What a night, huh? I started watching a little of the pre-Oscar shows, but the main event was the focus for me.
Who would’ve thought that Jack Black could only get sexier over the years? I first saw him in the classic High Fidelity (which wasn’t a bad adaptation of Nick Hornby‘s novel, although the girlfriend character was highly annoying) and was blown away by his interpretation of the self-assured, self-important rock snob clerking in a dingy Chicago used records store. His musical number with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly was one of the best Oscar numbers ever. Very classy, very funny.
Did anyone check out the montage of scenes from films where a writer is a main character? These are the films I recognized:
- His Girl Friday
- Paris When It Sizzles
- The Philadelphia Story
- The Hours
- Sunset Boulevard
- The Shining
- Shakespeare in Love
- Get Shorty
- Bullets Over Broadway
- Something’s Gotta Give
- As Good As It Gets
Decent show, and boy, does it glamorize the writing biz, especially with the Mission: Impossible theme closing out the reel. (Was it just me, or was the theme music choice a little disturbing, not to mention depressing, considering that it was played over the final montage of writers typing THE END? Oh well. At least they didn’t play the theme song from The Neverending Story.)
The two biggest disappointments:
a) Peter O’Toole losing out to Forest Whitaker for Best Actor. They say it’s O’Toole’s last chance, which I dearly hope isn’t the case. The last time I saw the Oscars in full was in 1982, when O’Toole was up for the same award for his role in My Favorite Year. I was crushed when he lost out to Ben Kinglsey (Gandhi), and it’s hard for a ten-year-old to recover from a devastating loss like that. (I’m serious, people!!) It’s truly an unfair world when Kevin Costner, Three 6 Mafia and even Al Gore can boast of winning an Oscar, but Peter O’Toole goes home empty-handed… eight bloody times.
b) Little Miss Sunshine winning Best Original Screenplay. Yes, it was a delightful, thought-provoking film, and yes, it was funny as hell and had great characters. I’m just not sure that it deserved the accolade, when the screenplays for Babel and Letters from Iwo Jima were (IMHO) superior in terms of originality, theme and scope. I wonder if the Academy was turned off by the subtitles and — in Babel‘s case — the juxtaposition of no less then five languages. In any case, as much as I loved Little Miss Sunshine, I do think that the Academy was remiss in overlooking these brilliant films.
By the way, if anyone is interested in reading about the development of the screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine and the writer’s background, check out the latest issue of Creative Screenwriting magazine (Vol 14, #1). Great and inspiring story about Michael Arndt‘s road from fresh film school grad to Oscar-winning screenwriter. (Is it just me, or does he look like Swedish actor Peter Stormare?)