So, the oscars were held last night, and I honestly think they got most things right.
I loved No Country For Old Men, I thought it was the best of the five Best Picture nominees, and so for two years running, I think they picked the best of the five. Bardem's win makes me very happy too. I've been a fan of him in Spanish film, and it makes me happy to see him make the successful transition over to American film.
I'm equally as thrilled with Daniel Day-Lewis' win. I like There Will Be Blood, but I'm not as rabid a fan of it as many others seem to be. And I don't particularly care for Day-Lewis' brand of acting, despite finding his two wins highly deserving.
Tilda Swinton's win was THRILLING to me. She's an actress I've adored for a long time, and I think her performance is Michael Clayton's biggest strength. And I'm pleased that the Academy rewarded subtely for a change.
I'm also thrilled to death, and this is possibly my favorite win of the evening, and most defintely my favorite win in this category, but "Falling Slowly" is a beautiful song, the performances was outstanding, and I have to say... Jon Stewart callng Marketa Irglova back on stage after she was cut off was one of the classiest moves I've ever seen from an Oscar host.
Animated was hard because I was pulling for Persepolis so much. I adore that film. And it's tought when the frontrunner is something you can't slam. And I have to give it credit... Persepolis's brand of animation isn't what wins here. It definitely shows that you don't need the newest innovations in technology, but that's going to be what wins out. But Ratatouille was pretty damn fantastic too, so I don't begrudge it it's win. I only wish they had nominated Persepolis in Foreign-Language. It's a better film than The Counterfeiters (though, also a good film, so I can't be upset until I see the other nominated films).
And I'm fine with most of the other wins too. I ended up losing my Oscar pool by not trusting the Academy to reward the right shit: I picked Transformers in the sound and visual effects categories, where The Bourne Ultimatum won the sound categories.
The only win I'm really annoyed with is Marion Cotillard's win for La Vie En Rose. Now, I think Marion Cotillard is a wonderful actress, I really, truly do. But I didn't care for that performance, and I hate the movie. To me, this was one of those performances where an actor or actress goes way the hell over the top, hiding behind makeup and prosthetics. Now, in all fairness, I don't love any of the nominated performances in this category: Didn't bother seeing Elizabeth: The Golden Age. By all accounts, it sucks, and this nomination just serves as proof that they'll nominate Blanchett everytime she takes a dump. I think Julie Christie gave the weakest performance in the film (why weren't Gordon Pinsent and Olympia Dukakis nominated?). Laura Linney is wonderful, but she could do that performance in her sleep. And I'd honestly say that I'd have voted for Ellen Page. Of the five, I do think she gave the strongest performance based on the character she was working with. But Cotillard's reaction makes me happy for her, because I do like her as an actress. Just hated her on this particular performance.
And here is the kicker: I'm happy that a foreign performance won. But, if you want to talk about foreign performances that should win, you have Marina Hands, Carice Van Houten, Tang Wei, and many others. They were far more deserving.
And I LOVE me some Sarah Polley, but I had some significant problems with the screenplay for Away From Her. It was a wonderful first time out, and I look to see what she does in the future behind the camera, but I'm more interested in her in front of the camera, and i wish the Academy would be too. I'd have nominated her for The Sweet Hereafter, My Life Without Me, and given her the win (yes, over Helen Mirren) for The Secret Life of Words. So, I'm happy that The Coen Brothers won this time out. I don't think the Screenplay was necessarily No Country For Old Men's strength, but it was a worthy win.