My favorites of the Our Gang short films of 75 and 80 years ago (back when "gang" was an innocent term), were the ones where Spanky McFarland became a 9 year-old Ziegfeld, and staged big shows full of all-kid casts on make-shift stages. Well, although the Kodak Theater in Hollywood is hardly a make-shift stage, this year's Oscar producers, Adam Shankman and Bil Mechanic, were so dedicated to the quixotic task of luring in young viewers, that we were given a show full of presenters that appeared to have gone through puberty during the rehearsals, and I felt like I was seeing The Oscars as produced by Spanky McFarland.
Also, bear in mind as we go along that Shankman and Mechanic promised to speed up the ceremony from last year's, which was just winding up as this year's attendees were arriving.
They opened with the Best Actor and Best Actress nominees all lined up together on the stage. Why? They didn't even do anything. Were Shenkman and Mechanic just bragging that they'd gotten them all to show up, even though everyone knew who was going to take Best Actor weeks ago?
Neal Patrick Harris, in the world's gayest tuxedo (really, Liberace's ghost was calling it "over the top."), did a fairly pointless opening number, the gist of which seemed to be trying to justify having two hosts, when Steve Martin has shown before that he is perfectly capable of hosting alone. Throughout the evening, Martin was consistently funny, even if his two-facelifts-too-many countenance now looks like an old Chinese man. Baldwin was amusing, but not as funny as Martin, and this was a comedy team that had no need to exist.
Penelope Cruz had the honor of being the first person to completely blow a scripted gag. Don't hire her for comedies.
Christopher Plummer was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for playing Leo Tolstoy, one of those truly magnificent writers no one ever actually reads.
The first non-surprise of the evening was Best Supporting Actor going to Christopher Waltz. The show's script actually said: "Penelope Cruz gives Best Supporting Actor to Christopher Waltz." The other nominees had to have presenting gigs to even get them to show up.
Waltz showed during his acceptance speech that only someone who could brilliantly play a Nazi could convincingly praise Quentin Tarantino, the most overpraised man in Hollywood. (And that is a hotly-contested title.)
Ryan Reynolds introduced the first of the 87 movies nominated for Best Picture, the wretched, two-dimensional, aren't-white-conservative-gun-nuts-wonderful-people, feel-good movie for Red States, The Blind Side.
In the animated bit for Up, Edward Asner got to say "Stop it, Doug," which is practically my catchphrase around the house.
It was interesting to hear people clap for The Secret of Kells, as though they'd seen it, or even heard of it. Now if it had been The Secret of the Krell, I'd know it was that they'd wiped themselves out 20 million years ago by unwittingly unleashing their Id monsters.
The category Best Song has changed over the years from actually the Best Song to Least-Forgettable "Song" Stuck Into the Closing Credits in Hope of a Nomination. Frankly, no one has taken this category seriously since it was won by It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp, which didn't even have a melody. We heard the winning song, The Weary Kind from Crazy Heart, sung for a few seconds by that famous recording artist Colin Ferrall. I have all his album.
Winner T-Bone Burnett (Does it say that on his birth certificate?) did the too-cool-for-school affectation of wearing sunglasses indoors at night. He made the mistake of letting his co-winner, Ryan Bingham, say a few words first. Oops. No two-winners-speaking here. What are we, the BAFTAs? T-Bone was whisked off the stage without getting a word in.
In the Original Screenplay nominee excerpt from A Serious Man, we read "She hands him a glass and sits on the couch next to him," while on the screen we saw the actress playing the role sit an the couch and then hand him the glass. The actress's refusal to do the scene as written ruined the shot, and clearly cost this film its Oscar. As written, performers, do it as written! (And bless comedy goddess Tina Fey for being genuinely funny, as usual.)
When did Molly Ringwald become a middle-aged woman? Since the great Mary Travers died last year, Molly has appropriated her look. She and Matthew Broderick presented a special tribute to the late John Hughes. How does Hughes outrank the other great talents that died last year? He was okay I guess (his films did little for me. I liked Planes, Trains & Automoblies, but only because I've had sex in all three, once on the same day. Well, more than once.), but Hughes was no Jean Simmons or Larry Gelbart or David Brown or Karl Malden.
And then, after the Hughes montage, they brought out every person who had ever appeared in one of his films, and had them go on about him at greater length. This was reaching the point of being an insult to the other greats who died this year who only got 5 seconds each in the montage later in the show. I'm sorry, for me Hughes peaked back when he was writing for The National Lampoon. And is this what they call speeding up the ceremony?
During the Short Animated Films (you know, cartoons) montage, the usually-brilliant John Lassiter said: "You know one of the things I like best about short films? They're short." I half-expected him to add, "and they're films." Later he added: "Tools never make great films." Don't let James Cameron or Quentin Tarantino hear you, because those tools both think they've made great films. And actually, some films are made by no one but tools.
The Oscar for Best Animated Short went to Logorama, a film with more product placement in 16 minutes that 10 entire seasons of Survivor.
So Roger Ross Williams was starting to accept his Oscar for Best Documentary Short for a film titled Music By Prudence, when what I assume was his co-winner, Elinor Burkett, rushed up on stage, shoved him aside, interrupted him by talking over him until he gave up and shut up, and then blathered on, under the delusion that anyone was paying attention to anything but her incredible rudeness. My condolences to Williams if he has to work with this insufferable woman. They not only played over her, but had to shut off her mike to finally get her silenced.
Ironically, the presentation for short films was particularly long, as not only are there three awards to give out, but the winners are seated at The Los Angeles Music Center, 10 miles away, and we had to wait until they were bussed to the stage.
Ben Stiller came out made up as a smurf, and made random noises, saying that this had seemed a better idea at rehearsal. They must have been doing some heavy drugs at rehearsal. But then, when isn't Ben Stiller doing a bit that "seemed like a good idea at rehearsal"?
Star Trek won Best Make Up for pointlessly concealing Eric Bana's great beauty, although I think that should have been punished, not rewarded.
The look-at-the-script-while-we-watch-the-scene-it-became bit was repeated for Best Adapted Screenplay, but it would have made more sense to show us pages of the original, and then the adaptation, so we're seeing the essence of adaptation. Someone needed to think this through better. The award went to Jeffrey Fletcher for adapting the movie Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire from the novel Push by Sapphire. And I'd thought it was an original screenplay. He cried, so now I know where Mo'Nique gets it. He wrote her Golden Globes tears for her.
Queen Latifah came out and told us about the Oscars which were handed out in stealth way the hell back on November 14th to Gordon Willis, John Calley, Lauren Becall, and the great, underrated-because-he-won't-allow-you-to-overrate-him Roger Corman. I was disgusted when these awards were handed out so surreptitiously at the time, and wrote a column about them, especially Roger Corman, called The Stealth Oscars, which you can read by clicking on it. Shameful. Only two of the stealth winners, Lauren and Roger, even got to go to the real Oscar ceremony, and they weren't allowed to come up onstage or speak. They're old. I'd rather listen to Roger and Lauren, both genuine movie legends, than to Zoe Saldana, Amanda Seyfried, Miley Cyrus, or Taylor Lautner, all of of whom did get to speak, and none of whom had the slightest idea who Lauren Becall or Roger Corman even are.
As Robin Williams came out to hand out Best Supporting Actress, towels were being handed out, sandbags were being piled up, and dykes were being asked to lie in front of the stage. It was almost as though all were resigned to Mo'Nique taking the award. During the nominees montage we got to see Maggie Gyllenhall being moved by her own performance. Who knew Crazy Heart wasn't a one-man show?
Sure enough, Mo'Nique Based on the novel Push by Sapphire won. She's learned from the reactions she received to her sodden Golden Globes acceptance speech and her stern angry SAG Awards acceptance speech. This time she took a solemn approach, appropriate to the seriousness in which she holds herself. (This woman is actually a stand-up comedienne? I've watched her accept three awards now - thank Heaven she didn't attend the BAFTAs - and I've yet to hear her make even one joke, or go near getting a laugh, or even a smile.) No, this time she was in full-of-herself mode, with how significant and important she sees this meaningless publicity moment as. And she'd also learned not to improvise her speech. Clearly every word of this one was written, memorized, and rehearsed, in the sure and certain knowledge that she had it in the bag.
First she closed her eyes and stood solemn and serious, like a preacherette waiting to deliver God's Word, basking in the standing ovation that her section of the audience had started, and the rest of the sheep in the room reluctantly joined in. (This was not one of those the-whole-audience-leaps-to-its feet-cheering-spontaneously moments. It was serious, dutiful, and rehearsed.) Once everyone was aware that she was Mother Theresa reborn, she began speaking quietly, forcefully, and seriously. It was a more calculated performance than the one in her bleak, depressing movie. "First I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics." I loved the "it can be," not "it is" but "it can be." Secondly, what politics? Were the Republicans pushing for Maggie Gyllenhall? Frankly, I was beginning to think maybe it was just the opposite. But this speech was clearly going to be about the performance: the one she was giving as she spoke.
"I'd like to thank Miss Hattie McDaniel for enduring all that she had to, so that I would not have to." Hattie never heard of you, Mo darling. But yes, let's thank Hattie for having a nice life as a movie star, as Hattie herself pointed out, making a fortune playing maids instead of a pittance being a maid. One thing Hattie never was was full-of-herself.
The next lines were more mysterious, and more unintentionally funny. (Nothing like an unintentionally funny stand-up comedienne.) "Tyler Perry and Orpah Winfrey, because you touched it, the whole world saw it." Dare I ask what "it" is? Whatever "it" is, I don't want to watch Tyler Perry touch it. However, if she meant the movie, the "whole world" hasn't seen it. I certainly haven't and won't. This week Entertainment Weekly described Precious Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire thusly: "A harrowing nightmare of domestic abuse so bleak that it's a miracle director Lee Daniels finds a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel." I spend money on movie admissions for a good time, not for bleak, harrowing nightmares of domestic abuse, fun as that sounds. And even if it were something I'd want to subject myself to, Mo'Nique's I'm-Elinor-Roosevelt-and-Mother-Theresa-combined full-of-herself acceptance appearances would put me off forever.
She then thanked her lawyer (That was a True Hollywood Moment), her BET family, her Precious Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire family, and finally her husband, to whom she delivered this gem: "Thank you for showing me that sometimes you have to forgo doing what's popular to do what's right, and baby [looking at the Oscar in her hand] you were so right." So her winning an Oscar was what it was all about? In any event, Mo, you made a movie, a successful movie. You weren't feeding the hungry in Haiti, or getting medical supplies to the survivors in Chili, or even marching for civil rights, facing bigoted cops and angry lynch mobs. You were making a movie. You had a trailer, crafts services, and a personal assistant, if not several. And now you have an Oscar. I'm told you gave a very good performance. You certainly proved yourself an actress as you accepted. But it's an Oscar, not a Nobel Prize, or sainthood. Over yourself, get you must. At least she bestowed God's blessing on everyone this time, rather than thanking God for her award. Apparently God didn't arrange for this one.
And, of course, she said not a word about the other nominees in her category. After all, they were all whores who were doing what was popular, and depending on politics to win, while she was an artiste doing what was right, and receiving her just-if-barely-adequate reward.
Thank Heaven she can't get an Emmy for it too. At least this is her last award show coronation, I mean acceptance speech, that I'll have to endure.
Best Production Design went to The Smurf Movie. Oh well, when you have to design a whole planet from scratch, it is a large job. Two winners got to speak. The first designer began kissing James Cameron's butt, but before he could nauseate the whole room, he was shoved aside so a co-winner could make it about his own overcoming of a death-sentence-illness to survive to this triumph. Though I don't know who he was, nor what his illness was, it's more enjoyable to listen to than people praising Cameron's genius. James can handle that himself better than anyone.
Best Costumes went to The Young Victoria, for digging through the trunks in the attics at Windsor Castle, to unearth out the musty outfits Queen Victoria Principal made the British People pay for a century ago. Three time Oscar Winner Sandy Powell graciously acknowledged the designers who do less-showy work on cheaper, contemporary films, who usually go unrewarded. (Let's face it, the Costume Oscars almost always go to Costume Movies), though she honestly said she was keeping the award. You see Mo'Nique, that's how you accept an award graciously, modestly, and with humor.
There was an unintended irony to Sarah Jessica Parker Broderick presenting Best Costumes while she was being strangled by her own gown. At least I assume it was strangling her, as otherwise her reaching up to adjust the sash cutting into her throat while her co-presenter Tom Ford spoke was just deliberate upstaging. Surely such a seasoned pro wasn't so small as to deliberately try to draw attention away from her co-presenter? Yes, it must have been her gown attacking her.
Adorable infant Taylor Lautner took time away from doing a late term paper which will be 50% of his grade to introduce a time-wasting-but-enjoyable montage tribute to horror movies with the odd statement: "Although the most popular genre of movie is horror..." Oh really? That will be news to makers of comedies, women's melodramas, romances, action movies, rom-coms, gangster movies, even westerns. I love them (Well, I love classical ones. The torture-porn trash of film makers like Eli Roth just revolt me. I loved the new The Wolfman.), but they're hardly "the most popular genre of movie." Lautner and his co-presenter, Kristin Stewart star in those atrocious Twilight movies, and while they are full of vampires and werewolves, they are not horror movies. They are horrible movies, but their genre is fantasy tween Mormon romance porn.
Lautner went on: "...somehow [horror] doesn't seem to command the respect it deserves." Of course, many feel it does command "the respect it deserves," though I am not one of them. I still feel Boris Karloff was robbed when he wasn't nominated for Bride of Frankenstein.
Some Academy historian should have vetted Kristin's speech, and prevented her blatant error: "It's been thirty-seven long years since horror had it's place on this show, when The Exorcist picked up two Academy Awards." Hello? How about it's been a bare eighteen years since The Silence of the Lambs swept Best Picture, Actor, Actress, and Director? Or did they think that was a comedy? Well, I can see how one could forget a horror movie that merely swept all the major awards. And the error was made more egregious still when clips from Silence of the Lambs were in the tribute montage! I understand Kristin not noticing the error. She's what? 12? But the writer of her speech should have known better.
The montage was okay. It was nice to see the classic horror icons Karloff, Lugosi, and both Chaneys, though where was Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Sir Christopher Lee, particularly given how much footage there was of Jack Nicholson? I could have done without watching Kathy Bates smack James Caan's foot with the sledgehammer again, always a difficult shot to watch. (And hello? Kathy Bates won an Oscar for that role. More forgotten respect.) One wonders how loosely they were defining "Horror Movie," as while I can understand including Young Frankenstein, I'm sorry, Beetlejuice was a flat-out comedy, and Edward Scissorhands, despite its use of fantasy iconography, was just not a horror movie. (It did provide an excuse to show Vincent Price, but noooooo.)
The music for the montage was mostly a medley of Bernard Hermann's classic score for Psycho and John Morris's score for Young Frankenstein. There was a snippet from a third piece, but I couldn't place it.
It was when Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick came out to present Best Sound that I finally realized that if you were more than ten months past puberty, you were too old to present at this year's Oscars. Someone was desperate to make them "relevant" by making them "young." No wonder a legend like Lauren Becall wasn't even allowed on the stage. We can't have the kids across America who were ignoring the show anyway think that the Oscars were about old ladies, should they accidentally hit the show for ten seconds while channel-surfing. It was bad enough that an old man was a shoe-in for Best Actor. Why oh why wasn't Taylor Lautner up for Best Actor? He's been in films for the better part of a year now. We can all learn from his wisdom and experience, once he finishes his geometry final.
Anyway, Efron and Kendrick introduced a clip in which Morgan Freeman (old, but unseen) explained to us what "sound" is.
The Hurt Locker won Best Sound Editing. Paul Ottosson really knew how to cut "Boom!" into those explosions just right. (Excuse me. He was billed as "Paul N. J. Ottosson," to distinguish him from all the other Paul Ottosson's nominated in all those other categories. Why three different Paul Ottossons started to get out of their chairs, until Kendrick enunciated that "N. J.")
In a giant shock, The Hurt Locker also picked up Best Sound Mixing. How often do those two utterly different types of sound stuff go to the same movie? Who would think that a film with the best sound editing would also mix it the best? I was flummoxed.
Some other child, Elizabeth Banks was her name I think, introduced the clip coverage of the Technical Oscars, so-called because they're only technically Oscars at all. These awards are deemed so boring that they aren't even awarded at the real ceremony, nor even at the Stealth ceremony for Becall, Corman, Willis, and Calley. No, they are handed out in a alley somewhere, with the caveat: "Remember, you're not good enough to be on the real show. Go away you technical nerds." It's an award and an insult simultaneously. They didn't even run a scroll of their names.
Best Cinematography went to that big Smurf movie. I think that may be the first time this award has gone to a 3-D movie. The movie compensates for its 3-D images with a 2-D screenplay.
Geriatric old lady (by this show's standards) Demi Moore introduced the Dead People Montage, which was only right, as "old" (that is, over 25) equals "Death." Now I began to understand why they felt Steve Martin needed Alec Baldwin out there hosting with him. Alec Baldwin, though "Old," is still 14 years younger than Martin, and could pitch in if Martin died of old age in mid-joke.
The overwhelming agism of this whole show crystallized when, in Demi's intro to the Dead People Montage, she said of the dead ones passings: "some tragically and much too soon." So the rest of them, bascially all of them except Brittany Murphy, had hung around way too long, stubbornly refusing to die and hand over their space on earth to young folks. I have news for whoever wrote this insulting intro: when it's you dying, it's always "tragically and much too soon." I suppose we should be glad they weren't each labeled either "Tragic" or "It's About Time!"
So anyone, who was the second and third persons in the montage, right after Patrick Swayze? I didn't have binoculars with me, and they hadn't yet gone to close-up , so it was impossible to recognize them or read their names. I was amused by the range shown by writer Millard Kaufman, whose two credits shown were for the searing drama Bad Day at Black Rock, and a Mr. Magoo cartoon. At least Michael Jackson wasn't given special emphasis, nor much applause. (And was it just me, or was "old man" James Taylor having a bit of trouble staying on pitch?)
Jennifer Lopez and Sam Worthington presented Best Original Score. Jennifer was in her wedding dress (all that was clean?), and Sam was just in a suit, not a tux. Well, he's Australian.
If you have a show co-produced by a choreographer like Adam Shankman, you're going to have pointless big dance numbers no matter how much they promised to speed up the show. (It's not like we believed that promise anyway.), and Best Score was the excuse for the second one. At least the dancers were good, though I wasn't nuts about Shankman's choreography, which often seemed to have little to do with the music or tempo, and it was long.
They brought out two of the hottest-looking men in movies, Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper, to hold attention during the presentation of Best Special Effects, since there was zero suspense as to which film was going to walk off with this one. Sure enough, it went to Cameron's 3-D Smurf movie. But Butler and Cooper would have had to strip naked to hold my attention once the winners started calling James Cameron a genius.
Gorgeous Matt Damon, who, believe it or not, is now hovering on the edge of "old," presented Best Documentary Feature, or as it should be called, Best Depressing Documentary, as just the montage of clips was enough to make one suicidal, until the shot that made one smile again remembering that Richard Nixon is still dead. The winner was The Cove, a film exposing a secret Japanese dolphin-slaughtering cove. When one of the winners held up a sign saying "Text DOLPHIN to 44144," the show's director quickly cut away to any random shot he could find, just to keep the message off the screen. I'm assuming it was against some rule. God forbid anyone should use their Oscar moment to advance a worthy cause apart from their own career, which is why I've chosen to post his message here.
Mega-successful Tyler Perry came out to present Best Editing. I'd have handed the award to any editor who cut him out. Perry opened with: "They just said my name at The Oscars. I better enjoy it, because it will probably never happen again." One can only hope he's right, though given the quality of his movies, he probably is. On the other hand, it was his second mention that night. He then preceded to explain the different sorts of basic shots to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a terrific use of time, although what was presented as a "Close-up" was actually a medium shot, fortunately, since it was of him. This master humorist, when he made a joke, had to then say, "That was a joke." and then laugh at it for us. Steve Martin hadn't had to do that all evening, but then Steve was actually being funny.
Best Editing went to The Hurt Locker, which apparently did a good job of cutting the explosions to those Oscar-winning sound edits of "Boom!"
What was with Quentin Tarantino? (I suppose one could always ask that question.) He was wearing an ill-fitting tux, like he'd gained 30 pounds since the fitting, his tie was loose, he was sweaty, his hair, always embarrassing, was a mess, and he looked and sounded slightly drunk. (I have never been accused of looking slightly drunk!) He was the most slovenly-looking Best Director nominee since Peter Jackson back when he won for The Return of the King, and Jackson didn't look drunk, and also took the wake-up call, and afterwards, got his physical act together, and dropped at least 50 pounds. (Oh, and Jackson makes better films, although not this year.) Oh well, it's not like Tarantino would have to make an acceptance speech.
Kathy Bates introduced the Smurf movie. You know, if you recall that sailors used to be called "tars," "Avatar" suddenly sounds like a cockney pimp offering you a sailor.
For Best Actor and Actress, in order to help "speed up" the show, they continued last year's pointless practice of having one presenter per nominee. If they do it with Best Picture, we'll be here all night. Finish on time? Not unless they cut out Best Actress, Director, and Picture. If they'd cut out the two dance numbers, the horror movie montage (much as I enjoyed it), and the insulting-to-all-the-other-dead-people John Hughes tribute, they would have finished on time. But nooooo.
Oh well, at least I got to look at Tim Robbins for two minutes, which was a nice break from all the children presenting.
Colin Ferrell discussed spending a night "spooning" with Jeremy Renner. I'd rather see a film of that than any of the Best Picture nominees.
But really, they were already over their time slot, and it's not like we didn't all arrive knowing Jeff Bridges was going to win. Looking at Jeff now, I try to see past him, to that gorgeous young man in The Last Picture Show almost 40 years ago. But how lovely it was to see rightfully-beloved Jeff win, even if you knew it going in, and it was basically the same performance Mickey Roarke gave in The Wrestler. And how sad we all felt that his equally-beloved dad hadn't lived to see this day. But finally he did leave the stage, as the voice-over announcatrix told us that coming up would be the award for "Best Pitcher." They were going to give out a baseball award? (If you're getting announcing gigs, you should at the very least learn how to speak properly.)
My, hasn't Forrest Whitaker lost a lot of weight? Looking good, Forrest. Congratulations. Too bad you were having to feign respect for that lousy movie The Blind Side.
How come in the Tolstoy movie Helen Mirrin was nominated for Best Actress for playing Mrs. Tolstoy, while the great Christopher Plummer was only nominated for Best Supporting Actor for playing Leo Tolstoy himself? He was, in fact, the star of the movie.
Unfortunately, Sandra Bullock won for her role as the saintly, gun-loving, paper-thin, nutjob, ridiculously noble, right-wing red state fantasy woman. There was nothing believable about the character, and that she beat out Gabourey Sidibe, Carey Mulligan, and Meryl Streep (Who is, as Steve Martin pointed out, the perpetual, all-time highest Oscar loser) is absurd. There always has to be a winner each year that is just teeth-grittingly wrong, and this was this year's. Nothing against Sandra herself, but this should not be an Oscar-winning role. I guess they felt that giving a fair performance in a really badly-written role is a higher achievement than giving a good performance is a well-written role. Still, there was a magnificent justice in that, just 24 hours earlier, she won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress. And in true Hollywood, will-go-anywhere-to-pick-up-an-award style, she actually accepted her Razzie in person.
Now out came Babs Streisand to give out the evening's grudge award. Best director had ex-spouses James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow competing for the same award. Sure there were three other nominees, but all attention was on this ex-couple. She got the house. He got the sinking ocean-liner. Which would get the Oscar?
Bigleow made triple-Oscar history as the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Directing, the first woman to beat an ex-husband for an Oscar, and only the third time ever that the Academy decided that being a good movie was more important than making enough money to buy Luxembourg. Best of all, it meant that it was highly unlikely that the Smurf movie would take Best Pitcher.
Bigelow failed to mention James Cameron in her speech. Somehow, I don't think it was an oversight. The band played her off to I am Woman. A little obvious.
Tom Hanks, noting that they were now half an hour overtime, dispensed with all folderol, and got right to giving The Hurt Locker the ultimate prize over the 87 other nominees. (I think there were even a few direct-to-DVD films nominated for Best Picture.) However, one of the accepting producers did call winning "humbling." Could we retire that cliche? It's not humbling. It's just exactly the opposite. The only persons humbled by The Hurt Locker winning that award were Cameron and Tarantino. And they don't stay humbled long.
But by now, 37 minutes overlength, with Barbara Walters chafing to get on the air, the real award for "Best Direction" should be going to the "Exit" signs. Better luck next time, tall Smurfs.