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And the winners are.....


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 09:59 PM

(They're not supposed to say that any more. They're supposed to say "The Oscar goes to." As one of the past hosts said, "We'd hate to think this had anything to do with competition!")

Here's the link to the NYTimes coverage, the complete winners list.

http://www.nytimes.c...ominations.html


No one would have won money betting on "Chicago;" that was a sure thing. But I was surprised (and pleased) that Brody got it -- much longer odds, and well-deserved, IMO.

Anyone have an opinion on Polanski? Sympathy vote? "Come back home, all is forgiven?" Lifetime achievement award? Or just that "The Pianist" is a good film?

#2 Calliope

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 02:37 AM

I was glad for Brody, he had the most entertaining and poignant speech (and I'm glad he told the orchestra to let him finish)
And Polanski, I finally saw The Pianist and I thought it was a great film. I think he's a great filmaker and he deserved it, but still is considered to be a fugitive.

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 02:57 AM

I liked Brody, too - his speech had as much spontaneous class as Peter O'Toole's had studied class, given that the latter had time to prepare his remarks. Michael Moore takes the "no class at all" Oscar for this year.

I think losing the red carpet is a good idea, too. People, by and large, didn't look like they were playing "dress-up" with their mothers' clothes, and presenters and most of the recipients looked subdued and dignified. There was some glitter, sure, but not wretched excess. The ladies, in particular took on additional beauty by letting their own looks speak most clearly and not being manikins for various designers and Harry Winston. And the gentlemen looked like gentlemen, without going over into next-generation proposed semi-formal wear. Hollywood looked truly glamourous in the classic sense.

#4 Mary J

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 07:41 AM

Andrien Brody getting the Oscar in the face of competition from four established Oscar winners is the stuff Hollywood legends are made of! I was so delighted, especially because he earned it with a charismatic portrayal in a noble movie. I thought it was so neat that his fellow nominees seemed so happy for him - but I suppose they are not world class actors for nothing. And Brody giving Halle Berry an eye-popping kiss was amazing. It must have been spontaneous but it looked so beautiful I almost expected the words "The End" to be superimposed on that smooch!

There was something so poignant about O'Toole's appearance, especially after the clips of his youthful roles in which he was so beautiful.

I thought Steve Martin was exemplary as host. He does not bring the frantic silliness that Billy Crystal uses, but his lines about the Teamsters and about thanking Steven Spielberg were classics.

I haven't enjoyed the Oscars this much in years -

#5 dirac

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 12:07 PM

Actually, I watch the Oscars primarily for the wretched excess, and I regard the ceremony as incomplete without Cher, but I agree that glitz overload would have been most inappropriate this year, to say the least. The Division of the Spoils was interesting. It was as if the Academy wanted to give the big kahuna to Chicago and but realized that, hey, it's not really that good, so they spread the goodies around, which is fine. Last night was a little short on star power, understandably so. And after last night, I think Steve Martin can regard himself as Oscar Host for Life, if he wishes. By the category:


Best Cinematography: A posthumous nod to the late lamented Conrad Hall, for the otherwise unwatchable Road to Perdition. This filmgoer will miss him.



Best Actress: No surprises here, alas. I was rooting for Diane Lane in "Unfaithful," but I guess it's not good to give the female performance of the year in an Adrian Lyne summer bodice-ripper. She was great, though. However, Kidman wasn't a bad choice, although judging from the movie and last night her forehead looks distinctly Botoxed. (So did others, I'm sorry to say. I mention this not only for reasons of cattiness. This policy of not allowing women to age in a way even approximating natural is having actual aesthetic repercussions.) I wasn't greatly impressed by her We're-Here-for-the-Art-of-It-All stance, either.


Best Actor: I'm happy for Brody – there's a man who richly deserves his goodie bag. I have been keeping an eye on him since Liberty Heights some years ago so I'm pleased at having my taste confirmed. Nor can I feel sorry for Jack (who turned out to be just fine in "About Schmidt," incidentally) or Nick, who sat together and after the ceremony doubtless repaired to their respective hot tubs for some R&R with a starlet or two. However, I'd like to put in a word for Michael Caine. He wasn't quite at his best and was about twenty years too old for the part, but at some points in his performance he reached a kind of transparency in his emotions one rarely sees. (You don't catch this man acting.) He looked crushed, incidentally. Anyway, congrats to Brody, who brought his mom, and I'm sorry Halle Berry seemed less than enthusiastic about your Big Smooch. (I thought I saw her take an opportunity to wipe her mouth, in fact (like, "Ewww, gross!").

Further thoughts re the Kiss -- is it more acceptable for men to be aggressive in this way? I recall that people made fun of Julia Roberts last year for her, uh, attentions to Denzel Washington. When men do it, it's cute -- women just seem desperate? Just asking.


Best Director: Difficult. Pleased that Marshall did not win, but the Polanski Issue is, in my view, a serious one and not to be brushed aside without discussion. Under any other circumstances I would have been jumping up and down for him, but here are the problems as I see them:


He is a fugitive from American justice for a very serious crime, and not one who was unjustly accused or received an unfair trial, or was convicted on a trumped-up charge. If he'd Paid His Debt to Society, it'd be different, but he left the country to evade what seems from all reports to be his just deserts. If Britain and France want to give him the award, fine. It's their choice to make. But I question whether he should have been up for nomination here at all. It doesn't give me a whole lot of pleasure to get judgmental about someone who was victimized by Hitler and then by a lesser light, Charles Manson. But there it is.


Secondly, he wasn't the overwhelming choice in this category. The award could have gone with equal justice to Almodovar or Scorsese, for various reasons. I admired The Pianist greatly and think it deserving of Best Picture regardless of whether Polanski had been disqualified or not (if "Talk to Her" had gotten a nomination here as well, my feelings would be more divided, however, and I wouldn't have cried if "Gangs of New York" had won, either. It's a very flawed movie but I can make an argument for it), but if the Academy had said, "We're sorry, Roman, you did a fine job, but there are some things for which we have to call off prize day, and evading a rape conviction is one of them" they would have been justified, IMO.


However, I can also argue the other way – if you think he was the best, he was the best, and the other guys would just be getting a Mr. Nice Guy Award, and who in Hollywood wants one of those? However, it's just an entertainment award, not the Nobel Prize. Not really that big a deal either way, in other words.

#6 Hans

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 10:28 AM

If Brody hadn't shoved his tongue down Berry's throat, he would have been able to finish his speech in time. The expression on her face said it all: disgusting. Thank goodness for Peter O'Toole--and Steve Martin, who kept things moving and was funny without being crass.

#7 sandik

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 11:01 AM

though I think some of his other work is more distinctive than Talk. He works in the auteur tradition, I think, as someone with a very specific vision of film, and I'm happy to see that (and him) recognized.

#8 dirac

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 12:41 PM

I agree, sandik. There's a definite difference between directors like Almodovar, and Woody Allen in this country, who write, direct, and otherwise control every aspect of their films in the classic auteur sense. (And I miss the early Almodovar.) Polanski and Scorsese are powerful and individual directors, and Scorsese is a great one – I don't know if I'd call Polanski great -- whose influence dominates their productions, but it's not quite the same thing.


You do have a point, Hans. If Brody hadn't been so obviously stunned and if he hadn't won for a movie set in wartime, I suspect his conduct and speech wouldn't have been quite so well received. (I actually don't think much of stars who bully the orchestra conductor, who's doing his job as instructed. But I'm willing to cut Brody more slack than Julia Roberts in this respect, who really embarrassed herself the year she won for Erin Brockovich.)

#9 dirac

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 02:28 PM

Additional thoughts on the Smooch. Since what is good for the gander is good for the goose, and this year's Best Actor has to present the award to the Best Actress next year, I suggest that a way to be found for Renee Asherson, who played the ancient medium in The Others, to win the Oscar next time around. She charges the stage and deposits a big long wet kiss on Brody, with the post-awards explanation that, "I've always had a thing for skinny gawky guys from Queens, so I went for it."


(By suggesting the foregoing, I mean no disrespect to the still-striking Miss Asherson, who was a ravishing Princess Katherine of France to Olivier's Henry V.)

#10 Hans

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 07:15 PM

Dirac, that is a wonderfully hilarious idea :).

#11 Ed Waffle

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 08:00 PM

Originally posted by dirac
Additional thoughts on the Smooch.  


My initial thought on this (I haven't had any more) is that Brody would be slapping 'high fives' with his buddies at the next keg party, being congratulated for his good fortune for getting the best of Hale Berry.

He acted like a jerk.

#12 vagansmom

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 09:30 PM

For all of a few seconds I was happy that Brody won the Oscar. Then came "the kiss". I am so glad to see so many of my fellow Ballet Alertniks were disgusted by his behavior as was I.

Berry's look certainly DID say it all.

I say she has a good sexual harrassment case.

#13 Calliope

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 03:43 AM

oh my.
I thought "the kiss" was fine.
We're talking about people who "kiss" strange people on a daily basis. I don't think he shoved his tongue down her throat, and they asked him at the press interviews after, he and she both said no.
I feel like I'm reliving the Angelina Jolie, I'm in love with my brother moment, which so many people blew out of proportion to.
What's next, Nicole Kidman doesn't get along with her father, because she didn't thank him?

#14 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 04:04 AM

I dunno, I kinda miss Zero Mostel, who would go to a restaurant, and greet the maitre d' (or a waiter, or a busboy) by smothering him in an effusive embrace, then wrapping one leg around him. His tablemates would say, "OK, Zee, everybody's looking at us now, we can sit down.";) One can only imagine someone like him at an Academy Awards show.

#15 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 10:21 AM

It's all in fun, Calliope. :) I saw only a brief clipping of the press conferences, so I know little of what was said, but Berry's facial expression at the Moment was pretty eloquent, I thought.



I don't know about Nicole's dad, but if I were Nicole's son, I might have said something later like,"Uh, Mom? I know I wasn't in the audience or anything, and you won for starring in a chick flick, but gee…"


Mel, from what I've heard, Mostel used to do things like that onstage, especially during the end of long runs when he was getting really bored. :)


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