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OscarNattersWatch: The ceremony

Posted at 6:15 AM on February 25, 2008 by Euan Kerr

Just some scribblings about the highs (and occasional lows) of the big bash.

--What a delight to hear Kate Blanchett's real voice as she introduced the Oscar for best art direction.

--Best supporting actor Javier Bardem's acknowledgement of the wretched haircut he had to wear in "No Country for Old Men"

--The Academy dealt with the quick turnaround after the end of the writers strike by throwing together montages of past Oscar winners and award ceremonies. The "Oscar salute to Periscopes and binoculars," and "Oscar tribute to bad dreams" really were bad, supposedly on purpose. The others began to get repitative. However in this the Oscar ceremony of lists, lists, lists, the collage of all the best picture winners was worth a watch as a reminder of all the films you still need to add to your "must see" list.

--There was the drama of Tilda Swinton apparently realizing she had forgotten to prepare a speech and then dedicating her best supporting actress Oscar to her agent for having the same headshape and buttocks as her American agent.

--In accepting the best adaptation screenplay Joel and Ethan Coen claim their success is because they have been selective and only adapted Homer and Cormac McCarthy.

--Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill arguing over who was the most like Halle Berry

--Loved the sound of car crashes as the winners for the best sound editing winners headed to the podium. And then they both admitted their minds had gone blank and couldn't remember who to thank.

--As Marion Cotillard loses it as she wins best actress, ripple goes around the room that three of the four major acting awards have gone to non-Americans.

--Stefan Ruzowitsky won the best foreign language film for "The Counterfeiters." As he spoke my family gathered round to see if he would mention the way a Minnesota Journalist had interviewed him in a stair well at the Minneapolis airport last week. For some reason he didn't.

--Glen Hansard of "Once" calling "Make art, make art!" as he took the best song Oscar for "Falling Slowly" with Markéta Irglová. And then when Jon Stewart brought her back to speak after the orchestra cut her off.

--In the speech to introduce the best sound track Amy Adams gave examples of his movies from the 70's "Jaws" "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Rocky." Have there been no better examples since?

--It was surreal to have the nominees for short documentary subject announced from Baghdad, particularly given the subject matter of the majority of the long docs.

--"Taxi to the Dark Side" director Alex Gibney made the most pointed speech of the evening as he took the best documentary Oscar. He said his wife wanted him to make a romantic comedy, but after Abu Ghraib he said that just wasn't possible, and then dedicated the Oscar to Dilawar, the taxi driver of the title and his father, a retired Navy interrogator who urged him to make the film because he was so angry about the lack of respect for the rule of law.

--And after a truly amazing year Diablo Cody's self control finally cracked. It was what Jon Stewart called 'a moment.'

--Helen Mirren walked on stage and seized the place with a string of words as she began to introduce the nominees for best actor.

--And then Daniel Day-Lewis completed the sweep of non-Americans in the acting awards.

--Ethan Coen reveals how Joel dressed in a suit and they went to the Minneapolis St Paul to make a film on shuttle diplomacy called "Henry Kissinger: man on the go." He said what they do now doesn't feel much different.

Well, it was different enough to take best director and best film.

February 2008
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