Sunday, March 1, 2009
And the 2009 Oscar Winners Are...
Better late than never, but with a show this bad who cares?
BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Danny Boyle - "Slumdog Millionaire"
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Sean Penn - "Milk"
BEST WRITING, SCREENPLAY WRITTEN DIRECTLY FOR THE SCREEN
Dustin Lance Black - "Milk"
BEST DOCUMENTARY, FEATURES
"Man on Wire"
BEST DOCUMENTARY, SHORT SUBJECTS
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES, ORIGINAL SCORE
A. R. Rahman - "Slumdog Millionaire"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Anthony Dod Mantle - "Slumdog Millionaire"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES, ORIGINAL SONG
A. R. Rahman (music), Gulzar (lyrics) - Song: "Jai Ho" from "Slumdog Millionaire"
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING
Chris Dickens - "Slumdog Millionaire"
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Kate Winslet - "The Reader"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND
Resul Pookutty, Richard Pryke, Ian Tapp - "Slumdog Millionaire"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Richard King - "The Dark Knight"
BEST WRITING, SCREENPLAY BASED ON MATERIAL PREVIOUSLY PRODUCED OR PUBLISHED
Simon Beaufoy - "Slumdog Millionaire"
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Penélope Cruz - "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
BEST SHORT FILM, ANIMATED
"La Maison En Petits Cubes"
BEST SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Heath Ledger - "The Dark Knight"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo - "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button "
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron - "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button "
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
Greg Cannom - "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
Andrew Stanton - "WALL-E"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
The Duchess - "Michael O'Connor"
I'm not sure what the world is coming to when Penélope Cruz wins an Oscar and "The Curious Case of Benjamen Button" owns 'oscar worthy' special effects, but I do know a piss-poor awards show when I see one. Amusing how the Oscars are hailed as the celebration of the year's best films and, yet, I saw so few of them in their deserving categories-- Let alone the few that were actually win.
While I can understand why "Benjamin Button" would win make-up, was I the only one who saw the abstract designs in "Hellboy II" caked on top of performers? And forgive me if I believe an 18-wheeler flipping over or an armored man breaking the sound barrier is more impressive than aging Brad Pitt; I simply respect real special effects.
Though I've yet to see it, I have no doubt "Slumdog Millionaire" is great film. I knew from the beginning it would win best picture because it's the perfect Oscar bait candidate. (And frankly... All the other movies in that same category weren't that great.) Outside that it does look like it has heart. While I'm not sure if Boyle deserved the trophy 'yet', he is a gifted, passionate director. I'll speak more on the film when I actually see it.
"The Reader" was an overtly pretentious, mind-numbing exercise in sexuality. Something I could receive more beauty out of if I just watched porn. I suppose Kate Winslet was deserving of her award, but the fact the academy nominated the movie for best picture is rather embarrassing. And lets not forget "Milk."
The Academy's big orgasm to gays and lesbos didn't win best picture-- And rightfully so. Like "Brokeback Mountain" before it the film boasted little artistic structure and was nothing more than another pro-gay sign held by a decaying, AIDs ridden child upset that daddy didn't accept him years before. I have no problem with movies about gays, pro-gays...etc... But it would be nice if a good one was made. You know, one that actually makes a good argument and wasn't just another Oscar baiting tool? Maybe one day. If that day comes the Oscars probably won't nominate it because it'll actually be a decent flick.
With that said, the Academy couldn't look past the fact that their gay-marriage proposition was denied. So instead of awarding the best actor of 2008 for his performance in "The Wrestler," Sean Penn received an undeserved win because he, and most at the ceremony, are actually much bigger sore losers than they let known when they're snubbed a trophy. Mickey Rourke, I am sorry. You deserved it. You were, without a shadow of the doubt, the very best man on screen last year.
"Lets wind the clocks back..." Does anyone remember when "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Back to the Future" and "Jaws" were nominated for best picture? How about when bad ass, heartfelt movies such as "Rocky" and "The Godfather" won best picture? The academy has lost their edge concerning classic film making. "The indie-er the better," is not the case. The days of truly great pictures being made and respected appears to be a thing of the past.
Perhaps all these old men who jack each other off to period pieces, homo-erotic sentiment and snail paced "dramas" (a word that is suppose to stand for "excitement" and "emotion") will pass on and a new foundation of members can award the movies that deserve praise. (Yeah, right.) "The Wrestler," "The Dark Knight," "Wall-E"-- All were movies that gave the academy a chance to reform. They were 2008's greats. The boat has sailed. I'd say "better luck next year," but who am I kidding?