Monday 25 February 2008

Random Notes on the 2008 Oscars

  • Though I prefer the song "When Your Mind's Made Up" from the film Once, the Academy voters chose right with "Falling Slowly" as the year's Best Song. It's the first time the pair sing together in the movie, shows them working through the song and is really the core of the film as their relationship takes off from there. It would have been great to see "When Your Mind's Made Up" nominated (especially in place of that awful ballad from Enchanted), but I guess I can live with things the way they are...

  • What I didn't like so much was the way the song was arranged for the Oscars - with sweetened strings and other accompaniment. It plays so much better and emotional as a duet. IMO the proof is here:

  • The two other songs from Enchanted (ie. non-crappy ballads) were also pretty good. My wife (who saw the film) mentioned that Amy Adams made them a great deal of fun in the film and that they came across better than on stage at the Oscars. I'm not quite sure why Adams only sang one of the songs at the awards, but the songs both had memorable tunes to them. Along with the fine performance of the tune from August Rush, that made it 4 out of 5 decent songs nominated. That must be a record...

  • Tilda Swinton's acceptance speech may have been my favourite moment of the night. She was genuinely surprised, thankful and yet still very funny. I loved her comments about Clooney being really dedicated to the Batman costume...

  • Jon Stewart was a bit flat last time out as host, but seemed more relaxed and even spontaneous this time around (about Glen Hansard - "Boy, that guy was arrogant").

  • I'm a bit bummed about Madame Tutli-Putli not winning the Best Short Animated film, but I haven't seen any of the others, so I suppose it wouldn't be fair to comment. But...Those clips from Peter The Wolf just didn't seem to come close. And why did they have to pick a story that's been done a hundred times already? Oh well, I'm sure the winner is quite deserving...

  • Marion Cotillard was stunning. Wowza.

  • And I have to say that I'm even curious to see La Vie En Rose now. I didn't have a whole lot of interest previously (the length of the film, the lukewarm reviews and likely way too much music by Edith Piaf - sorry, not my fave singer).

  • The spoofs on the montages were pretty funny, in particular the bee one that included The Swarm. I mean, did you ever expect to see a clip from The Swarm at The Oscars?

  • I missed the roll call of the dead - maybe I can find the video on Youtube. I can't say I "enjoy" it every year, but it's a nice reminder of those that have passed away. For the broadcast though, they should really just mute the audience and play recorded music over it - even if you tell people to hold their applause, they usually can't.

  • "Henry Kissinger - Man On The Go".

  • That slippery spot that almost wiped out both Colin Farrell and John Travolta.

  • Daniel Day-Lewis kneeling before Helen Mirren - something all mortal men should indeed do. She too was pretty damn stunning.

  • I liked the montages of the previous winners, but there wasn't a great deal of focus on the Best Picture nominees.

  • Marion Cotillard really was gorgeous...

  • I still think Steve Carrell is one of the funniest people around.

  • The audience really seemed to approve of the win by "Falling Slowly" - that was probably the biggest round of applause of the night.

  • I'm not exactly a fan of Hannah Montana, but Miley Cyrus sure carried herself well and was very composed.

  • Not only were all the acting awards won by Europeans, it seemed most of the other awards were too.

Did I mention Marion Cotillard is really good-looking?


James McNally said...

I loved Marion Cotillard. When her makeup artist won, she seemed genuinely moved and had tears in her eyes. When she won, her speech was beautiful and spontaneous, and I loved her line "there really are angels in this city". Apparetnly, she made an even better speech backstage to the press and even sang a little Piaf number for them (although I heard she didn't actually do the singing in the film, thought I might be mistaken).

Yes, she is gorgeous...

PIPER said...

I had an Oscar party and there were some jokes that carried through the night.

The slippery spot was maybe one of the best. We would predict if the incoming would slip saying things like "he's coming in hot... watch out."

John Travolta's hair. It look sprayed on.

Hanna Montana not nervous. Kathryn Heigl a wreck? Weird.

And man Helen Mirren is still a fricking knock-out. I might argue she is more beautiful today then when she was younger. But that might be crazy talk.

Chet Mellema said...

Ethan Coen's nonchalance was a nice touch...but Joel seemed to rescue his brother from indifference with a few choice, and reverant, words for the film industry. Still not sure how I feel about the Coens sweeping the top prizes...I revere No Country immensely, but being tagged as Best Picture is not something that recent history necessarily celebrates (e.g., A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, Crash, etc.). Maybe we're entering an early 70s-type period where serious criticism aligns with Academy gold...we'll see.

Bob Turnbull said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

Yeah, Cotillard charmed my socks off. I'd say what else she could have charmed off, but my wife reads my blog...

Piper, we noticed Travolta's hair too. It just didn't look like it could be a natural occurrence of any kind.

I seem to remember that Mirren was very attractive in "The Long Good Friday" with Bob Hoskins. At the very least, she hasn't missed a step. And she can growl "cojones" to me any time she wants...B-)

Chet, although it's mind boggling to me that "No Country" is now a member of that horrible stretch of winners from 2000-2005 (except for Return Of The King), one can only hope the win inspires filmmakers to keep telling their stories in original ways.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in Cotillard. I think she's just an elaborate ruse. I saw a documentary about it once.