Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hollywood's Holiest Hours

The Oscars, Hollywood's most glamorous and majestic annual acknowledgment of the achievements and contributions of its member guilds, broadcast live to billions of viewers around the world, had finally come to pass in a stunning presentation of nearly 4 hours. What had been on the balance for several weeks due to the writer's guild strike, unleashed a surge of artistic collaboration that embodies the splendor of movie making's grandest honor, providing the winners their much coveted "Oscar Moment" for all the world to witness.

It had a fast pace, but not hurried. It had beautiful sets that evoked grandeur and large scale luxury that were made more expansive by its adherence to minimalism; and exquisite production numbers rich in detail but not obscenely overdone. The concept for the 80th Academy Awards, including the selection of categories to put on video; the description, dialog, and audio of all video clips; the scripts for the presenters; and the entire monologue and jokes of the host Jon Stewart; were so intricately meshed and skillfully crafted, making the program a seamless showcase of elegant artistry. It seemed like Hollywood's writers were so starved for artistic expression and decided to pour all their creative brilliance in one night; fittingly, on its most sensitive, significant, and prestigious event of the year.

The show was very capably anchored by Jon Stewart, whose overall decorum, naughty and mischievous persona, as well as impeccable timing in delivering his lines; gave impetus to the relaxed atmosphere that has long been plagued by tension due to the uncertainty of being able to air the industry's most momentous production. The Oscars also gave a deep sigh of relief to all jewelers, fashion designers, limousine renters, caterers, restaurant owners, and all allied services whose combined worth of roughly US $400 million would have been unrealized had the writer's strike counted the event as one of the casualties of its cause.

The show allowed the stars to parade their glitz and glamor on the Red Carpet, modeling the designer's clothes and jewelry they have been favored to don for the occasion. The papparazzi too would earn their income for the event based on the stills they would capture in documenting the event, and perhaps, its more revealing and unguarded sequences. The major winners include:

Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis - There Will be Blood
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton
Best Director: Joel & Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
Best Picture: No Country For Old Men

The night however, belonged to European actors who romped away with all the major acting awards.

Given the limited time from the end of the strike to the Oscar's play date involved a very large effort which is an accomplishment in itself. The industry managed to inspire its members to come together and escape the ignominy of failure to launch; to continue to inspire, and provide escape for the rest of us through films, for the price of a movie ticket.



Blogtommy said...

I've been a long time fan of Jon's. Only the Comedy Central offshoot of the daily show (the Colbert report) ranks higher in my television arsenal...don't watch a lot of TV! I think the writer's new they needed to pull off a very good show in a pseudo attempt at redemption perhaps!

From one Porsche to another....Zoom Zoom.....peace.......T

The Immortal said...

I was hoping Julie Christie would take Best Actress honors and that Johnny Depp would finally be acknowledged by the Academy. The show was good but the results were a big letdown for me.

Great overall review, are you sure you're not in the Academy's employ? lol!

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of politics involved in the Oscars. The mere fact that European actors took all acting awards is a clear wooing of European support for whatever - maybe Kosovo,Iraq, Gaza, and who knows what else.

Big producers are Jews and their influence on the Academy's voting cannot be discounted.

yeng said...

hello sir. i knew it. i knew that you will write something about the oscars, so here i am dying to know what you think about it. yep, that was the greatest oscars i ve ever seen. i am also glad that it was aired over abs-cbn since we do have a good signal over here compared to other local stations.

honestly i am not too familiar with those winners except of course with Daniel Day Lewis. Europeans did dominate the oscars. does this mean that the American are losing the great actors? I am just wondering.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tommy,
I'm a fan of Jon Stewart too and he's an intelligent guy who can whip up a decent serious interview and then joke about it in the same vein!

The writer's probably were working double time, even writing Oscar Moments on the teleprompter for Jon to read. I think they were trying to prove that they deserve the pay they were fighting about.

Drive safely. :-)--Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Immortal,

That's one thing we have in common, I was rooting for Johnny Depp too and he is long overdue. My choice for Best Actress was Cate Blanchet, but I guess reprising a role didn't do it for her. I think she was better than Helen Mirren's version. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Again Anon,

There have been a lot of independent minded actors in Hollywood that have emerged in the last decade, and the Studio system of old has diminished in influence over the last 25 years.

I do know that politics exists everywhere even among creative industries, but this is largely minimized.I am not certain as to how much influence the kind of politics you refer to would still have on the Oscars.

My thinking is that Hollywood is looking at Europe as an alternative market to develop for its films; just like the way they view Asia. Europe has been very competitive in terms of cinema following and quality of films. Note that only one of the acting awards went to a film produced in by Europeans, the rest were produced by Hollywood types. --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Yeng,

This is a pleasant surprise! I've been so busy lately but I do check out and read your posts regularly as you are in my blogroll.

The American producers are looking to generate a bigger market share in Europe because cinema in that continent has a substantial following. They want a bigger slice, such that they produced films with European Actors and then make them take home the Oscar. This way, their countrymen will be more interested to watch it - even have it dubbed in their language.

As you may have heard, the American economy is in a slump due to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and are already in recession, despite being in self-denial. This would reduce their disposable income and therefore less people would go to the movies. With the rising costs of production, they have to recoup their investments through marketing. This is the kind of politics that Anonymous didn't refer to but is politics nonetheless - the politics of profit. They sacrificed some of their own for the good of the industry, or more accurately, for the good of their (the producers) pockets.

Look to next year, the division of winners could be split or the majority would be Americans. They would always protect their interests, remember that. --Durano, done!

kaotic chick said...

NO country was an obvious winner..a classic among killer movies..check out this st nick version the coen brothers came out have got to see this..

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Kaotic Chick,
WELCOME! No Country was indeed the big winner, I just don't know if they would do as well at the box office.

I'll check out the link you sent, thanks.

Are you knew to blogging? I have not seen any posts from you yet. Thanks for the visit. --Durano, done