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The Oscars – Live

The Oscar ceremony is about to begin, and this will be a running commentary of the event.

Opening Monologue: Jon Stewart has an opening monologue with some amusing – and pointed – lines about the Writers’ Strike.

Jon Stewart - Oscar Opening Monologue

He asks if the Vanity Fair Oscar party was cancelled out of respect to the writers, then why don’t they invite them one year? I bet his team of writers enjoyed getting that one out of their system.

Best Costume Design: Alexandra Byrne wins for Elizabeth: The Golden Age. My predictions get off to a bad start as I was going for Atonement. 

Best Animated Feature: It goes to Ratatouille and Brad Bird goes up to collect his second Oscar after The Incredibles in 2004. My predictions are back on track. 

Best Makeup: The surreal sight of Norbit winning is averted as Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald win for La Vie en Rose.

Best Visual Effects: I thought Transformers would get it but the Oscar goes to Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood for The Golden Compass. Some consolation for New Line after all the money they spent on the film.

Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo win for Sweeney Todd. I think There Will Be Blood was robbed here.

Best Supporting Actor: And… Javier Bardem wins for No Country for Old Men. That was a slam dunk as he was red hot favourite.

Javier Bardem wins for No Country for Old Men

He even thanked his mother in Spanish, which was nice. 

Best Short Film – Live Action: Owen Wilson presents the Oscar to Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)

Best Short Film- Animated: For some reason Jerry Seinfeld is presenting this as his animated bee character. Anyway it goes to Peter and the Wolf. Possibly the low key victory of the night as Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman pick up the award with a puppet in tow.

Best Supporting Actress: This is the real tough one to call in the major categories. I fancy Cate Blanchett but Ruby Dee, Amy Ryan or Tilda Swinton have a good shot. Alan Arkin comes out to present the award and it goes to… Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton.

Tilda Swinton wins for Michael Clayton

She not only thanks her agent but says she is going to give the award to him(!).

Best Screenplay – Adapted: I fancied The Diving Bell and the Butterfly but The Coen Brothers win for No Country for Old Men. Their script was a great achievement in avery strong field.

Best Sound Editing: Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill come out to present the award to Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg for The Bourne Ultimatum. A deserved win although ironically the TV sound feed screws up during the acceptance speech.

Best Sound Mixing: In quick succession Bourne wins again in the sound category. Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis get the award for The Bourne Ultimatum.

Best Actress: Will Marion Cotillard, Julie Christie or (maybe) Ellen Page win? I’m going for Christie but it’s a tough one to call. Forest Whitaker is announcing the nominees now. And the award goes to … Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose.

Marion Cotillard wins Best Actress for La Vie En Rose

All her campaigning and the showy nature of her (admittedly highly accomplished) performance paid off.

Back after break, Jon Stewart is playing Wii tennis on the huge academy screen. After his use of an iPhone earlier for a gag, I’m sure Nintendo and Apple are happy.

Jack Nicholson comes out to present a montage of all the movies that have won Best Picture from Wings in 1928 to The Departed last year.

Best Editing: Renee Zellwegger comes out to present this award. Christopher Rouse wins for The Bourne Ultimatum. A great trio of technical Oscars for the superb sound and editing work for the best blockbuster in modern years.

Honoury Award for Robert F Boyle: This legendary production designer (who worked with Hitchcock on North By Northwest and The Birds) came on to accept his award at the age of 98. He thanked ‘Hitch’ for introducing him to his wife whilst Norman Jewison and Don Siegel also got shouts.

Robert F Boyle gets honoury award

Best Foreign Film: Penelope Cruz comes out to present and I think The Counterfeiters is a strong candidate here. But why on earth did France not select La Vie En Rose or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for this category? They entered Persepolis which – whilst brilliant – never stood a change. In fact the rules about countries nominating one film must chance. Anyway the winner is The Counterfeiters and director Stefan Ruzowitzky goes up to collect. (We spoke to him back in October about the film – check out the interview here).

Best Song: John Travolta comes out to present this award. I’m hoping for a win for Falling Slowly from Once. But Enchanted has three songs up for the award. And the winner is… Falling Slowly by Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Great news and it will be a big boost for the film. Whilst we are plugging past interviews, listen to director John Carney speak about Once here.

Marketa Irglova and Glenn Hansard

They go to a break and Jon Stewart gets Marketa Irglova to come back on and finish her acceptance speech. Very nice! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

Best Cinematography: Possibly the strongest category with a four truly outstanding candidates. However, I feel Roger Deakins may suffer by having two brilliant films up for consideration. Cameron Diaz presents the award – and struggles to say ‘cine-ma-tog-raphy’ – which goes to Robert Elswit for There Will Be Blood.

Robert Elswit wins Best Cinematography for There Will Be Blood

A marvellous film with some truly incredible images so no complaints there but Roger Deakins will get it one day!

The In Memoriam segment now plays. Hard to think Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni and Heath Ledger are amongst those no longer alive.

Best Score: I secretly wanted James Newton Howard to win for his excellent work on Michael Clayton but the award goes to Dario Marinelli for his work on Atonement.

Best Documentary – Short Subject: Tom Hanks comes out to present but hands over to a bunch of US soldiers in Iraq who have pretaped the nominees and winners. Weird. But it goes to Freehold.

Best Documentary – Short Subject: Hanks stays on stage to present the feature award. Four of the nominees (especially Taxi to the Darkside and No End in Sight) are damning indicments of US foreign policy. Will one of them get it? Yes, but its the disturbing Taxi to the Darkside, directed by Alex Gibney . Five years on from Michael Moore getting booed – amidst the cheers – for denouncing Bush and the war, the Academy is now honouring a film that shows the truly squalid side of Bush’s war on terror. And thankfully no-one booed this time.

Best Screenplay – Original: I fancied Tony Gilroy (for Michael Clayton) could spring an upset but the hotly favoured Diablo Cody wins for Juno.

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It was a good script and I’m sure the narrative of her life helped her out. Plus, all the Juno backbaiting of late has has got a little tedious. It is a really good film deserving of recognition. Go Diablo.  

Best Actor: Helen Mirren comes out to present the award. It will be a huge upset if Daniel Day Lewis doesn’t win.

The award goes to … Daniel Day Lewis for his great performance in There Will Be Blood.

Daniel Day Lewis wins Best Actor for There Will Be Blood

The big awards coming quick now.

Best Director: I’m tipping the Coens. Martin Scorcese (who finally gets to present after winning last year) opens the envelope and The Coen Brothers win for No Country for Old Men.

The Ceon Brothers win Best Director(s)

Although Paul Thomas Anderson may have been in with a shout I guess it was seen as the Coens’ time – that and the fact that it is a great film.

Best Picture: Denzel Washington comes out and the winner is No Country for Old Men. Producer Scott Rudin and The Coen Brothers (who were still in the wings after winning Best Director) come on to accept the big award.

No Country for Old Men wins Best Picture

Congratulations to the Coens and producer Scott Rudin – as he also produced There Will Be Blood (two modern classics in one year!).

But also props must go to Paramount Vantage and Miramax for backing these two dark yet brilliant films.

That’s it for this year.

I’m off to bed.

By Ambrose Heron

Editor of FILMdetail

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