Oscar 2008 Recap

By Mark Ramsey | 2008/02/25

And in the category of “Awards Show rewarding movies the vast majority of Americans will never ever see,” the Oscar goes to….

The 80th Annual Academy Awards!


I mean, Best Actress to Marion Cotillard in a French movie about Edith Piaf? There are people who would actually rather die than see this movie, no matter how good it is or how good she is.

And leave it to the French to express their gratitude like this:

Thank you life, thank you love, and it is true, there is some angels in this city.

Did she just thank life and love? And since when do life and love deserve to be thanked before Jesus?

No matter how much time marches on, why is it that the Oscars always looks like a black-tie Carol Burnett Show?

Look at those sparkling song and dance numbers! This is how TV looked when producers spent money on it. Who’s Carol’s guest this week, Bernadette Peters or Sandy Duncan?

To be sure, the show included more than its fair share of ear-tugging. Is a tug on the ear the new cocaine-induced physical affectation, or something? There was Daniel Day Lewis, giving it a tug. And the Coen brothers, too – who looked like they would prefer to be encased in any other brothers’ skin but their own.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen winners less surprised and pleased than the Coens. Perhaps they would have shown more excitement if their pig had taken a blue ribbon at the county fair.

The show seemed a little jauntier than normal, coming in at about 3 hours and 18 minutes – or about 2 hours and 18 minutes longer than it took me to skim through on my DVR.


Presenter Katharine Heigl just about passed out, and all she had to do was read the TelePrompter! What are you nervous about, Katharine? Save your butterflies for Dr. McDreamy! Just be bored like the rest of us!

Congratulations to Tilda Swinton, who won not only Best Supporting Actress but Actress Most Closely Resembling Eric Stoltz.

What happened to John Travolta’s head? It looks as if he has a team of stylists micro-trimming the black tar that substitutes for his hair. Does that hair actually grow, John, or does it need to be regularly re-paved?

“Best Ink in a Featured Role” goes to the shoulder-tattooed Diablo Cody, writer of Juno, and – as Jon Stewart put it – a former “exotic dancer.” Not “stripper,” but “exotic dancer.” That’s right, Jon, she was working in a “burlesque house” with a chorine named Trixie.

I don’t know what it is, but the Oscars just aren’t that much fun to watch, perhaps explaining why so few folks will. It’s like a pageant without swimsuits. It’s got all the epic sweep of Lawrence of Arabia in an era when America prefers to watch Jeff Conaway act out in rehab.

It’s a show out of step with the times, and one that increasingly rewards movies and performances detached from the mass audience ABC expects to watch the TV show.

There’s nothing wrong with rewarding those who deserve it, of course. But don’t expect an audience along for that ride.

Here are the big category winners:


No Country for Old Men


Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men


Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood


Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose


Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men


Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton


Diablo Cody, Juno


Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men




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