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Oscar Telecast, Wrap-Up

By admin Published: February 25, 2008

Well, I was off writing for the paper during the last big wave of Oscar winners, filing after Day-Lewis and then again with a revision following 'No Country" getting best picture.

A few thoughts:

-- Very efficient telecast. Ran only 20 minutes past its scheduled conclusion (and no sane person believes they're going to do it all in their scheduled three hours anyway). But the determination to keep acceptance speeches short was at times cruel, and I appreciated Jon Stewart's bringing back Marketa Irglova so she could talk.

-- International night, wasn't it? Day-Lewis and Swinton are native Londoners, Bardem is Spanish, Cotillard French. I'll have more about that in tomorrow's Beacon Journal column.

-- I can live with "No Country" as best picture, although I would have been just as satisfied with "There Will Be Blood" or "Juno" (and probably a bit more gleeful about "Juno"). Nice that "Juno" at least got best original screenplay.

-- Day-Lewis was indeed deserving, and in the best-actor clips, they used that baptism scene which is really an "oh, give him the Oscar" moment in the movie. Still, Tommy Lee Jones was unbelievable in "In the Valley of Elah," and I would have easily accepted his winning.

-- Javier Bardem, really good. No problem with the win, although my sentimental side would have liked to see Hal Holbrook up there, because he was terrific in "Into the Wild," and he has had a long distinguished career. Nor would I have objected to Casey Affleck, except that he's really the lead in his movie.

And now for some grumping.

-- You've heard me about Marion Cotillard, but I'm going to say it again. Not remotely deserving. Mannered performance, labored film. Can't wait to see how high this is next year in the worst-best-actress-winner polls.

--Tilda Swinton? Tilda Swinton? Twitchy performance. Not in a league with Amy Ryan or Cate Blanchett. And I'd have put Taraji P. Henson in the nominees' list before Swinton, and probably some others whom I cannot think of at the moment.

Let me leave this post with a link to my piece in today's Beacon Journal about worthwhile movies overlooked by the Oscars this year.

And a reminder to watch "A Raisin in the Sun" Monday night. Fine production. My review is here.

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