1. Johnny Cash's Faith Censored
"Walk the Line," the Johnny Cash biopic that landed Reese Witherspoon a Best Actress
trophy, curiously left out a gigantic aspect of the legendary singer's life, that being Cash's Christian faith.
himself actually claimed that it was his faith that saved his life. He even took the stage at many of Rev. Billy Graham's
Although the flick did show Cash auditioning by playing a gospel song for Sam Phillips
at Sun Records, even here it omitted a momentous detail.
Cash split from Sun Records in the 1950s because he was not allowed to record a
Also left out of the film was the dramatic moment when Cash entered a cave in Tennessee
to die because of his drug addiction. According to the singer's autobiography, God stopped him from killing himself.
The Left Coast Report points out that an Oscar can go to a song about a pimp but
a faith scene cannot be tolerated.
2. Alec Baldwin's Guide to Divorce http://view.e.newsmax.com/?ffcb10-fe9c10717563047d72-fdfd15737160037974107271-ff2c1d70746d
Alec Baldwin, who recently blogged that the vice president is a terrorist, liar
and thief, is writing a book on a subject he arguably has some expertise on.
After the actor's much publicized court battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger, Baldwin
apparently feels qualified to write a legal guide to child custody.
According to the publishing company St. Martin, Baldwin "will reveal the unimaginable
pressures involved in fighting a high-conflict custody battle while continuing to function as a busy actor and public advocate.
Baldwin hopes the book will create opportunities for healing, and inspire both public debate and changes in antiquated divorce
Baldwin says that his book is not necessarily a memoir but "a survey of family
law in this country from a legal and political stand point."
If the book is successful, Baldwin plans to conduct "divorce seminars" for parents
who are calling it quits.
The Left Coast Report says Baldwin may be on to something since there's sure to
be a market for his seminars in La La land.
3. Mainstream Critics Attack Academy Over 'Brokeback'
The same film critics who shoved "Brokeback Mountain" down the throats of American
filmgoers have launched an attack on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for failing to toe the line and give
the gay cowboy film the Best Picture trophy.
The expectation was that "Brokeback" was a shoe-in for Best Pic but, after sweeping
the major categories in the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, would also get the lion's share of the other Oscars.
Jack Nicholson's eyebrows shot up even higher than normal as he announced "Crash's"
upset victory over "Brokeback Mountain."
The Washington Post's Tom Shales wondered whether "film buffs and the politically
minded will be arguing about whether the Best Picture Oscar to 'Crash' was really for the film's merit or just a cop-out by
the Motion Picture Academy so it wouldn't have to give the prize to 'Brokeback Mountain.'"
The Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan observed that "despite all the magazine covers
it graced, despite all the red-state theatres it made good money in, despite (or maybe because of) all the jokes late-night
talk show hosts made about it, you could not take the pulse of the industry without realizing that 'Brokeback Mountain' made
a number of people distinctly uncomfortable."
But the Left Coast Report thinks the New York Post's Lou Limenick is the one who
got it right. He wrote, "Some may blame homophobia among the aging males who dominate the motion-picture academy's voters,
but it is more likely 'Brokeback Mountain' suffered one of the great upsets in Oscar history because of sheer boredom."
4. Spike Lee Disses Condoleezza Rice http://view.e.newsmax.com/?ffcb10-fe9c10717563047d72-fdfd15737160037974107271-ff2c1d70746d
Spike Lee has decided to seek publicity by attacking the most prominent African-American
in government, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
In an upcoming issue of Stuff magazine, the overrated director sneers, "I dislike
Condoleezza Rice more than [President] Bush. The thing about it is that she's gotten a free ride from black people.
"People say, 'She's so successful' and 'Look at her position as a black woman.'
She is a black woman who grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and said that she never experienced a day of racism in her life," Lee
Lee then admonishes Dr. Rice with the dopey comment, "Condi, stop smoking that
He also hits her with a Katrina whack, saying, "I know you love your Ferragamo
shoes, but come on. While people were drowning in New Orleans, she was going up and down Madison Ave. buying Ferragamo shoes.
Then she went to see 'Spamalot.'"
The Left Coast Report notes that people were starving in Africa while Lee was out
5. Oscar Wrap-up
Remember when Hollywood had mystique and glamour and was the wellspring of entertainment?
That now seems a relic of another era.
In its place sits a town where self-absorption has taken a lead role and superficial
social messages predominate.
When it wasn't embarrassing, the 78th Annual Academy Awards show was generally
Host Jon Stewart was probably a bit surprised at the tepid response to his jokes,
especially the one where he quipped about the awards show being a "place where you can watch all your favorite stars without
having to donate any money to the Democratic Party."
Stewart also admonished would-be film down-loaders to think
about the "women here who could barely afford enough gown to cover their breasts."
Many of the stars seemed incapable of laughing at themselves. But when Stewart
let loose with a joke that was at the expense of Vice President Dick Cheney, the guffaws flowed freely.
"I do have some sad news to report," Stewart said. "Bjork could not be here. She
was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her."
Stewart got moderate chuckles when he took a shot at the news media. He praised
"Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Capote," describing them as films about journalism's "relentless pursuit of the truth," adding,
"needless to say, both are period pieces."
The big laughs returned, though, with a reference to the war in Iraq. Evoking the
memory of the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein, Stewart pointed to a giant Oscar image and said, "Do you think if
we all got together and pulled this down, democracy would flourish in Hollywood?"
George Clooney won the first statuette for Best Supporting Actor for "Syriana,"
letting the world know that he was "proud to be part of this Academy, proud to be part of this community, proud to be out
Clooney claimed that Hollywood talked about social issues before anyone else. "We
are the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just a gay disease," he said.
As expected, Phillip Seymour Hoffman won the Best Actor award for his portrayal
of the gay central character in "Capote."
Rachel Weitz maintained the political pattern. She won a Best Supporting Actor
Oscar for playing a social activist in "The Constant Gardener."
It seems that a bit of "Brokeback" backlash may have created the surprise winner
for Best Picture. After endless buzz about "Brokeback Mountain's" courage and brilliance and after it won virtually all
of the pre-Oscar awards, "Crash" scored an upset win over the gay cowboy flick.
A few other observations:
The most bizarre comedy bit: Ben Stiller came on stage wearing a John Kerry sanitary
The bright spot: "March of the Penguins" won for Best Documentary.
The most deserving award: Reese Witherspoon took the Best Actress award for "Walk
The most ironic award: "Brokeback Mountain" won for Best Score.
How utterly appropriate this year that an Oscar was awarded for a hip-hop song
about the difficulties experienced by a pimp.
The Left Coast Report observes that no one remembered to send a Hollywood shout-out
to the troops, whose starring roles outshine all of Oscar's gold.