Monday, March 6, 2006

Oscars 2005

Another biggest night in Hollywood has come and gone. I was able to see most of the broadcast, but I had to turn off the telly after Philip Seymour Hoffman got his award for Capote (no, not because I was offended that someone won for playing a gay man - I turned it off for the obvious reason). All in all, a very predictable ceremony, except for the ending.

Jon Stewart did an adequate job as host, but I think he played better to the television audience than to the live one. The Hollywood crowd didn't seem to know how to handle him or his jokes, as evidenced by the very few audible laughs. No one chuckled when he talked about how when someone pirates a movie, the people with the large homes and even larger bank accounts are "the people you're stealing from." Andy Dehnart seems to agree with me.

It was nice to see Crash win - upsets are fun to watch. This seems to be a movie that people either like or not. I can definitely say that I'm in the "like" category. I enjoyed how the stories connected with each other (in a very Magnolia-ish way) and how the characters were not just one-note but had multiple dimensions.

I haven't seen any of the movies in the Supporting Actor category, so I don't know if George Clooney deserved his win or not. He may have been awarded it because he was also nominated for Director and Picture (both for Good Night, and Good Luck), and the Academy voters weren't going to vote for Clooney in those categories, so the Supporting Actor is a consolation prize for him. If that's the case, then it's too bad for Paul Giamatti. Clooney's speech was surprisingly free of any mention of Bush/Cheney, although he made sure to tell us that Hollywood is correct to be "out of touch." Sure, George, whatever gets you through the night in your Tuscan villa...

Itzhak Perlman should play in every film score. Beautiful.

The complete list of the nominees and winners can be found here.

Some interesting items from the ceremony:

- Crash won three awards: Picture, Original Screenplay, and Editing.

- Other films that won three awards: Brokeback Mountain (Adapted Screenplay, Director, Original Score), King Kong (Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects), and Memoirs of a Geisha (Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design).

- Brokeback Mountain was nominated three times in the acting categories, but none of its actors won.

- All four acting winners had not won previously.

- Where was Cate Blanchett, who should have awarded the Oscar to George Clooney since she won last year for The Aviator?

- Brokeback Mountain won for Director but not for Picture. The last film to do this was The Pianist - Roman Polanski won for Director, but Picture went to Chicago.

- Other than Academy voters, did anybody see the films nominated for Live Action Short Film and Animated Short Film?

- Since Felicity Huffman did not win, Linda Hunt is still the only actress to win an Oscar for playing a man (for The Year of Living Dangerously). If Huffman had won, her career would probably not become as obscure as Hunt's has.

- Hollywood seems to like actors portraying real people - in the past two years we've seen Truman Capote, June Carter Cash, Ray Charles, and Katherine Hepburn portrayed in Oscar-winning films.

- Speaking of P.S. Hoffman, I see that he's in Mission: Impossible III as a villain. He just doesn't strike me as someone who can pull of being a villain - creepy and sleazy, yes, but not villainous. It would be interesting, though, if he talks in the same speech pattern and vocal style as he did in Capote.

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