Barbara Walters wrapped up 29 years of pre-Oscar specials with new interviews with nominees Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique and a batch of clips from her greatest-hits.
Mo’Nique spoke about her open marriage, which Walters seemed a bit dubious about. Worse, at least to judge from the host’s reaction, was this: “You do not believe in shaving your legs. Why?” Barbara glanced down at Mo’Nique’s gams, barely (so to speak) able to disguise her appalled opinion of this decision.
As far as the big stars were concerned, Walters and her co-producer Bill Geddie edited things down to banal one- or two-liners.
Neil Diamond: “Lots of people like my songs.”
Denzel Washington: “At the risk of sounding egotistical, I expected to get nominated.”
She dubbed Warren Beatty her worst interviewee, but nothing she showed proved it. (It takes just a bit of research to find out that Beatty was a monosyllabic control-freak with her, and wanted to do things such as adjust the lighting on the set. As if he’s the first star to try and take command an interview.)
Walters’ questions were as banal as the answers she received. “Do you know that you’re beautiful?” she asked of Michelle Pfeiffer. (The answer: “Sometimes.”)
And as Walters never tires of telling her audience on The View, one of her proudest moments was when Hugh Jackman gave her a lap-dance. This night, she said to us, “After a lap-dance from Hugh Jackman, what was there left to prove?”
Sandra Bullock provided the sole bits of freshness. She spoke intriguingly about her marriage to Jesse James, and of her late mother, who was “petrifeied that [I] would be normal… She would say, ‘Please be original.”
What did Walters become most famous for, over all these years of tedious celebrity pandering? You wouldn’t know it from this special. It took Bullock to say, “Didn’t you ask me what kind of tree I wanted to be?”
“No, that was someone else,” Walters said, waving the question away. That’s one problem with Walters: no sense of humor.
Walters seemed to feel that we wanted to know why she was quitting these fatuous displays. “I’m kind of sick of it,” she said.
Barbara, I don’t think anyone’s going to argue with you.
Did you watch?