So Totally NOT the Oscars [ 2005-02-28, 5:05 p.m. ]

Welcome to Not The Oscars, a highly prestigous event in which I get to talk about what I liked, loved and hated in 2004 movies. In case you were wondering, I am wearing a stunning Prouenza Schouler gown w/a little bolero coat and pretty shoes. My hair is good and my accessories are both elegant and funky. I own the red carpet. Shut up, I totally do. And no, I am not in sweat pants and mismatched fuzzy socks. I am lithe and flawless, a modern Audrey Hepburn. Trust me. And enjoy the show!

First up is our host, Mark Ruffalo. Mark Ruffalo will not be giving a monologue. Or announcing winners or presenting awards or making jokes. Or wear a tuxedo. As part of his hosting duties, I have asked Mark Ruffalo to come to my house and cook dinner for me and wear the chunky glasses from "Eternal Sunshine..." Mark Ruffalo is also responsible for discovering and/or creating an alternate universe in which I am not married and neither is he and also I do not have the Backfat, and he and I can make out all the time. As you can see, hosting duties are rigourous and I did not feel comfortable entrusting Not The Oscars to just anyone. But I am confident that you will find Mark Ruffalo to be a gracious and engaging host who may or may not leave his shirt on the whole time.

While Mark Ruffalo fixes me a martini with three olives and then tells me that no, my hair is not growing out awkwardly, let me present the first, um...award. How Did She Get Her Body To Look So Damn Good. Our nominees are: Hillary Swank in "Million Dollar Baby", Natalie Portman in the strip club scene in "Closer", Gwyneth Paltrow in The Time I Watched Conan O'Brien And She Was On, Uma Thurman when she kicks BIG TIME ASS in the "Kill Bills", and Salma Hayak's boobs. Oh, and also Julie Delpy in "Before Sunset" because that is the greatest movie ever and I want to have coffee with Julie Delpy and talk and talk and say, Girl, tell me ALL about it (even though I know Julie Delpy is not actually Celine), and tell her that I love her hair and that she is sexy and ask if Ethan ever spilled any dirt about Uma.

And the winner is...Uma Thurman! When Julie Delpy and I have our coffee, I will ask if maybe she could call Ethan and find out How Uma Got Her Body To Look Like That, because DAMN she looks good, and I did not expect to like the Kill Bill movies but she won me over big time, and I loved, loved, loved both of them. I think I liked the second one more, because it had more heart, but I loved them and I thought Uma was brilliant and gorgeous and tough and really had no vanity at all and when she sees her daughter at the end of KBII, she breaks my heart because you can just tell that Uma is a mother and that maternal energy came out and she was so good and so strong and HOW LONG ARE HER DAMN LEGS ANYWAY? Congratulations Uma! Mark Ruffalo and I offer you our best wishes! We (at least I) saw Ethan Hawke at a bar one time and I'm pretty sure he weighs less than me, which is a no-no in my book, so I automatically sided with you in the split.

The next category is Movies That I Didn't Really Like But Watched Because Mark Ruffalo Was In Them. The nominees for best of MTIDRLBWBMRWIT are: We Don't Live Here Anymore, In The Cut, 13 Going on Thirty, and Collateral (although, to be fair, I liked Collateral pretty well and had no idea Mark Ruffalo was in it. But you can't have a category with only 3 movies). This was a hard decision to make, because Mark Ruffalo takes his clothes off in both "We Don't Live Here Anymore" and "In The Cut." The latter was a piece of shit movie, but it did not make me have a fight with my husband about our relationship and the level of our emotional intimacy, which "We Don't Live Here Anymore" kind of did. However, in "WDLHA" Mark Ruffalo has babies and goes running and is not a creepy slimy cop, unlike the awful "In The Cut". And "13 Going on Thirty"...well, do I really need to say anything about it? Hmmm. I think that means I have to give the award to "Collateral" because I actually liked the movie, even though Mark Ruffalo dies in it. Congrats "Collateral!" And speaking of Mark Ruffalo, he is doing an excellent job of hosting, I think. Right now he is wearing a rumpled t-shirt and mumbling, which is my most favorite thing for Mark Ruffalo to do because he is very, very sexy when he wears rumpled t-shirts and mumbles (see, "You Can Count On Me, "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" and even the craptastic "13 Going on Thirty").

Why Can't Every Movie Be Like This Movie is the next category, and the nominees are: "Before Sunset", "Before Sunset," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "Before Sunset" and "Wonder Boys." I know "Wonder Boys" was not out this year, and in fact was out many, many years ago, but I love it so, and I have a HUGE crush of Robert Downey Jr. (so much so that I even love the Elton John video and song, "I Want Love," because yes, it's actually a good song, but the entire video is RDJ walking around looking tortured, and in case you have not picked up on it yet, me likes the tortured men with the dark hair and rumpled t-shirts. Rescue fantasies, blah blah blah...). "Wonder Boys" also has an awesome soundtrack and the best performace EVER by Michael Douglas, AND it has the glorious Frances MacDormand and Tobey Maguire (tortured dark-haired actor-in-training) and it's funny and warm and makes me want to go to the library. Whatever that means. But, "Before Sunset" was nominated three times, which makes it hard to beat. And let's not forget "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", which broke my heart and has Beck on the soundtrack and has Kate Winslet in one of the greatest performances ever. This is a tough category. Mark Ruffalo and I are going to go talk about it in the shower...

And the winner is "Before Sunset"! The competition was tough, but Mark Ruffalo did not think it was fair that a movie he was in should win, even though it was so, so, SO good, and even though he danced in his underwear in it. But also, Mark Ruffalo agrees with me that sometimes action is overrated and a movie existing soley of two people talking is such a good idea! Mark Ruffalo thinks relationships are fascniating and wants to come over on a rainy day and watch "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" back to back with me, and we both think that "Before Sunset" was just perfect. We thought Julie Delpy's apartment deserved an award of it's own, for Most Realistic Living Space Ever Created For A Character, and really the only other competitors in that category are apartments in Woody Allen movies. But "Before Sunset" was exactly the kind of movie I adore because it seemed very real and I felt a little uncomfortable in parts because it was like I was eavesdropping and there was chemistry and I love Julie Delpy and I think she is brilliant and so is Celine, who knew exactly what she was doing.

Mark Ruffalo makes a good martini. And the next category is Movies In Which I Totally Fell Asleep. The nominees are "Ray" (TOTALLY fell asleep), "The Manchurian Candidate" (totally fell asleep but at least the sleep put me out of the misery that was this film", "The Incredibles" (fell asleep, which pissed me off because I really wanted to see it and the bits I saw were so, so good), "Van Helsing" (appallingly bad), and pretty much anything movie we watched at home on a Friday night. I do that. All the time. And then I wake up cranky and pissy and I am hateful that I have to wake up in order to wash my face and brush my teeth and then go to bed proper. The winner is "The Incredibles" by a landslide because it was GOOD and the others were BAD, and I need to re-rent it and watch the rest of it.

The next-to-last category is Gah, Just Go Away Already, and there is just one nominee although some others were nearly included ("Findhing Neverland", Kirsten Dunst, Shrek, the fact that I just saw a billboard for "Miss Congeniality 2"...) The winner is "Ray", because GAH, just go away already. I cannot believe it was nominated for all those other awards because it was the most boring movie I have seen in a long time and while Jamie Foxx did an excellent job, Regina King did a better one and also, impersonating and acting are not the same thing and I cannot forgive anyone for taking any awards out from under Paul Giamatti (unless it was Mark Ruffalo), and so while I think Jamie Foxx is great, Gah, just go away already. Plus, you were better in Collateral. Heroin, cheating, music, blah blah blah. Good movie maybe, but did it make my heart flip-flop? No. Did it make me want to have sex with Clive Owen? No. Was either Gwyneth or Hillary Swank in it, and if so, were they pretty? No and no. So Gah, etc...

And now it's time for our final award! Your host Mark Ruffalo thanks you for being here with us, and is going to feed me some cheesecake now. Also, he said I look best when I am wearing sweatpants and no makeup. I love Mark Ruffalo. But the awards! This is the biggest award of the evening (er, post?) and it's called The Greatest Thing I Saw On Screen Last Year. The nominees are: Mark Ruffalo getting high and dancing with Kirsten Dunst in Eternal Sunshine; Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in almost every scene of Eternal Sunshine; The last scene of "Before Sunset"; Julia Roberts and Clive Owen breaking up in "Closer"; the naked guy chasing after the car in "Sideways", Virginia Madsen's monologue in "Sideways", all the wine and food in "Sideways"; Vince Vaughn in "Anchorman" because I love him and am always happy to see Vince Vaughn. Mark Ruffalo and I give you a drumroll...

And the winner! Is the last scene in "Before Sunset"! It is the greatest thing EVER and I fell in love with Julie Delpy when she did her Nina Simone for Ethan Hawke, and it was perfect, perfect, perfect. She went from cute to sexy in about .3 seconds and you totally saw Ethan Hawke's heart break and you saw him give up or give in and "Baby, you are gonna miss that plane," is the greatest last line of a movie EVER! EVER!!!

Sigh. Mark Ruffalo and I are going to watch "Before Sunset" on InDemand and order some Thai food. We will see you next year!

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