This is maybe the first year of all my Oscar watching years that I haven't went to bed pissed off by the Academy. I didn't agree with all of the awards, but the majority of them seemed to be aimed at pleasing ME. So... here we go.
(I left out pretty much all the technical awards after realizing last night that I know nothing about them when Mike and I couldn't figure out the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.)

First off, I thought Huge Jackman was divine. (Seems like a weird word to use when describing Wolverine.) The opening number was hysterical - one of the best the Oscars has ever had. The musical montage in the middle of the ceremony was cute, but I really could have done without Beyonce. Does she have to be involved in everything? I may have walked out of the room when she appeared... ;-)

My only Hugh complaint is they seemed to forget he was hosting halfway through the ceremony. He must have taken a nap backstage.

Anyway, awards time. (Winners in red. Comments in blue.)

Adapted screenplay
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" Screenplay by Eric Roth. Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
"Doubt" Written by John Patrick Shanley
"Frost/Nixon" Screenplay by Peter Morgan
"The Reader" Screenplay by David Hare
"Slumdog Millionaire" Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

- It's hard for me to judge adapted screenplay having never read any of the source materials - so I can't really say how well anything was adapted. However, the screenplay for The Reader was gorgeous, and I was obviously pulling for that. This was barely the beginning of the Slumdog Sweep.


Original screenplay

"Frozen River" Written by Courtney Hunt
"Happy-Go-Lucky" Written by Mike Leigh
"In Bruges" Written by Martin McDonagh
"Milk" Written by Dustin Lance Black
"WALL-E" Written by Andrew Stanton

- I had been hoping for a McDonagh win to upset "WALL-E". For some reason it never occurred to me that they'd award "Milk". I loved "In Bruges" and would have been thrilled to see it win... but was incredibly moved by Black's win and speech. Well deserved.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" Alexandre Desplat
"Defiance" James Newton Howard
"Milk" Danny Elfman
"Slumdog Millionaire" A.R. Rahman
"WALL-E" Thomas Newman

- A.R. Rahman's music made the movie, and this and the next win are wins that I called and totally agree with. Maybe just because I love Indian music, but it was fantastic.


Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"Down to Earth" from "WALL-E" Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman
Lyric by Peter Gabriel
"Jai Ho" from "Slumdog Millionaire" Music by A.R. Rahman
Lyric by Gulzar
"O Saya" from "Slumdog Millionaire" Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam

- See above comments. :-) Oh, and also, great performance medley.

Achievement in directing
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" David Fincher
"Frost/Nixon" Ron Howard
"Milk" Gus Van Sant
"The Reader" Stephen Daldry
"Slumdog Millionaire" Danny Boyle

- Anyone who knows me knows I love Danny Boyle's work and always have. I'm happy that he's finally getting recognition. I am, however, unhappy that it's for this movie. I have very conflicting feelings. Not that this wasn't completely expected. Would have loved to see Stephen Daldry get his recognition for great movie making as well.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Amy Adams in "Doubt"
Penélope Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis in "Doubt"
Taraji P. Henson in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler"

- Yes! I actually think I would have been happy with any of these women winning. It was a great year for acting. But Penelope Cruz was unforgettable, and I was overjoyed for her.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Josh Brolin in "Milk"
Robert Downey Jr. in "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Doubt"
Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight"
Michael Shannon in "Revolutionary Road"

- Obviously no shock here, but also deserved. I teared up when his family came up to accept the award. His performance was so haunting, and I'm happy to see that it will be remembered. So sad. :(

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Anne Hathaway in "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie in "Changeling"
Melissa Leo in "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep in "Doubt"
Kate Winslet in "The Reader"

- I burst into tears underneath a blanket. This has been a long time coming. To have been nominated 5 previous times for always outstanding work, it was such a relief to see her finally take it home. She gave two out of this world performances this year in "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader". I'm happy to see her win for the latter, my favorite movie of the year. Maybe the most moving performance I've ever seen on screen. Her speech was beautiful, and I'm so so so so happy.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor"
Frank Langella in "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn in "Milk"
Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler"

- WHAAAAT?! I wanted it but never expected it, with the "triumphant return" of Mickey Rourke and all. I saw "The Wrestler" and I saw "Milk". Rourke was fantastic, and it wouldn't have been a total crime had he won. But Sean Penn became Harvey Milk in every single way, and I still think about his performance today. So happy that he won... great speech, too. Loved the comment about how he makes it hard to appreciate him sometimes. :)

Best animated feature film of the year
"Kung Fu Panda"

- Not sure what else to say but... duh. :)

Best motion picture of the year
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"The Reader"
"Slumdog Millionaire"

- I would have been more ticked off had I not been rejoicing so heavily for Kate and Sean. "Slumdog Millionaire" was a very, very good movie. Totally solid. But it didn't make me feel the way the "Benjamin Button" did. It didn't make me think the way "Frost/Nixon" and "The Reader" did, and it sure as hell didn't make me weep the way "Milk" did. It was a great feel good indie movie that deserves the reviews, but not the awards. It was not the best movie of the year. Oh well. Like I've been saying, the Academy sure as hell loves the little indie that could.

Hah. Okay, that's the end of that. If anyone bothered to read... thanks. ;-) 'Twas fun. Guess I should do something with my day now!



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