And the Oscar goes to...
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - February 24, 2009 - 12:00am

...yes, Hugh Jackman!

As the first-time host of the Oscars, its 81st edition held yesterday at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, the Australian hunk (named Sexiest Man Alive of 2009 by People magazine) was a great show by himself, kicking off the glam event with a drop-dead opening number in which he sang a tribute to the nominees with Best Actress bet Anne Hathaway (who lost to Kate Winslet for The Reader), picked out by Hugh from a “planted” seat on the front row, as his equally-fantastic partner.

With the set inspired by the reality-TV Who Wants To be a Millionaire?, the eye-popper seemed to foretell the heavy favorite Slumdog Millionaire as Best Picture winner (one of the eight awards the Hollywood/Bollywood movie brought home). Later, Hugh did a second take, this time with Beyoncé and two young pairs (one of whom were High School Musical stars Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron) in a medley of Broadway hits (Singing in the Rain, Mama Mia!. etc.) to herald the comeback of, that’s it, musicals.

Hugh was the perfect host for the reinvented Oscars which adopted such new touches as having five past winners singing praises to the nominees before the announcement of the winner — Sophia Loren, Halle Berry, Shirley MacLaine, Nicole Kidman and Marion Cotillard for the Best Actress category; and Adrian Brody, Ben Kingsley, Anthony Hopkins, Robert DeNiro and Michael Douglas for the Best Actor category, won by Sean Penn for Milk.

On Broadway, Hugh showed his histrionic/terpsichorean talent in the musical The Boy from Oz, so he must have tackled an otherwise Herculean task as Oscars host like a piece of cake — you know, easy does it. He was sexy, witty, gorgeous, dynamic, versatile and stunning. He ruled the stage with a load of talent and heavy with cute Australian accent, a winner all the way.

So, the Oscar for a Single “Live” Performance in a Special Event went hands down to...yes, him!

Incidentally, what I found most touching were these portions:

• Queen Latifah singing I’ll Be Seeing You in In Memoriam while pictures and film clips of those who have gone ahead were flashed on the screen (among them Charlton Heston and Paul Newman);

• The parents and one sister of Heath Ledger receiving the posthumous Best Supporting Actor award (for The Dark Knight) for the Australian actor on behalf of his daughter Matilda; and

• Jerry Lewis delivering a brief but meaningful thank-you speech upon receiving an award for his humanitarian work.

A suggestion for local award-giving bodies: Since we are on nostalgia mode, why don’t they revive the tradition of having the previous year’s winner personally present the award to the new winner. And, please, scrap those endless song numbers that have no relevance to the event. The five nominated songs would suffice.

The doktora is unraveling

The controversial exes are moving in oppposite directions.

While Dr. Hayden Kho is determined to move forward, his ex-beloved Dr. Vicki Belo seems to be moving backward.

The doktora was going well (and earning good points) while maintaining her silence but she just couldn’t keep her mouth shut for long nor for good.

Just when the controversy was simmering and about to be consigned to the dustbin, she suddenly surfaced in national television to wash more dirty linen con todo tears shed on cue. She quit a mend-your-broken-heart retreat and decided to lick her wounds in public, at the same time posing languidly in bed, partially covered by (a silk?) blanket and looking more like a trying-hard nymphet than a respectable doctor.

Guesting on Showbiz Central last Sunday, the doktora showed bad taste by making this offensive, tactless, unkind, unprofessional and un-called-for remark: “If you want to look like Piolo Pascual, go to the Belo Clinic. But if you want to look like Boy Abunda, go to Calayan.”

Ouch, ouch, ouch!!!

In fairness to and in defense of Boy who co-hosts The Buzz and writes the Direct Line column for this paper, all I would do is paraphrase the doktora’s punchline: “If you don’t mind looking like Vicki Belo, go to her clinic. But if you want to look gorgeous like Ruffa Gutierrez, Pops Fernandez and Rufa Mae Quinto, by all means go to Mikaela!”

Get well soon, Willie!

Working every day as host of Wowowee (with shows abroad every once too often) and in the process missing meals, losing precious sleep and not having time to really relax (even if he has a yacht, a resthouse in Tagaytay and a few mansions) have taken a toll on Willie Revillame who is on a two-week leave from the show upon the strict order of his doctor.

After spending a few days at St. Luke’s for a thorough check-up (he has blocked arteries, sore nodules and ulcers, among other ailments), Willie is on a “forced” vacation, trying to recover his health in his resthouse.

Asked what got him, Willie texted Funfare: “Pressure, pagod, puyat, stress.”

So what would a millionaire gain if he had all the money in the world and he’s got all the illnesses in the medical book?

Remember this, Willie: Health is wealth.

ADRIAN BRODY ANNE HATHAWAY ANTHONY HOPKINS BE SEEING YOU BELO CLINIC BEN KINGSLEY BEST ACTOR BEST ACTRESS BEST PICTURE
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