I am nothing if not topical, so I hope that on this balmy August 2012 evening, you will enjoy this recap of the 2008 Oscars!
It’s been 10 years since I truly enjoyed an Oscars® show, but it was worth the wait, because this was by far my favorite one ever. Starting with the opening shot of this curtain made from crystals. MAN is that crystal curtain GORGEOUS. I really don’t care about diamonds, but there is something about crystal — if it’s there, it’s hard for me not to just stare and stare at it. Crystals are stunning.
And speaking of stunning, here is Hugh Jackman, and you know, I thought Hugh Jackman was as awesome as the next person, but after tonight, I have an entirely new level of love and respect for him. I have enjoyed every Oscars® host at least once, but Hugh Jackman was my favorite by far. Right from the jump, he trolls Kate Winslet, and she gets all bashful. And wait! Now that I think about it, where was Jack Nicholson last night?
Anyway, Jackman talks about budget cuts, and proceeds to introduce a segment done like a big play/variety show. The sets are pretty Spartan and representational, which is charming in itself, but completely come to life thanks to Jackman’s singing and dancing. He sings with Anne Hathaway at one point, and it is just lovely.
Oh! And at one point in the song, Hugh asks why comic book movies are not nominated that year. GOOD QUESTION, Hugh Jackman! This will be a theme throughout the night. I think Hollywood maybe finally pulled its head out of its ass long enough to realize that the traditional snobby circle-jerk bit is losing a lot of interest, really fast. So hopefully next year, we’ll see less snobbery in the nominations, although I will say that this was by FAR the least snobby I’ve ever seen the Oscars.
A new thing they are doing is having a group of former winners in a category come out to talk about each nominee in that category. It’s actually very nice. Penelope Cruz wins Supporting Actress, and although she is still a bit of a question mark to me, I’m happy for her, and also she is BFF with Salma Hayek, whom I’m convinced is one of the coolest people of all time.
“Milk” wins Best Original Screenplay and Sean Penn, despite all odds, looks legitimately happy at the Oscars. It’s weird. But nice! And the writer of “Milk” gives probably my favorite acceptance speech of the night, but I want to blog about it in more depth in the future, so I’ll move on for now.
Tina Fey is here! And “Slumdog Millionaire” wins Best Adapted Screenplay.
YAY to an “Iron Giant” reference!
Jennifer Aniston is with Jack Black, and JA really looks fantastic, very radiant and healthy. Of course they cut to Brad and Angelina’s reactions, but it’s just your standard freeze face of awkward politeness, and the most interesting part of it all is seeing that Angelina Jolie is wearing simple black, with the focus being on her green earrings and matching big ring. I like it.
But so anyway Jen and Jack do banter and award “WALL-E” with Best Animated Feature. Yay! Even though I think they should have skipped this category, and just stop being such snobs to think cartoons can’t be best films in their own right. But either way, “WALL-E” was GREAT, and I’m glad it got recognized.
One other thing they did this year that I really liked was to have the non-major categories introduced in sets. So instead of spending 10 new hours with new stars giving the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film to “La Maison en Petits Cubes,” they keep Jen and Jack around to do it. I like it. I personally enjoy the minor category awards, but agree that the Oscars have been getting way too long. I like the new way they set things up. It’s more efficient and more intimate.
Here are Sarah Jessica Parker and Daniel Craig to award someone for great Art Direction. SJP looks very nice, but I get very annoyed when she perkily calls the Joker crazy. Not to single out Sarah; a bunch of people during the show refer to the Joker as crazy, and I will have to blog on that another time. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” wins, and although I’m sad it’s not “The Dark Knight,” I love period movie artistry, and though I haven’t seen it yet, I know “Benjamin Button” has not just one period, but a bunch. So that makes sense. They also award Costume Design to “The Duchess” and Makeup to “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
Robert Pattinson graces the stage with his I-will-steal-your-heart-at-the-coffeehouse-then-cheat-on-you demeanor, and Amanda Seyfried, whom I adore. They introduce a Romance 2008 montage, which is pretty cool.
But in the meantime, here are Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller doing a bit, and Ben Stiller has a big, bushy beard like Joaquin Phoenix. “Slumdog Millionaire” wins Cinematography, and the winning dude has hair like the “Nicolas Cage has a bird on your head/Your argument is invalid,” only it’s not a bird.
Yay Ron Howard in the audience! Did I ever tell you I had a big crush on Ron Howard for years?
Hi Danny Boyle! Danny Boyle is one of the People I’d Like To Meet.
Jessica Biel comes out dressed like a cross between a Greek goddess and the Statue of Liberty and talks about the Sci-Fi Technical Awards.
YAY!!! There is this whole “Pineapple Express” sketch there to be all, “That’s right bitches! Don’t nominate our movie – we’re still going to get it legalized!” More on THAT another time, you can be sure. Anyway, it’s amazing. They talk about how comedies never get nominated, and watch all these movies completely high. And James Franco lends more credence to my theory that “Pineapple Express” is one of the most important Libertarian movies ever made by actually saying, “Who do you think is a better actor? Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama?” Brilliant way of sneaking that one past the Hollywood elite – “Oh they’re so silly and crazy, on their drugs!” Oh man, do I heart “Pineapple Express” in a major, major way.
^^^ Save the dealer, save the world 😮 ^^^
Now James Franco and Seth Rogen are here in real life, only they are not supposed to be high, although they definitely seem to be, and unfortunately James Franco has taken a shower and cut his hair, and they are now joined by Janus Kaminsky to honor “Spielzeugland” with Live Action Short Film. Though I kind of really want to see “New Boy,” based on the clips.
Okay, I did mostly love this awards show, but I did NOT at all like the way the announcer breaks for commercial by saying (I’m paraphrasing off memory), “Coming up…one of the most talked-about awards of the year.” Meaning Supporting Actor.
But back to the positive, I absolutely loved the next bit. Hugh Jackman talks about musicals being back, and sings with Beyonce and it turns into this whole musical medley, and the “Mamma Mia!” people come out and sing, and Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron are there. They’re all mixing up lines from different musicals! It’s very exciting and they end with a big finish (redundant?) and Hugh Jackman going, “The musical is back!” and I’m seriously glad I watched these Oscars.
Montage of actors, and I just want to share this George Burns quote, because it made me cry: “And if you get to be old enough, you get to be new again.”
And it is time for Best Supporting Actor. Kevin Kline is the one who speaks about Heath Ledger, and he does a wonderful and respectful job. Then the winner is announced, and it is Heath Ledger, and I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding and maybe I will write more on this another time, but for now I’ll just say that it was an incredibly sad, but incredibly beautiful moment, and the acceptance speech was beautiful.
Bill Maher presents the Best Documentary award to “Man On Wire,” and one of the people accepting is excited in a really contagious way. He does a magic trick, which of course I think is awesome coming right after Ledger’s win for the Joker. “Smile Pinki” wins Best Documentary Short Film.
There is an action montage, and here is Will Smith! Have I mentioned how much I loved “Hancock?” I know a lot of people said it sucked, but I loved it. Mr. Smith awards Best Visual Effects to “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Then, in an amazing showcase of irony, he trips over a bunch of lines regarding the importance of sound in film. Sound Editing goes to “The Dark Knight,” which is thrilling. “LOOK. AT. ME!” Sound Mixing goes to “Slumdog Millionaire,” and Danny Boyle is grinning from ear to ear and I’m wondering if he’s going to start climbing on seats and kissing Sophia Loren like Roberto Benigni did 10 years ago, especially when “Slumdog Millionaire” goes on to win Film Editing, as well.
This is such a happy, upbeat Oscars. People seem legitimately thrilled to be a part of it, and that’s like, all I ever ask from Hollywood, at the end of the day.
Eddie Murphy is here, presenting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Jerry Lewis, and the whole thing is very touching, especially the way Jerry Lewis looks around the audience and it’s hard to explain, but it was pretty amazing.
Oh, this is really nice. The band plays score music from the nominated movies for said category. I love scores. And Zac Efron and Alicia Keys present Best Original Score to “Slumdog Millionaire.” Then the people who did “Jai Ho” for “Slumdog Millionaire” come out and perform it and I am completely blown away. GORGEOUS. “Jai Ho” wins Best Original Song, and in his acceptance speech, A.R. Rahman says:
All my life, I had a choice – hate and love. I chose love.
So I cry again. But no time for sorrow, because Liam Neeson and Freida Pinto are letting us all know that “Departures” won Best Foreign Language Film.
What happens next is simply magnificent. Queen Latifah starts singing, and in case you don’t know, I love Queen Latifah more than I can ever convey. She starts singing “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and keeps singing it over the tribute to the Academy members who died last year. Words cannot do justice to how lovely it is.
Reese Witherspoon presents Danny Boyle with Best Director, and I’m very happy for him and his huge smile.
Time for Best Actress. In one of my favorite moments of the evening, Shirley Maclaine introduces Anne Hathaway as one of the nominees, and gives this amazing speech that has Anne losing her shit, yet remaining elegant. But in the end, Kate Winslet wins, and I’m thrilled, because I love her. Always. I have never not loved Kate Winslet, whether as a character, or at events like these, or giving an interview.
In a surprise upset vote, Sean Penn wins Best Actor! And gives a very nice speech and doesn’t even throw any chairs or yell at us to boycott something or another. Not that I mind when people do that; I’m just saying. He does talk about Prop 8, which makes sense, and congratulates the audience on electing an elegant present.
Here is Steven Spielberg, looking exactly the same as he has every time I’ve ever seen him since his hair turned silver back in the day. It’s really pretty remarkable. He shows us a montage of films, and I’ve gotta say, the Oscars have had really great montages this year, and then Best Picture goes to…
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