February 29, 2004

Oscar day in Hollywood

Want to know what the Academy Awards show means to me? It means Sunset Boulevard was a parking lot this morning when I left the house heading to the farmerís market. I had to duck down side streets and even those were jammed. It means cops were out in force, traffic cones everywhere.

It means when I walked from the farmerís market with my cart full of produce, I passed not one but three tow trucks on the block between Ivar and Vine. Is the Kodak theater there? Not at all, itís a good dozen blocks away at Highland. But apparently on Oscar day, you canít park on Sunset. Period. End of story. Die if you try. Or at least pay big bucks to get your car out of hock.

Oscar Day also means periodic sweeps of helicopters overhead, strafing the neighborhood with their sudden bursts of sound. An odd sort of war zone. A war of images and glamour. And it means traffic through West Hollywood in the early evening is like a weekday rush hour, which makes no sense (we were a few miles from Ground Zero there) until you pass a restaurant on a side street with a white tent engulfing its front patio and a limo out front Ė and absolute gridlock down that narrow street. Oscar parties. Ah yes. Glitz, smiles, and the constant lightning strikes of camera flashbulbs. We turned onto a residential street for the rest of our journey, bypassing the official party trail.

On a different note, Oscar night means walking into a restaurant thatís normally a minimum of a half hour wait for tables and being seated Ė immediately? Oscar night means no traffic at all heading home. Everyoneís at their viewing parties, the after parties have yet to begin. The town is ghostly, everyone glued to the flickering light of their TV screens, jeering and shouting and quipping and clapping. Except for the few hundred in the theater up there on Hollywood Boulevard, a mere mile from here.

Know how Iíll know what time the show ends? When the copters come back overhead. Right now they're still quiet.

Oh, the awards themselves? I think Tim Robbins totally deserved the best supporting actor award. His performance was perfectly pitched. In a role that could have easily been histrionic and horrid, he was raw yet understated and wasnít afraid to let himself be both pathetic and frightening. Wonderful, wonderful acting. Sean Penn, on the other hand, was too one note in this. I guess his award was cumulative, though, and I can get behind that. Havenít seen the other Oscar bait movies yet. Will comment after I do.

Also? Did any of you TiVO the show? I forgot to set it up beforehand; weíre missing the first half hour including Billy Crystalís opening monologue. Iím not happy. If anyone can send me a tape, Iíd love you forever.

Posted by Tamar at February 29, 2004 09:08 PM

Well, we've got it TiVo'd...but no videotape machine! I'll ask Darin if there's some way we can get it to you.

Posted by: Diane Patterson at February 29, 2004 09:41 PM