Anyway, things are now so organized that there are mailed invites and organized games. We started at 3 pm with a crossword where specific entries had to then be anagrammed into Best Picture winners. The crossword was fine (though I was wearing contacts and had some vision problems), but it took forever to get all 5 anagrams. Finally we got enumerations and BOOM, the last 2 fell with no problem. You can stare at letters forever or try to work backwards by thinking of movies, but knowing WYOMING GAY (yes, he managed to get those topical words in) was (5 2 3) led to an aha moment left to the reader.
Next was a sort of "Jeopardy!" without phrasing in the form of a question. Anyone who did that got cheese thrown at them. Since Robert Altman was being honored, the game consisted of questions whose answers contained the letters ROB, ERT, ALT, or MAN (but with a possible space, such as SpinAL Tap). You chose the letter string, heard the question, and buzzed in with a Quizzard, trying to form Altman's face of all 4 combinations. We were playing for fun (most of us, anyway), and really just wanted to hear all the questions.
Last was charades with a twist. All the charades were movie titles, and each group of titles had something in common. The things in common ranged from movies with... well, I won't say in case this game gets used somewhere else. I did a strange interpretation of childbirth for BORN FREE, and was reminded of Banterweight's classic FREE WILLY at a con ("whole thing" - picture her clasping her hands in front of her at below-waist level and shaking them back and forth).
There were snacks, including En food like veggies and cheese and caffeine-free, diet beverages. Then the traditional DiGiorno pizza (not my favorite but good enough), and even fruit for me (the rest had decidedly not En food of cupcakes and cookies).
We put the official ABC pre-show on M's huge new 37" flat-screen HDTV and immediately started ripping everyone to shreds (I know, none of us are exactly red carpet material, but it's fun to exercise our inner Joan Rivers). Apparently someone ripped Naomi Watts' dress to shreds, too; how else would you explain it? Others coming under the gun were:
Tim Burton - enough with the hair already
Helena Bonham Carter - who did HER hair?
Felicity Huffman - someone forgot to sew the front of the dress
Sandra Bullock - liked the dress except for that THING in front
Charlize Theron - what was that THING on her shoulder?
Rachel Weisz - she looked sort of bumpy, until I found out later she's quite pregnant and can thus be excused
Jennifer Aniston - the hair was too straight and ironed-looking, but she does have a nice all-American look as opposed to certain skanks who stole her husband
Keira Knightley - a very pretty girl with horrible hair and makeup that made her look way too old.
Paul Giamatti - wonderful actor but his look is almost a caricature of "character actor"
Jack Nicholson - never could stand him. Decadent and evil, not cool.
Diana Ossama ("Brokeback" producer/writer) - are those real?
David Strathairn - seemed haggard
All the women with blah beige, brown and black dresses
We oohed and aahed over:
George Clooney - exudes charm, and aging super-gracefully. I never watched ER but began to appreciate him after seeing "One Fine Day."
Matt Dillon - also aging very nicely
Jada Pinkett Smith - stunning blue gown. She looks really tiny.
Reese Witherspoon - a lady. Wordy knows her family and reports she is a class act in every way.
Ziyi Zhang - best gown of the night. Simply gorgeous
Nicole Kidman - does she ever NOT look perfect?
Dolly Parton - gotta love her, but why did she (allegedly) make herself even bigger? She's so tiny otherwise. I agree with qaqaq on her performance, but wasn't wild about the song itself.
There were cards for each nominee which were randomly divided among us. If your guy won, you got a prize based on a previous winner in that category. The prizes were ingenious with impeccable graphics.
The entire night I couldn't help but think, "Next year 'Wordplay' could be nominated!" I already have a Daytime Emmy (actually, a certificate for contributing to Best Game Show - which I had to pay $45 for), but imagine an Oscar. Or at least being associated with an Oscar. All the years I was trying and failing to win Stamford, I quipped, "It's an honor just to be nominated" and now I could be saying that for real. Exciting year ahead, in any case.