Tuesday, 7 April 2009


«The musical is back ». Hugh Jackman dressed as Mandrake The Magician and duetting with Beyoncé in the giant musical piece of the evening, created by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!), was so Night of the 100 Stars or The Monte Carlo Show... Regarding what British comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders has done with Mamma Mia! for Comic Relief 2009 just dream of what they could do with such material.

Don't get your humble servant wrong, the number was great and I love musicals but is Top Hat what we expect of an event celebrating the movie industry of the 21st century? As Nikki Finke remarked in her now legendary "Live-snarking" (Nikki dixit) of the ceremony: « Where are the special effects, eye-popping visuals, and other high-tech gizmos? » (http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/live-snarking-the-2009-academy-awards/). And let's pray that Jackman's line about Doubt - The musical was no psychic.

Talking about musicals, Mr Joel Grey, the living god of the genre (Cabaret), was with Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Cuba Gooding Jr and Kevin Kline for the Best actor in a supporting role category. Gooding Jr joked that the next Robert Downey Jr movie was Shaft because of his role in Tropic Thunder with a black face (« The brothers need to work! »). Did the authors ignore the 2000 remake of Shaft by John Singleton? The late Heath Ledger won for The Dark Knight.

Best documentary feature, introduced by Bill Maher, went to James Marsh and Simon Chinn for Man on Wire - about tightrope walker Philippe Petit. This inspired Nikki Finke her snarky « You know the Kodak Theatre audience is starved for entertainment when a Frenchman balancing an Oscar on his chin gets the night's biggest applause », already noticed on this blog (http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2009/02/only-reason-to-keep-eye-on-academy.html). What we'd do to amuse America, hey?

The Action 2008 "yearbook" with its vis-a-vis of car chases from Quantum of Solace and Speed Racer illustrated by Tick Tick Boom, sung by The Hives, left the impression that the Hollywoodland actioner factory is déjà vu all over again. And Iron Man worths far more than that. I know the idea was to put all the post production categories together but the transition between the yearbook and the introduction by Will Smith of the Outstanding visual effects category sounded strange. I didn't know Benjamin Button was an action movie, but the movie won this one.

« Yes they still have me here. I believe Hugh is napping » said Smith after Outstanding sound editing (for The Dark Knight) and Best sound mixing (for Slumdog Millionaire). Chris Dickens won the Best Film editing for Slumdog Millionaire. Next time we'll try to terminate one of the most enduring cultural clichés about France (Have a guess).

PS: Hear the voice of She Who Must be Read. My attention missed this Oscar Preview on the Aussie ABC Radio National (February 23 2009) with Nikki Finke (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2009/2498204.htm).

(To be followed)

Part One: http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2009/02/81st-annual-academy-awards-part-one.html
Part Two: http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2009/03/81st-annual-academy-awards-part-two.html

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