Monday, February 26, 2007


The Oscars' Depart-ure

Actually, it wasn't much of a departure for Academy Award voters to select legendary auteur Martin Scorsese (right) as the Oscars' best director and to designate his movie, The Departed, as best picture. Though The Departed lacked the depth of GoodFellas and Raging Bull, Scorsese was not to be denied again (as was the case mostly recently with Gangs of New York and The Aviator). The director award presented by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, with freshly crome-domed Jack Nicholson lurking in the wings, was a victory for the former bad boys of Hollywood.

More winners
Little Miss Sunshine - best supporting actor Alan Arkin, best original screenplay
An Inconvenient Truth - best documentary and best song, Melissa Etheridge's "I Need to Wake Up"
Pan's Labyrinth - best cinematography, art direction and makeup, but lost the best foreign film award to "The Lives of Others"
The Departed - also won best adapted screenplay and editing awards
• Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker - best actress and best actor

Babel - too much Scorcese, shutout except for best score award
Dreamgirls - too much Al Gore and Little Miss Sunshine, shutout except for best supporting actress Jennifer Hudson and sound editing awards
Children of Men and Apocalypto - nada

Host Ellen DeGeneres was predictably quick on her feet, running up and down the aisles working the crowd. At one point she vacuumed beneath the front now. Eyeing an odd-shaped item on the carpet, DeGeneres joked, "Somebody's rolling papers. Must be the band's."

Overlong and way too respectful to the many important cogs in filmmaking's machine, the Oscars seem to take relish in boring its infatuated audience. This doesn't make for great TV, but the producers of the show frankly don't give a damn.

Check out my review of non-Oscar contender, The Number 23

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