Our M.O. is to tape these programs, then go back and fast forward through commercials and boring stuff. I went through the Grammys in about 20 minutes—a lot of really shitty music, the one exception being Mavis Staples and crew doing "The Weight," a tribute to Levon Helm. They were channeling the band fer shure.
Well, the Academies sort of blew my socks off last night. We skipped all commercials, almost all the speeches, Barbra Streisand, and what remained was surprisingly good. Hollywood's finally got it together. MC Seth MacFarlane was a great choice—smart, witty, composed, funny (at times edgy), great timing—good move to get beyond Billy Crystal.
The whole production was bold, flashy, and professional. A brilliant film collage of the music from James Bond films. Halle Berry wore a stunning dress; Jamie Fox had a great outfit. "Amour" director Michael Haneke gave a really nice speech. A great musical number, "All That Jazz," by Catherine Zeta-Jones with a reunion of the cast of Chicago. My old pal Richard Zanuck, who died last year, was shown saying: "The most important thing is the story. Not the script, but the story."
When the time came for best picture, out came Jack Nicholson, and you can never tell what this crazy guy is going to do, and lo and behold he introduced——Michelle Obama. Huh?
Here she was, broadcasting from DC and looking radiant. Just beautiful. She announced the best movie. Holy Cow!