"HEAR NO evil, speak no evil -- and you'll never be invited to a party!" said Oscar Wilde.
•SO, YESTERDAY we read all about the "fabulous" Oscar after-parties, and some did sound pretty good. Vanity Fair's fete is still apparently the place to go. But over the past few years, Madonna has thrown an annual Oscar bash at the Hollywood home of her manager Guy Osery, and it seems to be gaining importance. (She probably loves sticking it to her on-again-off-again "friend" Elton John, whose Oscar party is also major event.)
At least two big winners attended Madonna's gala -- Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto. Along with Bette Midler...Miley Cyrus... Jamie Foxx...Meryl Streep...Brad and Angie...the freshly engaged Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher...Ellen DeGeneres and Portia deRossi. And just to prove Madonna doesn't hold a grudge, her ex, Sean Penn was welcome, along with his new love, the perpetual goddess of the red carpet, Charlize Theron. All Madonna's children were there, too.
But here's the best part (I think, anyway.) Like a Hollywood hostess of the golden age, Madonna changed outfits twice during the festivities, and was covered in diamonds. Elizabeth Taylor used to do that too. As one observer remarked, back in the day: "Liz wasn't vain, but she liked to show off what she had. Sometimes she'd change clothes three times in a few hours, with different sets of jewels. This was often much more fun than the actual party!"
I don't know what Madonna's career plans are at the moment -- although I think she is contracted to tour until the next millennium! But becoming a fabulous party-giver in one's fabulous fifties could be an amusing way for The Big M to pass the time between those grueling concerts.
You know, Elsa Maxwell with muscle tone.
•THE HOLLYWOOD Reporter review of the Oscar show lowered the boom on Ellen, saying she "flopped" and called the show "long, boring and self-involved."
Gee. I think Ellen was great, and most people I've talked to, agree. She has just the right edge -- which is not too edgy. She's no Ricky Gervais. But, I suppose it's all subjective and maybe next year's host will be more to THR liking?
As to "long, boring and self-involved" -- when hasn't it been?! Let's face it, we're watching a lot of very privileged people congratulate each other for three and a half hours. Some of them understand the absurdity, others don't. It has always been thus. In looking at brief clips from Oscar shows way back when, people of my generation sigh and remark on "where has real glamour gone?" Younger viewers imagine how exciting the shows must have been.
Surprise! The Oscar show was always long, boring and an orgy of ego and self-congratulation. Then it was televised and became even more of that. Nostalgia blurs our memories. You can bet in the early days of the Oscar telecasts, some people at home watching, remarked, "Well, Grace Kelly is pretty enough -- but she's no Madeleine Carrol. Now, that was glamour!"
Nothing is as it was, and nothing is new under the sun, either. Especially in show biz.
This past Oscar show was the highest-rated in quite some time. For all the millennials, there's still plenty of glamour and glitz and a fantasy world to escape to. For the rest? Well, that's what Turner Classic Movies is for.
•SOME people (me included) adored Bette Midler performing "The Wind Beneath My Wings" -- others felt it was "disrespectful" for her to sing after the memorials to those who the Academy noted had died in the past year.
Critic David Hinckley of the N.Y. Daily News wrote that the "Oscars push the envelope -- on tedium." He noted that they "start late and force the audience to sit though hours of marginal awards before it finally gets to the ones most people care about. It was almost midnight Sunday (in the east) when we got to best actor, best actress and best picture -- by which time it felt like those awards were just being slapped on the counter so the night manager could close up shop."
I agree with this. Why can't Oscar give its "honorary awards" on Oscar night, instead of relegating real stars like Steve Martin, Angelina Jolie and Angela Lansbury to
a separate event which almost nobody ever sees. It seems to me the technical awards could be given separately or accepters could be represented by one person instead of a
horde coming to the stage. I said this yesterday.
I have been in the audience at the Academy Awards. I didn't find that much fun. I covered the red carpet for WNBC for many years -- that was just hard work and there is no changing the time zones so it is relatively meaningless.
I have been in L.A. year after year going to all the events. This year I watched the Oscars in a private house here in New York with 20 assorted men, women and children. But toward the end, almost everyone had fled because "It was a school night" as we used to say. I sat through to the end with only 3 people left to see Cate, Matthew and 12 Years a Slave win the biggies.
We can't change when the sun rises and sets for both coasts, but surely there is some way to alter the Academy Åwards so everybody doesn't go home before the
•I WOULD like to wind up by once more singling out Matthew McConaughey as the Gentleman of Oscar Night. He was simply perfect standing with a nervous, rarely-seen Kim Novak.
As for those on Twitter and Facebook and in various "comments" sections of online stories about Kim, I have a wish. I hope you all live to be 81, and at that time, are compelled to appear under merciless lights and brutal High Definition camera lenses, in front of an audience of billions. And I then sentence you be judged for your years, looks and manner.
Good luck on that.