Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The wrap-up party

My predictions were, to be honest, crap. But even if the names called out didn't quite correspond to my picks, the 80th Academy Awards were still a treat. Diversity, multi-culturalism and a certain giddy relief were the themes of the evening, "You're here! You're here! I can hardly believe it, you're here!". Most of the right people were awarded and the rest of them made up for it with amusing, barely coherant, sweet speeches. Javier Bardem enthused in Spanish, Frances McDormand had loving hysterics in the audience and Gary Busey attacked Jennifer Garner on the red carpet, who was swiftly rescued by Laura Linney. Cate Blanchett showed us how to lose graciously and Jack Nicholson was, well, Jack Nicholson (that man has one default facial expression). Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Hudson and HRH Helen Mirren all flubbed their lines, one with a magnificent Freudian slip, one with insincere bumbling and the other with absolutely no engagement with the audience. Jon Stewart was an exemplar host; witty, charming and scrubbed up nicely in his tux. I had originally thought that he had toned down the acerbic political humour, but I then realised that for some odd reason, RTE's highlights cut out all the topical stuff, neatly severing the Hillary Clinton/Away From Her quip from the opening monologue. How strange...

As predicted, No Country walked away with the closest thing to a sweep (though it could hardly qualify as a sweep, the accolades were fairly well distributed throughout) and I was thrilled. It's not an easy film - and it's certainly not a plotless series of violent events, as I heard a RTE commentator remark on Monday afternooon, did he watch the film? - and seeing people really grapple with it is gratifying. The Coens' nonchalant speech, after Martin Scorcese called their name, was probably my favourite moment of the night (aside from Blanchett's horror at her own Elizabeth clip), but I still find Glen Hansard incredibly irritating. Heck, with Hansard's whingeing and Colin Farrell's unkempt shuffling, I was almost ashamed to be Irish (thank you, Saoirse Ronan and Daniel Day-Lewis, for not being total idiots).

I'm off now, but I'm going to direct you to some of the best Oscar coverage around the net, from writers much more talented and erudite than me:

Nick gets all lovesick over Swinton - Nathaniel has some interesting truths to share (browse around, the Film Experience has everything you need for full blown Oscar-obsession) - Kim Morgan shares her highlights - the Fug girls sharpen their tongues - Emma does a quick run down with great pictures and Glenn lets us in on some red carpet whispers...

1 comment:

Ann Marie said...

Didn't watch the Oscars myself, can't remember what distracted me, but it did seem like all the winners deserved it.

BTW How be the mocks going?