I was out at a kids birthday party earlier today and didn’t catch the start of everything (maybe that’s a good thing!) So, here are the awards I missed:
Costume Design: Elizabeth: The Golden Age. And I go 1 for 1.
Animated Feature: Ratatouille. Of course – 2 for 2.
Make Up: La Vie En Rose. D’oh! – 2 for 3
Visual Effects: The Golden Compass. The first robbery this year. 2 for 4.
Art Direction: Sweeney Todd. Damn straight, this was atmospheric, moody, and perfect. 3 for 5.
All caught up and here we go. Starting out with best supporting actor. John Stewart is being funny. The Hal Holbrook scene is so great. I don’t think Jennifer Hudson picked the best dress for this. Tom Wilkinson is a good actor, but that’s a little over the top. And the winner is:
Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Nice (short!) speech by Bardem. Current Score: 4 for 6. The Academy is only wrong one third of the time so far.
John Stewart pokes fun at montages (aren’t we all sick of them?) and presents Oscar salutes to “binoculars and periscopes” and “bad dreams.” I wish they’d stop with the performances of the best song nominees. First off, it’s an irrelevant category for the Oscars — usually it’s a song played over the credits that had nothing to do with the movie. This song from August Rush is nothing special, sounds like things we’ve heard a hundred times before. Yawn. And now a Bee montage? They whip through the shorts. I didn’t see any of them, so I didn’t make any predictions here.
Alan Arkin is coming out to present best supporting actor. He’s looking good. They showed the “Ruby Dee slaps Denzel Washington scene”, because that’s essentially the only reason she was nominated. And the winner is…
Tilda Swinton – (Michael Clayton)
I am shocked! Absolutely knocked on the floor shocked! Tilda Swinton played a good role in a decent movie, but wow. Not much of a speech, I don’t know that she had anything prepared. It was nice to see her face when they announced the winner, though. I picked Amy Ryan (but wanted Cate Blanchett) and thus fall to a dismal 4 for 7.
I’m sorry Jessica Alba, you are incredibly beautiful, but you just can’t act. You can’t even read the teleprompter. Josh Brolin just called himself on a ridiculous Jack Nicholson impersonation while presenting best adapted screenplay with James MacAvoy. And the winner is…
Joel and Ethan Cohen – (No Country for Old Men)
I’m happy with this. While I was certainly a big fan of Away from Her and There Will Be Blood, this is a great choice. And even better, I’m 5 for 8 now. Somehow Miley Cyrus is out, introducing another song from Enchanted. Although Enchanted was a good movie, and with three songs nominated, it is almost certain to lose (I’m thinking the song from Once will take it.) At least it’s actually part of the movie. Although this performance does not do the song as it appears in the movie any justice. Seth Rogin and his little buddy have a good run for sound editing. And the Winner is…
The Bourne Ultimatum
Whatever. This is a travesty! There Will Be Blood was so clearly the best in this category, even from the small clips they played. The speech was an absolute mess. Glad to see that the music comes in. And I fall to 5 for 9. Next is sound mixing. And the Winner is…
The Bourne Ultimatum
And Bourne sweeps the sound awards. Pffft! Transformers was clearly better. My night gets worse as I fall to 50% – 5 for 10. Here comes Forrest Whitaker to present the best actress award. The winner is…
Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)
Another shock, but in a good way. I still think Ellen Page was the better performance, and can’t believe that Christie didn’t win, but I have to hand it to Cotillard, she was great as Piaf. And what a perfect acceptance speech, such unabashed joy is too rare. There are angels in L.A. and this actress is one of them. Unfortunately, this takes me to 5 for 11. Now I’m really failing. Renee Zelwegger presents the award for film editing to….
The Bourne Ultimatum
Yes! Back on track. No movie has more cuts than a Bourne movie, so it had to win. Nice comment by John Steward about “someone just took the lead in their Oscar pool based on a guess.” Or not…back to half at 6 for 12. Best Foreign Film goes to the Counterfeiters – I haven’t seen any of the nominees. After the final best song performance, John Travolta gives the Oscar to Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard for Once. Great little acceptance speech by Glen Hansard “Make art. Make art.”
Cameron Diaz trips over the word Cinematography, but recovers to announce the nominees. The winner is…
There Will Be Blood
Vengeance is mine! Robers Elswit did an absolutely brilliant job in There Will Be Blood. I took some flack from folks who said no film could be The Assassination of Jesse James (etc., etc.), but this was the right choice. And now I’m 7 for 13, so heading back up! Next big award is for score. I know I went way out on a limb here with 3:10 for Yuma, but the winner is…
I’ve never seen an award go to typing, which is what so much of this soundtrack really was. It’s too bad that what was by FAR the best score (There Will Be Blood) didn’t qualify, but Atonement really wasn’t the best. And back to 50% at 7 for 14. I need to go 3 for 5 from here on out to beat 50%. We’ll see… Tom Hanks is now announcing the best documentary awards. Freeheld wins the best short and for feature, the winner is…
Taxi to the Dark Side
Well, I really thought it would be Sicko, but now I fall to 7 for 15 and need an unlikely 3 out of 4 to save a little face. Harrison Ford comes out next to present the award for best original screenplay. He sounds very old and looks exhausted – I guess the Crystal Skull is really beating him up. And the winner is…
Diablo Cody (Juno)
This is really the only award Juno had a realistic chance at grabbing, so it is excellent to see the win. Another really great acceptance speech (for the most part, a good night for speeches) by someone who is clearly excited to be getting the award. This takes me to 8 and 16. Need 2 of 3. Can’t say I like Helen Mirren’s dress, but man she is a lovely woman (I remember having a crush on her 20 years ago for Morgana La Fey in Excalibur). She is here, of course, to announce the Best Actor. And the winner is…
Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Another amazing speech. Daniel Day-Lewis is, flat out, one of the top three actors alive and his performance in There Will Be Blood will be studied for years. I improve to 9 and 17. 1 of the next 2 and I’ll be a happy man. Martin Scorsese announces best director. And the winner is…
Joel and Ethan Cohen (No Country For Old Men)
I still think that Paul Thomas Anderson was the best director this year, but I cannot begrudge the brothers Cohen this honour, because they made an absolutely brilliant movie. And at 10 for 18, I have succeeded in my 50% or bust mandate. Now to see if Denzel Washington announces my pick for best picture. And the winner is…
No Country for Old Men
I would have loved to see Juno take this, but knew there was no chance, especially once the film won for writing. But, as for directing, I can’t say anything bad about this movies or the Cohen brothers. This is well deserved, and I would have to say that all of the winners this year were extremely deserving, unlike some years, I can’t think of any results that had me outraged. And when all is said and done, I went an outstanding 11 for 19, which succeeds in two ways:
a) I made my 50% or bust!
b) I didn’t make it by so much that I have too large a hurdle for next year.
Overall, a great show, I think they should let John Stewart host for as long as he agrees to do it, he was a great host funny and unobtrusive. No speeches went way too long, the montages were kept to a minimum, and all of the winners deserved to win. Now if they just cut out all those best song performances, they could shorten it by a good 25 minutes. Hope you enjoyed the Oscars, and I’ll see you next year!