The 80th Academy Awards
"No Country For Old Men" Rules Night
And the other winners are...who?
Saying goodbye to Ben Chapman, Steve Gerber, Dick Fletcher, and William F. Buckley, Jr.
There is good news and bad news in Hollywood. Well, maybe no so much bad as weird. The weird news is that most of this year's Oscar-winners for acting are unknown to casual movie-goers. Also, of all nominated films, none could really be typically classified as a sensation-type event, a la, King Kong, Lord of the Rings, Titantic, or even Narnia (although Drew Reiber argues for Juno).
The good news! THE SAME!
MARCH BIRTHDAYS Marcus Koch, Mar 18, 31 yrs.
This year's awards brings home the first inkling that maybe....finally....at long last....Hollywood is breaking away from its recent past of remake after remake after remake, and instead trying new things, new stories and new writers, starring relative unknowns, and upstarts.
Well there were a few exceptions. The night's big winner No Country for Old Men is a Coen Brothers film who are remembered for such fare as Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski and the like. The winner for best actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, is synonomous with (at the very least) My Left Foot. With the others, I wound up scratching my head...who?
The other odds-on favorite to win for Best Picture was There Will Be Blood, a noted favorite around the PCR compound (and the one Daniel Day-Lewis took home Best Actor for). But the Coen Bros' film ruled the night with 4 Oscars for No Country.
Long-time readers remember we have a little bet going between Mike Smith and Matt Drinnenberg every year regarding Oscar picks. Mike usually wins. This year is no exception.
Best Motion Picture: "No Country for Old Men." Mike: "No Country for Old Men", Matt: "There Will Be Blood"
Lead Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood." Mike: Daniel Day-Lewis, Matt: Tommy Lee Jones
Lead Actress: Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose." Mike: Julie Christie, Matt: Cate Blanchett
Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men." Mike: Javier Bardem, Matt: Casey Affleck
Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton." Mike: Amy Ryan, Matt: Tilda Swinton
Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men." Mike: Coen Bros., Matt: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Foreign Language Film: "The Counterfeiters," Austria. Mike: "The Counterfeiters", Matt: "Beaufort"
Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men." Mike: "No Country for Old Men", Matt: "There Will Be Blood"
Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, "Juno." Mike: "Juno", Matt: "Juno"
Animated Feature Film: "Ratatouille." Mike: "Ratatouille", Matt: "Ratatouille"
Art Direction: "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street." Mike: "Atonement", Matt: "Sweeney Todd"
Cinematography: "There Will Be Blood." Mike: "There Will Be Blood", Matt: "There Will Be Blood"
Sound Mixing: "The Bourne Ultimatum." Mike: "Transformers", Matt: "Transformers"
Sound Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum." Mike: "Transformers", Matt: "There Will Be Blood"
Original Score: "Atonement," Dario Marianelli. Mike: "Atonement", Matt: “3:10 to Yuma”
Original Song: "Falling Slowly" from Once, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Mike: "That's How You Know" from Enchanted, Matt: "That’s How You Know" from Enchanted Costume: "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." Mike: "Sweeney Todd", Matt: "Sweeney Todd"
Documentary Feature: "Taxi to the Dark Side." Mike: "Sicko", Matt: "Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience"
Documentary Short Subject: "Freeheld." Mike: "Freeheld", Matt: "Sari’s Mother"
Film Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum." Mike: "No Country for Old Men", Matt: "There Will Be Blood"
Makeup: "La Vie en Rose." Mike: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", Matt: “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”
Animated Short Film: "Peter & the Wolf." Mike: "I Met the Walrus", Matt: “Peter & the Wolf”
Live Action Short Film: "Le Mozart des Pickpockets (`The Mozart of Pickpockets')." Mike: "The Tonto Woman", Matt: "The Tonto Woman"
Visual Effects: "The Golden Compass." Mike: "Transformers", Matt: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End"
MIKE: 11, MATT: 6 . Congratulations, once again, Mike!
The man who played the Creature From The Black Lagoon in standing-ground-above water shots, Ben Chapmen, has died. He was 79. (Ricou Browing, who played The Creature in all underwater shots where the Creature is seen swimming, is fortunately still with us.) This week's Matt's Rail has more on Ben Chapman.
I neglected to mention comic-book writer Steve Gerber in last week's PCR. Gerber was the creator of the breakthrough comic character Howard the Duck that became the lame-ass LucasFilm motion picture, arguably its greatest failure. Gerber was 60 years old when he recently passed away from pulmonary fibrosis.
Dick Fletcher, veteran weatherman with WTSP's Channel 10 News in the Tampa Bay area just died at the age of 65. He'd been hospitalized for a week over a massive stroke (he suffered a milder one years ago). He seemed to show signs of recovery when he succumbed. As iconic as any other local weathermen, he was much-loved by viewers and will be sorely missed.
Conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr., the erudite and eloquent Ivy Leaguer and conservative herald I mostly remember from the PBS show Firing Line and editor of The National Review (which he founded), has died at the age of 82. He frequently showered huge and scornful words on liberalism as he observed, abetted and cheered on the right's post-World War II rise from the fringes to the White House. He was a favorite of impressionists, easy to imitate, but really because his personality loomed large. His Yale background frequently peppered his speeches, perhaps because it's usually cited as a bastion of liberal thinking, yet he himself was staunchly conservative. Although I have always leaned left in my politics, I always enjoyed any debate he was a part of. One of the most influential and intelligent thinkers of our time, Mr. Buckley will be sorely missed.