Feb 24, 2008

Oscars 2008

Here are some of the lessons (good and bad) from the 2008 Oscar ceremony:

Brad Bird, winner for Ratatouille: start with a story. His anecdote explaining why he made movies set the stage perfectly for the thank you's that followed.

Javier Bardem (Best Supporting Actor): he displayed one of the most important qualities of a great speaker: confidence. He spoke well, he spoke convincingly, he spoke in Spanish. At the risk of offending many people in the audience, he took position and said what he believed he should say instead of saying what he felt the audience wanted to hear.

Tilda Swinton (Best Supporting Actress): one word: humour. She messed up the beginning of her speech but recovered well from the moment she began comparing the statuette to her agent. Lesson here: even if you don't start off well, you can still deliver a good speech.

The Coen Brothers: speak only if you have a message. When Ethan Coen took the stage, he said "We..." looked a bit lost and then said "Thank you." I'm not sure if time ran out or not, but it didn't leave a positive impression. You undoubtedly have been in situations where a speaker ended his speech and you were left with one question: "Why did he even bother to speak to us?" That's what I felt. The second time he came to the stage though, he played humorously on what happened earlier ("I don't have much to add to what I said before."). That was pretty good.

Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg (Sound Editing): they had planned something and they blew it. So they dropped their script and ad libbed. Once in awhile, things go awry. It's not the end of the world. Suck it up, do your best and go home.

Marion Cotillard (Best Actress): she was a wreck! I thought I was about to see a train fall off a cliff. But she finished with a brilliant line, "It's true, there are angels in this city!" Great sound bite and flattering to the hosts. Nice conclusion.

Christopher Rouse (Film Editing) and Stefan Ruzowitzky (Foreign Film): don't begin your speech like most other people would.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (Best Original Song): a great emotional moment and kudos to Jon Stewart for bringing Irglova back to say her thanks. That was a gracious move on his part. As an MC, his role is to make sure that everything goes smoothly. As I was sitting with my wife, her reaction was "Well that's cheap, they could have given her a few seconds to speak." She had a great message to say and was given the opportunity to do so. However, I felt her message lacked compared to Hansard. He told a story, and that is memorable. His message: even with a $100,000 budget you can still make it to the Academy Awards.

Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor): he epitomized eloquence. His description of the ideas sprouting from the mind of the writer was a thing of beauty.

Overall, a decent show. It didn't seem as long and boring as previous years. Eitherr that, or I was in a particularly generous mood tonight!

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