Monday, March 08, 2004

My Crystal Ball was a Bit Cloudy: A Retrospect of Oscar Night ‘04

Overall, I was surprised with the night’s results--considering there were no real upsets or shockers. The previously predicted winners all won; no money was made here—all of the low-odd favorites took home the gold, while all of the underdogs hung their heads and moped back to the drawing table.

Normally the “Supporting” Awards go to the person you’d least expect, and this year both of these categories were a toss up. Nonetheless, both of the favorites won. Last year Adrian Brody pulled off the well-deserved upset for "Best Actor," for his role as Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist, a film that I greatly admire, but this year…no upsets whatsoever. Brody, the presenter this time around, expected a kiss, but got none; I expected some unexpected victories, but got none.

Unsurprisingly, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King took home all of the eleven statues it was nominated for; the other winners, who did not happen to spend their last four years in New Zealand, were just lucky that the pristine final installment of the film did not grace their categories. I’m glad Peter Jackson took home his duo of highly-deserved awards (Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture), and I’m also glad that he was polite enough to wear shoes to the event.

Penn, Theron, Robbins, and Zellweger: fours names that undoubtedly deserve merit. I knew both Penn and Theron were guaranteed to take home the prize, but my heart was with Murray and Watts—both of their nominated portrayals are the absolute pinnacles of both of their careers. While Penn said, “Finally,” and Theron yet again thanked her lawyer, Robbins withheld his political opinions to a minimum while his Oscar-winning wife balled, and Zellweger thanked her overweight husband and could still not open her eyes wide enough for the public to see them.

I really felt bad for Bill Murray, as Billy Crystal pretty much made fun of him after he lost, but in no way is Mr. Murray a loser. After being a comedic cinematic genius over the past decades, he converted himself into a serious character that will live on for centuries. And as for Sofia Coppola, I am glad to see that she took home a golden-guy, but could she really have appeared any less appreciative and any more stoic?

In summary, even though LOTR and Finding Nemo were duhs, I still thought there would be a little room for some surprises. But, like a said, my predictions were only a little off; if Meatloaf’s chorus is correct in saying, “two out of three ain’t bad,” then nine out of thirteen is surely nothing to disparage.

© Copyright Brandon Valentine 2004