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The Academy Awards — Transcript

Ty_BurrHi, everybody -- thanks for coming to today's movie chat. Hopefully, I'll be able to answer all your questions as well as eat a big old slice of humble pie over the "Crash" win. Serve it up, folks.
meadowlarkJust wondering what your thoughts are about Crash's upset win? Do you think even in Hollywood some people just felt a little too uncomfortable with Brokeback Mountain? Or is it just Hollywood's essential Narcissism at hand-they just picked the movie they could identify withmost? I was disappointed as Brokeback Mountain was definitely my favorite movie of the year but what a great year for movies!
Ty_BurrGood question, meadowlark, and I think it's pretty clear that it was the latter that was at work. I don't think anyone in Hollywood has any problem awarding a film with gay themes -- this isn't the Wichita Chamber of Commerce we're talking about -- but I do think that A) "Brokeback" was the victim of awards fatigue and B) "Crash" just hit closer to home for the voting members of the Academy. Narcissism? Or just honest reaction? It's a moot point.
Ty_BurrPlease send in your questions and comments, by the way, and I'll try to answer as many as I can.
yogiDid Izaac Mizrahi get snubbed by the stars after the incident at the olden globes with Scarlett Johannsen?
Ty_BurrWell, I think some of the women were a little alarmed whenever he lifted his hand... but he'd been publicly spanked by Scarlett Jo, so he was on his best behavior. And the Red Carpet is the Red Carpet -- the stars know they've got to pause, turn, and make nice.
Gold_DiggerWho is actually invited to the Oscars and who isn't. I saw some celebrities (Lee Majors, Gary Busey to name a few) that strolled down the red carpet, but haven't been nominated in . . . a long time.
Ty_BurrI'm not sure what the exact requirements of Academy membership are -- it's got to be more than being nominated at one point or another -- but once you're in, you're in for life, and you can show up for the ceremonies no matter how much your career is on the back burner.
GaryHi Ty. What is a normal Oscars night for you and Wesley?
Ty_BurrKind of like a normal day at work, only with a faster metabolism. We show up around 6:30, plonk down in front of our computers and a TV set, then type like mad while watching to file our stories for the next day's paper.
Ty_BurrI actually don't mind -- those in the media who attend the show usually get the worst seats in the house: in the press pen out back.
ChattyOscar_2What kind of outcome do you think the Oscars will have on both movies (Crash and BBM)? Will it be a more positive boost for Crash than a negative effect on BBM?
Ty_BurrI think this is a huge boost for "Crash" -- I wouldn't be surprised at all if they put it back in theaters, despite the fact that it's already out on video. I don't think "Brokeback" will be negatively affected; I just think its box-office peak moment has already passed.
TCMJudging by the reactions from the cast of Crash, they were even surprised the film won best picture
Ty_BurrThere were a lot of pundits -- myself included -- who thought there might be the possibility of a Crash upset but decided against it at the last minute. How wrong we were :) I imagine the voting was really close, though.
DonnaHow do you think Jon Stewart did compared to say Billy Crystal. I can say that I think he was a lot better than Letterman.
Ty_BurrI really enjoyed Stewart, even if I didn't think he was at the top of his game. His scripted stuff was a bit tentative and flat -- loved that Brokeback western montage though -- but when he improvised, he was close to genius. I'd love to see them let him do it again and hope he loosens up.
WallaceHi Ty. Are you a memeber of the academy? How does one become a member? Can they vote in any category?
Ty_BurrNope, critics aren't members of the Academy (we have our own incestuous little groups). I'm not sure of the exact entrance requirements, though I know if you're ever nominated, you're in. The way it works is that the nominations are voted on by the respective groups -- cinematographers nominate cinematographers, and so on -- then everyone gets to vote on everyone for the final awards.
kcWhat can we little-guys do to encourage the Academy to produce a show that has at least some entertainment value. I thought last night was just awful in so many respects. Do they realize that they're boring people to tears??
Ty_BurrReally? I respectfully disagree -- I thought the evening was tasteful, classy, interesting, and mercifully brief. I did welcome the few times when things got lively, though -- the Three 6 Mafia, the few upsets, poor Lauren Bacall barely making it through her introduction to the film noir clips. The Oscars aren't about entertainment, in the end -- they're about Hollywood patting itself on the back for making "important" movies. You want an entertaining drunken orgy, watch the Golden Globes.
jmacDo u think that if Brokeback was a hetero love story with the same theme it would of done half as well?
Ty_BurrNo, not at all -- they already made that movie, and it was called "The Bridges of Madison County". I don't see any gay-backlash in Crash's win. "Brokeback" is exactly the kind of movie the Academy likes to award; "Crash" just hit them where they live. As I said, the voting was probably really close.
Gold_DiggerSpeaking of making an ass out of himself . . . that Mizrahi is a hoot. The man was so delightfully ignorant of even basic facts about the actors he was interviewing. I hope E keeps him on! He was great.
DollyPartonWasRobbedA lot of folks in the flyover states made a big deal about films that were supposedly "out of touch" with their "values" - but can we please have a debate on whether a bunch of clowns who call themselves the "Three 6 Mafia" are worthy of an award over genuince artists like Dolly Parton?
Ty_BurrSure -- but I'll argue that "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" had far greater relevance to the movie it was in than the Dolly Parton song had for hers. And I'm not even a huge fan of "Hustle & Flow" -- but I loved seeing those guys getting an award. (And I loved Stewart's zinger: "Martin Scorsese: zero Oscars, Three 6 Mafia, one.")
GloriaWhat do you think of the theory that more academy voters saw Crash than any of the other best picture nominees, because they had DVD copies mailed to them? Kind of ironic, given the exhortations during the ceremony that movies are meant to be watched on the big screen.
Ty_BurrIt's a good point. I think it definitely helped that this LA-centric movie benefited from having DVDs mailed to all the members of the Academy, many of who live in LA. It might not have worked with a different movie but I think it unquestionably had an effect in this case.
BrokebakBatmanTy, from numerous articles and reviews I've read, even when he does something well, there seems to be an underlying disdain for George Clooney with critics. Can you tell me why that is? what are your feelings? and do you think the oscar he won was really the category in which he outperformed?
Ty_BurrWell, a lot of people have held his looks, his poise, and his TV roots against him. Wrongly so, in my opinion, but I've been a fan since before "O Brother Where Art Thou." But his alignment with Steven Soderbergh changed things and this Oscar season has finally turned things around. I think he's perceived as the primary spokesman for the industry at this moment in time. Hopefully it won't go to his head. Can't wait to see what he does next.
Ty_BurrThe same goes for Paul Haggis, by the way.
meadowlarkWhat was your favorite moment of the night?
Ty_BurrI had a couple. Three 6 Mafia and Taraji P, Henson, just because it was so deranged and different from the usual Oscar pomp. Queen Latifah and Jon Stewart's reaction to the best song performance and win. The gay-cowboy montage. All the montages, actually, though they got a little wearing -- someone take Chuck Workman's Avid away before he clipshows again!
Ty_BurrReese Witherspoon's acceptance speech. Altman's acceptance speech -- and the Altman clip-reel AND Lily and Meryl talking Altman-style.
DoozarelliHow did Crash even get nominated??? Do you think this will have a bad effect of future Oscars?
DoozarelliEven bad actors like Sandra B. must realize that Crash was not even worthy of the nomination...no?
crash-avoidanceA good movie? Yes, but was Crash really worthy of winning?
Ty_BurrWell, hold on a moment. It's a divisive movie: those who don't like it hate it, and those who like it are extremely passionate about it (ironically, I was sort of in the middle: loved the acting, disliked the self-importance). Actually, I think it's a good sign that a movie made for a "mere" 6.5 million with indie distribution released outside the "official" Oscar season could take the gold ring. Maybe an outsider flick that actually merits the award can get it next year :) (I say that fully understanding the irony of an "outsider" flick that stars Sandra Bullock and was made by an Oscar-winning exd-TV writer.)
GloriaBeyond a temporary box office boost - do you think Crash is assured a permanent place on the cultural landscape? Will the perception of BBM as a cultural watershed last?
Ty_BurrHard to say. You really need to come back in 10, 15, 20 years and see. Who knows how the culture will have changed? That said, if you'd told me ten years ago that a movie about gay cowboys would even be in the running for best picture, I would have said you were out of your mind.
TCMWhat do you think was up with Ms. Bacall during her appearance?
Ty_BurrOog, I don't know. She just seemed off balance (or off her meds). The lady's a genuine legend, though, and I thought she recouped fairly elegantly.
Gold_DiggerTy, if it was up to you . . . which film in your opinion was really the Best Picture of the Year?
Ty_BurrIt's a totally unfashonable choice, but Pride and Prejudice was my best for the year. Judging a movie against what it sets out to do, that one did it and then some. Beautifully directed by Joe Wright (though ironically Keira was the aspect I loved least). But Jane Austen is out at the moment and no one really took the movie seriously as a contender.
SportsGalThoughts on Michele Williams not winning? You and Wesley had her as "Should win", "Probably will win". I was disappointed she didn't get it. Thanks!
Ty_BurrOh, these things are so much about momentum and buzz. In the last week, there was a sense that Weisz was going to take it, but neither of us saw fit to change our guesses. I was disappointed for Williams -- I've been a fan of hers since "Dick" at least -- and I'm probably the one guy on earth who doesn't find Weisz either charming or attractive.
Ty_BurrTalented, sure, and I'm glad she has her award. But for me she's the Natalie Merchant of movie stars: earnest, humorless, correct. I told Wesley that I have a recurrent nightmare that Rachel Weisz is at my front door with crazy eyes and a MassPirg petition, and she just. won't, leave.
crash-avoidanceWas Braveheart or crash the worst (recent) winning movie ever?
Ty_BurrYes. It was.
crash_fanI'm one of those passionates who loved it. You keep referring to crash as an LA-centric movie. Don't you think it was a tad more than that -- like, maybe even global in its indictment of racism? You don't have to live in LA to feel that....
Ty_BurrWell, yes, of course it spoke to people everywhere (and didn't speak to other people everywhere). It raises issues that are current and universal. But I think that if it had been set in Rochester, N.Y., say, we would not be having this discussion.
jmkNot a bad show really, I liked Jon Stewart a lot. But the playing of the sappy music DURING the acceptance speeches was incredibly annoying.
Ty_BurrThat was telecast producer Gil Cates' big idea this year: Keep the music going so it won't seem rude when it's time to get the hook. Problem was it seemed rude all the way through.
MovieFan_2What's your take on "it's hard out here for a pimp" winning?
Ty_BurrThe Academy voters have been watching the Grammys and want to appear hip. Really, it's nothing more than that. (That said, the song was the best thing in the movie -- I suppose that counts for something...)
SportsGalYou mention "buzz" and momentum for winning and Keira Knightley, it was mentioned, was too young to win. I don't get it....if you gave the best performance, why don't you win?
Ty_BurrOh, goodness, giving the best performance has nothing to do with it. It's the performance that will reflect best on the movie industry as a whole that wins the award -- that and a whole lot of other variables. If genuine greatness had anything to do with it, Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, and Martin Scorsese wouldn't have any room on their mantelpieces.
crash-avoidanceWill we ever see a wide-release blockbuster win again or has that ship sailed?
Ty_BurrOh, they'll be back. These things are cyclical.
GloriaI had never heard the "Pimp" song before last night, and now can't get it out of my head. I guess that counts for something?
Ty_BurrBingo.
kdbSpeaking of getting the hook, why the need to cut off the speeches for Best Picture? It was the last award of the night and the Oscars finished at a good clip. What was the rush?
Ty_BurrVery good question. I was pretty shocked, actually. I think Gil Cates had a chance to bring the show in at three and a half hours for the first time, oh, EVER and he wouldn't let a little thing like a best picture acceptance speech get in the way.
poWhat did you think about the acceptance speech for the "hard out there for a pimp" gents?
Ty_BurrI thought it was a hoot. Totally street, guaranteed to rankle half the Academy members who'd be too politically correct to admit it.
Ty_BurrYou know, they won the award, it's a good song, let 'em accept it any way they want.
gngl_fanIf you had to choose one, do you think George Clooney should've won Supporting Actor for Syriana, or writing or directing for Good Night + Good Luck?
Ty_BurrI really thought that was a beautifully directed movie (Good Night) while recognizing that he wouldn't get it (as even he acknowledged). How ironic that one of our premier leading men bags an Oscar for a flabby supporting role? But that's what the Academy likes to do: award dressing down as a sign of thespic talent.
ChattyOscarThen again not all cop beatings happen in Rochester
Ty_BurrTrue, but not all cop beatings happen in L.A.
luluI just loved that Reese won for best actress, she has come a long way from her days in Fear
Ty_BurrPersonally, I think she would have won a long time ago -- for "Election".
chuckdWhat were you disappointed with - in the awards (someone not receiving an award who deserved one) or the show?
Ty_BurrEh, I don't want to begrudge anyone who won -- even Rachel Weisz :) It's a great career moment and they should be allowed to enjoy it. I do think it would have been nice to see the Technical Award for Gary Demos presented on the telecast rather than the industry rubber chicken dinner. The guy is only one of the fathers of digital animation, without which most of modern Hollywood movies wouldn't exist.
DaniOf the first time oscar nominees in the acting categories which do you think are likely to be nominated again and which (if any) do you think this was there best shot at an oscar nomination/win?
Ty_BurrI think we'll be seeing Terrence Howard again. Hoffman too, but probably in a supporting role. Possibly Keira, Heath, and Gyllenhaal. Michelle Williams, with any justice.
linty, i was wondering if you caught what tom hanks was muttering as he came up to present an award. he looked like he was calling jon stewart something nasty.
Ty_BurrMissed that one -- it's hard to catch everything when you're typing at the same time -- but I did catch Joaquin Phoenix mouthing what looked like "I love you, Lisa" during his close-up.
Ty_BurrOne more question, folks...
CalWhen you consider songs that have won in the past, how could ANYONE think that there was ANY musical quality in this year's three nominess?
Ty_BurrWatch "Hustle & Flow" and tell me that's not a catchy song. Even if you don't like rap.
Gold_DiggerWho could win in a fight . . . you or Wesley?
Ty_BurrWe'd both gang up on our editor.
JJDo you think Jon Stewart's performance will boost his profile? Did he win over any of the people who were horrified at the idea of him hosting the Oscars?
Ty_BurrThe people who were horrified at the idea of Jon Stewart hosting the Oscars need to lighten up and understand he's one of the smartest and funniest people in America. I hope they invite him back next year so he can loosen up and really let fly.
Ty_BurrThat was three more questions, and it's past the hour -- gotta go, folks, and thanks so much for coming by! Have a great day.
Ty_BurrSorry if I didn't get to your question -- next time!

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