Last year, as you might recall, I covered the Oscar telecast. I've been asked if I plan to do the same tonight, and the answer is probably not. I'm underwhelmed by a lot of this year's nominees and don't think it'd be much fun to write about them, though a last-minute change of mind is possible. (A last-minute change of mind is always possible, unless it's about something like voting Republican.)
Also blasé about tonight's ceremony: the normally excitable Robert Osborne, the reigning queen of Turner Classic Movies and a professional Oscar historian, who recently told The Chicago Sun-Times: "We forget that the importance of the Oscars is to award artistic achievement. I'm not sure it is anymore." I'm with Osborne on two things -- that the Best Supporting Actress push for Kate Winslet in "The Reader" was ridiculous (she ended up being nominated in the Best Actress category and is widely expected to win; I'd rather see Melissa Leo take it for "Frozen River"), and that it would be great if Frank Langella won Best Actor for "Frost/Nixon."
Langella isn't thought to stand a chance in the year of "Milk" and "The Wrestler," but he's my sentimental favorite because Oscars, as we all know, are normally handed out to actors not for whatever performance they ultimately win for, but for a previous performance that was overlooked by the Academy. In my opinion, Langella deserved to win last year for "Starting Out in the Evening," but his work in that film wasn't recognized with a nomination. Honestly, I'm still shocked by that -- how dare the Academy disrespect Count Dracula! I hope he makes the rounds at the after-parties tonight and bites all their necks.