An Ode to Angelina Jolie’s Right Leg

Oh, have we met before? I’m sure we have, though perhaps not under these exact circumstances, not so dramatically, so intensely. But there you were, tentative at first as you were thrust out onto the red carpet like a shy Oscar date being pushed out of a limousine, but once the initial, dizzying assault of flashbulbs faded into a dazzling bath of celebratory light, you found your footing. You were more than self-assured. You were radiant. Just a few feet away, a grasping hand, underfed arm and bony elbow joined in a posture of sassy defiance, but no one noticed: all focus was already on you as you snaked out of the tailored dress slit. “She needs a sandwich,” hissed the naysayers whose eyes briefly danced across that left arm, but when they finally realized you weren’t retreating back into the inky folds of the gown, that you were here to stay, there was no more rancid bile, just awe. Oh, what a leg, indeed!

And then you disappeared. There still was a show to put on, a show that suffered immeasurably from your absence, a show gutshot by our longing and quickly bleeding out as we awaited your return. Would you even return? We had no way of knowing, just desperate hope. In the meantime, Billy Crystal sang, danced, minced, greenscreened. Awards were handed out in a flurry, the “boring” ones flying out from behind the podium at breakneck pace. Where were you in our hour of need? In the audience, tucked inside your dress, being worriedly caressed by Brad as he awaited a verdict on his Moneyball performance or fretted over Jonah Hill’s fortunes? Did you sneak off backstage, bump into Bradley Cooper’s mustache in the green room, then steal off to a bathroom stall for a filthy rendezvous? Did Rooney Mara’s bangs meet you there for an impromptu menage a trois? We had no idea, and our minds were left to wander, our imaginations to conspire. Oh, how we worried.

But then you were onstage, announcing the screenplay awards.Tens of millions of eyeballs were on you, where they belonged. Hand once again found hip, leg found slit, and you were on full display again. The night was yours, deliciously yours. Even after you left the stage, having entranced the theater, then all of America, no, the entire world, your presence lingered. Dean Pelton channeled you as Alexander Payne nattered on about something unrelated to you, and therefore damningly trivial. Twitter feted you, attempted to know your thoughts. You became more than a mere meme, an object of ephemeral Internet fascination.

You became immortal. You became Bjork’s swan, Parker and Stone’s drag, Jack Palance’s feats of strength. You became Oscar itself.

We will never forget you. We will suffer in your absence. Come back to us.

Wait. Hmmm? Jennifer Lopez’s nipple did what? Oh. Well, this is awkward. Don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back, we promise. We just need to figure out this runaway areola situation. You’re great. Kisses. Call us!

Filed Under: Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Oscars

Mark Lisanti is an editor at Grantland.

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