We loved the Academy Awards in our youth with a kind of fervor that we otherwise only lavished on our nanny, our pony, trips to the Ritz for tea, the monkey Father brought us from India, and tantrums. Now, however, we watch every year and wonder if our childhood self could possibly have been so gauche as to enjoy such a spectacle of ego and inanity. This year, by the time Slumdog Millionaire’s very obvious destiny was fufilled, we were drunk off dirty martinis and had begun ransacking our closets for that turban/caftan ensemble we felt a sudden need to be swaddled in. We know Mr. Jackman can sing and dance, but we felt perhaps that the producers overestimated the crowd appeal of an arbitrary musical number four hours into the broadcast. We dislike having the basics of filmmaking explained to us each and every year, as though we are some kind of drunken, turban/caftan wearing imbecile. We were puzzled as to why the In Memorium montage was obstructed by the crooning blue edfice of Queen Latifah. We felt sorry for Mickey Rourke (pictured above), though we had to close our eyes through all of The Wrestler so as not to throw off our delicately calibrated instruments of aesthetic evaluation (our eyes, to the layman) by looking at him. Likewise, we had to wear a black satin sleep mask through much of last night’s ceremony to avoid irreparable damage to our gaydar.
When we did hazard a glance, we did not always like what we see. For example, we would like to inquire as to whether Miss Biel arrived at the red carpet by first jumping from a plane, encountering winds of such strength that her clothes were torn from her body and she was forced to fashion a garment from the remains of her parachute.
We would also like to draw the eyes of the world to Ms. Witherspoon’s shoulders, where, beside the asymmetrically draped pieces of apparently purposeless black cloth, one may glimpse the faint sheen of . . . (pause to collect oneself, deep breath, now just say it) clear bra straps. Why such a stunning creature would choose to purchase her Oscar gown at Forever 21 is beyond us.
And as for Ms. Knowles, we do not like it; we shan’t put a ring on it; and we are perplexed why a successful performer of unlimited means would choose to be dressed by one’s mother.
Unless, of course, this was one’s mother:
Among gowns we did not hate were those worn by Miss Portman and Miss Hathaway.
Well done, you. We have done serious damage to our esophagus over the years from being made to vomit by atrocious garments, and we are grateful for even the briefest reprieve. As for the scaly confection shown below, we can only say that we might not hate the gown if we did not find the wearer to be an affront to all we hold sacred: taste, refinement, DisneyChannellessness, and the cultural imperative that children not be allowed any pleasure. They must stay upstairs with nanny learning lessons. Perhaps on Epiphany they may be taken to the pantomime, but then they shall be sent straight to bed and not be allowed any cocoa.
At the end of the night, we imagine that Miss Cyrus probably caught a ride to Satan’s party at the Chateau Marmont with these two dark angels of cultural destruction:
If these are the Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve of today, then we shall be turning our back on the cinema and focusing all of our attention on style, the curatorship of our collection of erotic letters sent by Yves Saint-Laurent to his shoes, and the care and keeping of our many Lhasa Apsos. To sum up, last night’s Academy Awards were deeply disappointing. We are confounded by the universe and strongly suspect that it may be ruled by a malevolent deity bent on destruction (pictured below).