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There are a thousand examples of why I take the Oscars seriously only as a ritual festivity, but the most recent one is in 2005. I recently got around to 'A History of Violence' and think it easily the best film not only of 2005 but of anything I've seen in the 00s, although I may have enjoyed one French film at least as much, but which received no attention at all. So this masterpiece, at least I see it as such, was nominated for one Best Supporting Actor award and one Best Adapted Screenplay. The pictures were 'Goodbye and Good Luck', 'Capote', 'Brokeback Mountain', 'Crash', and 'Munich'. 'Crash' won this and I could see a fairly good picture--no more. As moving as 'Brokeback Mountain' was, I don't see it as having as much merit as 'History of Violence'. And 'History of Violence' won nothing. If I took the Oscars seriously as being primarily about merit and not Industry politics, I'd have to be enraged all the time at how conventional they are at overlooking excellence and yet revving up such enthusiasm so that while it's going on it does not even seem as though anything nominated could be other than foreordained.

So I just see it as a party and the Golden Globes are useful for 'not being as good as the Oscars', because nobody takes them seriously by the time of the Oscars. The Oscars do occasionally coincide with merit (or maybe even usually, just not necessarily the most meritorious), but I see them as being for fun and excitement. If I didn't have to worry about political impromptu speeches by some of the presenters, or tiresome protests by other stars who want to suck up about how Barbra Streisand wasn't nominated for 'Yentl', I might watch them if any of the Best Song Nominees were still good--but even there, the only really outstanding thing I ever saw was Ann Reinking dancing to 'Take a Look at Me Now' from 'Against all Odds' (it didn't win it, of course.) This year, we have yet more Alan Mencken songs to exult in! Yay!!!

I'm not sure whether they are more politics-determined than in the past, because surely those were too, but they do seem smaller and more overly-cautious than they used to.

Edited to add, January 26: Sorry for the negativism, others please enjoy the Oscars in whatever fashion, this will be my last post on the Oscars. Research I've done as a result of this thread has led me to find that the Golden Globes nominated 'Mulholland Drive', 'History of Violence', and 'Eastern Promises' for Best Motion Picture, plus several other nominations for these films. It's extraordinary to find that it would be the Golden Globes that would be the thing that made me lose what little respect I still might have for the Oscars, but they've done it by proving that the Oscars always play it safe. 'Mulholland Drive' was in my opinion and many others Lynch's best film (I don't care for 'Inland Empire', no matter how clever), and was the other best film I saw in the 00's besides 'History of Violence.' 'Mulholland Drive' got one nomination for Lynch himself, and one of the Best Picture nominees that year was 'Moulin Rouge.' That says it all for me.

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And 'History of Violence' won nothing.

Movies by David Cronenberg tend not to get too many nominations because as a rule they’re too weird or violent or both for Oscar tastes. I was most pleased to see Viggo Mortensen noticed this year for ‘Eastern Promises’ and wouldn’t be surprised if the nomination was in part to make up for his having been overlooked for ‘A History of Violence.’

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An article about the nominees in the foreign language film category, and why some made the cut and others didn’t:

http://www.screenindia.com/fullstory.php?content_id=18776

Persepolis co-director Marjane Satrapi said she lost hope of getting any Oscar attention after the foreign-language snub and was relieved that her coming-of-age story set against the Iranian revolution was noted for animated picture.

Others were rejected long ago. The Academy disqualified Israel’s original submission The Band’s Visit because there was too much English dialogue. It also decreed that Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” did not have enough Taiwanese talent.

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Thank you for the reviews in brief, cubanmiamiboy. :helpsmilie: I liked 'Eastern Promises,' too, although I didn't think it was as interesting as the last Mortensen/Cronenberg outing, 'A History of Violence.' But it's well done and more accessible than Cronenberg usually is.

Atonement is only now showing up in my vicinity. I'm on the fence about going. Diving Bell is also around and I'm planning to go. Mathieu Amalric is a wonderful actor.

The writers appear to have settled matters, so it looks like the Oscar ceremony is a go.

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So, I'm watching the stars arrive at the Academy Awards and it's funny watching the young starlets adopt the same "sultry" poses for the cameras -- it's like they've all watched Gilda one too many times.

And I can't decide who is more handsome -- Patrick Dempsey or George Clooney. I think I'll go with Dempsey . . .

Cate Blanchett for the win!

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And I can't decide who is more handsome -- Patrick Dempsey or George Clooney. I think I'll go with Dempsey . . .

And I'll go with Javier Bardem :blushing:

When a guy can still be sexy playing a stone cold killer with an idiotic bowl hair cut, that's some MAJOR MOJO!!!!!

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Renee Zellweger isn't a favorite of mine, but we can count on her for a great gown. Her choice this year was no exception.

And with this we get just the opposite--a beautiful face in yet another absurd construction. This is the second crazy thing I've seen Ms. Blanchett wear, the other was like these boards in front of breasts. This one reminds me of the Royal Box at the Mariinsky.

http://oscar.com/redcarpet/?g=0&i=10

Just looked through Carbro's linked gallery, and Ruby Dee, Penelope Cruz, and Josh Lucas all look good too, and Cameron Diaz maybe the most sensational I saw. Viggo downplaying his handsomeness, but can wear anything.

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Just looked through Carbro's linked gallery, and Ruby Dee, Penelope Cruz, and Josh Lucas all look good too, and Cameron Diaz maybe the most sensational I saw. Viggo downplaying his handsomeness, but can wear anything.

My favorite gown was actually on Helen Mirren.

Beautiful and flattering! she is one classy lady.

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I liked the show. A fine speech from the production designer Robert Boyle, who received an honorary award, and cheers to Tilda Swinton for bagging a Best Supporting (and she was great, too). Her speech sucked, but you can’t have everything. Couldn’t have been happier about the Best Song win for “Falling Slowly” – best moment of the evening. (Up yours, Disney.) Jon Stewart did a graceful thing and brought Marketa Irglova back onstage for her thank-you when Glen Hansard and she were pushed off the stage untimely.

Nice to see the camera cutting several times to Cormac McCarthy as No Country for Old Men started to rake in the prizes.

I had mixed feelings about Day-Lewis’ win. He carried an impossible movie but on the other hand I’m not sure he should be so extravagantly rewarded for his recent displays of ham hock. Cotillard was touchingly excited about her win and good for her. My only concern is the Academy’s penchant for handing the Best Actor/Actress awards to actors in biopics – it’s always been that way, but the bias is getting pretty ridiculous. Laura Linney and Julie Christie were great, too, and they didn’t have any visual and vocal blueprints to work from. So at least Day-Lewis won for playing a fictional character, which is good news.

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This is interesting. Would never have guessed that all that talk about how 'the Oscars could now go on' would be met with no response to speak of, and lowest ratings in history:

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articl...e2eaecae3f4.htm

It's not especially surprising. The two top contenders for Best Picture were not huge popular hits, European actors dominated the acting awards, and the strike truncated the awards season and actually dampened down a lot of the talk and hype - no sense making too much fuss over a show that might not happen.

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I liked the show too. Very happy for Swinton, though I hardly recognized her on the red carpet!! DDLewis versus Clooney: Lewis chewed up the scenery and, tho simply great, I thought he went overboard

I sooooo wanted Clooney to win. Wonderful performance: note that final scene when he's in the taxi as the credits roll, and he unwinds ... great stuff.

Praises for Zellweger's look on the red carpet!

Giannina

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Jon Stewart did a graceful thing and brought Marketa Irglova back onstage for her thank-you when Glen Hansard and she were pushed off the stage untimely.

And we got another look at her dress, which was, in my opinion, the most beautiful one on the show, and I can't think of any other person who would have been so physically perfect in it.

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Of the films that I've seen in the Best Actor category, Depp and Day-Lewis were both over the top, although their respective films arguably require that sort of characterization. Viggo Mortensen gave the subtlest and most convincing performance.

For Best Actress, I've only seen La Vie en Rose, so I didn't have much of an opinion in that category. I'm happy that Cotillard won, even though I wasn't enamored with the movie. If Tang Wei in Lust, Caustion had been nominated I would have rooted for her (was the film disqualified for all categories or just Best Foreign Language Film?).

I sat through the entire show and thought it was mildly entertaining, even though I wished Stewart had better material to work with. Some moments were just too awkward or tense; I usually expect that with acceptance speeches from non-actor/non-performers, but some presenters were downright awful. Why would you announce that you're not good at something and appear visibly nervous afterwards?

The dresses at this year's Oscars seemed to be more homogeneous than usual--there were plenty of dramatic reds (loved all the ones I saw--Hathaway's, Klum's, Mirren's, Heigl's), feathers, and asymmetrical one-shoulder styles. One of my least favorite looks was Kidman's; her hairstyle made her overlarge forehead look even bigger, and she wore an unflattering neckline and fussy necklace.

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Of the films that I've seen in the Best Actor category, Depp and Day-Lewis were both over the top, although their respective films arguably require that sort of characterization.

I see what you mean, but I do think it would be possible for both roles to be effective without the actor going overboard. I agree, though, that after a certain point Day-Lewis had run out of options.

I usually expect that with acceptance speeches from non-actor/non-performers, but some presenters were downright awful. Why would you announce that you're not good at something and appear visibly nervous afterwards?

It seems to be a trend. I don’t know why people think it’s charming to show up at the biggest show of the year and babble and fall all over yourself.

The dresses at this year's Oscars seemed to be more homogeneous than usual--there were plenty of dramatic reds (loved all the ones I saw--Hathaway's, Klum's, Mirren's, Heigl's), feathers, and asymmetrical one-shoulder styles

I thought: ‘If I see another simple sheath I ‘m going to run from the room.’

The subtitle for the show could have been The Red and the Black. Another recent trend has been for the actresses to dress as conservatively as possible, justifiably fearing the savaging they’ll get for wearing anything remotely daring.

Heigl’s dress looked ravishing on her. Loved the ruching.

One of my least favorite looks was Kidman's; her hairstyle made her overlarge forehead look even bigger, and she wore an unflattering neckline and fussy necklace.

I liked Kidman’s dress and the necklace. Unfortunately, she moved and talked like a zombie. And I don’t know what she’s putting in her skin but she’s gone too far.

If Tang Wei in Lust, Caustion had been nominated I would have rooted for her (was the film disqualified for all categories or just Best Foreign Language Film?).

I had the same thought when the nominations were announced – if Cotillard, why not Tang Wei, who was just as good? Maybe if she’d appeared in a biopic about a junkie Chinese singing star they might have noticed. I’m not sure about this but I don’t think it was disqualification, just neglect. (It was the most neglected high profile film of the year, IMO.)

I sooooo wanted Clooney to win.

He’s gotta start screaming more.

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I forgot to add that it was totally cool for Day-Lewis to kneel in front of Helen Mirren, and he gave a lovely speech, too.

Another favorite moment: Cate Blanchett in the audience grimacing after they showed a particularly ghastly moment from “Elizabeth: the Golden Age.” At least she knows.

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I've finally recovered from Cate Blanchett not winning. Oh cruel world!

The dresses are so boring these days. It's as if everyone is still hungover from the days when Joan Rivers and her tongue were prowling the red carpet. I found myself getting a little misty-eyed for the bad old days when Cher would show up in something crazy just to get everyone talking.

One trend I approve of wholeheartedly is seeing more male stars wearing the classic tuxedo. George Clooney and Patrick Dempsey looked like movie stars from the grand old days in their gorgeously fitted classic tuxes. For years, I've hated that trend of wearing a conventional looking tie with a tux. Even though the ties are made of an evening fabric, they always make the men look like they're going to a business meeting.

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