18a)
Who's next?
It's Comic-Con for numbers geeks.
Theories of evolution from 30,000 feet.
A&R in overdrive.

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