1. THE HIGHLIGHT: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova winning best song for their “Falling Slowly.”
2. NEXT BEST MOMENT: Glen Hansard’s acceptance speech for above.
3. THIRD BEST MOMENT: John Stewart bringing Marketa Irglova back out to have her say, because the orchestra cut her off before she could speak.
4. STRANGEST MOMENT: Tilda Swinton acceptance speech for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her one-long-sleeved gown and neon orange hair, saying she was giving it to her agent, without whom she wouldn’t be there, and generally seeming to be in a different world than the rest of Hollywood last night.
5. INTERESTING FACT: Did anyone else notice that none of the winners in all four acting categories came from the U. S.? (Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Colliard, Javier Bordem, and Tilda Swinton).
6. ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT: In the film montage commemorating the deaths in the movie business over the past year, there were more agents and producers and people (men) identified as “executives” and others on the business end of “the business” than all the previous Oscars combined (or so my memory insists), and yet many others, including actors and directors and others on the creative side were left out (e.g. Brad Renfro etc.).
7. THE FILM MONTAGES SUCKED: John Stewart was funny as usual, but the show itself seemed incredibly unexciting because the film montages seemed to be have been made at the last minute by someone who doesn’t particularly like film or montages. Seeing as how the Writers Strike would have made film montages the easiest thing to have produced months ago, that seems odd and strangely self-destructive.
8. BILL CONTI SHOULD RETIRE: Part of the reason the show seemed so slow and unexciting is that Bill Conti’s orchestra conducting was like something out of a bad 1950s variety show. When the strings came up at the end of Hansard and Irglova’s performance of “Falling Slowly” and began to drown them out I wanted to shoot the TV set, since their performance was another HIGHLIGHT of the show, except for the orchestra overwhelming a lovely, true, unique creative moment with loud schmaltz.
9. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: for me was the Coen brothers winning “best adapted screenplay” over really difficult and much more successful adaptations, like the one for THE BUTTERFLY AND THE DIVING BELL.
10. SMALLER DISAPPOINTMENTS: for me was NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN winning the brothers a directing award and the movie winning best film. The first half of the movie, as I’ve said, was pretty brilliant, but not more so than all other movies last year. And the last third of the flick is so poorly realized… Wouldn’t it have been cool to see LARS AND THE REAL GIRL or THE BUTTERFLY AND THE DIVING BELL or JUNO or other perfectly realized movies win over this flawed attempt at honoring the cynicism that has permeated this country ever since the “dark force” took over almost eight year ago?