Well, the Oscars are over, and I have retroactively altered my opinions of films I saw in order to be popular. For example, I used to think the Juno screenplay was mildly charming, with moments of overwrought mugging. Now I think it's a tender yet daring explosion of the teen romance genre.
But I still won't back down about the terrible makeup in La Vie En Rose. Honestly, Academy, what were you thinking? Norbit was the clear choice, and you fucked up. Although I guess we all have the comfort of knowing Norbit was at least seriously considered for film's highest honor.
As for the non-movies part of the show, it became pretty apparent that Jon Stewart is the perfect man to host a hastily-assembled Oscars, if only because he can take any unfunny joke, pause, laugh, shrug, and look at the camera as if to say that wasnt funny, and Im sorry and its totally saved.
Watch some Daily Show; he does it all the time. Its one of six moves he has, alongside the purposely terrible impression thats reminiscent of an old Jewish comedian and the expressing political outrage via screaming at the heavens as if starring in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn.
So now that all the statues are given out, all the awkward interviews are posted and all the American actors are wondering what the hell happened, have we learned anything? I, for one, learned that Daniel Day-Lewis wears bizarre hoop earrings, Joel and Ethan Coen are the most socially awkward filmmakers outside of Kubrick (post-mortem), and Javier Bardem likes showing off his Spanish. Hey Javier, I speak Spanish too and you don't see me showing it off, comprehende?
As for the No Country sweep in general, Im all for anything that further justifies my almost fetishistic love of The Hudsucker Proxy. But Ive got to say I was a little surprised. There Will Be Blood was by all accounts an excellent film, and on top of that it had a natural advantage in that it didnt aim to piss off the audience, whereas No Country spent its last forty minutes brazenly jerking you around and showing you what a pavlovian tool Hitchcockian suspense movies have made you.
All of which is weird for me to say, because I actually really liked it. But come on, youve got to admit theres a point in that movie when you realize theyre not even going to show the final confrontation theyve been methodically building to for an hour and a half and a little guy in your head stands up, walks out of the theater, and sets fire to the snack bar. And then the whole bit with the car accident happens, and the little guy in your head finds the theater manager and pisses on him for wasting his time. But, really, I liked it.
It just has to be appreciated on a level thats a little harder to access than There Will Be Bloods if you try and act like God, God will fuck you. Now theres a message the whole family can enjoy. Especially the father.
Heres hoping someone in the comments explains to me exactly why the structural choices made in the back half of No Country are symbolically sound, and not tantamount to the Coen brothers filming themselves wacking off. In the meantime, doesnt this video lose all impact now that you know Tom Cruise is nuttier than a nut factory on Nut Day?
Seriously, I feel like I can look into his eyes and see the crazy crouched, ready, waiting for its moment to pounce on Cruises respectability and tear out its throat.
When not blogging for Cracked, Michael makes Oscar-nominated short films as head writer and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!