Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Post-Mortem

All in all, my guesses weren't as off as Friday's post would indicate, mainly because I guessed correctly in the minor categories. Tilda Swinton was fine with me, and I truly thought Julie Christie was deserving, but my life will go on even though she didn't win. I did think, however, that the evening contained one travesty, and that travesty had nothing to do with anyone's dress.

I knew the Coen brothers would take picture and director, and that was fine with me in that No Country for Old Men is truly a good film. I didn't think it was the best film of the year, though, and the travesty is that Paul Thomas Anderson got absolutely nothing for There Will Be Blood, which was the best film of the year, maybe even of the decade. Yes, it was three hours long, yes, it was depressing, yes, the score was weird. But Anderson adapted the hell out of Sinclair's novel, greatly improving upon it, and he made one of the best meditations on capitalism and moral decay that I've ever seen. Maybe his film was too topical; maybe Academy members just have short attention spans; maybe they just don't like him. Whatever. Life goes on. But if you haven't seen it, go see There Will Be Blood, so you can tell people that you've been to the actual best picture of the year.

Addendum: The night's true lesson is this: if you're going to wear a feather boa, make sure that it's a good one, or that your neck is protected. The cheap one that I had on was so itchy it felt like I was wearing my cat around my neck. And like Gretel, if Gretel were a 'ho, I left behind a trail of pink feathers.


Beth said...

Ya know, I still haven't seen Daniel Day Lewis in an American film where I thought he was any good. He's a self-indulgent (despite being self-disciplined)scenery-chewer, and for me that spoiled There Will Be Blood. I liked the score and HW, and I know capitalism degenerates us, and that good movies can be made on that basis. Guess this means I'll have to see the film again and study everything that's not eclipsed by DDL. Julie Christie was robbed, but she'll always have _Darling_.

Elucidator said...

I completely feel you, Beth. I liked the film despite, not because of, DDL. I'd need to see it again to be certain of this, but I recollect the score being so central, and so effective, because something like half the film was silent. He chewed up what lines he was given, true, but much of the story was told through score, cinematography, and editing. And in that way PTA took Sinclair's work of naturalism and turned it into expressionism, and for me that's the brilliance of the film. Most discussions of the degradations of capitalism are done through the hyper-real, if not the naturalistic; in this way, PTA has done something truly different.