Some random impressions of the Oscar, while watching the
They shouldn't have nominees as presenters; give other actors face time;
keeps up the mystique. Great clips of old winners, as usual. But see
below for more on that.
Back in the day, only major, MAJOR stars
were solo presenters. Today we have "The Rock?" As a SOLO presenter?
I was fairly certain Amy Ryan would win for Gone, Baby Gone, and if
you didn't think Tilda Swinton, an actress I admire (and with whom I
share a birthday) wasn't surprised to find herself climbing the steps to
accept her Supporting Oscar for Michael Clayton, then you didn't look
at her face. She's a worthy winner, however. And so was Javier Bardem
for No Country For Old Men, the prohibitive favorite. Their
acceptance speeches were short and to the point. The
category of animated and live action films intrigues me. How does one get to
see them? Where do they play? How many hundreds of shorts must've been
Nice to see Josh Brolin as a presenter. He and
co-presenter James McAvoy were overlooked for nominations which they deserved.
Good to see the Coen brothers win for adapted screenplay for No
Country For Old Men, though actress/director/screenwriter Sarah Polley
would've been a nice alternative.
Sid Ganis, Academy President, didn't go
on until 9:50pm. I wish ABC would move the Barbara Walters special back
an hour, and start the Oscars at 8pm. It's always interminable and
kids on a school night have to go to sleep. You'd think Major League
Baseball were running it. Who needed that little vignette about how people
vote. Stewart was right to spoof it as "amazing."
Miley Ray Cyrus?
As a SOLO presenter? I liked her one movie... a concert film at that... but
the honor of being a solo presenter (see "The Rock" above) is, like
the word "awesome", devoid of its value.
At least the Oscars seem
finally to take a cue from the Tony Awards and have improved the staging of
nominated songs; either solo as with Amy Adams, who sang that song in
Enchanted, or Kristin Chenoweth, a Tony winner for Wicked, doing
another song from that show. They've come a long way from that awful
Snow White number with Rob Lowe, the nadir of live performances on Oscar
night. Unless you count Telly Savalas growling a song. And did you
notice how George Clooney, one of the biggest stars in the world, appeared
early as a presenter? Usually they save the megastars for the last few
Did Jonah Hill say "animation" instead of "sound editing"
when he presented?
I noticed one of the montages, by the way, showed
Peter O'Toole holding an Oscar. Last time I checked, he's been nominated
for best actor eight -- count 'em EIGHT times...But the next Oscar he
wins will, incredibly, be his first...Incidentally, all his nominations
were for best actor; no supporting roles. That's a star! But his long
drought is in contrast to Hilary Swank: 2 nominations=2 wins.
other years, we saw some of the movie scenes we've already shown
on REEL TALK; usually it adds to the luster to see scenes never before
broadcast. Perhaps the small window which now exists between theatrical
release and DVD availability has something to do with that.
featured The Counterfeiters on last week's REEL TALK, and I'm delighted
it won for Best Foreign Language film. It brought to light "Operation
Bernhard," the Nazis' sinister plot to flood the UK with counterfeit
Pound notes, made by imprisoned Jewish engravers, counterfeiters and
other craftsmen, saved from the gas chambers by their skills. Just when you
think that every part of the story of World War II has been turned
into at least one movie, along comes a brilliant one like this.
think they should perform all five nominated songs in condensed
versions in one medley; performing all of them makes the evening ENDLESS...I
remember watching the movie Once down at NYU; not the usual place to
see a movie. That that song won the Oscar, competing against three from
Enchanted, is the biggest upset of the evening. And well deserved by
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova! And good for Jon Stewart to let Ms.
Irglova to come back after the commercial to get her moment of glory
and complete her remarks.
The hookup with soldiers in the field in
Iraq to present the nominees and announce the winner of Best Documentary
Short film was a first in Oscar history, to my knowledge. Nice touch.
Again, where can we see those movies? Maybe HBO, or the Sundance Channel.
"The handsomest bludgeon in town," is the way Daniel Day-Lewis
described the Oscar I suspected he'd win, even though I wasn't a fan of
the movie, its first twenty minutes notwithstanding. His tribute to his
grandfather and father, both departed, was touching. It was, it must be
said, a plum role and the favorite won.
Nice to see the Coen brothers
take home the gold. It was no surprise and unless I'm mistaken,
brothers have never won Oscars for the same picture. And though it matters
little, this reporter picked four of the top five Oscars. Proving nothing,
but there it is. My congratulations to my co-host Alison who knew all
along that her countrywoman Tilda Swinton would be a winner. If you
haven't seen No Country For Old Men, this should convince you! And now,
only 364 days until the next Oscars! As Judy Holiday said, holding
up her statuette, "It's crazy. The whole thing's crazy!"