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 TV Bites With Neena Louise

4th Annual OscarBites

by Neena Louise


Worst Dressed

Hillary Swank
It looked like a bottle of Pepto Bismol threw up on her. It should've been called "When Good Prom Dresses Go Bad".

Runners-up
All those one-shouldered gowns. I was in awe of how many actresses (including Halle Berry, Marcia Gay Harden, Haley Mills, Jennifer Lopez) forgot one of their shoulder straps. They looked ridiculous.


Best Dressed

Renée Zellweger
That claret-colored gown was the perfect choice for Zellweger. Her makeup was a different story, however: it looked like her lips took up half her face.


Worst Accessory

Meryl Streep's necklace
That gaudy and tasteless monstrosity looked like she had glued peacock feathers to her chest. Plus it didn't even come close to matching her gown.

Runner-Up
Cloris Leachman's hair sticks
It looked like she slept in the woods at Disneyland and got a bunch of Tinkerbell's wands stuck in her hair.


Best Accessory

The stylized dove "world peace" pin
Many of the stars were sporting these. Beautiful and elegant, the pin made a statement without making a statement.


Worst Acceptance Speech

Colleen Atwood (Costumes, Chicago)
It's understandable to jot names down in order to remember to thank key people should you win. However, it's deplorable to write out an entire speech and read it verbatim with the accompanying monotone and lack of emotion as Atwood did (and as Jennifer Connelly did last year).


Best Acceptance Speeches (tie)

Catherine Zeta-Jones (Supporting Actress, Chicago)
Her speech was exuberant, honest and - most importantly - short.

Peter O'Toole (Honorary Oscar)
Gracious and amusing, with none of the usual boring ramblings of honorary Oscar recipients.


Worst Song Presentation

Paul Simon, "Father and Daughter" (The Wild Thornberrys Movie)
Off-key and dull. I expected better from such a veteran.


Best Song Presentation

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah, "I Move On" (Chicago)
They sounded (and looked) great, though those willy-nilly dancers all around them were most annoying.


Worst Acknowledgement

Steve Martin calling Mickey Rooney as old as the earth. Not funny.


Best Acknowledgement

Olivia deHavilland's standing ovation.


Least Deserving of an Oscar Nomination

Ed Harris (Supporting Actor, The Hours)
A total Pity Nomination (for losing out for Pollack), this teeny little role hardly deserved an Oscar nod.


Most Deserving of an Oscar Nomination

Salma Hayak (Actress, Frida)
For a movie that would normally not even be noticed by the Academy, Hayak was a refreshing nomination.


Least Deserving of an Oscar

Unlike last year's Guilt 'n' Pity awards, everyone that won this year actually deserved it.


Most Deserving of an Oscar

Roman Polanski (Director, The Pianist)
He should've been allowed to be there to accept his most deserved win. After 30 years, I think he should be forgiven.


Least Surprising Winner

Chicago
Well, gosh, golly, what a shock - NOT.


Most Surprising Winner

"Lose Yourself" (Original Song, 8 Mile)
Though The Pianist's wins were surprising, this was downright shocking. "Lose Yourself" totally deserved it, but the Academy is usually not so brave.


Worst Presenter

Mickey Mouse
This was so incredibly stupid and greatly diminished Eric Armstrong's (Animated Short Film, The ChubbChubbs!) win.


Best Presenter

Julie Andrews
She looked fabulous and was the only one that spoke so well, you could hardly tell that she was reading off the teleprompter.


Worst Reaction of a Winner

Elliot Goldenthal (Original Score, Frida)
He looked so arrogant as he swaggered to the stage, acting as though his win was a foregone conclusion.


Best Reaction of a Winner

Martin Richards (Picture, Chicago)
I don't think anyone else was more thrilled to be getting an award.


Biggest Loser

ABC's Oscar Pre-Show
Without the standard red carpet to snag celebrity interviews and look at the clothes, the pre-show was filled with boring clips and silly commentary. It looked more like an infomercial than a television show.



All in all, this very short and muted Academy Award telecast was fairly decent. I got really tired of seeing Nicholas Cage's and Jack Nicholson's faces, however, and that opening sequence looked like a cross between Star Wars' opening credits and a video for "Tiny Bubbles". Steve Martin's hosting was leaps and bounds better than his first appearance as host (and infinitely better than Whoopi Goldberg's) - I actually laughed out loud at some of his lines (a very rare occurrence on Oscar night). Add in the heartfelt acceptance speeches and Kirk Douglas' surprising wit and it made for a tolerable evening.

Except for one thing: I've always been disgusted by people that opportunistically use the huge viewing audience that the Oscar broadcast creates to spew their political opinions and this year was no different (I was especially dismayed by Michael Moore's rant). Save it for Larry King, people. We've been supersaturated with the horrors of war on live television, we didn't need reminding on Oscar night. Furthermore, I fail to understand the supposed controversy on whether the glitz and glamor of Oscar night is appropriate while we are at war. Well, it is appropriate. Not only did we need to celebrate something positive, movies are as American as mom and apple pie and if we don't carry on with business as usual, we lose.

For those that missed them:

Picture - Chicago, Martin Richards
Director - Roman Polanski, The Pianist
Actor - Adrien Brody, The Pianist
Actress - Nicole Kidman, The Hours
Supporting Actor - Chris Cooper, Adaptation
Supporting Actress - Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago
Original Screenplay - Pedro Almodóvar, Talk to Her (Hable con ella)
Adapted Screenplay - Ronald Harwood, The Pianist
Cinematography - Conrad L. Hall, Road to Perdition
Editing - Martin Walsh, Chicago
Animated Feature - Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi), Hayao Miyazaki
Animated Short - The ChubbChubbs!, Eric Armstrong
Live Action Short - This Charming Man (Der er en yndig mand), Martin Strange-Hansen, Mie Andreasen
Documentary Feature - Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore, Michael Donovan
Documentary Short Subject - Twin Towers, Bill Guttentag, Robert David Port
Foreign Language Film - Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika), (Germany), Caroline Link
Original Score - Elliot Goldenthal, Frida
Original Song - "Lose Yourself", Eminem, Jeff Bass, Luis Resto, 8 Mile
Art Direction - John Myhre, Gord Sim, Chicago
Sound - Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella, David Lee, Chicago
Sound Editing - Ethan Van der Ryn, Michael Hopkins, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Costume Design - Colleen Atwood, Chicago
Visual Effects - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Jim Rygiel, Randall William Cook, Alex Funke
Makeup - John Jackson, Beatrice De Alba, Frida
Honorary Oscar - Peter O'Toole 
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