Oscar Roundup '08: Was There Blood?


From Sunday's Baltimore Sun:

[U]ntil the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers settled their differences, it didn't matter how many times the Oscar folks assured everyone they had plans to meet any contingency. It didn't matter how many billboards went up along the freeways promoting Oscar as "The One. The Only." It didn't matter that streets around the Kodak Theatre were still scheduled to be closed the week leading up to today's ceremony.

What mattered was that the writers were on strike, which meant they wouldn't be around to craft all the show's witty banter.

In other words: The biggest winners this year were the writers, who were nearly shown up as superfluous. Without that tedious "witty" "banter," we would have had the most watchable Oscar night in years. Except, of course, for the songs and montages.

As for the awards themselves…I have a toddler, which means I don't usually see movies until they come out on DVD. So I haven't actually watched any of this year's Best Picture nominees. But I'll give a tentative cheer for the fact that the Academy chose to honor the film that seems most likely to be good.

NEXT: Oscars: The Open Thread

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  1. Unfortunately there was less blood than what I had expected (anticipated).

    Disclaimer: I haven’t watched the movie, but heard that it is a great libertarianish movie.

  2. Jesse Walker,

    FWIW, I’d recommend There Will Be Blood (which is not meant to be a knock against any of the other nominated films).

  3. There wasn’t blood. But there was that sexy bastard Daniel Day Lewis, and that was good enough for me. He needs more face time. If they ever make a movie that just trains the camera on his face for two hours, I would give it an Oscar. ^_^

  4. I also recommend There Will Be Blood. I think it may be the first P.T. Anderson movie that I actually liked.

  5. the diving bell and the butterfly should have got more love.

    at least juno didn’t win too much. i knew it’d bet screenwriting cause there’s no way they couldn’t give that dungfuzz something and there was no way that girl would win best actress.

  6. Fair results mostly (very much in line with intrade), though Juno winning screenplay was annoying. Director maybe should have gone to PTA.
    Cotillard was so gorgeous that the women in our living room became visibly disturbed, one proposing (with a straight face) that she looked better as Edith Piaf, a couple others laying into her for sobbing during the speech.

  7. Of the nominated films, the only one I have any interest in seeing won. So, that’s good. And the latest Michael Moore propaganda piece didn’t win. Which is better. But Johnny Depp wasn’t even nominated, so I didn’t bother to watch, which means I’m the real winner.

  8. Depp was nominated, for Sweeney Todd.

  9. Actually, I think Depp WAS nominated for Sweeny Todd.

    Recommendation: see “Once” which won Best Song with “Falling Slowly”. A great little film which should have had more songs nominated. (“Enchanted” needed one or two fewer nominated songs)

    I guess you could consider it a bit of a libertarian friendly film, as it shows the main character acting as an entrepreneur in his own musical career, and putting all the businesses encountered (including a bank) in a positive light.

  10. I didn’t watch. I took a nap instead. No regrets.

  11. NCFOM, an anti-hero, anti-gun, anti-capitalist work, won best picture, deservedly, making the very talented anti-capitalists even richer. Ah, the irony.

  12. NCFOM features lots of cool, brutal violence, which is just what our culture should be celebrating after the recent massacres at Virgina Tech and Northern Illinois.

  13. NCFOM, an anti-hero, anti-gun, anti-capitalist work,

    You know, I usually have pretty good antenna for that kind of Hollywood PC, and mine didn’t go off during this movie.

    Sure, sure, plenty of anti-heros, but anti-gun? Anti-capitalist? I don’t get it.

  14. Maybe I missed the part which suggested that NCFOM was anti-gun and anti-capitalist.

  15. NCFOM, an anti-hero, anti-gun, anti-capitalist work,

    I also don’t get it. I really enjoyed the movie but “anti-gun”, and “anti-capitalist”? Did you even see the movie?

  16. I stopped paying attention to the Oscars when Blame Canada from South Park got nominated for best song. Uncle Fucka was clearly the song that should have been nominated.

  17. robc:

    AGREED! AGREED! and more AGREED!

    Also, I’ve thought all of pt anderson’s films and almost all of the Coen Brothers’ films were amazing (Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers were decent enough, but not great). Though Miller’s Crossing was the Coens’ best, No Country for Old Men was great and deserved an Oscar. It’s a shame that it and There Will Be Blood had to be up in the same year. Either was worthy.

  18. The bets montages were the two parody montages (the tribute to binoculars and periscopes and the tribute to bad dreams). It’s annoying they had less time to prepare but still took that long.

    I would have skipped the whole thing except my girlfriend offered me increased hoops watching time during the Madness in exchange and I like John Stewart.

  19. Mo,

    Hoops time during MM is non-negotiable. You got a bum deal.

    Then again, this may explain my single status.

  20. Great. Now I’m gonna be humming “Uncle Fucka” around the office all morning…

  21. I’m willing to bet that this was one of the lowest-rated, if not *the* lowest-rated, Oscar telecasts yet. (And deservedly so, entertainment-wise. What a drag. I’ve always thought Jon Stewart was somewhat overrated, and he sure proved it last night.) This could put Hollywood in a bind: do they now try harder to honor the box office blockbusters so more people will be interested?

    Brian L.

  22. Citizen Nothing,

    I almost got myself fired for that. Well, not really, but back in the day, I was singing it under my breath in my cube. After a few minutes, I realized I was singing it out loud, but no one had heard me. They probably would have laughed at me, not fired me. But still….

    Now, I work for myself and can sing it all I want.

  23. My watching of the Oscars came to the exact opposite conclusion…without the writers the Oscars were boring as hell and seemed shoddy and thrown together, I think they came out looking pretty important.

  24. robc,
    I agree. MM is non-negotiable and I would watch in no matter what. However, I preempted any complaints by giving up something I don’t care about for something I do care about. Now I get to watch MM with the gang unmolested.

  25. I guess nobody drank Mr. Plainview’s milkshake after all!

  26. No Country for Old Men was great and deserved an Oscar. It’s a shame that it and There Will Be Blood had to be up in the same year. Either was worthy.

    I agree. It had to be one of them.

  27. the only suprises last night were in the actress categories. i knew juno would win screenwriting, no country would get director and best pictures and day-lewis would get actor and bardem would get supporting but i really thought cate blanchett or ruby dee would get best supporting actress and tilda swinton ended up nabbing that and i thought julie christie would get best actress but the la vien rose girl got that one. which is fine cause she was great in that and at least the juno girl didn’t get it. every actress nominated in best actress was a real actress except the juno girl which was just for popularity. if they’d just not given her a nomination and instead given it to nicole kidman for “margot at the wedding” that would have been a perfect roster of nominees.

  28. “No Country for Old Men” was anti-gun in only one way: the Javier Bardem character preferred killing people with a device used in the slaughtering of cattle. He might use a gun now and then, but he preferred the handy cattle killer device instead. “Gun?” he “don’t need no stinkin’ gun.”

  29. This is not to be critical but I’m curious about Daniel Day Lewis’s accent in “There Will Be Blood” What kind of accent was that? What was he attempting? It almost sounded similar to the Agent Smith voice that Australian actor used in the Matrix. Now that would have been an interesting casting switch.

    Another reason “Michael Clayton sucked”: it was completely predictable. I knew at least a half hour before it happened how Clooney would set the corporate wench up. That’s been done too many times in a number of movies. Also, I wouldn’t think it’s a problem that a Hollywood movie takes aim at corporate greed (or worse) but it just seems so overdone and simplistically done. Why not at least include the tension between the need to be responsible to share holders and other sorts of values. Dramatizing that tension could make for an interesting story, if done well.

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