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And the winners are.....


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#16 Alexandra

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 11:20 AM

I thought he was going after a Major Photo Op, but I did think the "goody bag" comment was distasteful. However, I watch the Oscars in the hopes of seeing something distasteful.

I saw an interview clip with Kidman after the Oscars, all blushing and embarrassed because she'd forgotten to mention her father.

To get back to Sandik's and dirac's posts about auteurs (not unrelated to the discussion about film v. movies, I think) that's a tradition I hope never dies. It's a different approach -- the Hollywood, each section (director, set designer, editor) has its job and the producer puts it together -- rather like 19th century Russian ballet -- or the auteur, who shoots with the script preedited in his/her mind. I haven't seen all of Polanski's films, but some are in one category, some in another, I think. (I'd call "Repulsion" and "The Pianist" auteur and "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown" Hollywood producer.) Or maybe it's nearly impossible to do an auteur film in Hollywood? Sorry. That's far from "...and the winner is..."

#17 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 02:36 PM

Well, we're actually working from a definition of the auteur that's been considerably modified from the original concept, which was pretty extreme. Polanski can't really be said to have acted as an auteur in the sense sandik was using the term on "The Pianist" for one thing, the script is not his (and I think it's a major weak point, Oscar notwithstanding this is one category where I might have favored The Hours, for structural reasons).


However, he doubtless controlled the production and the choice of and approach to the material is closely related to his previous work, (and I'd include"Chinatown" ). And I think a case could even be made for "Chinatown" as superior to "The Pianist," although I don't know that I would necessarily agree with it in the end. The only auteur in the modern European sense in Hollywood has been Woody Allen. I can think of no precedent offhand in the U.S. for the amount of independence he has had. Maybe Chaplin.


Elvis Mitchell, chief critic for The New York Times, thought "The Two Towers" should have gotten the top prize. I don't agree, but I do see what he means. (He'll have to wait until next year, when, barring some act of God, the LOTR cycle will likely receive the acknowledgment the Academy knows it owes it.)

#18 Alexandra

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 02:54 PM

You're right on "The Pianist" -- I'd forgotten he hadn't written the script. (I have to say, I didn't see what was so great about that script, and the things I'll remember about "The Pianist" had nothing to do with the words. I do think there was a good sense of time, though -- you knew he had been locked in that room, with no food and a useless piano, for eons. But I'd say that was script, more than acting or direction.)

I also agree on the script for "The Hours" -- and editing, as well.

As for giving the awards when they're deserved, was anyone else struck by that parade of the living dead -- former Oscar winners, many who could be walking reminders of why face lifts are not a good idea (and others, younger and/or much better, and more naturally preserved)? I'm not remotely an expert on film, but I did live thorugh many of those movies, and I was shocked to remember that Caine didn't get it for "Alfie," nor O'Toole for "Lawrence of Arabia." And Meryl Street, who can have 2500 Oscars, as far as I'm concerned, got it for "Kramer v. Kramer"?????

The LOTR team will undoubtedly get an Oscar, but it will be decades hence, and for something else.

#19 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 04:34 PM

I confess I did not much care for LOTR, but this is a case where I thought my own personal taste might be the issue Just Not My Thing, in other words. Of its kind, I think it's a first-rate example. I meant by the Academy having to acknowledge it that a cycle of films on this scale with the degree of success it has had is the kind of thing that the Oscars haven't ignored in the past. I suspect the next segment will have a much higher profile next year. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who thought, like Mitchell, that it ought to have won this time around.



The segment Alexandra mentions was indeed ghoulish. (I changed the channel intermittently.) From the winners' point if view, I suppose it's nice in a way no matter if Kidman, et al., eventually fade into obscurity, because they won they'll be exhumed from time to time to appear. Not fun viewing for the rest of us, however. It reminded me of "Sunset Boulevard," where William Holden refers to Gloria Swanson's bridge guests as "the waxworks."



Very often people will win in the "wrong" year (or not at all). Sometimes it's a "body of work" award, other times the Academy is saying, We should have given it to you last time, so here it is this time. If I remember correctly, Caine's Alfie lost to Paul Scofield's Thomas More. Scofield was admirable but I do think Caine was better. Oh, well --

#20 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 07:39 PM

I didn't expect anything from this year's LotR installment, because it's the middle of a very long movie. Bridges seldom have their own awards in writing, only in architecture. That it pulled the two technical awards it did was well-deserved, but I think that the Academy is waiting to see how the movie ends! Then, depending on what else is out there, it should clean up, if Peter Jackson and the WETA team have done as good a job as they've done so far.

When an artist wins in the "wrong" year, it is always instructive to consider Julie Andrews, who was awarded Best Actress for
Mary Poppins, and everybody knew she was being awarded it for originating the role of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, which was also up that year, except that Audrey Hepburn played the role.

#21 glebb

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 07:44 PM

And though Vanessa Redgrave did a great job with the movie "Camelot", I would do just about anything to see a complete film of Julie on stage in in the play.

Did anyone see the Broadway production of "Camelot" with Julie Andrews and Richard Burton?

Sorry if this is off topic.

#22 Calliope

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 07:45 PM

Or someone will get an Oscar the year following their deserved performance (Dame Judi Dench who lost for Mrs. Brown, but won for her 12 minute performance in Shakespeare in Love)
Mel, we were typing at the same time!
This year, I think it was Julianne Moore who didn't get it for the performance. No fake nose or voice editing was needed for her marvelous performance in Far From Heaven.

I think LOTR will fall the way of Star Wars. A place in film history, with no recognition, other than special effects. Which, while the acting is good, the films would not survive on acting alone. It's the perfect 3 act movies. Plus, I think, unless the change the book endings, people will find the ending somewhat anti-climatic.

Now, since Brody gets to present next year's Best Actress, pending any conflicts, will she lay one on him?!

#23 Mary J

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:46 AM

Brody has to be careful or he may just get a left hook!

#24 dirac

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 09:53 AM

I think LOTR is much better than Star Wars, which I thought was kind of cartooonish and cheesy at the time. Time will tell, of course. I think Mel is right -- if the next one is a whopper, and nothing overwhelming shows up in October, Jackson and company should go home happy next year.


Alexandra, which "goody bag" comment was in poor taste?

#25 Alexandra

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 10:03 AM

Brody's post-smooch comment that "I bet you didn't know that was part of the goody bag' [paraphrase]. Implication being that Berry should be grateful.

I have to say I missed his speech, which I now regret. He started babbling and I thought this would be one of those endless thank yous and oh gosh what am I doing heres, and I've seen enough of those, so I left. Then I read it got a standing ovation and was the most moving of the night.

#26 E Johnson

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 10:34 AM

Originally posted by Alexandra
Brody's post-smooch comment that "I bet you didn't know that was part of the goody bag' [paraphrase].  Implication being that Berry should be grateful.


Hmmm. I really didn't take it that way; I intepreted it as the kiss being in HIS goody bag, that is, it was an extra good thing for him on top of winning.

#27 dirac

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 11:13 AM

Oh yes, I forgot about that. His speech was all right. I still have a hunch that if he hadn't won for playing in a wartime drama, it might have been regarded as slightly self-indulgent rather than the highlight of the evening, and for me there was a bit of a disconnect, "Okay, now that I've pawed this hot babe, I'm going to talk to you about how war is bad and peace is good." I'm sure he didn't mean it that way.

I think you may be right, EJohnson, but doesn't the line still smack a wee bit of "Hey, I'm entitled to this."? But perhaps we've devoted enough time and thought to analysis of the incident. :D

Also, there were more standing ovations than usual. At least several. You'd have thought there was some kind of buzzer going off periodically in the seats. I noted that Kidman, after looking around, got up for Brody very slowly, so for one reason or another she may not have been impressed, either.

#28 GWTW

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Posted 30 March 2003 - 12:08 AM

Maybe she was wondering, noe that Brody has set a precedent, who would be going for her throat next year...

#29 Calliope

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Posted 30 March 2003 - 04:37 AM

Well, he won before she did.
Kidman was a little slow getting up for both Andrews and O'Toole as well, perhaps it was the stillettos.

Cold Mountain and Julia Roberts next picture "Mona Lisa Smile" are already in "these are the next nominee" mode and they haven't been released.

#30 Estelle

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Posted 30 March 2003 - 10:42 AM

I saw "Far from heaven" two days ago (and found it very beautiful)- it seems that the ballet school of the little girl definitely belongs to the "Dolly Dinkle" category... :D More seriously, some elements reminded me of Antony Tudor's ballets.

Has anyone here seen Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited away"? It's an extremely beautiful cartoon, very original; probably there are a lot of elements which are meaningful only to the people familiar enough with the Japanese culture, but even without that it's a great experience in my opinion (it's not a "just for children" cartoon).


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