When Sally met Joanie, and other Oscars foolishness


Gump, Gump, Gump, Gump, Gump. Were we shocked at the big winner at the Academy Awards Monday night? Of course not.

The guests weren't very surprising, either. Nearly everyone was well-behaved. Some of the stars even combed their hair this year. For once, the presentation patter was slightly less than awful. Were there no highlights or disasters?

Of course there were. Maybe you're still annoyed at some of the choices made at the Oscar ceremonies, but you can be assured that these unofficial awards are well-deserved:

Most optimistic joke: "We should all be home in about half an hour." -- David Letterman in his monologue introducing the 3 1/2 -hour show.

Biggest pre-game gaffe: E! correspondent Joan Rivers asking Anthony Hopkins, who came with his mother: "Is that your wife?"

Best pre-game recovery: "Sally Field is walking past . . . No -- she likes me, she really likes me!" -- Joan Rivers, when Sally Field stopped to talk with her.

Most modest: Hugh Grant, dapper star of best-picture-nominated "Four Weddings and a Funeral," who said before the ceremonies: "I always thought it was a good script, but I was confident I could screw it up."

Most dour presenters: Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, whose lackluster best picture presentation was rivaled in charisma only by Cher's exquisitely bored reading of the nominees in 1988.

Star least in need of a diet: Jennifer Tilly of "Bullets Over Broadway," in a revealing dress, who said on arrival, "I haven't eaten anything for a couple of weeks."

Worst slip-up: Paul Newman's failure to announce four of the five nominees for best cinematography. (Honorable mention: the misspelling of composer Jule Styne's name in the memorial pastiche.)

Most pretentious fake-beatnik sunglasses: Worn by geek-chic "Pulp Fiction" director Quentin Tarantino, also sporting a narrow tie in the style of his "Reservoir Dogs."

Best speech: Hans Zimmer, winner for best score, who nervously ripped through his remarks and wrapped with, "Just let me go!"

Speech most likely to offend: Roger Avary's. The co-writer of "Pulp Fiction" cut his talk short because, he announced to the posh audience and a billion television viewers worldwide, he had "to pee."

Best moment in a really lame production number: When Tim Curry rolled his eyes at the image of himself as a transvestite in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" during an unfunny homage to comedy.

Actress who looked most like a meringue: Sharon Stone, wearing a puffy, silvery dress. (Honorable mention: Oprah Winfrey.)

Best entrance: Jamie Lee Curtis, lowered onto the stage while dangling from a fake helicopter, a la "True Lies."

The vanity prize (vanity, thy name is girl): Young Oscar-winner Anna Paquin, of "The Piano," looking at herself in the monitor and fixing her hair while talking to Joan Rivers.

Best put-down: "Would it kill you to have worn a tie?" -- Host David Letterman to best-actor winner Tom Hanks, whom he had pulled on stage to help with a stupid pet trick.

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