Friday, 6 March 2009


Jennifer Aniston («Talking squirrels, romantic robots and super-powered dogs... ») and Jack Black (« ... These are just a few of the ways producers describe actors behind their backs») introduced the Best Animation category.

A "yearbook" reminded us that maybe it's time for the animation industry to move on: a robot, a panda, chimps, a whole zoo, an elephant, penguins and a mouse. All creatures great and small... except for The clone wars and Wall-E, this animated year looked like Noah's Ark! Jack Black was fantastic: « Each year I do one Dreamworks project, then I take all the money to the Oscars and bet it on Pixar» - even Jeffrey Katzenberg seemed to sincerely enjoy the line. Wall-E won, how much won Mr Black this evening? Fortunately, the beautiful La maison en petits cubes, won the Best Animated Shortfilm.

Then came the unlikely tandem of Sarah Jessica Parker and Daniel Craig... for the Best Art Direction category and Best Costume design. Why can't I help thinking that the fact that Parker and Craig presented the latter is revelatory. « We don't have to tell you what the makeup artist does » SJP went on, « Just look at us », added Craig. I'm a James Bourne quitter since I fell asleep during Casino Royale, but Daniel Craig, who is a fine actor (Layer Cake) deserves better. You can't imagine Chris Noth saying that... The curious case of Benjamin Button won Best Art Direction and Best Achievement in Makeup, The Duchess won Best Costume design.

Best cinematography was introduced by Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller. Sorry Nikki (Finke), but I found Ben Stiller hilarious as Joaquin Phoenix (« I heard that Slumdog Millionaire was shot entirely on a cell phone »). For our readers who may ignore it, Phoenix announced in October 2008 his retirement from film to focus on a career as a rapper. And since then he wears a long beard and dark glasses. Stiller will certainly not "retire from being a funny guy" with this one but Nikki Finke is right: "Christian Bale" as Batman (with an Adam West costume) and "Joquin Phoenix" at the IFC Spirit Awards, with Brit comic genius Steve Coogan and director Frank Coraci (1), were by far much better ( Anyway, Anthony Dod Mantle won for Slumdog Millionaire, which is amazing for a movie shot entirely on a cell phone.

Actually the funniest part of the show was James Franco and Seth Rogen watching DVDs and laughing loud watching The Reader, even if I don't get the stapler stuff a la Jackass. But the "intrusion" of Janusz Kaminski (director of photography on Saving Private Ryan or the last Indiana Jones) and a film crew in their apartment saved the segment. « If you liked that piece, I helped write it. If you didn't, then it was all Judd Apatow » said Seth Rogen - allow me here to salute one of my friends, the great Tristan Harvey, who's the French-speaking dubbing voice of Rogen in Quebec.

Franco, Kaminski and Rogen introduced the Best live action short film, won by Spielzeugland (Toyland). One of the commenters under Deadline Hollywood Daily's Live blogging of the Oscars ( wrote: « I’m totally enjoying the Oscars this year. So much better than last year. Vicodin really makes everything better ». Even Gregory House reads Nikki Finke!

(To be followed)


Part One:
Part Three:

No comments: