BEST ACTOR: My pick: Mickey Rourke for THE WRESTLER. Who won: Sean Penn for MILK. I can’t say I was completely taken aback – I knew it was a tight race and I knew Penn had a slight edge. Still, I loved the underdog comeback story of both the movie and Rourke’s real life back story so I can’t say I’m not disappointed either. Penn did however acknowledge Rourke nicely in his acceptance speech: “Mickey Rourke rises again...and he is my brother.”
DOCUMENTARY SHORT: My pick: THE CONSCIENCE OF NHEM EN. What won: SMILE PINKE. I really was just shooting in the dark here - I haven’t seen any of the nominees so I was going by internet research. I feel like even if I had seen them I’d still be taking a wild guess.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: My pick: VALS IM BASHIR (English title: WALTZ FOR BASHIR. What won: OKURIBITO (English title: DEPARTURES). This was because I heard more buzz for BASHIR and neglected to really look into the others. I’ll rectify that by checking them all out in the very near future.
As for the 81st Academy Awards broadcast itself I enjoyed host Hugh Jackman though I thought his song and dance numbers went on too long as did the show itself but that, of course, is a given. The “In Memorium” segment was poorly done (give everybody the big screen treatment next time!) and the one presenter presents multiple awards deal seemed to even throw Will Smith when he had to step up to the task: “Yes, they still have me up here... I think Hugh is napping.” My favorite bit of the show was presenter Ben Stiller in fake beard and sunglasses in an obvious parody of Joaquin Phoenix’s now infamous Letterman appearance of a few weeks back.
To his awkard antics (or non-antics) and his declaration: “I just want to retire from being the funny guy”, co-presenter Natalie Portman remarked: “You look like you work at a Hasidic meth lab.”
Ah, another Oscars over. Now back to the daily grind.