HELEN MOORHOUSE VOICEOVER ARTIST / AUTHOR
Poor Jermaine Clement. Who was he to root for? 'Rio', in which he voiced the character of Nigel, or its chief and only competitor in the Best Original Song category. The other nominee was, of course, Bret McKenzie who also happens to be the other half of Flight of the Conchords, comedy duo beloved of millions, New Zealand heroes embraced by America.
Who cares? McKenzie won, deservedly so. His enormous song writing talent had my three year old belting out 'Man or Muppet' after one listen. But we're not here to talk about the good news stories.
We're here to talk about the leg. You know the one. Everyone's talking about it. That milky white, bony protuberance appearing from the folds of Angelina Jolie's dress at a carefully maintained right angle. I defy anyone not to shudder at the memory. Or eliminate the image from their minds before long.
Who told her it was a good idea? Who came up with the unnatural pose, for heaven's sakes? She looked like something from Skeletor's Readers' Wives magazine. In fact, she looked like what Skeletor might dress up as at Halloween to scare the neighbourhood children. On the red carpet, doing her presenting duties, probably in the queue for the toilets – she stood there with a pair of mortuary curtains slashed to the thigh and a ghost's leg thrust out of it like it was somehow sexy. Did Brad find it sexy? Probably. These days he looks like she's crushing something and putting it in his food and he's struggling to merely stay conscious. In fact he just stared at her lustfully throughout (although I fear he does that because she commands him to), thinking about how she's still a 'bad girl'. Oh dear, I just did a little sick in my mouth at the thought.
At least Streep looked good. Too good, for my liking. At 62 she's flawless – her skin the same milky perfection as it was in The Deer Hunter, her eyes still glinting and clear. She must just sleep for months between movies and drink water. Either that or she's some sort of Drama Vampire - a Drampire - and she feasts on the talent of young actors, feeding her own by doing so.
Her modesty sometimes makes me wonder too. As she sat in the audience being praised by Colin Firth (imagine being able to say that, ladies!), her face went through such an alarming range of humble expressions that as I watched the gurning, the frowning, the 'oh you-ing' I thought for a moment that I was staring into the inner workings of a very humble clock. Then the tears in the speech, the perfect mixture of joy and gratitude and I-told-you-so-ness....
Here's what I think. I think Streep paces her home in Hollywood alternating between delivering lines from all her movies in different ways, constantly trying to improve; (“The lady's NOT for turning”; “I HED a farrrrm in Efffreeeka”; “A dingo ate my baby?”) and beating her chest shouting “I am the greatest!” while doing those scissor jumps that she did in Mamma Mia. Then sleeping soundly for very long periods of time and waking up dewy skinned before going off to snack on Vanessa Hudgens and make another shedload of movies, stopping off on the way home to pick up another armload of awards. Oh yes. Streep. She's good alright. Too good.....
And so they're over for another year, the damp squib that was the 84th Oscars. Some moments verged on boring, some snippets were just embarrassing. (Christy Brown was a drunk and had only one foot anyone?) while others were downright squirm-in-your-seat uncomfortable. Like that Sandra Bullock Chinese\German bit. Or Billy Crystal's opening number. In fact, any of the bits with Billy Crystal in. Like the ill-judged, borderline racist comments throughout. And his general odd appearance. It's good to know that if they ever do a remake of The Princess Bride he can play Miracle Max again but this time without the makeup.
Of course there were some great moments too - the expression of sheer maternal pride and hope Jessica Chastain's mum's face as she held her daughter's hand and waited for the Best Supporting Actress to be announced. Christopher Plummer finally getting to embrace his golden statue after a career that most actors will only dream about. Gwyneth Paltrow's dress...
But I think it will be remembered as the year of the Leg, unfortunately. And of the Dog. And I just hope that Jolie put the limb away after a while because I don't know how long Uggie could have held himself back from making off round the back with it and burying it in a hole for later.