Committed as I've been in years prior to the Oscar telecast, I decided I would check in here with a couple thoughts about tonight's ceremony. These'll be quick, though. Bed awaits.
1. No Country For Old Men is probably the best movie to win the big prize since -- I don't know -- maybe since Amadeus in 1984. I'm not saying it's my favorite movie since 1984. It may not even be my favorite movie of 2007. But it undeniably a "GREAT" movie, one that Oscar will be glad he recognized when, twenty years from now, it's an official Hollywood classic. Too often the Academy passes over to-be classics in favor of short-lived infatuations (The English Patient over Fargo, Crash over Brokeback Mountain, A Beautiful Mind over any of the other four pictures nominated in 2001, etc.). But this year the little gold man went home with the right filmmakers. Kudos.
2. Thank God for Tilda Swinton and Daniel Day-Lewis. Their triumphant speeches, surely the evening's least painful, convinced me that both are a league above everyone else in Hollywood. They're also zany, even by Hollywood standards. Really, with top awards going to these two plus the offbeat Coens, stripper-turned-writer Diablo Cody, French import Marion Cotillard and the statuesque Spaniard Javier Bardem, it could be said that the Oscars this year did all but turn its back on the traditional American work that usually dominates these awards show. Again: Kudos.
3. Unfortunately, however, I cannot offer any compliment whatsoever to Oscar's ear for music. This year the Academy nominated not just one, not just two, but three absolutely wretched and derivative Disney tunes, all from the movie Enchanted, and to be honest that is just embarrassing. Few movies in history have received three song nominations (Disney's Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King among them), and the fact that Enchanted now joins company with those films is, well, it's ... Anyway. Fortunately, the win went to the song from Once, which wasn't great but certainly won't be as great a blemish in Oscar history.
4. Yawn. Jon Stewart's TV show is hilarious. Why were so many of his jokes tonight so terrible? With the writers back at work, you'd think he could've found something better to do with his time onstage than bully Jack Nicholson and expectant mothers. Yeah, he made an okay joke or two about the length of the telecast, but that's already a perennial favorite. I want Ellen back.
5. Usually, Oscar Sunday is for me a celebration, a good excuse for staying up later than I should and for nerdily blathering about awards, stars, and sometimes red-carpet fashion. Tonight I feel like I would've been better served by a book, perhaps by an early jump into bed. Am I in a movie funk? Or have I just outgrown the Academy Awards?