Tom 'n' Stephen's Academy Award Wrap-up
[Note: I'm taking a liberty here . . . there's no other word for it . . . because the thought just occurred to me after watching the night's festivities (zzzzzzz) that the least we could do is give our respective views on the Academy Awards out front, so to speak. So hopefully Stephen won't mind if I lift his Oscar comments from another entry and place them here, then place mine own. tom]
Well, the schlamazzle is over for another year. I got a big 50 per cent on my overall Oscar choices, but I did better in the main categories, getting four out of six (or five out of eight, if you count the screenplays). I mean, how was I to know that Born In Brothels would beat out Story of the Weeping Camel? At least Canada won the animated short this year...who says patriotism is a bad thing?
Didn't figure on Eastwood for direction, even though in my heart I felt he did a lot more with a lot less, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Aviator and thought giving Million Buck Baby best picture and Scorsese best director would be the way to go. So much for that theory. Other upsets...went for John Williams in the score category, just because, when in doubt...I guessed that crappy Counting Crows song would win because it was a hit, but I'm not sorry they lost at all...and I didn't pick Cate Blanchett because...well, I don't know why, really, but I thought Sophie Okonedo had a shot as a fully formed character, over Blanchett's interesting, but far-from-perfect performance.
I got Sideways for adapted, but Eternal Sunshine? It was the most original of the original screenplays, no doubt, and the screenplays often go to underdogs. I just picked Aviator...because it seemed like a safe bet. For once I think voting with my brain instead of my heart was actually a liability.
And for the tribute to Russ Meyer they picked Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and.....Fanny Hill? WTF? Maybe they thought someone would be offended by titles like Faster Pussycat Kill Kill and Vixen. Although Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens would have been fun to see up there on the screen. Oh well.
I'm amazed there even was a tribute to Russ Meyer . . . though, I agree, they picked all the wrong movies. "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is extraordinary but, c'mon, why not a few shots from the amazing "Lorna" or "Mudhoney" or "Cherry, Herry and Raquel" (the only movie ever made where Tom Wolfe gets a screenwriting credit), as well as the aforementioned . . . but I suppose it's like the man said, life can be strangely merciful once you're dead.
It was obviously Eastwood's night, and I was glad to see that. I too didn't figure him for Best Director this year because, slave to Conventional Wisdom as I am, I figured they'd cave in and hand it to Scorsese even if it was for a sub-standard work. Oddly enough, while I think "Million Dollar Baby" is an outstanding work, truly, the prize Eastwood most deserved for it was Best Actor. I think it's the finest performance of a career that, like John Wayne's, has seen a number of great performances before anyone woke up and took notice of what was going on. You'll have to forgive me here, because I'm something of an Eastwood fanatic (I thought "Blood Work" was close to being a masterpiece), so as childish as my secret committment to my predictions is, I was glad to see them thwarted on this occasion.
I zoned out during much of it; the Songs in particular (zzzzzzzzzzzz), and only really paid attention to the Big Ones. Cate Blanchett's win this evening only jelled more firmly the idea that bad acting can often get you that statuette for your mantle. Jamie Foxx, who I first remember seeing on "In Living Color" all them years ago, and who I've known was potentially a masterful actor since Stone's "Any Given Sunday" (I may be the only boy in Christendom who admires that film), to me deserved the award more for his performance in "Collateral" (whoever made up Tom Cruise to look like William Peterson in that picture also deserved an Oscar). But it was one of those years with a backlog of great, good and Oscar worthy (which does not mean good necessarily) performances, and giving the Award to him for "Ray", which was more mimicry than performance in places was, I suppose, a fair trade-off.
I probably have more to say; and if so, I'll add to the above. Right now all the tired horses are in the sun, and I gots to get some writin' done.
This was posted by Tom Sutpen