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CALENDAR GOES TO THE OSCARS : Watching as No Turn Is Left Unstoned

March 30, 1993|CHRIS WILLMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

What kind of Year of the Woman is this when Jaye Davidson loses the Oscar, neither Tawny Little nor Edy Williams is anywhere to be seen, and Cindy Crawford practically owns the evening?

An Academy Awards year ripe for catcalls, that's what. That's why we invited a dozen of our dearest and closest curmudgeons over for an Oscar-dis(h)-ing party, femme-fatale style.

Here's what the kids at our place had to hiss:

5:16: First appearance by Crawford, taking a demure supporting role as Richard Gere is interviewed by Chuck Henry and Pam Thompson (a sad sub for now-at-KCAL Little) in Channel 7's pre-telecast. " Cin-dee! Bad choice," says one of our amateur fashion critics. The men are strangely slow to concur.

5:22: Chuck Henry wonders aloud to Catherine Deneuve about "the secret of your ageless beauty." The women in our crowd wonder if Henry would query Clint Eastwood about his "ageless" chiseled hunkiness. "I breathe," replies Deneuve. Touche.

5:23: "Tell us about this dress," Henry asks of Jodie Foster. "Uh, it's a dress," responds Foster, chuckling nervously. It's definitely the year of the woman's zinger comebacks, anyway.

5:32: Geena Davis points out to Henry: "I have my breast cancer awareness pin on with my AIDS awareness ribbon." Which, given Davis' traditionally modest gown, is a set-up that almost requires no punch line.

6:32: Is the pizza bad? No. Marisa Tomei has just pulled an upset for best supporting actress, and the groaning begins in earnest. "Oh my God! Who counted the votes? John Gotti? That's a scandal," says one pepperoni eater. All agree that it may just be the year of the non-threatening woman.

6:38: And the Sacheen Littlefeather Award for best superfluous political moment goes to Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon for their editorial on AIDS-stricken Haitians as a preamble to the best editing award.

6:47: "A Whole New World" is performed by non-Arabs. Where are the "Miss Saigon" casting police when you need them?

6:48: Glenn Close presents the best foreign film award looking, as one of our revelers puts it, "Summa Cum Laude Dracula."

6:59: Dracula wins for best makeup. When the woman on the team steps up to the mike to accept, the band cuts her off. Hmmm.

7:03: Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford in the same commercial. Guys in sports bars across America are very pleased about this Year of the Wimmen.

7:12: Sarah Jessica Parker has color-coded her outfit and hair to match the oddly chintzy "Star Trek"-style backdrop. "That's the same color as the basement furniture of my childhood," says one thirtysomething party-goer, waxing nostalgic.

7:26: Sharon Stone is doing her sinister-Grace-Kelly thing and performing single entendres on the word "backbone."

7:28: Sorry, Robbins and Sarandon. The Sacheen Littlefeather Award is going to Richard Gere's hand-flinging anti-China diatribe.

7:32: "Howards End" wins for best art direction. After one of the male winners finishes his acceptance speech, the orchestra jumps in just as his female cohort is stepping up to the podium to get her two bits in. Our resident feminists are getting suspicious about the transparent sexism.

7:35: Crawford does her homage to "Scent of a Woman," a Charlie commercial, along with Little Richard, the Jaye Davidson of his day.

7:52: A super-skinny Crawford look-alike wriggles through a Lee jeans commercial. "It's the year of the water pill!"

8:10: Federico Fellini is angling for a job as Ross Perot's running mate.

8:23: Dustin Hoffman is singing the praises of women, and not for the first time. Please God, we all beg, not the "Tootsie" speech!

9:13: Al Pacino wins. Most of us figure Denzel Washington's performance deserved it more but no one is complaining. This is a career achievement award most years, right?

9:17: A retro-coiffed Jane Fonda introduces a clip. "Barbarella!" everyone shouts in pleased unanimous recognition.

9:21: Barbra Streisand presents the best director award, even though by tradition the duty should fall to last year's winner, Jonathan Demme--banned for life for stammering, perhaps? Eastwood wins, of course, which means there won't be any long-winded, over-exhuberant director's speech this year. "Unforgiven"--it was like buttah!

Wait a minute. Let's show some real solidarity with Streisand here. OK. Penny Marshall . . . you wuz robbed!

9:28: Amazingly, the film that everyone at our party agrees was legitimately the best picture of the year actually wins the best picture Oscar. It's a bittersweet victory. Who can dish good taste? The claws retract till next year.

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