The morning after the Oscars

I didn’t see the Oscars last night, but I’ll play Monday morning quarterback anyway.  Even though I know that most of the people reading this post don’t care one whit about the show – “where are the latest pictures of Jonathan and Emma?”, they’re asking – this blog gives me an outlet for expression that I don’t have in the real world.  (Because very few people I know in real life care about the Oscars either.) 

So just humor me for a minute.  Your patience will be rewarded.

Even though the ultimate outcome (“No Country for Old Men” taking Best Picture) was inevitable, there were a few surprises along the way.  Like, who would have thought “The Bourne Ultimatum” would be the second-biggest winner of the night with three Oscars (Sound Editing, Sound Design, Film Editing)?  Or that “The Golden Compass” would steal the VFX award from both “Transformers” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”?  Or that European actors would take all of the acting awards?  (I think that’s pretty neat, by the way.)

I have no personal stake in the Oscars, as I wrote previously here.  I am glad that “Ratatouille” got some Best Animated Film love, though its French-Iranian competitor “Persepolis” looks absolutely amazing and deserves attention from a larger audience, which a win in that category would have provided.  French actress Marion Cotillard was the surprise Best Actress winner for “La Vie En Rose,” as many people considered Julie Christie a lock for “Away From Her.”  (For the record, I’ve seen three of the five Best Actress movies – “La Vie En Rose,” “Away From Her,” and “Juno” – and Cotillard’s performance was easily the best of them all.)  So while I have no chance of winning the “Outguess Ebert” Oscar game, there were some nice surprises and I’m happy for the winners.  And you can bet American audiences are going to start seeing a lot more of Marion Cotillard over the next several years; she’s quite attractive and a heck of an actress.

Jon Stewart was picked to host the Oscars again, so I was interested to see what kinds of jokes he’d come up with.  Here are a few of the meatiest bits from his opening monologue.

On the Academy’s nominees for Best Picture:

Tonight we look beyond the dark days [of the writer’s strike] to focus on happier fare, this yearís slate of Oscar-nominated psychopathic killer movies. 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 [heavens] for teen pregnancy. No, I think the country agrees, they needed that kind of lighthearted fare.

There were, if I may, amazing performances this year and I think everybody can agree on that. There really were. … Julie Christie was absolutely amazing in “Away From Her.” Brilliant movie. It was the moving story of a woman who forgets her own husband. Hillary Clinton calls it the feel good movie of the year.

Thereís a great variety in the nominated films this year which I think is terrific. Even “Norbit” got a nomination, which I think is great. Too often the Academy ignores movies that arenít good.

Congratulations to Mr. George Clooney for his fine film “Michael Clayton.” Sir, youíre a good man. The movie is a little over a 100 minutes long, but since itís about lawyers you can just round that up to 2 hours.

This one was great:

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

Now for a few political barbs.  Stewart leans left, but he skewers both sides, which I think is great:

Oscar is 80 this year, which makes him now automatically the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

On Hollywood’s unabashedly liberal stance:

You have to admit, this is a huge election. An historic election. So much excitement. For the first time in so many years we donít have an incumbent president or an incumbent vice-president. The field is wide open. Have you all had a chance to examine all the candidates, study their positions and pick the Democrat youíll vote for?

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.

OK folks, back to your lives.  Thanks for reading!

2 Responses to “The morning after the Oscars”

  1. Yeah, OK, so……………where are the pix of Jonathan and Emma?

  2. I care about the Oscars – I know its pathetic, but I have just come to accept it :).

    I also loved John Stewart, but then I am a big fan of “The Daily Show”.

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