Going for gold
Hollywood has been showing some love to its favourite sons and daughters.
Every year the media gets very excited about a little ceremony in Los Angeles where a handful of people get a lump of metal and get to revel in a spotlight under the watchful eye of billions. Yes, the Oscars buzz is quietening down to little more than a hum and the frocks and speeches have been dissected. Having seen only two of the Oscar-nominated movies I don't really feel in any position to comment on whether anybody was robbed in particular. I've not seen much of the Oscars coverage, and while I usually like all the over-emotive fawning which goes on, I don't think I've missed much this year. Helen Mirren predictably walked off with the Oscar for her role in The Queen as, er, the Queen. It seems that you get an Oscar these days for wearing a bit of make-up or a dodgy wig, because the greatness of Mirren's performance passed me by as I sat through the two hours of torture-by-digestive-biscuit that was The Queen. I really like our Helen and I suppose in this dullfest she shone a little but she was still utterly unbelievable as the biggest mother of them all. Like Charlize Theron (went fat), Nicole Kidman (wore a big nose) and Hilary Swank (taped her boobs down) before her, Helen won that Oscar for looking a bit ugly, in her case wearing a hideous wig and portraying someone who comes over as a droid in Jaeger. Judi Dench was way better in Notes of a Scandal but HEY. What I did love about Mirren winning was the way she held her Oscar aloft as she said the words 'the Queen' knowing full well that that would be the picture which took every front page and internet coverage. You could almost see the Getty images logo flash up as she did it. Way to go, Helen; I hope you get a cut of the money that image will earn.
Boohoo of the night was Jennifer Hudson, then former reality TV contestant who showed Beyoncé up for the plank of polystyrene that she is by stealing a movie and having very big lungs or something in Dreamgirls. As Hudson tearfully accepted her statuette, La Knowles beamed a rictus grin and wished she'd fattened up and played Effie instead of Deena. Tough break, B.
The small amount of BBC coverage I caught before leaving the house was more than enough. For some reason, Auntie had asked Kate Silverton to go and report on all the frocks. Kate, who is to reporting what M&S is to high couture, jumped up and down excitedly on the red carpet after possibly one merlot too many and burbled back to the camera as bona fide A-listers sailed past her. Clearly Kate has been pretending all these years to be interested in current affairs. Her inner Heat reader came bounding to the fore at the sight of so many people; I half expected her to do a celebratory streak when she finally bagged an interview with Helen Mirren. The looks on the faces of the anchors back in the UK, as Kate handed back to them after asking The Departed's producer Graham King if she could hold his Oscar, said it all. They looked almost relieved to be reporting on serious matters like train crashes and interest rates.