February 23rd, 2009 (08:01 pm)
current mood: content
Disclaimer: I've inevitably forgotten something amazing about last night that I wanted to mention. As people remind me in comments about things, I'll probably kick myself and then maybe add to this.
It has been well established (I think) that I love award shows. I don't entirely understand why, but it probably stems from my creative side and seeing all of these incredible, brilliant, ridiculously talented people in one place.
Last night was Oscar night, which meant I was tucked away in my dorm room at 8:00 ready to enjoy myself. I was not disappointed. Overall, it was probably the most enjoyable Oscar night as a whole.
The opening number was fantastic. Hugh Jackman may not be the most amazing stage performer that's ever lived, but the man has done some serious Broadway and knows how to put on a show. Let's give him some credit. I had heard the rumors that Anne Hathaway was joining him for the opening and was thrilled to see that it actually happened. Anne isn't an actress that I spend a great deal of time gushing over, but she is one of the most talented women out there. I'll talk more about her when I get to Best Actress. For now, let me just mention that I loved her dress. She looked fantastic. She is definitely one of those classic beauties.
These thoughts are probably not going to be in chronological order because my memory isn't that perfect, but I'll do my best. I do know that the first award of the night was for Best Supporting Actress, and I was so moved by the format they chose this year for the acting honors. Wow. I can only imagine sitting in that audience as a nominee and hearing someone I've admired praise my performance. I was crying for the nominees. Of the acting categories, this is the only one that disappointed me. Having seen neither Vicky Cristina Barcelona nor really any of Penélope Cruz's other work, I can't really speak about her talent. However, Viola Davis is a powerhouse that came out of nowhere and matched every bit of the strength that Meryl Streep has on screen. She is nothing short of phenomenal in Doubt, and it saddens me that she was shut out this awards season. I really think that Oscar should have been hers.
I decided pretty quickly last night that I want to be Dustin Lance Black's friend. (He wrote the screenplay for Milk.) In my opinion, his speech was the best of the night. It was so gracious and his love for his work was so apparent. It is when writers develop that deep love for their subjects that amazing material is born. "You are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value...and very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights across this great nation of ours." There were tears.
There was slight disappointment that John Patrick Shanley lost Best Adapted Screenplay. Slumdog Millionaire is apparently amazing and, just judging by the graciousness and humility of its creators, it deserves every bit of success it earned last night. But, I still think Doubt is amazing.
Now, let's talk about the part that made me squeal and grin and act like a fangirl. The musical is back!
"Something truly remarkable happened this year, something we thought would never happen in our lifetime. Yes, change has finally come. Mamma Mia has sold more tickets in the UK than Titanic."
And to Meryl Streep: "I'm looking forward to Doubt: The Musical. Singing and nuns--it's worked before--that's all I'm saying."
The musical number itself was great. Nice job Hugh Jackman. I'm usually not a Beyonce fan, but I can't deny she did a great job. And seeing Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper almost canceled out the horror of anyone from High School Musical making it to the Oscar stage in any capacity. So, this was probably my second favorite moment of the evening.
Moving on to the tearjerker that was the Best Supporting Actor category. Heath Ledger's Joker was remarkable and I'm glad his family (especially his daughter) can have this one special award to help them remember his legacy. Watching his parents and sister accept the Oscar was beautiful.
I didn't pay very close attention to all of the technical/art awards because they're not as fascinating to me, but it seemed pretty Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button-dominated, with a little bit of The Duchess and The Dark Knight mixed in for good measure.
Congratulations to all of the people involved with Slumdog Millionaire. I think it was a well deserved Best Picture win. The score and songs from the film sounded great, so I'm glad the composer took those categories as well.
I only know about one of the movies nominated for Best Foreign Film, but you should check out Entre les murs. (I think the English translation last night was The Class.)
I'm usually not overly impressed by Sean Penn, but I think the Best Actor Oscar was rightfully his. He managed to make some points in his speech and be gracious at the same time; he usually has trouble striking a balance. So, well done. Milk deserves the recognition. And AWWWW, Buttercup (aka Robin Wright Penn) was crying. Also, if anyone wants to explain Mickey Rourke's "comback" to me, that would be great. I know nothing about him.
We finally come to my very favorite Oscar category: Best Actress. This has been an angsty category for me this year. I was so torn between Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep. On the one hand, this was Kate Winslet's sixth nomination (and every single one of her nominations has been for truly remarkable work). On the other hand, Meryl Streep is the Oscar goddess. She has won two Oscars (one for Best Supporting Actress in 1979 for Kramer vs. Kramer, the other for Best Actress is 1983 for Sophie's Choice). However, even with her lauded 15 nominations, she has lost 13 times, the last time she won being when she was pregnant with her 25-year-old daughter. In addition to all that, her work in Doubt was remarkable, even by Meryl Streep standards.
In the end, I'm ecstatic that Kate Winslet won. She is truly incredible and her Oscar was long overdue. How can you not be touched by her graciousness (that's a word I've used a lot) and beauty? Meryl still received her due praise throughout the show, and it's obvious she commands great respect from the Academy.
Let me backtrack a little to say that the tributes to the nominees were really touching. I thought Anne Hathaway was going to lose it when Shirley MacLaine was talking about her. Anne has truly become an epitome of grace, talent and genuine humility. I'm pretty certain she'll have her day on that Oscar stage.
Congratulations to all the winners (and nominees) and thanks to all who worked to make the awards one fabulous show!!