Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Quick Oscar Thoughts

* On the whole, it was a very strange show.  Ellen DeGeneres was good, but rarely more than that.  The lack of gravity was the bigger problem though.  People were sticking their Oscars on the floor, getting run off the stage, nearly every winner read from a list... none of those things in isolation would be so odd, but the complete disregard for the importance of the ceremony seemed lost on everyone.  It didn't help that the only real event of the evening (Martin Scorcese's criminally long-overdue Oscar) came four hours into the ceremony.

* The exclusion of Pan's Labyrinth from the major awards will go down as a major failure.  This year may be for Del Toro what Taxi Driver's Oscar loss was for Scorcese, or what Brazil's complete non-acknowledgement was for Terry Gilliam.

* It was great that Scorcese won, but as with so many other make-up calls by the Academy (Russell Crowe for Gladiator?!?) it doesn't undo the past injustice of having lost for Raging Bull and GoodFellas.  How does our greatest living director not win for the best films of his career?  The Departed is up there with GoodFellas as his most entertaining, but my scorecard says Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, GoodFellas, and even Bringing Out The Dead are better movies, and all are more of the Scorcese oeuvre than The Departed.  Guns plus gangsters does not equal Scorcese.

* Alan Arkin?  Really?  That makes very little sense.  He was great in Little Miss Sunshine and all, but no better than the rest of the cast.  I have a hard time believing that the performance I saw was a) lovable primarily due to Arkin's work and b) better than Eddie Murphy in the still-unseen-by-me Dreamgirls.  I make that estimate based solely on having seen Arkin.  How was this different than, say, Slums of Beverly Hills?  Hell, I thought he did a better job in So I Married An Axe Murderer than he did in Little Miss Sunshine.

* I now have a strong, strong urge to see The Lives Of Others.  If it's really better than Pan's Labyrinth, then I am obligated to find out, because I am extremely suspicious.

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