Oscar Night Rambling

by Benjamin Domenech on 10:37 pm February 24, 2008

The interesting thing about tonight, in my opinion, is that nearly everyone who’s won so far has actually deserved it. That’s rare indeed.

Bardem and the Coen Brothers deserved both wins (and No Country will probably take Best Picture barring an upset). The Cotillard over Christie upset was unforeseen and really quite nice, especially because La Vie En Rose needed something like this to get wider distribution (I haven’t seen Away From Her – though I’ve read what it’s based on – yet while Christie’s a fine actress, she just doesn’t deserve two Oscars). Tilda Swinton absolutely deserved the supporting actress nod (she was the best part of the otherwise forgettable Michael Clayton) despite Christopher Orr’s dismissal over at TNR. And of course you already know what I think of Juno.

As a final note: despite being a movie lover, I just have to concede that this show doesn’t deserve to go on. It’s just become unwatchable at this point – I think the moment it died was the Hattie McDaniel Clooney speech – but it’s just an interminable fetish play much about how Hollywood wants to be viewed, as opposed to what it is. The jokes are tired, the setups are ridiculous, and the only way to watch it without politics is with the mute button. You could make Heidi Klum the host and stage it as a battle royale in a cage between old Hollywood and new and I’d still flip back and forth between it and NFL Network’s combine coverage.

Oh: and Harrison Ford is really old.

For my own part, my viewed films in 2007: Michael Clayton‘s a fine but ultimately forgettable film, loved Juno, liked There Will Be Blood, but No Country For Old Men absolutely deserves the Best Picture nod this year. Elizabeth: The Golden Age was a total trainwreck but with pretty costumes. Transformers was wicked awesome. 300 was overplayed but good. Live Free or Die Hard was surprisingly retro fun. Spider-Man 3 was meh. Ratatouille was another beautifully crafted Brad Bird work. Hot Fuzz was hilarious. In the Shadow of the Moon was touching. Eastern Promises was brilliantly old school. There have been way too many stupid boring films about Zodiac. Knocked Up was sweet. Amy Adams was cute in Enchanted. Superbad was McLovin. La Vie En Rose was gorgeous. Beowulf was about Beowulf the way that God of War is about Greek mythology, but it was still a great old Argonauts ripoff. The Simpsons Movie was nice. Harry Potter was Harry Potter. In the Valley of Elah had some good performances, but was predictable and blah.  The Kingdom deserved more credit for what it aimed at.  Waitress was decent. Oceans 13 is no longer guilty nor a pleasure. The Hitcher was really just an excuse to watch Sophia Bush kick ass. The Darjeeling Limited was the first Wes Anderson movie I actively hated. The Bourne Ultimatum was just like the other two but less entertaining. American Gangster was quality. 3:10 to Yuma was a good western that would’ve been better if it realized it was Tombstone and not Unforgiven.

I didn’t get a chance to see Rescue Dawn, Grindhouse, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Nines, Sunshine, or The Brave One. Have to catch them later.

The less said about Atonement – a movie as pointless and overrated as the book it was based on – the better.

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