Niagara Gazette

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March 2, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Oscars not an awarding experience

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Movie Buffs — We hadn’t visited Planet Oscar since the year its inhabitants awarded “American Beauty” their best-of-show. If Oscarites cherished something that vile, we wanted no part of their world.

Having no movie house over here, we’ll occasionally visit the Mainland for the likes of “Blame It on Winn-Dixie” or, in 2012, “Life of Pi” at the right price at the Four Seasons or, recently, “Quartet” out in Clarence. For the most part, though, we sigh at most movie ads: “Looks like we’ll miss that one.”

But when our grandson’s Cub Scout Arrow of Light ceremony fell on the same weekend as Planet Oscar’s fly-by, and the Costly Daughter proposed a mini-party, we surrendered. Some observations:

• For professional entertainers, they sure have “dull” down to a science. Grumpy old William Shatner’s futuristic revelations to “host” Seth McFarlane seemed like tedium at the time, but the worst was yet to come ...

• Only on planet Oscar would they deem a song about insufficiently clad women uplifting, then unveil it well before bedtime, prompting the Costly Daughter to predict that the recent Cub Scout honoree would soon be Googling a four-letter palindrome. (From elsewhere in the room: “Surely he knows.”)

• How can any roll call of stars who died in the past year not include Andy Griffith? While Mayberry existed almost solely on TV, the sheriff had a fine film career including the caustic downer “A Face in the Crowd,” just the ticket for today’s Planet Oscar mindsets.

• While it seemed an achievement to have the orchestra orbit several blocks away, this no doubt caused the dreadful sound balance in which many singers could barely be heard over the music. But, with her own orchestra, neither could Adele.

• On the other hand (no pun intended) Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” at 76 redefines “Golden Ager,” although we don’t recall her British Isle intonation when first we heard it in 1964.

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