They Said, He Said

October 16, 2008

It’s time, more than time actually, to recap, the 80th Annual Academy Awards:

Who won? Who should have won? Who wore what? Who cares?

I care!

Here is my scorecard of who won, and who should have won, in the major categories this year. The biggest injustice: “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, on merit alone, should have swept the major categories. I know this is a hard sell, given the movie is in French and subtitled. The biggest disappointment? The continued degradation of the Hollywood movie – the lack of character arc, development and story. Being shocking and repulsive does not a great movie make.

With that said, here are the movies of 2007:

2007 Best Motion Picture of the Year: the Academy selected “No Country for Old Men” (blech). I chose “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. No contest.

Performance by an actor in a leading role: Daniel Day Lewis (“There Will Be Blood”) was the choice of the Academy. My choice: Mathieu Amalric in “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role: Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) won. My choice: Peter O’Toole in an animated performance in “Ratatouille”.

Performance by an actress in a leading role: the Academy chose Marion Cotillaid (“La Vie en Rose”). I can’t argue strongly with their choice, but my nod would have gone to Ellen Page for “Juno”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role: Tilda Swinton wins for her role in “Michael Clayton”. No complaints (but no strong feelings either) from me…

Best Animated Feature Film: the Academy and I enthusiastically agreed on “Ratatouille”

Achievement in Art Direction: “Sweeney Todd” wins; “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” was robbed.

Achievement in Cinematography: “There Will Be Blood” wins; “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” was robbed, again. Maybe the Academy isn’t ready to step up and properly reward a foreign language film?

Achievement in Costume Design: “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” was the obvious choice for the Academy. OK. Both “La Vie en Rose” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” were worthy of consideration.

Achievement in Directing: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (“No Country for Old Men”) win. Without doubt, Julian Schnabel (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”) deserved the nod for a complete, outstanding movie.

Achievement in Film Editing: “The Bourne Ultimatum” is the uninspired choice of the Academy. My choice – you guessed – “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” for putting together a tough yet completely compelling voyage into Jean Do’s world.

Achievement in Makeup: “La Vie en Rose” wins. OK by me; “Pirates of the Caribbean” would have been a reasonable choice as well.

Original Score: in a vote from a parallel, weird universe, “Atonement” wins. Michael Giacchino (“Ratatouille”) must still be in shock.

Original Song: a home-run for the Academy for getting it so right with “Falling Slowly” from “Once”. Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

Achievement in Sound Editing: “The Bourne Ultimatum” wins again. I am numb, but I guess I can live with that.

Achievement in Sound Mixing: this category makes “the Bourne Ultimatum” a, count ’em, three time Academy Award winner! Think about that for a minute. Does anyone (including myself) really understand what sound mixing means?

Achievement in Visual Effects: “The Golden Compass” wins a consolation prize. “Pirates of the Caribbean” was a no-brainer (which, perhaps, says something of the mental abilities of the members of the Academy?)

Adapted Screenplay: “No Country for Old Men” wins. You know my choice by now: “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”

Original Screenplay: “Juno” is chosen by both the Academy and me. Righteous.