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February 29, 2008 |

By Ted Boynton | Boozehound Cinephile | February 29, 2008 |

Pop culture item consumed: The 80th Annual Academy Awards, as well as some pre-awards foo-faw. For the first time in years, I was looking forward to the Oscars, largely because the Academy finally got a few good films involved. While I ordinarily maintain that the Academy Awards are to film as the mockumentary Best in Show is to dogs, this year involved some great performances and fantastic films. Needless to say, we shall discuss here only the ridiculous parts.

Beverage consumed: Hendrick’s gin for me, initially chilled and served up, with a cucumber slice as garnish, followed by Hendrick’s-and-tonics when the going got tough, followed by the evacuation of the front of my cranium. Hendrick’s is produced in Ayrshire, Scotland, “dahn tha rrrood a wee bit frahm” Stirling, the birthplace of my paternal great-great-great-grandfather. Hendrick’s is infused with essence of cucumber and has a refreshing, delicious flavor I’ve never tasted anywhere else. Mrs. Socalled drank a bottle of Taittinger’s primary label workhorse champagne, then worked on the Mersault left over from dinner the night before.

Summary of action: I doubt I’ve ever witnessed as much drunken behavior at the Oscars — or at least behavior that would be more excusable if the person was drunk — as I saw this year, so much so that I decided to bestow some Boozehound Cinephile awards for best moments of the Oscars. By “best,” of course, I mean those moments that should not have happened without someone imbibing a life-threatening amount of liquor. For each of them, as described below, I borrow an Alex the Odd measuring stick to evaluate how much anesthetic it took to press onward.

(Note: Other than the first ten or so comments, I have not reviewed the Pajiba open thread discussion of the Academy Awards from Sunday night; any overlap with the comments is purely accidental.)

Pre-Show “Do They Think I’m Drunk?” Award: I repeatedly heard last week that Jon Stewart and the producers were anxious about only having a couple of weeks to write the show instead of the “seven months” they would usually have. Now, Jon Stewart is one of my favorite people, but seriously, WTF? He does fewer jokes in the entire Oscars than they do on one fucking “Daily Show,” not to mention that Oscars jokes are not exactly, um, groundbreaking. Stewart does about as good a job as an Oscars host can do, but the idea that it would even take seven hours to cobble that nonsense together is laughable. Plus, the writers’ strike didn’t even start until November 19, then ended three months later. I’m not sure how that deprived them of seven months, but my math skills aren’t the best. (Grudging drink, repeated several times prior to telecast)

Drunkest Red Carpet Sexual Assault: Right out of the gate, Gary Busey made this the most awesome drunken Oscars ever. Busey’s antics have been dissected in detail, but talk about setting a tone — I’m simply beside myself with joy that, during Busey’s felony groping of Jennifer Garner, (1) Ryan Seacrest had the expression of a man who just fell into a vat of K-Y on the way to the prison shower and (2) Garner received what was apparently the first-ever red carpet hickey. So a special Oscars shout-out to Gary Busey for re-enacting a scene from my past, a scene that Patricia Clarkson’s lawyers insist on referring to as “the incident.” Maybe Busey wasn’t shit-hammered (he’s just plain weird), but whoever let him within a mile of the red carpet was plainly in the bag and has since been fired. In retrospect, I’m disappointed that Amy Adams wasn’t involved, since that would have given “Red Carpet Groping Incident” a whole new meaning. (Joyful Chin, followed by replaying the sequence on Tivo until Mrs. Socalled took the remote away)

Drunkest Imagined Red Carpet Sexual Assault: Guess which parts of this conversation between Ryan Seacrest and Jessica Alba actually happened:

Ryan Seacrest: So, will you be breastfeeding your baby?

Jessica Alba: Yes, I’ve heard it’s healthier.

Ted Boynton: Yeee-haw! How do I get in on that action?

(No booze consumed, too lost in thought)

Lifetime Drunkenness Award: Here comes Mickey Rooney, arriving in full Mr. Yunioshi Japanese make-up; how offensive. Oh, wait … that’s just how Mickey Rooney looks now. (Sip)

“It Could Happen If They’re Both Drunk” Award, Septuagenarian Division: Helen Mirren looked fantastic, as usual — I would so much like a threesome with her and Sophia Loren. (Contemplative Sip)

Clear Sign that Mrs. Socalled Is Feeling the Champagne: Daniel Day-Lewis is certainly in the running for best actor of his generation. That said, upon seeing his wife’s gown, Mrs. Socalled laughed maniacally, literally clapped her hands with glee, and said, “She wins!” I don’t think that was a compliment. (Tittering toast to Joan Rivers’ likely reaction, followed by a Drink)

Worst Drunken Designer Trend: Who decided to have all the muffin-top boobies? By one hour in, I had seen about ten female stars with gowns pulled so tight at the top, it looked like two blowfish caught in a lariat. God spent a lot of time designing the female breast in a way that eats up film and opens up wallets; why cinch them up like that? (Runner-Up: Whoever sent 21-year-old Ellen Page dressed as a flapper needs the Hard Candy treatment.) (Irritated Sip)

U.S. Populace Collective Beer-Goggles Award: Cameron Diaz looks like Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso drank two gallons of orange fake tan, then bukakked a bucktoothed scarecrow. Seriously, when her face flashed on the television, I thought I had a premature case of DTs. (Chin; re-examine Cameron Diaz; determine still fug; Chin)

Drunkenly Stating the Obvious Award: In responding to questions on the red carpet, Skank Cancer Rainbow Killer told her interviewer, “I’m not very good at this.” (Mrs. Socalled’s response: “Are you good at disappearing?” Snap!) (Sip)

Drunkenly Fucking Up Someone’s Name Award: Somewhere after the 537th time, I lost track of people fucking up Javier Bardem’s easy-to-pronounce-unless-you’re-a-fucking-idiot name. Here are the finalists, however:

Runner-Up: Jennifer Hudson, with “Harvey-aire.” Jennifer Hudson also sported an intriguing variation on the muffin-top knockers, with a couple of cloth-covered, ten-pound hamburger patties poking out over a leather strap. My uncle Mortie doesn’t even wear his belt that high.

Winner: Regis Philbin, going with the always-popular “Xavier,” which Regis pronounced “Eggs-avier” like he was ordering breakfast. Where’s Anton “Sugar” Chigurh when you need him? I would like to see Regis face that coin flip. (Laughing too hard to drink anything)

Unfortunate Face Award: I’m going to have to go with Nicole Kidman on this one, despite the presence of Renee “Sphincter-Puss” Zellwegger. You know that scene in the movie Waiting… where Luis Guzman is showing the new waiter all the scrotum-tugging variations on the penis-showing game? I think we found a new one, if the scrotum were flattened, ghost-white, hairless, and scarier than anything else I saw Sunday night, with the obvious exception of Crispin Glover in his Cameron Diaz mask. Five years ago, a threesome with Nicole Kidman and Cameron Diaz would have been at the top of most thirty-year-old males’ Santa Claus wish lists. Today it would be a good way to get that same person to falsely confess to being part of an Al Qaeda sleeper cell. (Chin; check to make sure emergency room number is printed on my insurance card)

Sam Kinison Memorial “You Look Familiar to Me Too” Award: I hesitate to even bring this up, but … well, folks, Diablo Cody sure looks like a stripper, and I mean that in a good way. The tats, the toothy grin, the easy-access gown (dubbed “stripper-wear” by my viewing partner) … yeah, I’m pretty sure I ran into ol’ Diablo at the Million Dollar Saloon in Dallas a few years ago. (Greedy Drink)

“I’d Like to Thank the Academy for Proving How Irrelevant It Is” Award: Do you suppose anyone tried to intervene and stop the producers from showing the montage of every “Best Picture” winner so far? By way of comparison, if I were on a date with a new girlfriend, I might brag a little about spontaneously taking a girl to France or buying her a new car; I would probably refrain from sharing the high school nickname coined by my Japanese then-girlfriend, “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.” Even ignoring ancient history like Around the World in Eighty Days and Tom Jones, as well as the much-discussed abomination we’ll just call “2005,” let’s focus just on recent travesties that should be hidden like the freakish spawn of a sibling marriage arranged by Satan: The Last Emperor? Shakespeare in Freaking Love? Fucking Titanic!?! (CHIN; /weeps silently)

Victory-As-Roofies Award: Did anyone else notice Forrest Whitaker with his arm around Marion Cotillard, whispering in her ear as he escorted her off-stage after her Best Actress win? “Hey, baby, did you know I’ve got one of those back at my place? Did you know I also have one in my pants? How do you think my eye got fucked up? I poked myself with myself. You know about the this-year’s-Best-Actress-and-last-year’s-Best-Actor thing, right? It’s like, a law in this country.” (Sip, followed by knowing chuckle)

How well the pairing held up: At first blush, Hendrick’s might not seem an ideal match for the glitz and glamour of the Oscars, but I have to say that it was perfect. Refined and fast-acting, it provided a strong anesthetic against some of the more painful moments, like watching Jessica Alba pretend she can read or seeing Harrison Ford sleepwalk through his presenting duties. (On a side note, I was not aware that he and Calista Flockhart were still together. Five years ago, while disporting myself with Cameron Diaz and Nicole Kidman, I would have given 50-1 odds that Indiana would have dumped that bundle of sticks and rubber bands like a bag of snakes.)

Tastes like: Hendrick’s is hard to describe but well worth your time if you like gin; “gin-and-cucumber” just doesn’t do it justice. Mrs. Socalled tasted like champagne, so that part was well-received.

Overall rating: 17 out of 23 statuettes.

Ted Boynton is a dedicated sot who would leave his barstool only to stalk Whit Stillman, if anyone could find Whit Stillman. Ted also manages to hold down a job and a wife, three hours each per day, whether they need it or not. Readers may scold, hector, admonish or taunt Ted by e-mailing him at [email protected]

Alcohol, Taken in Sufficient Quantities, Produces all the Effects of Intoxication

The Boozehound Awards: The Boozehound Cinephile / Ted Boynton

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