Sunday Discussion: Who Got Robbed? Who Reigned Supreme?
by Alex Billington
February 25, 2008
The Oscars just wrapped earlier tonight and No Country for Old Men took the top prize, as it was expected to do (check out the full list of winners here). Although a few people were wondering if Juno might upset the awards and take Best Picture, it only walked away with Best Original Screenplay courtesy of Diablo Cody. Both The Golden Compass and Tilda Swinton were two of the most shocking winners of the evening, as was the seemingly unexpected Bourne Ultimatum, which ended up with three technical awards by the end of the night. Despite there are always upsets, we can't forget about the ones that deserved to win and besides Diablo Cody, both Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová from Once deserved every last ounce of the golden statues they got.
First off, I've got to say, did anyone really think No Country for Old Men would NOT win? I had felt it all along and knew that it was easily going to take the top prize. Personally, I would have preferred There Will Be Blood, but instead I'm satisfied that No Country took it anyway. I'm not a huge No Country fan, so I'm not exactly excited that it ended up with four, but I am happy either way. It would certainly have been a bigger upset if Juno or Atonement would have won, even though I liked both of those movies, too. What do you think about No Country for Old Men? Although it dominated the Oscars, to me at least, it really doesn't feel like such a huge moment because it was almost entirely expected.
The best moments during the Academy Awards are always when the nominees are all fantastic and equally deserving and an underdog, or somebody who "should" win, ends up taking it. For example, both Diablo Cody and the song "Falling Slowly" from Once were great moments this year because, although I was predicting both of them would win, it could have gone any which way and yet it didn't. All of us, including Ken and Peter from SlashFilm, were all rooting for both Diablo and Once, but it wasn't entirely a shoo-in like Daniel Day-Lewis. Those thrilling edge-of-your-seat moments where the Academy does come through and does give it to the very best of the best are always the most spine-chilling and exciting every year.
However, it's time to address the upsets, as we must, and this year they were: Tilda Swinton over Amy Ryan for Supporting Actress; There Will Be Blood for cinematography over Roger Deakins twice; La Vie en Rose for make-up; and the big one, The Golden Compass for Visual Effects. While I could also mention The Bourne Ultimatum as well, it did deserve to win Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Film Editing, despite what may be said, so I'll let that one fly. But the rest are definitely a problem that I must address.
First off, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End should have won for make-up instead of La Vie en Rose, but there's not much we can do about that. Over the franchise's four year reign, the Pirates movies only ever took home one Oscar, which was for Visual Effects in 2007. We'll get to this year's Visual Effects soon enough, but I really don't have any liking for La Vie en Rose which is I guess my problem. As for cinematography, although There Will Be Blood has great cinematography, I'm very partial to The Assassination of Jesse James instead, which easily had some of the most stunning work in the last few years. Roger Deakins, who was nominated twice, both for The Assassination of Jesse James and No Country for Old Men, deserved to win for at least one of those two!
With Best Supporting Actress, Tilda Swinton did not deserve it, hands down. Literally a minute before they announced the winner, I was telling Peter that almost all of them were fairly good nominees, except for Swinton. She didn't seem to fit in that list, but anyone else would have been a fine and acceptable winner. And mere seconds later she won! Come on, over Amy Ryan or Cate Blanchet, or even Ruby Dee?!
Lastly, you may have hated the movie or you may not appreciate it at all, but Transformers easily should have won the Visual Effects Oscar. Did anyone think differently? Everyone saw it and knew it was going to win; it was shoo-in on the level of Daniel Day-Lewis. But that atrocious flop of a movie The Golden Compass got it?! I could name another 10 movies last year that had great visual effects, but there was never a moment throughout its 133 minutes that I ever though to myself "these are great graphics." It did NOT have great graphics and it honestly sounds like New Line Cinema CEO Bob Shaye bought a win in the Oscars just so the failing company could get some positive recognition - how ridiculous!
Well, there's not much I can change and complaining won't get me far. The Oscars are over and so be it, I'll still love my Transformers and Gone Baby Gone. What do you think? Are there some surprises that shocked you? Who got robbed at this year's Oscars? Who reigned supreme and kicked ass?