The 80th Annual Academy Awards

Alright, it’s that time of the year again. I have to admit that I only go to the theatres to see blockbuster movies with special effects of epic proportions nowadays, but I still keep notes on many interesting films I’d like to see when they’re available on DVD. And since I tend to agree with the critics most of the time, the Oscars may be a good place to see if I’ve missed some good movies over the past year.
 
Here are the winners of the major categories:
 
Best Motion Picture of the Year: No Country for Old Men
It’s really no surprise here. The buzz about No Country for Old Men being the best movie of the year had engraved the Coen brothers’ names on the golden statue. After watching the trailer, I still have no idea what this movie is about, though.
 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Danial Day-Lewis always looks so different from his roles in the movies. I had to confirm with my sister that that’s really him on TV. It just prooves that he is really a character actor who disappears into his roles. It was fun when "the Queen" Helen Mirren kighted him with the Oscar. I wouldn’t be surprised if the United Kingdom really makes him a knight someday. There are so many "Sirs" in the show business anyway.
 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Marion Cotillard (Môme, La)
As much as I love Juno, it’s not Ellen Page’s time yet. Cotillard looks incredible in this movie. Just the close-up of her vivid face made me want to see this movie. Of course, the singing doesn’t hurt, either. Ellen, you know Canada loves you!
 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Bardem seemed to be the frontrunner the whole time, even though I heard good things about Tom Wilkinson’s performance in Michael Clayton, too.
 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)
Speaking of Michael Clayton, here’s Swinton. My strongest impression of her is as the white witch in Narnia. I hope she doesn’t get the Oscar curse for winning this category. Then again, true good actors don’t need to worry about curses, do they?
 
Best Achievement in Directing: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)
Coen brothers united! Again, it’s no surprise. Usually the director of the best picture takes this category.
 
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Diablo Cody (Juno)
Diablo Cody was the underdog everyone was rooting for. Her life story would make a very interesting movie itself. A New York stripper turned Academy Award winner. And she is writing a pilot for Steven Spielberg. Oh, it’s so true — You’d never know where life takes you.
 
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published : Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)
Tired of seeing their names yet? They are so talented and they had won so many awards that they ran out of things to say when they accepted the last big price of the night.
 
Other things worth mentioning:
 
My sister rolled her eyes when I said I wanted to see Enchanted. Hey, Disney fairy tales could be exaggerative, but they are on top of their game when it comes to movies like this. This is why I thoroughly enjoyed Amy Adams’s and Kristin Chenoweth’s performances (I love Kristin Chenoweth!) in the ceremeony. I am also glad to see Alan Menken back writing songs for Disney. His music was  the soudtrack of my childhood. Having said all that, I can’t help but feel bad for James Marsden. Always the best man, never the groom.
 
When Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová won the Best Original Song, Irglová didn’t get a chance to say her speech (I hate it when the music comes on to chase people away. It’s their moment to shine, for God’s sake!). Host Jon Stewart brought her back after the commercials to deliver a very nice speech about independent films and music. That’s so very nice of him. And yes, the song is really moving. Once has been on my list of movies to see.
 
Jon Stewart is much more relaxed this time. He controlled the time well and dished out some good, fundamental jokes. I thought they picked him again because of the upcoming election. He still stays away from the politics mostly but did a better job this time around. I wish Ellen (oh, I mean Ellen DeGeneres) could get another chance to host.
 
This year, the Academy Awards are quite international, as many of the winners are not Americans. Is this any indication that the movie industry in Hollywood is truly struggling? While there are less and less original new ideas in Hollywood, the Oscars always remind me that there are still so many good films out there. Movie lovers, see you in the theatres!

About Alice

I am a Taiwanese-Canadian who lived in Toronto for 18 years and then decided to explore the west coast and moved to British Columbia. My interests include science, technology, movies, music, theatre and literature. I am always curious about how things work. I hope I can turn this curiosity into my passion about life and the world around us!
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