Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar 2009 Thoughts...

Great opening number by Hugh Jackman! He's very funny.

Best Supporting Actress
A bit too sentimental introduction for the Best Supporting Actress. Did they really need five previous winners up on stage? And the winner? Penelope Cruz? I saw and really liked the film she was nominated for, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, directed by Woody Allen. I haven't seen Doubt, which had two Best Actress noms, but I did The Wrestler and Benjamin Button. Neither Marisa Tomei or Taraji P. Henson really knocked my socks off. But neither did Cruz. I wonder how strong Meryl Streep's performance was.

Best Original Screenplay
In Bruges and Milk were two excellent films. Wall-E was all right but aimed more at kids. Milk wins, no surprise there. It was much bigger than In Bruges and aimed at adults. Awkward acceptance speech.

Adapted Screenplay
Benjamin Button us a strong contender, although the film was a tad too Gump-like.
Slumdog Millionaire wins and possibly begins its conquest of the awards.

Jack Black was funny and managed to get away with the Pixar joke. No surprise for Wall-E to get the award.

Animated Short Film. Hysterical acceptance speech from the Japanese guy who could barely speak English.

Art Direction. I can agree with Benjamin Button winning

Costume Design. Another awkward speech.

Makeup. Ben Button has to win and it did. Some people were predicting that it would actually win zero awards this evening.

Philip Hoffman. What's with the toque?

Best Supporting Actor goes to Keith Ledger. This is the win many fans of the last Batman film wanted to see. Sad but powerful to see his family accept the award.

Best Documentary. Man On A Wire wins and it's likely the best known of the bunch. Funny acceptance speech and neat to see a magic trick.

Sound Editing. It went to The Dark Knight but I think it should have gone to Wall-E, a film so heavily dependent on sound more so than most.

Thankfully, the acceptance speech from Jerry Lewis was brief and to the point. You've got to wonder if this is the first time the Academy has given him such an award.

Two wins for AR Rahman, the composer of the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire. I just bought a copy this past weekend. In his acceptance speech for the second win, he said that he had a choice of choosing love or hate in his life and he chose love. How groovy is that? Plenty.

Best Foreign Language film went to Departures from Japan. Nice brief acceptance speech from another Japanese guy who can barely speak English, but enough to get his point across.

Best Director. Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire. Not a big surprise. Interesting jumping up and down, like Tigger, as he promised his kids. Classy acceptance speech. Nice of him to right a wrong and include the guy who choreographed the dance sequence in the closing credits of the film.

Best Actress. Kate Winslet was extraordinary in The Reader and was my pick to win. for someone sitting in the front row she was out of breath, and sounded like she just came back from a marathon. Nice to see her get her dad to whistle out his presence at the show. Her speech was great, especially as she gushed about how none of the believe that they were in the same category as Meryl Streep, who has a record 15 nominations.

Best Actor. Sean Penn really deserves this one, more so than Brad Pitt. Mickey Rourke was also quite brilliant in his role as a washed up wrestler. This is his second Best Actor award, having won for Mystic River in 2004. Very political speech from Penn, but that was to be expected. Nice of him to recognize Mickey Rourke.

Best Picture. No surprise, but some heavy competition. Slumdog Millionaire wins again and is the night's biggest winner, winning for Best Director also.

Overall, it was a good show but a long one at 3 1/2 hours.

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