Monday, February 25, 2008
Oscar Turns 80
The 80th Academy Awards was such a treat for us, especially as we've been on family trips for the last five years and missed all but snippets of the telecast. What fun it was to watch the red carpet interviews (notice that I didn't mention listening to the interviews as the most inane questions possible were asked of the Oscar nominees and presenters). I loved the plethora of red gowns, especially those worn by Heidi Klum, Katherine Heigl and Anne Hathaway. Judging the merits (or demerits) and relative taste of each gown and tux -- not to mention hair, accessories, and jewelry -- is my favorite part of the magic of the Oscars. Fashion, baby! It's all about fashion!
But I did enjoy the show itself, Jon Stewart included. He was far less annoying than the majority of past hosts, although Billy Crystal riding in on the horse and then "setting" its alarm remotely was definitely the best entrance by a host in my memory. And besides the presentation of awards, a few moments stood out to shine. John Travolta waltzing to the podium and Helen Mirren "knighting" Daniel Day Lewis were hilarious, and along with the wonderful retrospectives on past Academy Award shows, they made this 80th anniversary quite memorable.
Then the reception of the awards was also noteworthy. The Coen brothers definitely "scooped," winning for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture. I loved seeing Tilda Swindon win, and her acceptance speech rocked -- although her gown rather scared me. (She's a rather awkward woman, isn't she?) We know her better as the White Witch in Narnia. I'm thrilled that Ratatouille won for Animated Picture, and I also couldn't be more thrilled for Diablo Cody(what a name!) -- a woman like that can make even writers seem cool. Anyway, here's the complete list of Oscar winners, thanks to MSNBC:
Best picture “No Country for Old Men”
Best actress Marion Cotillard, “La Vie en Rose”
Best actor Daniel Day-Lewis, “There Will Be Blood”
Best supporting actress Tilda Swinton, “Michael Clayton”
Best supporting actor Javier Bardem, “No Country for Old Men”
Best director Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, “No Country for Old Men”
Best foreign film “The Counterfeiters,” Austria
Adapted screenplay Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, “No Country for Old Men”
Original screenplay Diablo Cody, “Juno”
Animated feature film “Ratatouille”
Art direction “Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Cinematography “There Will Be Blood”
Sound mixing “The Bourne Ultimatum”
Sound editing “The Bourne Ultimatum”
Original score “Atonement,” Dario Marianelli
Original song “Falling Slowly” from “Once”
Costume “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
Documentary feature “Taxi to the Dark Side”
Documentary short “Freeheld”
Film editing “The Bourne Ultimatum”
Makeup “La Vie en Rose”
Animated short film “Peter & the Wolf”
Live action short film “Le Mozart des Pickpockets"
Visual effects “The Golden Compass
Overall, the 80th Academy Awards was a lovely tribute to the art of film making, one well-deserved as movies do give us the power to be someplace else without leaving our seats. We love the movies, and perhaps Robert Boyle, who won the Honorary Oscar, who has worked in production design in the industry for seven decades and with great like "Hitch" (Alfred Hitchcock, of course) and many others, said it best:
"Since I’ve been around here for almost a century, I’ve noted a lot of conflicts, but there was one bright image in this whole life of ours, and that was the arts, and particularly the art of the moviemakers, of the moving image that we all love.”
Amen! I loved his speech, long though it was, and his passion for the art of film making.