Monday, February 26, 2007

Dearly Departed

It must be the week for pleasantly surprising award results.

The results of this year's Oscars are in, and they're nowhere near as bad as I thought they would be. Not only did Babel get the trouncing it deserved and Scorsese finally get (albeit too late and for too little) the acknowledgement he merits, but Alan Arkin won for best supporting actor (an outcome I hadn't dared to even hope for) and Pan's Labyrinth won three Oscars. I think I've finally figured out the deal with the Oscars. They're completely incapable of recognising genius, but when it comes to making distinctions between the good and the merely mediocre they do an excellent job. Now if only Ryan Gosling had won.

Meanwhile, let me also point you to Xan Brooks' delightful minute by minute coverage of the event - which includes such gems as:

Spielberg sports a non-committal smile and nods every now and then. He looks like John Redwood trying to sing the Welsh national anthem.

the response of Dreamgirls' Jennifer Hudson, which is purely hilarious. "Oh God," she screams. "Look what God can do."

Needless to say this raises all kinds of theological issues. Principal among these is that if God's greatest miracle is His ability to bestow supporting actress Oscars on losing American Idol contestants, then one wonders if He is using His time as wisely as He might.

So much better than watching the thing on television.


Szerelem said...

Haha! You were reading the Guardian minute by minute coverage as well!! (In general Guardian minute by minute coverages are excellent. This is true even for football and cricket matches).
I was so thrilled Arkin won. I loved him in Little Miss Sunshine. Terribly disappointed O'Toole didn't get it though. Drat it! His speech would have been SO much better, and really if they were making up for past mistakes he really, really should have gotten his.

The Black Mamba said...

Arkin, Del Toro, Lives of Others, Sunshine's script prize - much much more than I had hoped for. I have my peeves - for instance, I like Santaolalla, but think Newman deserved... oh well.

Szerelem - O'Toole, really? His voice and his ability with the bard's works, but best actor? hmm, I don't know... he was great in LoA, but that more presence, no?

Szerelem said...

BM, I haven't seen all the movies O'Toole has been nominated for but I thought he was really good in Becket and absolutely robbed when he didn't win for Lion In Winter. He is quite fabulous in it.
And really, the most nominations without a win - a bit harsh, no? He definitely should have gotten one by now. And the silly honorary Oscar because we think you're going to drop off any minute doesn't count.

bongopondit said...

"Look what God can do"

With everyone thanking Al Gore, someone had to bring in God ! :-)
Note that Whitaker thanked not only God but his heavenly ancestors as well.

Overall, very little to crib with the winners from the nominated pool. Alan Arkin winning was the highlight of the day. Eddie Murphy was supposed to be a lock-in for that award. So much so that Ryan Seacrest asked Murphy on the red carpet if he, as a former SNL member, was going to say something funny for his acceptance speech. Murphy, to his credit, classily replied he wasn't being presumptuous enough to think he would win.

Falstaff said...

szerelem: I think it helps that there weren't really any other strong contenders for director / film. I mean even without Scorsese's history I would probably have said he deserved to win. I don't think that was true for O'Toole though.

Plus, fond as I am of O'Toole, I have to say that it's not quite the same thing. The fact that Scorsese hadn't won an Oscar till last night wasn't so much a personal affront to him as it was a comment on the irrelevance of the Oscars. They just had to fix that.

BM: Yes. I need to watch Lives of Others. It doesn't seem to be playing in Philly though - which is most annoying.

Bongopo(?)ndit: I suppose it's idle to hope that Seacrest might actually be embarassed by this now?

Good stuff with the live updates on your blog btw.

Szerelem said...

Yes, I agree with you. What to do though, I am sentimental fool. I felt so sad to see the look on O'Tooles face when they announced Whitaker's name.

Revealed said...

I agree with szerelem. It was tragic. And this is probably his last shot at it. Yeah, but overall a nice line up. As for Jennifer Hudson!! Let's not even go there :)

Sash said...

I will be the dissenting voice here – wish Jackie Earle Haley had won instead of Arkin. Haven’t seen Dreamgirls (so can’t say about Eddie Murphy) but aside from sentimental reasons, was Arkin really deserving of an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine? I like Scorcese but The Departed should not have won best picture. And Mark Wahlberg… even his nomination for best supporting actor is a joke!

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

FOUR nice light COMPREHENSIBLE posts. Four in a ROW.

We are not worthy, we are not worthy [1].


[1] Mainly because we did not vote for you. Didn't vote for ANYbody, actually, because I was sulking, but should have voted for you [2].

[2] Or perhaps not.

Falstaff said...

szerelem: Fair enough.

revealed: To be fair, I've got nothing against Jennifer Hudson. I haven't seen Dreamgirls but I have no reason to believe she didn't deserve her Oscar. I just love the fact that Brooks was making fun of people even as he was live-blogging the event.

sash: I don't know. I wasn't that impressed with Healey's performance. I think the character he portrayed was a powerful one, but I thought that owed much more to the script than to him. For me it was a toss-up between Arkin and Healey, and I'm glad Arkin won for sentimental reasons. Agree with you on Wahlberg though. As for the Departed - sure it isn't that great a picture, but what else? Babel? Letters from Iwo Jima? Of the five nominees I would say Departed was probably the best. Though, as usual, the real contest is the Foreign Film category. I would happily have accepted Pan's Labyrinth over Departed as best film.

JAP: Come now. I write plenty of light comprehensible posts.

That's okay, I didn't vote either - I just don't get the whole notion of picking one blog over the others.

Revealed said...

Me either (against Hudson, I mean). I was sticking only to her acceptance speech (which was quite splendiferous, one felt). I haven't seen Dreamgirls either. Couldn't wind up the required will power, somehow.