Little Gold Men

I think that if you’re going to open a movie theater, one of the basic requirements should be that you have to have enough letters for the marquee to spell the names of the movies you’re showing. I mean, how much can these things cost? You drive by any of the dumpy theaters in the area, and it’s like a game of “Hangman” trying to figure out what movies are showing. “What is ‘Ixth Ense’? I haven’t heard of that. Is that starring Bruc Wlls?”

Sometimes, they even cheat, and they’ll use an upside-down “4” as a lower-case “h.” Like they’re fooling anyone. “Gee, I wonder why the ‘h’ is the only lower-case letter in ‘THE SIXTh SENSE.’ We should go see that movie and find out the significance of the lower-case ‘h.'”

Speaking of “Ixth Ense,” it’s nominated for several Oscars, which are to be doled out Sunday by comedian Billy Crystal, continuing with the Academy’s tradition of only having hosts who have no chance of ever winning an Oscar themselves. (Next year’s host: Will Smith.) Here are my predictions for this year’s Academy Awards.

• The telecast will begin with Billy Crystal making a lot jokes in which the punch line is some variation of “I see dead people,” from “The Sixth Sense.” (Example: “Did you hear they’re making a movie about a creepy guy who works at a bakery? ‘I see bread, people.'” [Audience laughs like the well-trained bunch of camera-hogging, ham-faced actors they are.])

• We will see many, many shots of Jack Nicholson sitting in the audience, even though he was not in any movies last year, much less nominated for one. Meanwhile, Richard Farnsworth, the extremely talented but not-as-photogenic Best Actor nominee, will never be shown, because his seat will be in the balcony.

• Angry at not getting a nomination for his impression of Andy Kaufman, Jim Carrey will rush the stage and talk out of his butt.

• Angry at not winning the award for Best Actress, Meryl Streep will do the same thing, only her butt will talk with an accent.

• Billy Crystal: “They’re making a prequel to ‘The Sixth Sense.’ It’s called ‘The Fifth Sense,’ and it’s about a kid who can smell dead people.” [Audience laughter; shot of Jack Nicholson pretending he got the joke, when in reality he is too cool to “get” anything.]

• Roberto Benigni, thinking America still likes him, will show up and bounce around the stage for a while, babbling incoherently in a language similar to English, but with more slobbering. The Fifteen Minutes of Fame Police will escort him out of the building; later, he will be seen asking for handouts near the Denny’s on Sunset Boulevard, holding a sign saying, “Will Be Irrepressible Funnyman for Food.”

• An enraged, steroid-injected Michael Clarke Duncan (the giant from “The Green Mile”) will furiously devour Tom Cruise, then lumber off the stage, crash through a wall, and disappear into the night.

• In response to all the winners thanking Him, God will issue a statement denying any involvement with the Oscars. “Personally, I was hoping ‘Iron Giant’ would at least get nominated,” the statement will say, in part. “And next year, I’m not even showing up unless ‘God’s Army’ is nominated for Greatest Movie in the History of the World.” Hollywood types, unfamiliar with who this “God” person is, will ignore the statement and continue making godless films and giving awards to each other. Also, the golden statue itself will be changed into the shape of a calf.

My 100th "Snide Remarks" column! And it only took me three years! I considered doing something "special" for the 100th column, but I figured that to Daily Herald readers, it was only my 32nd column, so they wouldn't care.

By the way, I was right about the numerous shots of Jack Nicholson and the dearth of Richard Farnsworth shots, who was indeed seated much farther back than the other nominees. Also, Roberto Benigni was a presenter, and there was definitely a lack of enthusiasm for his shenanigans. See how smart I am?

And, in contrast, want to see how not-smart I am? Just two years later, Will Smith was indeed nominated for an Oscar, for "Ali." He didn't win, but still, it was a close call. I stand by my assertion that Billy Crystal will never win one, though.