Oscars out in La La Land

Everybody knows that Hollywood loves a drama.

Throw in a surprise ending with a comedic twist and you have movie magic.

The Academy Awards inadvertently followed that script Sunday night.

In the most shocking mix-up in Oscars history, Moonlight won Best Picture — but only after presenter Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner, setting off mass confusion inside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

After the Oscars, PricewaterhouseCoopers — which tabulates the Oscar votes — released a statement apologizing for the flub: “We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”

No word yet on whether President Trump plans to deport the responsible PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants.

From Russia with Love

Some folks, and they know who they are, think Donald Trump speaks with a forked tongue even though he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

But The Prez actually speaks the truth at times.

Imagine that.

At Thursday’s raucous presser, Trump responded to a volley of questions about his ties to Russia by saying: “I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”

That’s true.

But it’s not for a lack of trying. Trump has a long history of trying to do business in Russia, but despite many efforts and plenty of boasting and angling, he hasn’t managed to land a single major real estate deal there.

But he has partnered with Russian financiers on major projects elsewhere around the world. Russian investors have been instrumental in helping him cope with all the credit problems he has thanks to his serial bankruptcies. And a number of Trump’s former and current advisers have had financial ties to Russia.

So the question of our time is this: Does Trump’s public affection for Vladimir Putin correspond with his dependence on Russian investors?

Forget Clark Kent. Tom Brady is the real Superman

It was epic, a Super Bowl for the ages and the sages.

We shall not see its likes again.

The magnificence of Tom Brady, the Greatest of All Time, in leading an astonishingly surreal comeback from 25 points down in the third period to an absolutely stunning 34-28 overtime win over the shell-shocked Atlanta Falcons should be preserved in watercolor for future generations to savor and perhaps even genuflect.

The Patriots were dead. The coroner was about to put toe tags on their corpses.

Their offense was going nowhere. Their defense was a sieve.

Brady took more hard hits than a busy parking lot speed bump.

They should have been drenched with despair.

But no.

They didn’t quit. Not one ounce.

Out of stillness comes swiftness.

Out of patience comes energy.

With Brady’s unstoppable, supernova rhythm of poised perfection, pristine accuracy and riverboat-gambler nerve incredibly steering the wheel in a game that defied adjectives, the Patriots found the gates out of hell.

Terrific Tom is the ultimate lifeline.

As it unfolded before eyes that couldn’t believe what they were seeing, the magic floating in the air was palatable.

The whole world witnessed a colossal miracle.

A resurrection that will be etched in eternity.

It was one of those galactic explosions of white light that simply consumes everything else.

Genius fascinates and watching Brady Sunday night in Houston must have been what it was like to watch Vincent van Gogh paint or Wolfgang Mozart compose.

Roger that, Goodell, and all your Deflategate nonsense.

Brady doesn’t have deflated balls. Just the opposite.

A hard blue vein runs through his character

Brady led the Patriots back from deficits of 21-0 and 28-3 with a throw-early, throw-late approach as the Patriots roared back. Entering Sunday, no team had won the Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

Brady was named the game’s MVP. It was the fourth time — an NFL record — he had earned MVP honors, having won the award in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

It was the fifth Super Bowl win of Brady’s career, the most for a quarterback. He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with defensive end Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

Brady, ancient for a quarterback, finished 43-for-62, the most attempts in Super Bowl history, for 466 yards and two touchdowns. His 466 yards passing are also a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago.

I missed David vs. Goliath, but I did see Clay vs. Liston, Ali vs. Foreman, Douglas vs. Tyson, Armstrong vs. Moon.

But I never saw anything like Brady vs. Impossible.

Except, perhaps, for Brady vs. Time.

The presidency as pure spectacle

Isn’t it downright delicious?

Our presidency now is the ultimate entertainment outlet.

Exit the dignity and class of Obama.

Enter the raucous circus with President Pinocchio as the ringmaster.

This presidency is pregnant with potential to be the Greatest Show on Earth now that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus is folding its big tent.

So much for the gravity of the Oval Office tempering our new commander-in-chief.

Those foolish enough to think so already are sour with disappointment.

What a marvelous screenplay this would make. Are you paying attention, Oliver Stone?

President Trump is thin-skinned, an egomaniac, a dispenser of alternative facts (the cardinal rule of propaganda is the bigger the lie the better) and a bully.

This is a guy who picks fights with everybody, even the pope.

He now is at war with the media after lambasting the intelligence community — with the gall to appear at CIA headquarters and blame the press, not his inflammatory tweets, for causing his rift with the intelligence community in the wake of the Russian election hacking.

How’s that for insulting everyone’s intelligence?

Indeed, the man — whether it’s with his super-quick tonsils or thumbs — is an insult machine.

He still is campaigning, putting in some hard licks on his sculpture, chiseling his image as Mr. Mean.

Our president is an incredible lightning rod for division.

Many consider him to be a hero while many consider him to be a heavy. His supporters mirror swagger and chutzpah; his detractors mirror disillusionment and despair.

As a man who fancies himself as a populist, that only seems to be true with his base. True populist presidents don’t have millions taking to the streets on the day after the inauguration.

Of course, if Trump truly can make America great again despite all the falsity, bluster and hysteria, good for us.

If not, at least he kept us all wildly entertained.

Fasten your seatbelts because it’s going to be one helluva rollercoaster ride.

And don’t forget that while he says this is all about us, it’s really all about him.

If America is the freaking mess Trump says it is, he had better start walking on water NOW

President Trump (that will take some getting used to) delivered a short, dark and defiant inaugural address today that was raw, partisan and fiercely populist in lambasting the state of the union.

His portrait of America was so bleak that perhaps it’s best if we simply give up and ask the British to take back their long prodigal colonies.

He promised to transfer power in Washington from political elites to the people (call it obnoxious populism) and vowing to put “America first.”

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Trump said.

With blunt, searing talk he railed about a crippled nation in dire need of bold, immediate action.

Standing on a platform with much of the Washington establishment, he tore into the people who have run the country. He spurned the poetry and grandeur of most inaugural speeches and instead delivered a rallying cry much like his stream-of-consciousness campaign talks, brimming with brash bravado.

Comrade Trump

So far Donald Trump playing president (God, he’s not even in office yet) isn’t exactly comparable to Jagger rocking on stage, Adele doing scales, Brady throwing the football, O’ Reilly pontificating and Puck stirring sauces.

For instance, how do we explain the overtly pro-Russian behavior of Trump and his surrogates?

Why if they’re not Russian puppets, why do they work so hard to defend Putin and Russia against American intelligence, investigators and reporters?

Hail to the Chief.

A Rose Bowl that was a real classical gas

Granted, it was a heartbreaker for Penn State.

But it was a game for the ages and the sages.

And then some.

Indeed, the Rose Bowl — already etched in folklore as the Granddaddy of Them All — just might have been the Greatest of Them All Monday night.

It featured two epic comebacks, first by Penn State and then by USC; a delicious abundance of spectacular plays and heroics; 101 points; 1,040 yards of offense; and more drama than even Broadway has seen.

The electrifying encounter even had the requisite heart-thumping ending with Matt Boermeester, who already had missed two field goals, nailing a 46-yarder amidst the cacophonous tension as time expired to give the Trojans, who had rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit, a synapse-snapping 52-49 victory.

The field was chockfull of great plays by great players, but the Greatest of Them All was Southern Cal freshman quarterback Sam Darnold, whose wonderful arm talent and riverboat-gambler nerve helped him pass for 453 yards and five touchdowns.

Darnold  was the embodiment of Clutch.

The game was the embodiment of Classic.