Al Gore Wins! And This Time Gets To Keep the Prize

| Mon Feb. 26, 2007 12:22 AM EST

Okay, so I get that awards shows are going political. First the Dixie Chicks run the table for standing up to Bush, then tonight's Al Gore show at the Oscars.

To sum up:

-Leonardo DiCaprio with Al early on, together they announce that the Oscars has gone totally green, carbon neutral, pats on the back all around.

-Leo then turns to Al in appreciation, asks him if he doesn't have any sort of announcement to share with his international audience. Gore pulls out a paper and starts to lead into an "I've decided to..." when the Oscar score interrupts him, all part of the script.

-Melissa Etheridge wins for best song ("I Need to Wake Up") for Inconvenient Truth, thanks her wife, tells us how it's not about Democrats and Republicans, red and blue, that we are all green and says what a hero Gore is.

-Minutes later Inconvenient Truth wins for best documentary and the director thanks Gore for (and I am paraphrasing here, didn't have the reporters notebook handy) "letting us do this film 30 years in the making." Gore grabs the statue, feels quite at home on the Hollywood stage and uses his time wisely, tells America that its not too late, that we can change the course of our planet's future, but not without action from a passive administration. Something like that.

So, like I said, I get that Hollywood likes to reach out and grab their courageous ones by the tie, or in last year's case by the cowboy hat, but then they have to go all soft and give The Departed the best motion picture nod? (They had already given the oft-snubbed Scorsese the Best Director win, so that's not an excuse.) I may be in the minority here but in my opinion Little Miss Sunshine and Babel (the only other two I saw) both ran circles around the mob film propped up by a ridiculously-flush cast. Maybe it was Alec Baldwin's line about unwarranted wiretapping that grabbed the academy? When his police team is listening in on a deal going down he squeals, "The Patriot Act! I love it, I love the Patriot Act!"

Yeah, probably not.

I know these award shows matter little, and it's Hollywood so what do I expect, but it irks me that they take a serious tone, responsible tone, all political and progressive by theme, and then throw it all down the Charles River before the night is through.

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