I don't have a high definition plasma television, but I am fortunate enough to have friends who do and were kind enough to have a party for the Academy Awards on Sunday night. I can't tell you how much fun it was to see in detail, every wrinkle, blemish and pore on the faces of Hollywood's elite. To prevent it from becoming a catty chick party, there was enough testosterone present to make it interesting. In most areas of the country the Academy Awards are considered the Super Bowl for chicks, but in Los Angeles where everyone likes to think they are part of the "industry", men aren't afraid to get into it.
In the past, my HD experience has mostly been limited to football, and even though I am delighted to watch the players in their skin tight pants, I must admit this was even more of a dream come true. High Def has got to be Hollywood's worst nightmare. It puts the stars on a more even footing with the rest of us, because as anyone who has witnessed HD knows, it is very unforgiving. Movie stars, now more than ever, have to turn to botox injections, sandpaper rubs, and industrial strength air brushed makeup to hide all those years of hard partying. I must admit, if you are young and beautiful to begin with, it enhances the good qualities, but if you have aging, uneven skin like most people, it magnifies the flaws. It's also obvious which stars OD on make-up and don't even think about showing up with a zit.
I admit I am more interested in the red carpet than the actual ceremony, and I enjoy the justification that money can't buy class or good taste. Since "who are you wearing?" has been belabored to death, I will only critique the most obvious. Meryl Streep looked like she spends her off-screen time as a school teacher. Poor little Abigail Breslin looked like she was waiting for the Easter bunny and would have rather been home playing video games. Beyonce looked like she had an iguana climbing up her shoulder, Nicole Kidman looked like she was attacked by a Christmas bow and Cameron Diaz's gown reminded me of a straight jacket that she had to be poured into. Poor Jennifer Hudson looked like she was outfitted by the Jetson's, and I thought we were going to have another wardrobe malfunction while she was performing in her red gown. This morning in Los Angeles, you could hear the collective sigh of relief as hundreds of actresses removed the Spanx undergarments they had been wearing and ate something for the first time in weeks.
My personal favorites were Leonardo, who could not be more of a hunk, Ben Affleck and of course, George Clooney. I was disappointed that Brad and Angelina weren't there. I have heard that HD is not kind to him and his face is (gasp) pock marked. Of course they say she looks as beautiful as ever. As for the females, Reese, Gwyneth and Penelope were way above all the others and their stylists are guaranteed another year of employment.
Thank goodness the days of recognizing every person you have ever know in an acceptance speech is over, but I wish they would be more honest. This is probably more realistic: I would like to thank my drug dealer for providing me the stamina to get through the day, my publicist for making up shit and feeding my needy ego, my plastic surgeon, which goes without saying, and my stylist for making me look glamorous for a photo that will be shown ad nauseum over the next few months.
It was refreshing to see Helen Mirin, Katherine Deneuve and Diane Keaton, looking great and proving that there is nothing wrong about aging with grace and class. Unlike some others, they do not look like they have been soaking in formaldehyde or walking through a wind tunnel.
All in all it was a boring, predictable show and even though Ellen didn't hit it out of the ball park, she was the highlight of the evening - after the MasterCard elephant commercial. The Academy Awards show is an excuse to party, eat too much and get together with friends for the sole purpose of dissing all the beautiful people.