Natalia’s Awesome Post-81st Academy Awards Spiel

I woke up at 3 a.m., like a good girl, and turned my TV on. Since the timezone I’m in has a 7-hour difference with the East Coast of the United States, this was what was required of me in order to be able to watch the show live.

I don’t think I’ve watched this show live, all the way through, since I was a freshman in college and Adrien Brody was spontaneously kissing Halle Berry (and my pants were spontaneously combusting). I haven’t had the patience for the back-slapping, despite the good films being highlighted. I dreaded to see Jack Nicholson in front row again – grinning from behind a pair of dark sunglasses.

Yesterday, of course Hugh Jackman hosted and I also found myself thinking things like: “I am so bored, I am having discussions about Schiller with the cats.” “What am I DOING with my life?” “I want to be seventeen again, unashamedly listening to Enya.”

Oscar night is the night during which Hollywood unabashedly dangles the glittery “dreams come true” carrot in front of the plain little faces of girls like me (although unlike a good percentage of my fellow plain little girls, I want that Best Adapted Screenplay thingamabob) .

And you know what? I wanted that. I wanted the dangle. I wasn’t lost enough to latch on to the idea that Hug Jackman was really going to strip, so not that kind of dangle, I suppose, but any kind will do in a time of need. My celebrities take care of me when I am upset. It’s not quite tea and a hot water bottle (or a bottle of Jack – honestly, what’s the difference?) but it’s something.

I am very glad that Penelope Cruz won an Oscar. I wasn’t a huge fan of her, way back in the day, but I think I was mistaken.

I wanted Mickey Rourke or Richard Jenkins to win Best Actor, but am glad Sean Penn won regardless. The acceptance speech was totally worth it.

I have to say I didn’t like how there was this whole “ohhh, Richard Jenkins, you’ve made more movies that God, but nobody knows who you are!” I know it was a way of saying “Richard, you’ve arrived!” But still.

Richard, buddy boy, I knew who you were before you were nominated. And always will. Thank you for many great years of awesomeness from beyond the grave.


I understand that bitching about how long the awards show runs is customary and expected. In my present state of mind though, I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to clutch the Swarovski crystal curtain in a death-grip.

And so I enjoyed the musical numbers and the technical awards. Actually, the musical numbers I simply loved. I think the Broadway style really worked. Hugh Jackman is excellent at it, which proves just what an amazing talent he really is: a Wolverine who can convincingly belt out lyrics from “Mamma Mia!” I think his earnest style really worked. You’re going to tell me – “Natalia, you would have said that ‘it really worked’ if he had put on a lime green thong bathing… costume and sang Kazakhstan greatest country in the world, All other countries are run by little girls.”

But not really, no.

It’s about damn time that Kate Winslet won something, by the way.

I was also glad that “Slumdog” won top honours. It was good to see the child actors there – and good to know that they have trust funds (as opposed to a salary that any enterprising relative can get their hands upon… lets hope a Culkin-esque drama will not play out in the lives of these children) – and Dev Patel is adorable. Everyone’s saying that he’s dating his co-star, Freida Pinto, but I don’t see it, and not just because AM JELLUS (am I?).

“Slumdog” has been called a lot of things – from brilliant to exploitative. It’s essentially a fable, and fables can be hard to pin down. It has nothing to do with reality – but I don’t know if it necessarily has to. It works as a strange, and beautiful, dream. It’s the sort of movie you have to blink away, much like you do when sleep rolls off you in the morning. And it will stay with you like a dream, so that you may turn it this way and that in your mind, possibly for years to come.

Heath Ledger’s win was expected, duh, but having his family up there made the entire thing sadder and more poignant. Last year, I wrote about some of the reasons why the death of someone like Ledger stays with you – not all of them frivolous reasons. For the people who loved Heath, this Oscar is not an ending. He’ll stay with them forever. For the rest of us, it’s probably the last note in a sweet and dark song. Rest easy, Heath Ledger.

Anyway, it was a sweet awards show – when compared to the previous awards shows, and I am presently spent. Am chasing another article and trying not to OD on caffeine in the meantime. Wish me luck. And keep the Swarovski crystals (and other wonderful things) dangling.

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