Monday, February 25, 2008

Random Oscar Thoughts

Best way to watch the Oscars: Start watching at 9:00pm using Tivo (or Tivo-like Windows Media Center, in my case). Then skip past all the commercials, all the musical numbers and all the boring awards.


Why do people use their moment of glory to list people they know, rather than make a comment about the state of the world, or movie making, or even just make a simple joke for crying out loud? There are a billion people watching - why not use it to say something meaningful, or at least entertaining?

I wish more people were like Alex Gibney, who won with the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side:

“Here's to all doc filmmakers. And, truth is, I think my dear wife Anne was kind of hoping I'd make a romantic comedy, but honestly, after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition that simply wasn't possible. This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us, Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver, and my father, a navy interrogator who urged me to make this film because of his fury about what was being done to the rule of law. Let's hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light.”

I appreciated that Jon Stewart let Best Song winner Marketa Irglova back on stage after they had cut off the mike after her partner had finished. She also had a good speech:
”Hi everyone. I just want 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 this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up. And this song was 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 way. Thank you.”
So, in sum, either speak truth to power, or give us hope that our dreams can come true.


I thought Michael Clayton was the best overall movie that I had seen on the list, but I was secretly pulling for Juno, especially for Ellyn Page as Best Actress. Oh well.

On the Best Actor front, three of my favorite actors are Daniel Day-Lewis, George Clooney, and Johnny Depp, so it was hard to go wrong. But I was pulling for Depp, because he hasn’t won one before. Oh well, again.

The only thing I was sure of before the night began was that Javier Bardem would win for best supporting actor. Yay, I’m right about something!


I've heard great things about Taxi to the Dark Side. I hope it plays somewhere in town now.


Why does a child actress get a nomination every other year or so? Isn't this a slap in the face to grown-up actresses? It seems vaguely sexist to me, but I can't articulate why.

I wonder if it is because there are fewer interesting roles for women than for men in most movies.

Jon Stewart was great. He seemed more relaxed and less smart-alecky than last year, and it fit better. My favorite of his lines:

"Does this town need a hug? What happened? No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, There Will Be Blood. All I can say is, thank God for teen pregnancy. "

"Not all films did as well as Juno obviously. The films that were made about the Iraq war, let's face it, did not do as well. But I'm telling you, if we stay the course and keep these movies in the theatres we can turn this around. I don't care if it takes 100 years. Withdrawing the Iraq movies would only embolden the audience. We cannot let the audience win."

"Democrats do have an historic race going. Hillary Clinton vs Barack Obama. Normally, when you see a black man or a woman president an asteroid is about to hit the Statue of Liberty. How will we know it's the future? Silver unitards, that can't be all?"

"Even Norbit got a nomination, which I think is great. … Too often, the academy ignores movies that aren't good. "


Finally, it was sweet to see Diablo Cody win for best original screenplay: “And most of all, I want to thank my family for loving me exactly the way I am,” she said, all choked up. If everyone could say this, the world would be a much better place.


Tim said...

Yay, I’m right about something!

I'll just refer to the old proverb: Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Theoretically, if you randomly picked a winner for each category, you'd get 1/5 right.

I like Jon Stewart, and loved the quotes you provided. However, it's hard for me to watch him at such a formal affair and think he's being sincere. He always has this smirk on his face that seems to puncture the pageantry of the event. Not that I'm complaining.

Dan S said...

"if you randomly picked a winner"

Note that I was 100% correct on my predictions. I only predicated one thing, and it turned out to be true.

There's probably a proverb about being a weasel that is more appropriate for this situation.

Tim said...

You're right. I displayed poor reading skills. You mention two categories that you wanted to win, but didn't make any actual predictions for them.

You were indeed right about the one thing you were sure of.

It's an honor just to be weaseled.

Jenna said...

I did pretty well in my predictions...won the family pool.

You are right about kid actors. I just didn't get Atonement girl. Do they ever nominate little boys? HW in Blood was at least in most of the movie...and learned sign language.

I also didn't understand why Enchanted had 3 music noms...there actually was some great music this year (Into the Wild, Walk Hard, Hairspray (Ladies' Choice was new)). Once deserved the win.

One day Johnny will win! (think 21 Jump St! the musical!)

Dan S said...

One day Johnny will win!

I hope so. He definitely deserved it for Pirates.

Maybe it will be like Denzel, where he wins with an average movie, as kind of a lifetime achievement thing.