Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Oscars 2008: The Roundup

The 80th Annual Academy Awards have come and gone, and Carmody Wilson has had a chance to stew over the results.

After a day of reflection upon the mantled recipients of the Academy Awards, I am obliged to say that…I feel relatively nothing about the winners, the losers, the whole lot. Daniel Day Lewis capped off a triumphant awards season run with the win for Best Actor, adding a mark of surety to the notion that we won’t be seeing him for another four years or so, and Marion Cotillard swept in and won Best Actress, causing Julie Christie to probably rue that she did come out of her semi-retirement. But Julie Christie has won an Oscar, and will appear in worthy films again, whereas, and I believe this, really I do, Marion Cotillard, winsome, talented and beautiful though she may be, is a one-off in these Hollywood awards. She’ll go on to a glittering and distinguished career in European Cinema, but will never again be recognized for her work in this big, splashy way. It’s as if Hollywood has thrown European cinema a bone, and believing it content, will starve it out and subjugate its entries in the “Best Foreign Film” category until they continue not to care.

But on to more Scottish things. And Spanish. Tilda Swinton, so cravenly androgynous and cold in most of her performances, won for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the nervous, flinty, agricultural chemicals executive in the more-ethical-than-you thriller Michael Clayton. Dressed in an angular shroud, Swinton looked pleased but disinterested in her honour, but this probably owes more to the fact that she was repeatedly asked questions afterward about her two lovers, rather than her acting oeuvre. Javier Bardem won Best Supporting Actor for big winner No Country for Old Men, which went on to win Best picture, Adapted Screenplay and Director, but cinematographer Roger Deakins, nominated for his work on that film and on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, lost out to Robert Elswit and his work on There Will Be Blood. This last award will probably be in awarded in consolation to Paul Thomas Anderson’s cinematographers for his next three films, until the director himself is deemed worthy of his own win.

Montage favourite “Once” got its piece of the pie with an award for Best Original Song, and British big hope Atonement* was robbed of other glories but awarded with Best Original Score. As I imagine Daniel Plainview would say to the pouting Joe Wright, “Take that, you boyyyyy!”

And all of this was thanks to the writers, who no longer striking, allowed people like Miley Cyrus (Who? She’s a teenaged television star and, I think it’s safe to say, only on the red carpet at the Academy Awards because she’s a Disney star, and Disney owns ABC and and and..get it?) to get all gussied up and pose for pictures. If nothing else, watching the preshow gave us all a chance to laugh at John Travolta’s expanding face and spray -on hair.

* It is a shame that an excellent, “big” film such as Atonement, touted as the next Awards-season English Patient by pundits, should come out in a year fettered liberally with excellent films. Really, an old fashioned sweeping love story had no chance against jingoistic, fire and brimstone films like There Will Be Blood and the quiet, contemplative and terrifying No Country for Old Men. It really would have felt forced, a Crash versus Brokeback Mountain kind of concession if Atonement had gone on to win one of the biggies. But it’s too bad, once again.


Robert Duffin said...

Atonement got all it deserved in this or any other year. A "safe" Oscar baiting film, and the Academy finally got wise. I see Keira Knightley and Joe Wright didn't even show up, or perhaps had their invites revoked after his cringe inducing BAFTA antics.

The ceremony itself was pretty dull and offered few surprises, but for once, the right people won. Hooray for the Coens, and lets hope PTA's head is a garden of golden saplings and we'll see him again soon.

Anonymous said...

I think this is the fake Robert Duffin. You're a sham!!!