Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscars

I came in 5th in my Oscar pool. I had lost pretty early on.

I'm really happy Marion Cotillard won for La Vie en Rose even though I picked Julie Christe for Away from Her. Cotillard was just amazing in that role and as you can see from the live Oscars and the clips from the film, she just completely and impossibly transformed herself.

images.jpegimages-1.jpegI thought Supporting Actress was really difficult to pick this year. I went with Ruby Dee but Tilda Swinton pulled it out and her speech was fun. I think Amy Ryan was probably most deserving but maybe next year. Ever notice how Tilda Swinton looks like Clay Aiken?

Jon Stewart was good this year. Better than he was two years ago. His opening was pretty good, particularly the line about showing respect for the writers by inviting them to the Vanity Fair party (instead of canceling it) and his description of this years nominees: "this years slate of oscar nominated psychopathic killer movies, thank god for teen pregnancy". He had a good dig on Norbit too, "too often the academy ignores movies that aren't good".

Stewart was also good pointing out 11 year old singer Jamaya Simone Nash. After coming back from another commercial break two of them were playing Wii tennis on the giant screen. I think the funniest presenters were Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill who were introduced as Dame Judi Dench and Halle Berry and spent the time fighting over who looked more like Halle Berry. Steve Carell was pretty funny too.

There were too many film montages. I'm guessing it was how they coped with not having enough time to write stuff. it was fun for a while but then got old. At least they made fun of themselves with oscars salute to binoculars and periscopes and bad dreams, an oscar salute.

I thought a lot of the actresses managed to look very beautiful in spite of their dresses. I just didn't like the feathers which seemed to be unfortunately prominently placed. Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Chenoweth, and Hilary Swank all had the same problem. Another trend that annoyed me was strapless dresses that didn't move with the person and looked liked armored breast plates. Keri Russell and Kristen Chenoweth both had this. Also the woman who won for best costume design had a horrible dress, that shouldn't happen. I think Katherine Heigl, Marion Cotillard, Renée Zellweger and Cate Blanchett looked best.

Why were Heidi Klum and Seal there? They weren't in any films, didn't present and he didn't sing. And yet they were sitting near the stage. If you're going to invite Heidi Klum at least show a shot of her standing up.

I noticed this year they were pretty good about letting multiple people talk when accepting the award. They were bad for the award for sound mixing when they cut off the guy to show a montage of past best actress winners. That's just rude. The best song winner was from Once and Glen Hansard spoke but Markéta Irglová was cut off before being allowed to say anything. The best moment of the night was when Jon Stewart, back from commercial, brought out Markéta Irglová so she could give her speech. Here's what she said:

"Hi everyone, I just wanted to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling. And the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, is just proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And fair play to those that dare to dream and don't give up. This song is written from a perspective of hope and hope at the end of the day connects us all no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much who helped us along the way. Thank you."

This was the best speech of the night. Hopefully the oscar producers will learn their lesson. I'd rather hear winners speak like this than watch a lot of montages. If the 24 winners were allowed to speak for a full minute that's still less than a half hour of the broadcast. At least this year everyone got to walk up on stage.

1 comment:

Natalie & Jessica's Dad said...

Good review. And I must say that when Katherine Heigl came on stage with her red dress and looking like a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Chrlize Theron, both my wife and I responded with, "yowza". I didn't even know who she was (though I just looked her up on IMDB and now vaguely recall her from Knocked Up), but dang...

he only reason I could see that Klum was there was that there was some sort of contest going on during the commercials to give away her dress. I didn't pay attention.

The sound mixing was terrible. It seemed like after each commercial Jon Stewart's mic was accidentally shut off.

And in what order did they show the In Memoriam? It wasn't by age, or by death date.

The Wii thing was perfect timing. I've been trying to explain to my wife why we need one, even though neither she nor I have ever actually seen one in use.