I mean, DAME Helen Mirren. (Photo via Associated Press. Joke via Oscar co-host, Steve Martin.)
Very happy for Kat B and The Hurt Locker.
Worst Award of the Evening – The Best Cinematography Award to Avatar. It should have gone to the great Robert Richardson (Inglourious Basterds), or if not to him, to Christian Berger who was responsible for the beautiful black & white imagery of Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon. If you liked the colors and lighting of Avatar‘s Pandora, thank the animators and designers who created it all on computer, not the cinematographer who, as one wiseass observed, “just pointed his camera at a blue screen.”
Still, part of me was glad to see a 3-D film finally acknowledged for its technical achievement after decades of 3-D being considered a gimmick not worthy of serious award consideration. Notwithstanding 3-D work by some of the finest cinematographers who ever came to Hollywood: long-time Douglas Sirk collaborator Russell Metty on Sirk’s 3-D Taza, Son of Cochise; Hitchcock’s best cinematographer Robert Burks (Vertigo, The Birds, Marnie) on Hitch’s 3-D Dial M for Murder; Charles Rosher (the cinematographer who shot Murnau’s Sunrise) giving us the stunning 3-D color cinematography of George Sidney’s Kiss Me, Kate; and the remarkable black & white 3-D noir of ace cinematographer John Alton on I, the Jury.
I was expecting The White Ribbon to take Best Foreign Language Film, or if not The White Ribbon, then the almost-as-well-reviewed Un Prophete. Instead, the award went to El Secreto de sus Ojos. Has anybody seen this film?
Here’s another question. How come District 9 – based on a short film by the same guy who co-wrote and directed the feature – was nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, while The Hurt Locker – based on a Playboy article by the same guy who wrote the feature – was nominated (and won) in the Best Original Screenplay category?
Michael Cieply and Brook Barnes of The New York Times reported that Christoph Waltz won the Best Supporting Actor award “for his bilingual performance as a Jew-hunting Nazi officer in Inglourious Basterds.” Get with it, Dudes! Bilingual is so 2009 (when Penelope Cruz won for her Spanish/English performance in Vicki Cristina Barcelona). Waltz was quadri-lingual, acting fluently in English, French, German, and Italian.
The Best Animated Feature award went to Up, mainly for its opening montage which made everybody cry. Meanwhile, Watchmen, which also had a great opening montage, didn’t even get nominated. In any category.
Was pleased to see Michael Giacchino win Best Original Score for Up, because I love his work on Lost. However, if it were up to me, the awards for Best Original Score, Best Animated Feature, and Best 3-D Feature (if there were such an award) would have all gone to Coraline.