Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Magic of the Oscars

A cruel mistake goes down in the last lap of the 2017 Oscars. Having been set up by fate to look like a doddering feeb, Warren Beatty gives the Oscar for best picture to “La La Land” when it should've gone to “Moonlight.” After a headless chicken dance worthy of Benny Hill, officials pluck the Oscar from Damien Chazelle (“La La Land” director) and deliver it to Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight” director). Every African-American in the audience is happy. Every Euro-American pretends to be happy. With the exception of poor, damn Warren Beatty, who simply looks confused.

OK, that’s the set-up. 

Let the wild rumpus begin.


Jenkins holds up the gelded, anthropomorphic, gold statuette. His face beams with dazed rapture and surprise. Then he finally speaks.

Jenkins: Wow. I must be dreaming ...

Quick cut of Jenkins, standing on the stage, Oscar in hand. Totally nude in front of the whole auditorium and millions of TV viewers. Behind the stage, there's a gigantic blackboard emblazoned with an arcane equation. Jenkins' sneering high school algebra professor appears and loudly proclaims that the clock is already ticking on his final exam. He hopes that Jenkins is sufficiently prepared. "A failure in my course = a failure in your life. Are you familiar with that equation?" The audience howls with laughter.

Back to reality —

Jenkins: Very clearly, even in my dreams, this could not be true. 

Behind him, Warren Beatty mumbles.

Beatty: It wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t my fault, it wasn't ...

Shirley MacClaine slaps him. 

MacClaine: Stop it! You’re starting to sound like Casey Afleck.

Jenkins: But to hell with dreams, I’m done with it, ‘cause t...

Sudden commotion backstage. A bald-headed man in a tux runs up to the microphone. 

Bald Guy: I’m sorry, really sorry. There’s been a mistake. 

Groan from audience

Bald Guy: Another mistake. 

Ricky Gervais: (OS) Right. Pull the other one.

Bald Guy: I’m not joking. I’m really, really not joking. 

More groans.

Bald Guy: No, seriously. Price Waterhouse. They’re just so cheap. The damn printer keeps ... 

Beatty: (OS) See? It wasn’t my fault.

Bald Guy: Anyway, uh, the Academy Award for Best Picture is actually supposed to go to ...

Opens envelope. Removes the card with the winner’s name. Studies it a long time. Squints. 

Ghost of Jackie Gleason: (OS) Will you get on with it?

And he finally says --

Bald Guy: “Manchester By the Sea.” 

Groans, screams, Bronx cheers and catcalls.

Bald Guy: No, seriously. Is Kenneth Lonergan ... is he the guy?

Cutaway to Lonergan, who’s had a massive heart attack in his chair.

Bald Guy: He’s the director. I’m supposed to give him the Oscar, right? 

Cutaways to various shouting audience members.

Jack Nicholson: No dumbass. Directors get the best director award. This is the best picture award. That means you hand the little gold hood ornament to the producer. 

Bald Guy: I have no idea who ...

Spike Lee: The movie has five producers man.

Matt Damon stands up.

Damon: I’ll take it.

Bald Guy: You got it. 

Audience screams -- and bombards Damon with sacks of candy.
Damon: Ow. Stop it!

Angry shouts continue. (OS) A fight going on that we can't see.  

Ben Affleck: (OS) How come he gets the Oscar?

Bald Guy: The clock is ticking, OK? I have to give it to somebody.

Affleck: (OS) That’s an envelope, Doofus.

Looks at right hand. Drops envelope in terror. Starts patting his chest, digging his hands in his pockets.
Bald Guy: But I don’t have ...

The Bald Guy desperately looks around. 

Bald Guy: Who has the Oscar ... somebody? Please raise your hand. I’m supposed to ... 

He spots Jenkins. Still holding the Oscar.

Bald Guy: You! The black guy!

Runs up to Jenkins.

Bald Guy: Sorry, Mr. Uh ..

Smiles sheepishly.

Bald Guy: I don’t know your name. But ...

Jenkins drops the Oscar on the floor. 

Jenkins: To hell with this noise.

He walks off stage.

To be continued ...

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