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February 27, 2013

12:02
P.M.

The Reliable Source Live

Total Responses: 91

About the hosts

About the host

About the topic

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, February 27, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats
Q.

Amy Argetsinger :

Hello, and welcome back to the Reliable Source weekly chat. Some things on our radar lately. . .

 

The Oscars have come and gone, and now you’re wondering who Seth offended, why Kristen was limping, what Affleck said about his marriage and why Michelle Obama was there.

 

Also: Everyone is now in love with Jennifer Lawrence.

 

Back in D.C.: Is there something going around? Another politician, Pete Domenici, confesses he has a secret child — who has the pedigree of a future politician himself.

 

Laura Bush objects to being included in a same-sex marriage ad.

 

Elizabeth Warren puts down roots in Penn Quarter.

 

Michael Saylor invests in a new yacht: Third time’s the charm?

 

And Dennis Rodman marches on North Korea.

 

In other news: Cupcake lady has baby. So does Wiz Khalifa. Josh Brolin and Diane Lane — we saw that coming, right? Janet Jackson got married and didn’t even tell us.

 

Looking forward to your questions.

Q.

The Afflecks

Just wanted to note that I thought Ben Affleck's acknowledgement that marriage is hard work (Sunday night at the Oscars) was one of the most mature, sincere and loving things that one spouse has made to another from an award show stage. The fact that people think that he would be "sleeping on the couch" because of it makes me despair.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

It was very sweet, and kind of startling. (We've got his comments from his Oscar speech here. ) And I agree, the notion that he'd get in trouble with the wife for those sentiments is kind of silly. No one else knows what's going on inside another couple's relationship, but I would guess that, whatever's been going on there, these were things he felt he needed to say.

– February 27, 2013 12:05 PM
Q.

First Lady

What did you think of her appearance on the Oscars? Has there been another First Lady with so much television time? And that beautiful dress, does she keep it? Do you think she can become Secretary of State?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Something that wasn't really clear to Oscar viewers is that the first lady was all dressed up in part because of the White House's governors' dinner that was going on that night.

 

What to make of her appearance at the Oscars? Ah, so many questions. The prevailing theory is that she did it because it was fun. But there may have been some obliviousness to the role she was playing in a messy web of Hollywood insider favor-trading.

– February 27, 2013 12:09 PM
Q.

Boob Song

I might be the only person who found Seth Macfarlane doing the Boob Song as comical.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I heard a lot of people say they liked it. I was waiting, blithely assuming there would be a second part of the song called "We saw your junk," which would turn it all into a witty and complex commentary on Hollywood double standards -- but I guess he didn't have it in him. So it all fell to this random guy to make his own song.

– February 27, 2013 12:11 PM
Q.

Michelle Obama at the Oscars

With the ode-to-losers ditty at the end of this years Oscars, I didn't recall hearing that blurb about 'ballots counted by our accounting firm and results are sealed and only revealed on the telecast.' I somehow suspect the Oscar producers were clued in that "Argo" would win. Any whispers about this? I read it would have been embarrassing if Michelle Obama announced the best picture Oscar and it was "Zero Dark Thirty" -- even more disconcerting if she announced "Django Unchained," disconcerting but hilarious.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

It was live, and a guy from the accounting firm was at White House and handed her the envelope. (Besides, the race was always between "Lincoln" and "Argo".)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/michelle-obamas-oscar-presentation-raises-questions-about-the-role-of-a-first-lady/2013/02/25/a67b701a-7f95-11e2-8074-b26a871b165a_story.html

– February 27, 2013 12:13 PM
Q.

Anybody having a Pope retirement party?

Where? What kind of food? What is the dress code?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Just don't upstage the guest of honor by wearing red shoes. . . . Jason Horowitz has a nice story about the what the pope's retirement life will be like.

– February 27, 2013 12:14 PM
Q.

Michelle Obama at the Oscars

I am a white conservative Republican woman, and I love Michelle Obama. I think she's a great mother and a fantastic champion for the fight against childhood obesity (pro-exercise and pro-eating right). I love the way she looks almost all of the time, like her bangs, and thought she looked fantastic at the Oscars. I am very annoyed at Courtland Milloy for his rant against her. She is definitely her husband's best asset.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Noted. Not everybody felt the same about the first lady and the Oscars, which is why so many people are still talking about it.

– February 27, 2013 12:15 PM
Q.

Pete Domenici's Love (Lust?) Child

Has there been any reaction from Domenici's former Senate colleague, Paul Laxalt, about the whole thing?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Nope. Pete Domenici and Michelle Laxalt both issued their statements to the Albuquerque Journal, but neither Paul Laxalt (Michelle's father) nor Adam Laxalt (Michelle's son by Domenici) are talking. Meanwhile, though we want to respect his privacy, it will be noted that Adam Laxalt appears to be very handsome.

– February 27, 2013 12:17 PM
Q.

Seth MacFarlane

He wasnt that bad. Can we get Ricky Gervais to host next year
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Seth wasn't that good -- although I think I'm one of the very few who liked the "Flight" hand puppet bit. I'd pay money to see Ricky host next year. 

– February 27, 2013 12:17 PM
Q.

Pope Hall of Fame

Shouldnt there be a Pope Hall of Fame?
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Or a Pope Hall of Shame? Lots of contenders for both.

– February 27, 2013 12:19 PM
Q.

Crazy like a fox

The Oscars picked Seth MacFarlane to host because they knew you'd be talking about it for quite some time. Just what they wanted you to do.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

They picked him hoping he'd attract younger viewers. Which he might have ---but doubt he'll be asked back.

– February 27, 2013 12:20 PM
Q.

Oscars

You know, Anne Hathaway was not nearly as annoying as I expected her to be.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I agree. I think she took some pointers from Kate Winslet, whose actressy faux-shocked awards acceptances were annoying people through the early weeks of 2009 -- but who got it under control by the time of the Oscars. My only complaint is that her speech, while sweet and heartfelt, was the same old ticking off of names. But that's what everyone was doing this year, save for the delightful Daniel Day Lewis.

 

By the way, in my story about nine Oscar speeches that changed the course of history, I failed to note that the major legacy of Streep's actressy faux-shocked stylings was Taylor Swift and the actressy faux-shocked acceptances she delivered for her first 10 or 15 awards.

– February 27, 2013 12:21 PM
Q.

Pete Domenici's extra son

Could you provide a chart or some other visual aid? This confuses me, what with a legal "dad", a biological "dad", etc.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

This is very simple. Michelle Laxalt, unmarried, had a son in 1978 and never told anyone who the father was. We now know that the father was Sen. Pete Domenici.

– February 27, 2013 12:22 PM
Q.

What did you wear to the Oscars?

I wore pajamas.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Perfect. I wore jeans and made Oscar cookies.

– February 27, 2013 12:23 PM
Q.

Pope's Retirement Party

Eggs Benedict, naturally!
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Natch.

– February 27, 2013 12:23 PM
Q.

McCain profile

That was a good, if somewhat confounding, portrait of John McCain. And, very amusing, sometimes unintentionally so. He can't wrap his mind around the very idea that Chuck Hagel's wife would have different political leanings or her own thoughts and ideas. Dont' women ALWAYS vote like their husbands???
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Here is Jason Horowitz's profile: Republican senator John McCain is still raising questions and hackles, 2/20/13

Don't overthink the part about Hagel's wife or assume sexism on McCain's part. As the story noted, McCain was very good friends with Hagel, and probably assumed that friendship included Hagel's wife and thus was surprised that she didn't support him for president.

 

– February 27, 2013 12:25 PM
Q.

Michelle Obama as Oscar presenter

At first, I didn't think that there was much of an issue with Michelle Obama presenting an Oscar. But , on second thought, I think that there were two things wrong. First, the military should never be used as props. I look at the photo of the service members in formal dress uniforms, reduced to extras, and I wince. The looming presence of the sequester's effect on the military makes it even worse. Second, Mrs. Obama simply reinforced the notion that Hollywood and the Obama White House are simpatico, two sides of one coin, with money and influence flowing freely back and forth. Just try to picture Laura Bush being asked to present an Oscar, and you can see the image problem.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Honestly, I CAN imagine Laura Bush being there. But I was surprised to see Michelle on the broadcast because of all the Hollywood-liberal-Democrats stereotypes.

– February 27, 2013 12:26 PM
Q.

Dorothy Hammil is on DWTS

Is she the only "local" this time?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

No, she has a fellow Baltimorean on the show -- Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

– February 27, 2013 12:27 PM
Q.

Peter's Boy

But did he know??? And, why is this coming out now. I had more or less forgot Pete Domenici existed.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

We have not determined when, exactly, he discovered the identity of his father. Interesting to guess whether it was before or after his troubled teenage years.

– February 27, 2013 12:29 PM
Q.

I expect we'll talk about Seth MacFarlane & the Oscars...

and everyone will have an opinion. My bottom line is, they hired Seth MacFarlane! He has made quite a good living being crass and tactless and edgy. What were people expecting? If they were hoping for clever, witty and classy, they would have hired someone else. Obviously, they wanted to appeal to a specific audience. Did it work?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

The ratings were significantly up, especially among young people. I have no idea how much of that has to do with the Seth MacFarlane factor. (I know his shows have a big following, but does he?) I also think the academy got a lot better about PR, especially social-media/interactive. They've put a lot of old clips on YouTube and created an amazing database of old speeches, which inspired a lot of stories from reporters and bloggers.

– February 27, 2013 12:30 PM
Q.

Ben Affleck's speech

I used to think he was a twit. Now I kind of like him. He seems like a grownup.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

I have to agree -- looks like he finally may be growing up. But, then again, we're talking about actors here, so there's really no telling. But I want to believe Matt Damon comes over every so often to smack some sense in Ben. Matt always seemed like a grown-up.

– February 27, 2013 12:30 PM
Q.

Flight sock puppets

What's not to like about the sock puppets? It was one of Seth's few noncontroversial bits, and it was funny! Especially the socks going around in the dryer.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Made me laugh.

– February 27, 2013 12:31 PM
Q.

Hathaway

I will say, though, that her mention to her husband was lovely. She said the best moment of her life was the one he walked into it. That's a really nice thought, and she seemed super sincere when she said it. Given her past, it's nice that she's found someone good to be happy with.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Maybe it stood out because she's sounded so insincere in all the other speech moments. By the way, anyone else notice her very public apology yesterday to designer Valentino? She was supposed to wear one of his dresses Sunday night, but switched to the awful Prada at the last minute. Actresses change their minds all the time, so something nasty must have happened after the  fact for her to grovel  about the switch.

– February 27, 2013 12:34 PM
Q.

Sock Puppets Rule

I was hoping, when I saw the dryer scene, that all of the nominations would be introduced with sock puppets. Imagine my disappointment when that didn't happen.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

That would have been really, really great.

– February 27, 2013 12:35 PM
Q.

Seth MacFarlane

Remind me -- who is he and why was he hosting a four hour broadcast in front of millions of people?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

You see, I thought that was a strange choice, too. As I just said, I know his shows have a big following, but does he? He's the behind-the-scenes guy on those shows. And while I know he's hosted some celebrity roasts, etc., this is a much bigger stage. Hank Stuever gave him a mixed review, calling it "an Oscar show hosted by someone who waited until Oscar night to discover that he’s only so-so at stand-up comedy."

 

His big mistake, in my view, went beyond the crass humor he's supposedly known for. He tried to make it into this winking, meta thing where he could fall back on "oh, I'm only making fun of myself and my reputation for crass humor and the likelihood I'll get trashed for it." The problem with that is that it's a major in-joke. The vast majority of people watching don't know who he is or what his reputation is, and thus just don't really get it. It was a little self-absorbed and clueless that way. He had a big opportunity to turn himself into a big-stage entertainer (he's got a presence and a good voice, etc.), but he would have had to go out there and do something fresh and really own the material, rather than making it all about himself.

 

We can have a whole 'nother discussion about the crassness of the material someday.

– February 27, 2013 12:36 PM
Q.

Matt always seemed like a grown-up

Except when he broke up with Minnie Driver on Oprah.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

I forgot about that.

– February 27, 2013 12:36 PM
Q.

Ben Affleck

He still seemed a bit like a twit to me. He is a much better director than actor. I think he should stay behind the camera.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Well, now he probably will.

– February 27, 2013 12:37 PM
Q.

Clooney

While I respect that he didn't have a need to speak at the Oscars -- despite winning Best Picture -- is it me or is he starting to show his age? He was looking like Christoph Waltz's uncle or something.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Stipulated: When you grow a beard, and that beard comes in gray, yes, that ages a man.

Also stipulated: Yes, he's aging, but for crying out loud, aren't we all?

This is the discussion that's more often applied to Hollywood women, and it's kind of goofy. They show up looking like their natural selves, and the reaction is "oh my god, they're letting themselves go! They're getting old! Look at those wrinkles, what is her problem!" And if they show up with the fresh dose of Botox that 95 percent of them have, then everyone says "oooohh, she's totally had Botox -- BUSTED!"

– February 27, 2013 12:38 PM
Q.

Laura Bush?

You said: "Honestly, I CAN imagine Laura Bush being there." Well, she was First Lady for 8 years, and never once was she asked to present at the Oscars. Seriously, you can see Harvey Weinstein going to the effort of getting a Republican First Lady involved as he did for Michelle Obama? I can't, sorry, because he wouldn't have had any motive to do so, as he does with Mrs. Obama. And I think that the Hollywood audience would have booed Laura Bush if she had presented. Just being realistic about it.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Booed? Maybe her husband at the height of the Iraq war, but not the first lady. That seems beyond the pale. But you may be right about Hollywood not asking a Republican first lady. 

– February 27, 2013 12:39 PM
Q.

Benedict in Retirement

Does the Pope have some sort of 401K plan or something to keep him living the good life in retirement? Seems Italy's economy is a little hard up with all the retirees and the aging work force. Just hope he will be OK.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I'm sure the answer is somewhere in this story. Take a look and let us know: Departing Pope Benedict’s daily activities shrouded in mystery

– February 27, 2013 12:39 PM
Q.

Anne Hathaway

Blech. Her speech(es), the pink dress, the dis of Valentino. I didn't see Les Miz in part because I can't stand to watch her on screen, and didn't want to keep looking down her throat (I saw the long preview too many times while waiting for other movies this fall) past all those big teeth. I wish she'd just go away for a while, like Natalie Portman has done.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

She already announced she's taking a break for six months -- which I suspect is not long enough for you.

– February 27, 2013 12:40 PM
Q.

Chicago

What was the deal with all the tributes to Chicago during the Oscars. Entertaining movie, but one of the more forgettable Best Pictures in recent history.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Ha. From Hank's review:

Worse news: “Tonight, for the first time, the Oscars have a theme,” MacFarlane announced in his opening monologue. “We will be celebrating music in film.”

Oh, for the love of Pete. Must we?

It couldn’t be stopped, as the Academy Awards tried to win a Tony. The show, which ran past 3 ½hours, was produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, two guys who have brought us things like NBC’s irreparable Broadway drama “Smash” and the movie musical “Hairspray.” And so, from mite-sized theater imp Kristin Chenoweth’s icky-sweet red-carpet patter for ABC’s pre-show (Adele, you have our permission to sit on her until she stops moving) to the protracted musical medley from “Chicago,” “Dreamgirls” and — I had to leave the room — “Les Miserables,” this was the Oscars by and for showfolk.

Yes, and in addition to that, it was also the 10th anniversary of "Chicago's" Best Picture Win, which I know must make you nostalgic.

– February 27, 2013 12:41 PM
Q.

Hathaway declaration of love

Its great that she's happy, but whenever someone makes a declaration like that now at an awards show I hold my breath as I think they are courting disaster. Call it the Sandra Bullock effect.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

That's just painful to think about.

– February 27, 2013 12:41 PM
Q.

Dennis Rodman's trip to N. Korea

The phrase "Dennis Rodman's Goodwill Mission" seems slightly oxymoronic, Maybe he's a bigger deal over there, but I wouldn't want him near MY kids! I doubt it will generate much good will, and I hope they don't think that's what all Americans are like. Come to think of it, NBA players are probably not the best example as a group.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Oxymoronic? Of course, but it definitely got everyone's attention. Enough to make you tune into the HBO documentary?

– February 27, 2013 12:41 PM
Q.

Ben Affleck

I've not been a fan (I'm in the he's-a-twit camp), and I don't like beards. He was very hot in Argo. Maybe because I'm old enough to remember the hostage crisis and am nostalgic for the late 70s, when I had a more interesting social life.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Ha! Me, too! Despite all those terrible clothes.

– February 27, 2013 12:42 PM
Q.

George Clooney's beard

Have we had a chance to discuss this. How can one little ferret on the face make a man not be as sexy as Clooney usually is.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

It the color---so white that it aged him. Maybe if he'd dyed it. But that's not really his style.

– February 27, 2013 12:42 PM
Q.

Why we watch the Oscars

We watch to snarkily critique the host, the winners, the musical numbers. We watch hoping to see a wardrobe malfunction. We watch to see people famous for being composed come unglued. It's a little like NASCAR, in that we are hoping for a wreck.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Exactly. I would also echo the wise words of Mr. Dan  Zak on that point. . . Having said that, I do feel that this show didn't have much in the way of talker moments. No one wears anything crazy anymore, they haven't since stylists got involved 15 years ago. And the terribly polite speeches aren't what they used to be, frankly.

– February 27, 2013 12:44 PM
Q.

Kristin Stewart

Is she as much of a lumpkin in real life as she presents in public?
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Lumpkin? She's a tiny little thing (4'11") with a huge voice and annoying cheerifulness that seems forced but may be real. I think of her like one of those toy dogs: You either think they're adorable or really annoying.

– February 27, 2013 12:45 PM
Q.

I still dont' get it

I am a huge fan of our FLOTUS, but I can think of no fathomable reason for her to announce the Best Picture Oscar. What was that really about?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Best theory at the end of the day: A bunch of Hollywood guys rigged up this scheme to impress each other, and she agreed because she thought it would be fun. Read Krissah Thompson's excellent story on Michelle's Oscar moment.

– February 27, 2013 12:45 PM
Q.

I liked the Lincoln joke at the Oscars

It cracked me up! But not too many others did.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

The "Sound of Music" bit was very, very good.

– February 27, 2013 12:47 PM
Q.

Despite all those terrible clothes

I remember one particularly gray-ish blue outfit - corduroy midi length skirt and a velour zip-up baseball jacket thing. Awful. And then came the Dress for Success era with the little bow ties for women. It was doubly amazing that Ben was hot in that movie. He should keep the beard, until it goes all gray like George's.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Don't getme started on bad '70's fashion or we'll be here all day.

– February 27, 2013 12:47 PM
Q.

Even the Anne Hathaway haters must admit

The girl who was in "Princess Diaries" and "Ella Enchanted" has made quite a career for herself.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

She did -- and was charming in those movies. Maybe she's stop running for Hollywood class president now and just act.

– February 27, 2013 12:48 PM
Q.

Nicholson

Does Jack Nicholson just naturally get the front row center, whether he has made any movies lately or not? How does that work - so all Oscar winners get guaranteed seats. Doubting Anna Paquin and Adrian Brody would get the same placement.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Nicholson, though, has THREE Oscars. And, he's Jack Nicholson. Trying to remember exactly how this works. I asked Virginia Madsen on the red carpet a few years ago, and she explained that if you're a past nominee, then you become a voting member and you're in a lottery system for seats (i.e., you don't automatically get them). I would guess that major-category winners have more status in that system, though unclear who gets an automatic seat.

– February 27, 2013 12:49 PM
Q.

Oscars

Amy, enjoyed your posts and those of the rest of the staff. I find myself the morning after asking --why did I watch the whole thing, but know I'll probably do the same thing next year. The Oscars is likea bag of potato chips or a quart of ice cream, not very nutritious but yummy at the time.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Oh, it's about as nutritious as any TV. It gives us a lot to talk about. It's one of those few remaining communal viewing experiences, where everyone is watching at the same time. And the build-up to the show (assessing the nominees, trying to see all the movies, filling out your Oscar pool ballot) is as much fun as the big game itself.

– February 27, 2013 12:50 PM
Q.

Anne Hathaway

Here's what I know about her......decent actress, and I've liked some of the movies she's been in. Very attractive. Married to some guy. Won an Oscar and Golden Globe. May not be the best at giving acceptance speeches. That's about it. Certainly not enough for me to hate her. So why do so many others?
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

A lack, I think, of sincerity. The opposite of Jennifer Lawrence, who seems very real. Whether she is or not is another question. It's all about perceptions. 

– February 27, 2013 12:50 PM
Q.

Saylor's boats

Does he have some sort of compulsion because of how his name sounds? And does he ever use them?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I get the impression that he uses them but that he also leases them out for charter. So maybe they're as much an investment as they are a plaything.

– February 27, 2013 12:51 PM
Q.

Michelle Obama

Nice to see that photoshopping works in Iran
A.
Amy Argetsinger :
– February 27, 2013 12:52 PM
Q.

LOL!

You just mixed up Kristen Stewart with Kristen Chenoweth. Too bad you weren't an Oscar presenter -- we would be talking about you for the next two weeks.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Ha! Guilty as charged! 

Kristen Stewart: Multimillionaire actress despite having only one expression. Go figure.

– February 27, 2013 12:53 PM
Q.

Amy's pre-oscar speech article

WAS BRILLIANT. I was laughing so hard, people were moving away from me on the Metro!
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Aw, thank you. I can't deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me!

– February 27, 2013 12:53 PM
Q.

Kristen Stewart

I have nothing against her except that she always looks so darn miserable. Even when she smiles, she looks pained. And I saw few "where was Rob" posts. Does this mean her time has passed?
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Maybe. Maybe she's just bored. Maybe acting isn't her thing. But she's got enough money to do anything she wants, so I hope she finds it.

– February 27, 2013 12:54 PM
Q.

Who's the pro?

Ben Affleck goes loony and incoherent while accepting his award, while JLaw FALLS ON HER FACE, then delivers a calm, self-deprecating acceptance. Unlike most other stars who act as if they're from another planet, she has the astonishing knack of seeming utterly approachable and yet above all the nonsense ("If I drank four beers, I'd hurl" is perhaps the most disarming way to quash a hard-partying rumor that I've seen in quite a while). Most stars don't figure it out until they're much older, if ever. Why wouldn't everyone love her?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I gotta say -- Jennifer Lawrence has a poise and comfort in her own skin that we all would have envied at that age, or any age. It's a kind of ease and spontaneity and charisma that goes beyond what you see in the best actors; it's a characteristic of the best politicians.

– February 27, 2013 12:55 PM
Q.

FLOTUS is over exposed

She was a judge on Top Chef, showed up on numerous kids shows, ......
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Anyone else have some opinions on this?

– February 27, 2013 12:55 PM
Q.

Tom Hanks as oscar host?

I think it could work.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Could indeed---and he could get away with a lot of the insidery jokes.

– February 27, 2013 12:55 PM
Q.

Go, Michelle!

I think it is GREAT that she is having some fun.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I thought there might be some opinions on this.

– February 27, 2013 12:55 PM
Q.

KRISTIN STEWART: lumpkin, CHENOWETH: dog toy

I think you mixed up your Kristens, Roxanne. Stewart is Twilight, Chenoweth is twee.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

I confess. Uncle.

– February 27, 2013 12:55 PM
Q.

Pope

A guy named Horowitz writing about the pope? There's gotta be a joke in there somewhere.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Jason Horowitz speaks fluent Italian, which serves him well in Vatican City.

– February 27, 2013 12:56 PM
Q.

Benedict's Retirement

He's joining a monastery. How hard is that to understand? They will feed him. He won't need many clothes. Elderly monks in declining health spend their time in prayer. Christians consider prayer an important job. Sheesh.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

And more time with cats on his lap. The Pope loves cats, which is one of the few things I found endearing about him.

– February 27, 2013 12:57 PM
Q.

Misleading headline

"Cupcake lady has baby. So does Wiz Khalifa. Josh Brolin and Diane Lane — we saw that coming, right?" I thought Josh and Diane had a baby! Turns out they're divorcing.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Nothing misleading there (nor was there a headline). We did not imply a connection to the previous sentence. (Plus, which was more plausible for the two of them at this point, divorce or a baby?) But yes, glad you clicked through.

– February 27, 2013 12:58 PM
Q.

Jennifer's stumble

If you look at where a normal body would end, the only way the dress doesn't have two feet dragging on the ground is that Jennifer must be wearing stilts for shoes. Are there any pictures showing the shoes?
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Haven't seen one -- but now I'm curious.

– February 27, 2013 12:59 PM
Q.

No whispers

"I somehow suspect the Oscar producers were clued in that "Argo" would win. Any whispers about this?" I happened to catch a red-carpet interview earlier in the day with the two accountants who were in charge of the tabulating, etc. Obviously, they didn't hint at Michelle Obama's appearance, but they did make very clear that only the two of them knew the results and that they guarded the envelopes very carefully (as usual).
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

True, I believe all that. But anyone who had been following the progression of precursor awards this year (the Golden Globes, the SAGs, the PGAs, the DGAs, etc. etc. etc.) could see it was very clear which way Hollywood was leaning. There was next to no chance that "Zero Dark Thirty" or "Django Unchained" or anything arguably controversial was going to take the big prize this year.

– February 27, 2013 12:59 PM
Q.

Clooney beard = movie role

George did say he flew directly from Berlin where he was filming some movie. Hopefully that's it.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

We shall see soon enough. He's willing to look bad/fat/old for role.

– February 27, 2013 1:00 PM
Q.

Everyone Loves J.Law

Not me! She's 22. It's much too early to tell whether she was acting or lucky. Emanuelle Riva should have won.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Ah, the backlash begins! I actually think Emmaneuelle Riva should have won too. Jennifer Lawrence was a beacon of burning starpower in "Silver Linings Playbook" (really, about the only thing I liked about the movie) -- but if you've seen "Amour," you know Emmanuelle Riva was working at a much higher level of difficult in that role.

– February 27, 2013 1:01 PM
Q.

Domenici/Laxalt

The tote board totals for sexual shenanigans sure seems weighted to the GOP side. Why does the right wing have such trouble keeping their pants zipped?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Anthony Weiner, anyone? John Edwards? Eliot Spitzer? I think there's been remarkable cross-aisle, bipartisan cooperation in keeping the political sex scandal industry alive.

– February 27, 2013 1:02 PM
Q.

Jennifer Lawrence

She auditioned for the part in Silver Linings Playbook from her parents' home in Louisville, via skype. This is an Oscar nominated actress who has no problem auditioning for a part via skype from her parents' home in Louisville. Who doesn't love that?
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

It also says she's that good or the audition was a formality.

– February 27, 2013 1:03 PM
Q.

New pope

Aren't we due for a Hot Pope? The past two haven't exactly been dreamy.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Oh, but in their younger years, they were quite dashing.

– February 27, 2013 1:04 PM
Q.

Michelle Obama

I don't know whether or not she needed to be a part of the Oscars but I do know she looked fabulous! She is on the best-dressed list with Jessica Chastain, Kerry Washington and Nicole Kidman.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

More opinions. . . .

– February 27, 2013 1:05 PM
Q.

Awards Speeches

Daniel Day-Lewis was my surprise of the night. He's usually so buttoned up I wasn't expecting (for him) breezy patter. As for Streep, my favorite speech from her was accepting the Emmy for "Angels In America", something along the lines of "There are time when even I think I'm overrated...BUT NOT TODAY!".
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Yes, D-Day killed, didn't he? It's that dry, well-paced delivery, plus the fact that you don't expect him to be the funny one that made him so effective. . . . And yes, they should create an international prize for Best Awards Show Acceptance Speech and call it The Meryl. She has really honed that particular form of rhetoric into a work of art.

– February 27, 2013 1:07 PM
Q.

wincing at service members on TV

I'd be willing to bet the service members' parents didn't wince once. They were probably beaming with pride. Props? Hardly. It was a chance to show off some of our nation's best before one of the largest TV audiences of the year.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

More opinions. . .

– February 27, 2013 1:07 PM
Q.

Funny Oscar moment

I thought they were 3 legit funny bits: 1) socks in the dryer 2) Sound of Music "they're gone!" 3) "No introduction" for Meryl Streep. Was Bruce Vilanch involved this year, or was it all Family Guy writers?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Apparently he brought in his own writers this year.

– February 27, 2013 1:09 PM
Q.

J.law v. Amour

Hollywood loves characters with challenges (see, e.g. "Rain Man", et. al.) Jennifer Lawrence's character had a mental illness (something that Hollywood romanticizes and botches - how could anyone with Matt Damon's Borderline Personality Disorder in Good Will Hunting be "cured" after 3 sessions with a therapist, even one played by Robin Williams?), Emanuelle Riva was merely dying a horrible death, quite convincingly, after 2 strokes. And was still in love with her husband. Blech. Among the only years I can remember not being angry about the Best Actress winners were years involving Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Juliette Binoche. I used to feel so duped by this; now I'm grateful for the internet so I don't have to watch anything other than the sock puppets.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Good points --all.

– February 27, 2013 1:10 PM
Q.

Red Carpet

I generally really like Kristin Chenowith but she as a chirpy bobble-head at the Oscars.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

We all commented when she did the show-closing song: How can someone with such a delightful singing voice have such an annoying speaking voice?

– February 27, 2013 1:10 PM
Q.

FLOTUS

First Lady Hillary Clinton was pilloried for trying to do something worthwhile as first lady (universal health care). Laura Bush was more low-key in her activism, but both seemed pretty unhappy during their time in the White House. Instead of retreating after getting torn a new one for trying to get America to get off its butt and eat more healthy foods, Michelle Obama could have retreated, but keeps putting herself out there. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in that fishbowl and worry daily about the safety of your spouse and children, so if Michelle wants to do frivolous things from time to time to try and enjoy her non-elected position, I'm all for it.
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Another opinion.

– February 27, 2013 1:11 PM
Q.

Michelle

I am a DC liberal, Obama-supporting, political wonk. And I am ticked that Michelle Obama was on the Oscars. I saw her and the military and immediately started thinking about this idiot Congress and the terrible wars... To paraphrase Arthur Miller, You've taken my soult! Leave me my entertainment!
A.
Roxanne Roberts :

Another view.

– February 27, 2013 1:12 PM
Q.

Snubbing Kathryn Bigelow

I'm curious if you think that Kathryn Bigelow and her film "Zero Dark Thirty" were snubbed at the Oscars for political reasons. Bigelow is rapidly becoming one of America's finest directors, and a world-class director of war films, and I'm amazed that she was snubbed. Your thoughts?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

This has been debated endlessly and I'm not sure anyone knows the answer to it. The same could be asked of Ben Affleck, and yet clearly there was much love for that movie. (Trivia: I believe this is only the second time in history that has movie has won Best Picture without a Best Director nomination. But do tell me if I'm wrong.) . . . I suspect it had more to do with voters wanting to pull for their dark-horse favorites while assuming they didn't need to waste a vote on frontrunners  Bigelow and Affleck --  and then, at the end, it turned out that plenty of voters had made that calculation in favor of Benh Zeitlan or Michael Hanecke, whose nominations were a surprise.

– February 27, 2013 1:13 PM
Q.

OSCARS NIGHT

The worst bit was, " The Sound of Music", Von Trapp Family set-up with a Nazi coming out. Why couldn't anyone see how seriously wrong this kind of "humor" is ? Also do you think Marky Mark knew how much of the butt of a joke he was made for duoing with Ted ?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Now, I liked that bit, because it was a beat-for-beat reference to a beloved old movie scene, right down to the Nazi guard. I don't know, do you have a problem with that part of "Sound of Music"?

– February 27, 2013 1:15 PM
Q.

What's wrong with being Christoph Waltz's uncle?

I would love to be at that Thanksgiving table.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Yeah, sign me up.

– February 27, 2013 1:15 PM
Q.

George Clooney's beard

It's for a part, I read. But I'm wondering if he's also trying to get the lead in the Paul Krugman bio pic.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

HA.

– February 27, 2013 1:15 PM
Q.

Scandal

So have they just decided to go over the top and make up as far-fetched plot lines as possible? I love this show, but there is really nowhere else to go, unless we find out that Olivia Pope is actually a secret agent working on behalf of a distant alien group that is going to attack Earth. And if so, that would be awesome.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I have missed the past couple of weeks, so if you told me that it turns out Olivia Pope is actually a secret agent working on behalf of a distant alien group that is going to attack Earth, I wouldn't be surprised. That show is bonkers, beyond soap opera, a high-camp fever dream.

– February 27, 2013 1:16 PM
Q.

What I'd like to see Michelle Obama do

Michelle Obama grew up in a poor family, but one with two parents. She herself is one of two parents. I would love to see her focus on single motherhood in the black community, especially single teenage mothers, and its effects on childhood poverty. That's something that I think everyone can unite behind, regardless of party.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

More opinions. . . .

– February 27, 2013 1:17 PM
Q.

Seth McFarlane

It upped his recognition level for sure, before the telecast I thought he was the other Seth, the one with curly hair that used to be heavy but not isn't so much. Although can't say my impression was positive, I do know who he is now.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

You mean, Seth Rogen? Ha. Yes, exactly. That was the problem with his shtick, his smug assumption that everyone knew all about him.

– February 27, 2013 1:18 PM
Q.

PRADA, IN GENERAL, IS AWFUL

Do you remember Meryl Streep's dress a few years ago? Sort of a blue tent thing? I think Prada goes out of its way to bring an Iron Curtain, Eastern European vibe to fashion. And Anne Hathaway's necklace was all wrong for that high-bodice dress. I just don't understand the love of Prada.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Oh, I liked her backwards necklace trick.

– February 27, 2013 1:18 PM
Q.

Ben Affleck

I, for one, love him and Jennifer Garner together. From the outside, they look like a normal couple, taking their kids to school, karate, ballet, for coffee, etc. And they seem to really be in love. I hope their marriage lasts.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

"From the outside" . . . Nice sentiments, I agree, but you know, we really know nothing about any of these people from what we see through the lens of Santa Monica paparazzi.

– February 27, 2013 1:19 PM
Q.

looking good

Who I thought looked great was Jane Fonda, and loved the bright yellow gown. She stood out from the crowd.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Yes, she always turns it out well.

– February 27, 2013 1:20 PM
Q.

No one wears anything crazy anymore,

When was Bjork's swan dress? This is all making me miss Cher and Bob Mackie. There was something wonderful - even if unintentional - about the clothes in the 70s.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I agree. Remember that terrible thing Demi Moore work, like 25 years ago, where it was a voluminous train around a pair of bike shorts? And I think Geena Davis turned up in a hoop skirt one year, or something like that. And then the stylists got involved, sigh.

– February 27, 2013 1:21 PM
Q.

In Memoriam

Seemed a bit short this year. They didn't have room for Sylvia Kristel?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Lots of baffling omissions. And sadly not a lot of love for Dutch softcore film stars.

– February 27, 2013 1:22 PM
Q.

Renee Zellweger

So what's the real story on Renee Zellweger at the Oscars? Rumors are that she was drunk, but she seemed more loopy to me.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

She was getting a lot of abuse heaped on her for clearly having some cosmetic injections, and it's like HELLO, every woman in that room has done the same thing. But it was more her affect that I found startling. It looked like she needed Richard Gere to prop her up and that she was having trouble focusing her eyes.

– February 27, 2013 1:25 PM
Q.

Jennifer Garner

Didn't her cheek bones look bigger and better than before?
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Maybe. It could be that at 40 her remarkable layer of age-defying facial baby fat is finally melting away, revealing in its absence an equally enviable pair of cheekbones.

– February 27, 2013 1:27 PM
Q.

Hathaway dress

Scuttlebutt is that she realized Amanda Seyfried was wearing remarkably similar dress. Many comparisons on line and they were similar so Anne switched.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Her apology including something about learning that someone else would be out there in a similar dress, so she changed plans.

– February 27, 2013 1:27 PM
Q.

Still the best Oscar dress EVER

Best Oscar dress ever was the black and white dress that Julia Rogers wore for her Oscar win. It was vintage Dior, IIRC. She looked like a billion dollars in it.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

That was a nice dress.

– February 27, 2013 1:28 PM
Q.

The last crazy Oscar Act

was when Jack Palance fell to the floor and did one-arm pushups to show how youthful he is. The publicists/spokespeople have ruined Hollywood and Washington.
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

Well, as I argued last week, Jack Palance did inspire some other Oscar showboaters -- Adrian Brody, Cuba Gooding Jr. , Roberto  Benigni. . .

– February 27, 2013 1:28 PM
Q.

Chris Brown

Thought the Chris Brown Rihanna joke was hilarious
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

I laughed and then loathed myself for laughing.

– February 27, 2013 1:29 PM
Q.

Scandal

Did you miss the episode in which Mellie hid a pod under her husband's bed, and Olivia attached a spider-like creature to Edison's back, or Quinn and Huck were reading To Serve Man? And David Rosen asked Abby to go to the Ellipse and say "Klaatu Barada Nikto?"
A.
Amy Argetsinger :

You see, I can't tell if you're joking or not.

– February 27, 2013 1:29 PM
Q.

Amy Argetsinger :

Well, this has been fun! Time to do the heavy lifting we get paid for, though, so scamper off to lunch the rest of you and start thinking about things we can talk about next week when the Oscars will be too distant in our rearview mirrors. Until then, keep in touch at reliablesource@washpost.com

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