As a major movie fanatic, and having been raised within the sphere of western culture (and mostly US cinema, although my tastes have diversified/globalized in the past decade), the Oscars are usually a big deal for me. But this year, it's just "bof"... dunno, perhaps Oscar-fatigue from having followed the race so closely (read: obsessively) the past several years? Or is it because I haven't seen almost any of the movies involved? (this is the first time in a long time that I haven't seen most of the films up for awards! of the biggies have only seen The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) Or is it realising I wasn't going to be able to watch the show (what with not having the right cable channel and it being on here from 3am onwards...)? Or is it just this damn head cold I seem to have been incubating over the weekend? Methinks it might be general fatigue, and busy, busy schedule. Plus seems like I overdosed on all the info available. My favourite Oscar-related blog - the fabulously funny NYTimes Carpetbagger - added a couple of writers to his staff and all of the sudden there was just too much to read, it felt like "work" keeping abreast of it all! And add to that the other 4 sites I used to frequent regularly (Awards Daily, In Contention, The Film Experience, Movie City News)... and I think I might have blown a fuse this year. Oh well. Ni modo as we used to say in Mexico. Perhaps next year! :p
I was really looking forward to some aspects of these awards though... such as seeing Hugh Jackman hosting it, finding out if Kate Winslett and Heath Ledger would finally be recognised for stellar work (I'm basing my appraisal of Kate on previous work, I haven't seen The Reader yet), hoping the magical Benjamin Button would be rewarded (although I had read enough around the net to realise all bets were on Slumdog Millionaire) and with fingers crossed to see a Spanish actress (Pe!) get an Oscar for the first time. It's nice to see a year with such great movies and performances that it really would have been hard to be disappointed by any particular win (unless Heath hadn't gotten his for his amazing turn as the Joker). I'm just upset the movies hit the screens in my neck of the woods so late in the game, and so close together! Other than Doubt and Revolutionary Road which have been out almost a month, all the others came out in the last couple of weeks! When you can only go on the weekend (and not always) it makes it hard to get to them!!! Damn! I had it easier living in Belgium... sigh!
So instead of a cheerful post before the ceremony, there's my Oscar-rant just after! Now I'll have to wait for the highlights to appear online so I can hopefully catch some funny moments. And take my sweet time getting around to and enjoying these excellent films! No need to hurry anymore, typically we get a couple of months with lame films after the awards season is over and before the summer blockbusters comme out en masse.
If any of you reading this saw the ceremony, what did you think?
Oscar 2009 winners (main categories I'm interested in, brown means I've seen it):
Best Picture - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director - Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Leading Actor - Sean Penn (Milk)
Best Leading Actress - Kate Winslett (The Reader, FINALLY!!!)
Best Supporting Actor - Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight, YES!!!)
Best Supporting Actress - Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, BRAVO!!!)
Best Soundtrack - A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire, had better be damn good, I was rooting for Button!)
Best Foreign Language Film - Departures (Japan)
Best Documentary Film - Man on Wire (damn! I was hoping for Herzog's Antartic romp Encounters at the End of the World!)
Best Animated Feature - Wall*E (no surprise there!)
Full list of awards at the Oscar official website.