And the winner is...
...Hope Putnam! All of 4 1/2 years old. She — with perhaps a hand from Dad, Mike — won our annual Oscar pool with 16 of the 21 categories correct. (We ignore the short subjects.) I came in second with 15, Brenda got 14, Tommy and Patricia 13, etc. etc., on down to Tim with 3. He picks with his heart.
It was a nice night. About 25 people, a lot of kids running around, a lot of crushed crackers on the floor afterwards. Wine, beer, bruschetta. At one point Rico threatened me but you know how architects are. I suppose I shouldn't have made his wife, Jolie, stricken with laryngitis, repeat herself unnecessarily but it seemed funny at the time. Now, too. It was great seeing Sullivan healthy and looking great. Mr. B kept score, as always. Tommy showed up in a porkpie hat, which not many people can pull off but Tommy can. Jeff S. remained pretty funny for a tall guy. His riff on the hot chicks (this year, Jessica Alba) always presenting the sci-tech awards was spot-on.
Our consensus — and despite Alessandra Stanley's opinion — was that Jon Stewart did a helluva job. He was funny, loose, stayed on message (movies, movies, movies...with some politics) and brought back the Once chick to complete her acceptance speech. That brought the house down. Our house anyway.
Looking over the list of acting winners it's all western Europe: Spain, France and two Britains. Loved all the French and Spanish — along with Jon Stewart's translation of the latter. Happy with all the choices. The movie that should've won, won. The actor that should've won, won. Wish the Coens could've gotten past their Minnesota upbringing and reveled in their moment of triumph a bit more. Or at all. Somewhere between them and Roberto Benigni lies a happy medium. Happy to see MN girl Diablo Cody win for best original screenplay and loved her shout-out to the other writers.
The women at the party loved themselves some Javier Bardem, the men loved themselves some Cameron Diaz. Everyone agreed that Helen Mirren looked stunning and sexy.
All in all, a fun night. Thanks, everyone. Let's do it again next year.