Monday, February 25, 2008

The five best Oscar moments

1) The return speech of Marketa Irglova - When Irglova got accidentally cut off from making a speech in Best Original Song for the Once track "Falling Slowly," host Jon Stewart and staffers called her back out on stage following a commercial break to say her words. Irglova is an extremely talented musician and may well go far, but she's unlikely ever to be back on an Oscar stage. This was her one sure shot at this, and cheers to Stewart and anyone else who made sure she fully had the opportunity. And she made the most of it with an eloquent speech, made all the more impressive by the fact that she comes across as very, very shy.

2) Cormac McCarthy's fist pump - In a room full of famous, powerful storytellers, here's this 74-year-old man who may be the most significant artist there. He's also a man known for his reclusiveness and at least publicly, his shy manner. And what does he do when the Best Picture is announced for the adaptation of his novel, No Country for Old Men? He stands up and pumps his fist in the air, like he's cheering on his dorm hall's intramural football team. Isn't the pointyheaded intellectual suppose to say that awards don't matter and all the participants have a valuable story to tell? Broke that stereotype. Made up for the Coens' adrenalitis.

3) Tilda Swinton's speech - She said she had promised the statue to her agent, who it resembles in face and backside. She went on to poke fun at George Clooney, complimenting him for wearing his Batman uniform around the set and hanging out upside-down at lunch. "You rock, man." I'm fond of saying that if you want to judge the skills of an actress, try to imagine her playing a lawyer. That such a punkish free spirit can button down and play such a menacing attorney is the sign of a terrific actress.

4) Cameron Diaz and "cinematography" - We here at Anti-D are not so picky about the requirements for an Oscar presenter. But being able to pronounce the category that you are presenting seems a rather sensible one. Cameron Diaz may have set off a world record for simultaneously told blonde jokes by twice stumbling over the word "cinematography." Don't worry, Cameron. Everyone assumed that There's Something About Mary was something of an autobiography.

5) The Oscar salute to binoculars and periscopes - This was part of a comedy bit in which Jon Stewart revealed some of the bottom-of-the-barrel filler material that might have had to run, had the writers strike not been settled. In this case, a montage of often famous movie actors pressing binoculars and periscopes up to their eyeballs. The gag went over the audiences head, but sorry, I totally cracked up. I may be the only person, but that was really funny.

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