U.S. Nearly Blanked At Oscars

oscar-kate1If this was World Cup Soccer (sorry, Football) it wouldn’t be quite so embarrassing.  But this is showbiz … movie-making.  The U.S. is supposed to rule at this stuff.  Not according to the results at last night’s Oscars … we Yanks pretty much got a full facial from our friends in Europe and Bollywood. 

Is it just me, or was Hollywood little more than an invited guest at it’s own party?

Host – Hugh Jackman, Australia.

Picture – Slumdog Millionaire, India/Great Britain

Acress – Kate Winslet, Great Britain

Supporting Actress – Penelope Cruz, Spain

Supporting Actor – Heath Ledger, Australia

Director – Danny Boyle, Great Britain

Thank you, thank you Sean Penn for keeping this from being a total wipe out.  Your classy, gracious acceptance speech also helped take the sting out of the drubbing.

The thing is, the winners, across the board, were totally deserving.  There are legitimate gripes about the nomination process (I’ll say it again, the best American made movie of the year was The Dark Knight) … but if you’re judging this thing on the talent of those in the running, the choices were spot on.

Slumdog Millionaire is such a breath of fresh air as a Best Picture winner … no stars, just pure talent.  A team win in a “sport” dominated by too many over-hyped pretenders.  It’s world cinema that the whole world can actually enjoy.  I’ve got nothing against the art house, but this movie is going to open up a lot of previously sticky doors.

Some other Oscar odds and ends:

So who’s the American Kate Winslet?  Is there any American actress out there, in her age group, who can match her range?  25 years ago that actress was Meryl Streep.  Right now?  The only one I can think of that even comes close is Mary-Louise Parker.

Best unexpected moment (I mean other than Kate Winslet’s dad whistling) – that would have to be Ben Stiller doing his Joaquin Phoenix thing.  Hilarious.

Loved the Steve Martin-Tina Fey pairing.  “Do not fall in love with me!”

Big props for Anne Hathaway for having the stones, and the voice, to do a song and dance number with Hugh Jackman.  She was terrific.

And prior to The Wrestler, I really couldn’t have given two hoots about Mickey Rourke, now I’m totally in his corner.  He’s been humbled, put through the grinder, and rescued from what could have been a death spiral.  To everyone who’s ever picked themselves off the mat … they’ve earned a reward much bigger than an Oscar.

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