Even with the war in Iraq overshadowing the awards tonight, I thought MOST of the Academy Award attendees behaved rather well, considering how preachy and holier-than-thou those Hollywood folk tend to be.
They had a red carpet after all, but didn't allow interviews to be held on it. Much of the costumes were more subdued than usual, and Joan Rivers was nowhere in sight. That alone has made the war all worthwhile...
I'm sure thoughts of possible terrorism were on everyone's mind, too. Fortunately, there were only minor crimes committed at the 75th annual ceremony (like Julianne Moore's dress).Despite the increased security, both Martin Scorsese and Daniel Day-Lewis were robbed.
Some highlights of the evening:
Adriene Brody's Acceptance Speech
He hit just the right pitch, he dipped and kissed Halle Berry (she didn't seem to mind too much) and said exactly what he should have about the war, although of course I would've rather had him spend his time up there talking about the film, but whatever. It was a great moment.
However, didn't Daniel Day-Lewis really deserve the Best Actor trophy?
His "Bill the Butcher" character from Gangs of New York is one of the best movie villians I've seen in a long time - it's a broad role, granted, but a delightful and memorable performance - one that'll be remembered and appreciated for years whereas Brody's pianist... eh.
Michael Moore's Acceptance Speech
On the other end of the spectrum was Michael Moore's acceptance speech for Best Documentary for his film "Bowling for Columbine" (one of the funniest films to ever win the award).
He brought the other nominees up on stage with him and used his time to trash Prez Bush, the "fictional" war in Iraq (I don't think you can call any war where people shoot real bullets and people really die "fictional," but whatever).
He received a very loud mixture of boos and applause for his speech, although from my television the boos far outweighed the applause.
Now, I don't think that Moore's speech was offensive, but I can understand how other people would. But what did they expect? This is Michael "I'm in your face" Moore fercryinoutloud. It's his job to be controversial, to always speak his mind and maintain moral integrity. Of course he's against the war in Iraq. Why shouldn't he talk about it at the Academy Awards just three days after hostilities began?
This was just Michael Moore being Michael Moore. Bravo to him for having the balls to say what he wanted to say. Fuck you if you don't like it.
I wonder how many people would have un-voted for him if they could have, just because of the contents of his speech...
For his second time out hosting, I thought Martin did a great job. He was funny, smart, and most important, brief. His quips rarely lasted more than ten seconds, and badabing, he's announcing the next presenter. I hope they have him back next year. You can keep your Whoppie Goldberg and Billy Crystal. Aren't they busy making shitty movies anyway?
Nicole Kidman's a Winner
Yay! I'm happy for Nicole - I don't know if she gave the best performance of the year, but I just like her. She seems nice. And she's a pretty good actress. I thought she deserved to win last year for Moulin Rouge and a lot of the academy membership probably wish they'd voted for her. This year they did.
Best Adapted Screenplay
How the hell did Adaptation NOT win the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar? It would have been perfect - it's a movie ABOUT adapting a screenplay. Plus, we would have been treated to some explanation of why the fictional Donald Kaufman couldn't be there to share the award.
And the Oscar Goes to the Dead Guy
Conrad Hall wins the Cinematography Oscar for The Road to Perdition (one of the best titles of the year). Quelle surprise. Of course the Oscar went to the dead guy. Consider this a lifetime achievement award (not that he hasn't won "real" Oscars before).
Overall, a good time was had by all, and no one really wanted to dwell on that yucky war.