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Post-AA Ramblings

Monday March 3, 2008

Random thoughts on the 2008 Awards extravaganza:

-The Show: Typical. 2 1/2 stars at best. Is anyone else tired of seeing that caricature, Jack Nicholson, in the front row with those inane sunglasses? I don't get it. And how about the orchestra cutting in before Marketa Irglova could co-accept for the winning song "Falling Slowly"? What may have been a first was Stewart bringing her back out after the commercial break to give her speech. Classy!

-The Host: Jon Stewart did an admirable job. I'd give him 3 stars (out of 4). I actually laughed out loud a number of times. However, clips of past emcees (namely Johnny Carson and even, Bob Hope) made me yearn for someone more in tune with the Hollywood folks. As expected, his schtick turned more than once to the political arena which seemed a bit out of place.

-Best supporting Actor: As expected, they could have mailed the Oscar to Javier. One of the biggest slam dunks in Oscar history. Hopefully he won't be typecast for that role because he is one of the better actors on the planet. (If you haven't seen it, check him out in the great "The Sea Inside" where he plays the middle age(!) famous Spanish paraplegic writer, Ramon Sampedro. The film won the Best Foreign Language Film last year. He should have been nominated for Best Actor!)

-Best Supporting Actress: As I predicted (see above), this was the upset category of the night. Although my heart was with Linney, I absolutely totally agree with The Academy on choosing Marion Cotillard's performance. I didn't think enough members would have seen it. Also, what is even more amazing is that this French film came out in early June, way before the "Oscar season" which is typically after the summer blockbusters. Kudos to The Academy!

-Best Actor: The other slam dunk of the night. Daniel Day-Lewis' performance ranks up there with the all time best in my opinion. Totally deserving, it's a shame the dude has only made about 13 films in his career which spans some 28 years.

-Best Actress: I loved this selection which I picked with both my heart and head. Tilda's character was the driving force behind "Michael Clayton" and her acting was superb. She is one of the most underrated actresses around and I'm thrilled she was finally, justly acknowledged and rewarded!

-Best Film: What can I say? The odds-on favorite, I was disappointed that "Atonement" (which won for original score) got virtually shut-out. Once the show got deep into the night without any momentum at all I knew it wouldn't come close to winning any of the top awards. My same feelings for "Michael Clayton", both of which were superior to "Old Country For Old Men".

-Best Director: At least The Academy did the right thing by handing out the best director award to the Coens. Again, how can you not select the director(s) of the Best Picture?

-Best Animated: "Ratatouille" should have been nominated for Best Picture. At the very least ahead of the awful "Juno".

-Best Documentary: I was REALLLY rooting for "War/Dance" but "Taxi To The Dark Side" was an admirable pick and not surprising considering the political slant of the Hollywood community. Again, every American needs to see this before the next election-along with "No End In Sight"! Alex Gibney is one of the premiere documentary filmmakers around and I was glad to see him win after missing last year with the amazing "Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room".

-Best Original Screenplay: The 3rd slam dunk went to Diablo Cody. Most people on the planet, for some reason, loved "Juno" so this was the expected "bone" they threw to it. This selection was a total sham as the screenplays for the other 4 nominees: "Lars And The Real Girl", "Michael Clayton", "The Savages", and the amazing "Ratatouille (which was an animated screenplay for lord's sake!!!) were all so vastly superior to this winner it's ridiculous! Thank the lord it didn't win best picture.

-Best Original Song: "Falling Slowly" is not only the best original song of the year, it is in one of the best movies of the year. A minor masterpiece, rent "Once" now!!!

Final tally: I got 9 out 14 of the major categories (it would have been 10 out of 14 if I had chosen OCFOM as the best picture. However, I did have The Coen Brothers as Best Directors). I missed on Lead Actress (I went with Christie-but not because I thought she deserved it), Cinematography (I thought "Atonement" would get it), Documentary, & Foreign Language Film (a guess). My total tally was 14 out of 24.

On to 2008!