OSCAR COUNTDOWN

Only 7 months and 14 days until the next Oscars are awarded on March 4, 2018.

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MISCELLANEOUS

2009 Oscar Wrap-Up

By now, you’ve probably heard every possible review, opinion, gripe, complaint and snarky comment about Sunday night’s Oscar telecast…..boy, you change things up a little bit, and everyone goes wonky!! As for me, for the most part, I loved the show. I really loved the lower, more intimate stage (although word is the stars hated it ha ha), I loved the snippets of script that we got to see from each of the nominated screenplays that accompanied each clip from the movie (but why didn’t they continue that all the way through and show us a little Art Direction and a little Cinematography, etc?). What I also loved were the brilliantly-edited montages of films of the year by genre. After all, the Oscars are a celebration of all film, not just the ones nominated, and I loved the inclusive celebration of the year in movies. They should do that every year. However, it did seem odd to see clips of Space Chimps but not to see a clip of Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt. While they totally re-vamped the awarding of the acting awards by choosing to go the personal-narrative-given-by-former-winners route instead of the traditional listing-of-names-followed-by-clip route, I really missed seeing their actual performances. Poor Melissa Leo….this was probably the only time anyone was going to see her performance, even if it was only for 10 seconds—and they robbed her even of that.

So the new way they announced the acting winners, you either loved it or hated it—-I actually didn’t feel one way or the other. While I liked seeing former winners up there—I love celebrating all generations of Oscar winners and I’m glad they embraced all decades—it didn’t seem to be about the performances, and I missed that. Still, it was different, and it was bold, and I give them props for that. And it was quite classy.

What I did notice, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, was that two of last year’s four acting winners were not on stage to present the awards to their counterparts. What was up with that? Where were Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis? I can’t remember that last time that happened. That just didn’t look good.

As for Hugh Jackman, well, I’m a sucker for big musical numbers, and man, can he sing and dance, and it doesn’t hurt that he looks GREAT in a tux! I don’t care what you’ve heard, the opening number was AWESOME. BUT, the second number, the Baz Luhrmann disaster (those three words should be copyrighted) was a nightmare. And, what was worse was knowing that the so-called tribute to the resurgence of movie musicals that went on forever forced the truncation of the performances of the three ACTUAL songs that were nominated to just 45 seconds each. Peter Gabriel actually refused to sing his nominated song, “Down to Earth” from Wall-E out of protest, as he rightfully should have. Seeing how much time was given to that musical number that had NOTHING to do with movies in 2008 made it even more shameful when it came to the “medley” of this year’s Oscar-nominated songs. Who didn’t want to hear more of the endearing “Down to Earth” (in the end sung by John Legend), the hypnotic “O Saya” or the roof-raising (and eventual winner) “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire? For gosh sakes, the Oscars used to perform each of the nominated songs in their entirety, and there used to be five nominees. This year, there were only THREE and they couldn’t even give them a minute each! Shameful.

That being said, the rest of the show was pretty good. Other than Foreign Film, which always seems to be an enigma wrapped inside of a paradox within itself, there weren’t any major surprises, and those deserving to win really did win, which was nice (and sadly becoming somewhat rare). Winners were gracious and speeches were great. My favorite moment? Kate Winslet asking her Dad to whistle so she would know where he was. Priceless. In that moment, every one of us could relate to the most elegant and beautiful woman on the planet. That’s what the Oscars can do. And that’s why I’m hooked. They may not be perfect, but they always have me at hello.

Here are the winners of the 81rst Academy Awards: [And for those of you who like to keep track and hold my feet to the fire, I went 19-24 on my picks. I have one thing to say….SMILE PINKI?! Whatever.]

BEST PICTURE
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ACTOR
Sean Penn – Milk

BEST ACTRESS
Kate Winslet – The Reader

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penélope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Milk – Written by Dustin Lance Black

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Slumdog Millionaire – Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE
WALL-E

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Departures, Japan

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Man on Wire

ART DIRECTION
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Slumdog Millionaire

COSTUME DESIGN
The Duchess

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Smile Pinki

FILM EDITING
Slumdog Millionaire

MAKEUP
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

ORIGINAL SCORE
Slumdog Millionaire– A.R. Rahman

ORIGINAL SONG
“Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyric by Gulzar

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
La Maison en Petits Cubes

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

SOUND EDITING
The Dark Knight

SOUND MIXING
Slumdog Millionaire

VISUAL EFFECTS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

MY CURRENT SMART PICKS

Top 5 List:

My Five Favorite Films Directed by a Woman:

1. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
2. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
3. The Hurt Locker (2008)
4. Clueless (1995)
5. Clockwatchers (1997)

Rental Pick:

Lost in Translation (2003)

Favorite Trailer of the Moment:

Awesome Movie Montages and Lists: