The most shocking moment of Sunday night's Oscar ceremony came early in the evening, long before Three 6 Mafia or Crash scored their twin victories for mediocrity. An hour or so after losing the night's first award to George Clooney, Jake Gyllenhaal trotted out on stage to ostensibly announce one of the night's many disposable montages. "They're called epics," he near-monotoned. "Extravaganzas. Spectacles." With that last one, Jake's voice took an unexpected up-turn. He went on to list a few (oddly amalgamated for mass cross-generational appeal) examples of the genre in question – "West Side Story. Star Wars. Ben-Hur." – before delivering the kicker: "You can't properly watch these on a television set, and good luck trying to enjoy them on a portable DVD." Gyllenhaal punctuated that embarrassingly over-scripted slice of Academy propaganda with a desperate, self-referential giggle – a composure break that lasted long enough for an insert shot of Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams, Gyllenhaal's Brokeback Mountain co-stars, just two members of what sounded like a large chunk of the audience laughing along with him. It was rather amazing, a pure, bumbling moment of transparency that neatly struck down whatever was left of Sid Gannis' sad house of cards. The new takeaway for the evening: If Hollywood can't take its own last-ditch propaganda seriously, how can we?
categories Features, Movies, Cinematical