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Claire

Hey Lance, I'm such a poor movie fan this year, as I've seen next to none of the films up for awards. I'm hoping for Juno for some wins, Ratatouille (my cousin works for Pixar...) and Once for the song. Hopefully there aren't *too* many writers strike jokes...

Lance

Claire,

The song from Once better win. My kids are rooting hard for Ratatouille so that better win too. The 12 year old is already furious at the idea tha Peresopolis was even nominated...because the category should be only for kids movies, he says.

Chris the Cop

Agreed re: Wilkinson, but I do think Swinton's part in "Michael Clayton" was big enough to qualify for Best Supporting. What else has she been in?

Lance

WILKINSON WUZ ROBBED! ROBBED, I TELL YA! ROBBED!

Lance

Marion Cotillard, eh? Didn't see that one coming, at all.

Chuck

I ended up liveblogging at Green Cine, but I was glad to see Once win for best song. That entire soundtrack blows me away. Also glad that the Coens won. It was a relatively boring ceremony, but that may be due to the quick turnaround after the writer's strike. Also glad that Javier Bardem won, although I couldn't have imagined anyone else winning that race.

sfmike

Glad I didn't listen to you before entering my oscar pool. My favorite moment of the evening was Jon Stewart basically saying "fuck you" to the producers and bringing back the Czech woman from "Once" after the commercial to give her gracious thank you speech after she'd been played offstage by the orchestra. Her gracious inspirational moment was certainly better than the endless historical montages, including the chronological list of Best Film winners which was a terrible reminder of how bad most of the winners have been over the decades.

Jambo

Not that the Oscars need me to feel about them one way or another but I can't tell you how proud I was of someone in their ranks when they brought Marketa Irglova back on stage and Jon Stewart told her to "enjoy your moment." Every year multimillionaires go on about making dreams come true, blah blah blah. So bravo for turning over the stage to probably the only Oscar winner that likely has a day job. And good for her for remembering what art is supposed to be about anyway.

Kit Stolz

As for "who got screwed," the answer is I think universally agreed to be Jonny Greenwood. His score for "There Will Be Blood" was far bolder, more memorable, and more important to its movie than any of the nominees, but was not allowed (because he had used some of his own music previously). One has to wonder if the members of his branch of the academy didn't allow it simply because they resented its obvious superiority to their tired recyclings. For more, see Alex Ross's incandescent appreciation:

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/musical/2008/02/04/080204crmu_music_ross

Lance

SFMike: Glad I didn't listen to you before entering my oscar pool.

Hey now, Mike, I didn't do that badly. Lots of people got skunked betting on Julie Christie. But in a way I was right. The Academy did reward the "difficult" role. It was just that they thought self-destruction was more "difficult" than Alzheimer's. I think Tilda Swinton got the Michael Clayton Oscar.

But hooray for Diablo Cody!

And TOM WILKINSON WUZ ROBBED!

Claire

How cute was the flabbergasted and effervescent Marion Cotillard? How blah were the dresses and how bad were the jokes? Sheesh. I love Jon Stewart, but he's not good at hosting the Oscars.

Michael Bartley

I thought Wilkinson was wonderful. The heart and soul of a fine movie. However, the category was loaded. Holbrook's brief moments in Into the Wild were deeply moving. Affleck was brilliant in The Assasination of Jesse James...As for the winner, Bardem was as essential to the success of No Country for Old Men as Daniel Day Lewis was to There Will Be Blood. I cannot imagine either film whacking the spine as they did without those two stunning performances.
As for the rest, best moment was Once winning and Irglova, not only returning but simply and beautifully touching the heart of it all. As for French actresses...sorry that was my heart thumping...the world love coming from Cotillard's joyous heart...sorry my heart again.

Lawrence Fechtenberger

One fact always (and I do mean ALWAYS) ignored in discussions of the Academy Awards is the way the winners are chosen. The award goes to whoever gets a plurality of the votes--which means it is entirely possible for someone to win with just one vote over 20%. This fact makes all claims of "the voters preferred" or "the Academy rejected" meaningless--for all we know (and we will never know, as the Academy does not release vote totals), in any particular case there may have been a difference of only a dozen votes between the winner and whoever came in fifth.

An even likelier occurrence is that there is a wide difference in the percentages received by the winners in different categories. Thus, there is no sense in wondering why the Academy "chose" Tilda Swinton and not Tom Wilkinson. It is entirely possible that Wilkinson received just as many votes as Swinton, quite plausible that he received more, but that was not enough in his case. (My hunch--just a hunch, nothing more--is that the votes were spread pretty widely in the Supporting Actress category, but that Javier Bardem was way ahead of the competition for Supporting Actor.)

Victoria

In my mind, no question that Cotillard and Swinton were the best picks in their categories. I agree with Clooney, who said he thought Daniel Day-Lewis had the best performance of the year...until he saw La Vie En Rose, that Cotillard played the aging Piaf in a wholly original way. As for Swinton, I came to Michael Clayton late - saw it on cable for the first time about a week ago, so maybe the small screen made it play a different way, but Tilden's performance made my jaw drop! She had so many brilliant moments, the tiniest flashes of meaningful gesture... I was so taken with her that I sat there and watched it two more times; in other words, three screenings in a row.

Orlando, The Deep End, Adaptation - start there to see what a standout she has been throughout her career.

I loved Tom W, too, mind you - but he had much better lines and a fun rhythm to play against Clooney. And yes, he played it just right.

Victoria

Caught this in the NYT this morning and it reminded me of these Oscar entries: Laura Linney being interviewed in QUESTIONS FOR in the magazine. Q: "What do you think of Marion Cotillard, who just won best actress...?" A: "Of the five of us, that performance was on a whole other level. It just was."

Ah, grace + truth. Makes me feel good on a Sunday morning.

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