Due to the high demand from the audience (i.e. one out of a total of maybe 5-6 readers of the blog), here is the totally redundant post-oscar post. Brief comments on the oscars (Awards themselves, and the ceremony)
1) It turned out to be one of the most predictable awards night in recent memory. The biggest surprise was Sean Penn edging ahead of Mickey Rourke, and even that wasn't entirely unexpected.
2) I'm very happy that Kate Winslet finally received one. She is one of the most consistently great actresses of her generation.
3) I was hoping for an upset win for WALL-E in the original screenplay category and was a little sad when that didn't happen.
4) the little clips of short animated features were quite good. I wish they release them in a theatre around here.
5) And, of course, the biggest screams of the night were reserved for ARR. I had been telling everyone that day that I was feeling like a proud parent! :D And I truely was. I don't know how many times I have daydreamed about him working in the sort of movie that will get him an oscar and it is unbelievable how it all transpired. This almost came out of the blue (not on the oscar night, I mean.. that was expected.. but 3 months ago, who'd have expected or even dared hope for this?)
Doesn't mean I will stop hoping for more national awards (and more oscars) :). If anything, the bigger reason for being happy at his Oscar is because it will make a lot more people sit up and notice his other great works and will hopefully get other great movie-makers to work with him. And that can't be bad, even if it happens at the cost of number of hindi/tamil projects.
6) I actually liked most of the changes that they made to the ceremony. Hugh Jackman's opening number was quite engaging and getting 5 previous winners to pay tributes to the acting nominees was touching, even if it probably took a lot of time.
7) The musical production just before the best original score was quite boring, though. Perhaps it seemed better to people more aquainted with musicals here.
8) I have mixed feelings about the original song medley. While the rush of seeing ARR perform right after winning one oscar and just before winning another was enough to make my heart race, some of the alterations that were made to the songs didn't quite work. I can understand why it might've seemed that 3-4 min performances for each song might be overkill, still mixing them and making a little medley really wasn't the best idea IMO. They can completely do away with the best song performances, but then if they are going to include a musical medley of the sort that Jackman/Beyonce etc did, perhaps performing the song nominees isn't all that bad an idea.
9) Kate has cried so much during this awards season, that I won't be surprised if many people start hoping that she doesn't win another oscar ever! :) I, however, am not one of them. This was her first win after 5 previous nominations. I'm sure she'll be much more dignified from now on. Unless her second win comes after 5 more nominations!! :P
10) I loved to see the slumdog team come out in such a large number. the kids looked quite adorable and Anil Kapoor didn't make a fool of himself! :P ARR was quite dignified during his awards speeches and Resul seemed really sincere in his speech, even though he was clearly overwhelmed by the occasion. Frieda Pinto had a great dress (though I have heard that some people didn't like it!) and Dev Patel just looked like an overexcited kid! :)
11) Ben Stiller's Joaquin Phoenix act was hilarious when it started but went a bit too far when it started taking attention away from the nominee announcement. Perhaps it wasn't rehearsed very well, as Natalie Portman almost didn't expect people to laugh while she was reading the names and seemed not to know how to react.
12) Jack Black's "collect money from Dreamworks and bet on anything from Pixar" was hilarious! :D
and 13) The "Coming this year" clips at the end is something they should stick with. It was exciting to see actual footage from the movies that we have only been reading about.
So, that was 2008 for the movies. But, a proper goodbye will come later (with the almost-final list of 'best of 2008')