Oscar Thoughts … as the Show Goes On (Updated)

How do you start things off on a bad note? You take a gospel choir and have them parade around singing “Hallelujah” in honor of the nominees.

Isn’t that just about the epitome of the industry’s self-congratulation? Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacky!

Otherwise, I appreciated the low-key intro by Ellen DeGeneres.

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I wish The Prestige had taken Best Art Direction. The art direction in that film was complex, colorful, and ablaze with detail and light. Pan’s Labyrinth was well-designed, but it was much simpler.

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Black, Ferrell, and O’Reilly’s musical performance … PURE GENIUS. Worth the whole show!!

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Apocalypto didn’t win for makeup, but it probably should have. Hollywood is working out its grudge against Gibson. Oh well, Pan’s Labyrinth had amazing makeup work so this isn’t such a tragedy.

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Breslin and Smith … the presenters are more fun than the winners tonight.

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Sound editing… once again, presenters upstaging the actual award. What did Letters from Iwo Jima do that hasn’t been done in war films before?

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Best supporting actor … a great group. Not a loser in the bunch.

ALAN ARKIN HAS WON AN OSCAR!!

A great speech, even if he had to read it.

THIS is why I watch the Oscars. To see great talent rewarded, and to hear them thank those who helped them along the way. Once in a while, folks, it happens, and it’s beautiful when it does. We can never get enough reminders to thank those who are helping us along the way, and to give that kind of support to others.

Of course, the best way to achieve excellence is to aim to please the greatest judge of everything…

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I can’t help but wince, watching Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, because I can hear the grumbling about Gore and his politics all across the country right now.

And while people grumble, they’re missing what he’s trying to do… he’s trying to encourage us to take care of the world God gave us. He’s trying to remind us that God wants us to demonstrate responsibility, care, and compassion in how we use the resources entrusted to us. Even if I don’t always agree with his approach or his priorities, his heart is in the right place on this one… and I appreciate his willingness to strive so vigorously to awaken the conscience in each and every person who puts aside their biases to listen to his plea.

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A tribute to writers?

Amen!

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As much as I love Children of Men, I’m glad it did NOT win Best Adapted Screenplay. It wasn’t an adaptation. It took the premise of the book and then came up with a completely different screenplay.

The Departed, on the other hand, is a brilliant adaptation of what was already a great script. Good choice. I, however, would have voted for Little Children, the most sorely underrated film to be mentioned at tonight’s Oscars.

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Meryl Streep is brilliant even during a moment of improv.

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Costume design … WOW. Another award going to the right candidate! Marie Antoinette was a costume designer’s dream. In fact, the costumes (and the food) almost stole the show from the cast. Almost.

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Okay, I was wrong.

Ellen rocks.

She’s making this show so much fun. Bring her back next year!

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CINEMATOGRAPHY…

Come on, Children of MenChildren of MenChildren of MenChildren of MenChildren of Men

It’s a masterpiece, far, far beyond anything else this year. Nothing even comes close. AND it’s filmed by the same guy who filmed The New World.

Does it win?

UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE.

Pan‘s cinematography was good. But Children of Men was so mind-blowingly awe-inspiring that it will be used as a model for decades to come. They’ll still be writing about its cinematography in 25 years.

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Wow. The Lives of Others pulls off a major upset!!

I’ve GOT to see this film.

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“LOOK WHAT GOD CAN DO.” – Jennifer Hudson.

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An Inconvenient Truth. Hey, it may not be the best documentary of the year, but it is the most important, and I’m glad they have the microphone to encourage us one more time.

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Morricone. A legend who deserves every bit of applause.

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Best score: Give it to Pan’s Labyrinth. It deserves this one. Haunting, spooky, lush, gorgeous.

Oh well, Babel‘s soundtrack was powerful and effective. This is cool.

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THE BEST SPEECH BY THE OSCAR PRESIDENT EVER.

This is the best Oscars ever.

I know when I’ve been proven wrong. And I was wrong. DeGeneres is knocking it out of the park.

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Best screenplay:

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE – Wow. That’s a big, big surprise. And history makes me think that this means it *won’t* win Best Picture. Babel is likely to take home the grand prize. And Babel deserves it. But I still have this hunch… this nagging hunch… that Sunshine‘s going to surprise everybody.

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Beyonce and Jennifer are burning the place down. Amazing. Whatever folks say about her ego, Knowles can really sing. And Hudson… how do you recover from winning an Oscar and then turn around fast enough to sing like that?

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Loved Michael Mann’s vision of America on film… but, as we might expect from Mr. Mann, it was a little heavy on the . . . men.

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Hooray for Thelma Schoonmaker. There were so many great editing works this year. The Departed was definitely impressive.

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I’m choking up, as I knew I would, as Robert Altman’s name appears along with this year’s losses. So many great talents lost this year. But man, do I miss that guy already.

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BEST ACTRESS

Frankly, I think Judi Dench’s performance was every bit as accomplished as Mirren’s. But we all know who’s winning tonight.
And, the winner is…

Well, she *IS* the queen, after all!

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BEST ACTOR

Forest Whitaker. What a great actor, for so many years, in so many movies. I think, to celebrate, I’ll watch Smoke and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai again.
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It’s just weird to see George Lucas on an Oscar platform.

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You know, as legendary as Scorsese is, and as much as he’s deserved it before, I think anybody who has seen United 93 knows there was a more deserving director THIS year.

Still, it’s so great to see him being recognized in this way.

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So, here we go….

What’s it gonna be?

THE DEPARTED.

The biggest surprise of the night. (Here’s my review.)

I gotta get ready to fill two hours of radio time on KGNW about this, so I’ll talk to you all later.

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  • CTDelude

    Wasp, it should be noted that that report released is actually a summary of the findings of the main study. It’s also politicized. I’ve already read those who have a chance to look at the real study (released in full later this year) have said the “summary” does NOT equal what the actual report itself says. But by the time it comes out we won’t care because the “debate is over.” Nice to see we can’t even have dissenting opinions in science anymore.

  • SolShine7

    Check out my thoughts on the Oscars on my blog http://solshine7.blogspot.com

  • Mark

    Of course I believe in taking better care of the planet. I’m an Eagle Scout for crying out loud.
    But Global Warming is just ONE theory, still very much in its infancy. And yet, politicians (with a lot to gain…like being leader of the free world?), would have you believe it’s undisputed. It’s not.
    Of course the Earth is getting warmer, we’re coming out of a mini-Ice Age. These are natural trends, which have nothing to do with us. Just like the last ice age was a natural trend. Imagine if Al Gore were alive then…
    Carbon is a NATURAL gas that makes up a miniscule (.33 percent) part of our atmosphere. Plants need it to survive. And yet, a tiny, tiny increase in the amount of carbon is responsible for the end of the world? Do these same people realize that oceans and volcanoes produce more of this gas than humans could ever dream of creating? Do they realize that there was more carbon in the air during the last ice age than there is now?
    If we really had ten years to reverse this trend, like many environmentalists claim, would Al Gore own three homes? Would he travel the world in his private jet, and burn more carbon fuel in one day than I could dream of burning in a year? Such hypocrisy.
    But people act as if we can pass these laws without consequences. Environmentalists have killed people. Not allowing the third world to spray DDT (another hypocrisy on our part) has killed millions of people. Of course, we never hear about malaria victims, because the AIDS epidemic is drowning everything else out.
    There are consequences for passing stupid laws. Machines that burn carbon fuel have made our lives, including Al Gore’s, ENORMOUSLY more convenient.
    For anybody interesting in examining this entire issue seriously, read Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear.” It walks one through the SCIENCE, not politics, of global warming.

  • Wasp Jerky

    m. cruz,

    Just this month leading climate scientists issued a report saying that climate change is real and that it is very likely the result of humans. And though I disagree with you on the seriousness of the threat of Islamic terrorism, the issues are very much tied together. Reducing U.S. dependency on gas and oil from the Middle East will almost certainly reduce the threat of terrorism.

  • M. Cruz

    I have no argument against taking care of our environment. I think that’s important for us as Christians, being stewards of all that God has created.

    However as far as global warming, what gets me is that this is an issue that’s being forced upon us as fact, when even scientists seem to differ on whether 1) there really is such a thing going on, 2) the causes for it, and 3) the solutions to it.

    The fact that it’s rising to the forefront right now, even as the very well established fact of Islamic terrorism continues to be ignored is shocking in its contrast. Where are the movie stars and artists of all sorts speaking out about that?

  • joseph

    Props to Ardnt for winning best original screenplay. I’m really enjoying the ‘prop guys’

  • Josh

    I agree, Jeffrey: Ellen is doing a great job. I also like the little performances by the acting troupe, and especially the sound effects demonstration. Lots of good added entertainment value this year – even if the show runs four and a half hours!

  • Phillip

    Definitely agree with you about the Little Children screenplay. I hated the clip they showed of it though! Gave the wrong impression to people who haven’t seen it.

  • Anonymous

    Good thoughts, sir. I’m so glad that Barton Fink and Adaptation were included in the montage.


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