The WHAP Wrap: Oscar Edition

Yesterday was the 80th Annual Academy Awards, and the first one covered by us here at WHAP. So we liveblogged it. Then we summarized it. Now we give cheers and jeers to some of its most visible moments and speeches in this week’s Oscar Edition of The WHAP Wrap.


3. Anyone who’s ever won an Oscar. I mentioned yesterday that Jon Stewart promised some surprises in the writing of this year’s show, by which he apparently meant constant flashback tapes to past Oscar victors. In order to stretch the telecast beyond the length of any of the nominated films (and that’s including The Assassination of Jesse James, mind you), writers injected “previous winner” montages into countless awards, so we got to see clips from great speeches of yesteryear like Cuba Gooding for Jerry MacGuire and Halle Berry for black people everywhere Monster’s Ball.

2. Foreigners. After Tilda Swinton won last night, Bryan remarked to me that none of this year’s acting winners were going to be American. (If Julian Schabnel took Best Director, we would have had a complete foreigner sweep in the five individual categories). So here’s the list of Best Actors and their respective home countries: Daniel Day Lewis (England); Marion Cotillard (France); Javier Bardem (Spain); and Tilda Swinton (England).

1. No Country for Old Men. No Country took home four Oscars out of eight nominations — a 50% success rate, which roughly matches the percentage of people who liked the movie’s ending. Those four awards include Best Picture and Best Director(s) to the Coen brothers, who prove once again that no awards show is big enough for them to get a damn haircut. But if you should walk away with one overarching message from this year’s Oscars, it’s this: 16 different films were awarded in some way last night, including all five Best Picture nominees. So while No Country may have been a rewarding film in and of itself, the real treasure from 2007 was its filmic diversity. It’s a year in which you can truly walk away and say that everyone came out a winner.


3. Steven Spielberg. No one else seems to be mentioning this, so maybe I’m just hung up. But in the Best Director flashback montage, Steven Spielberg compared winning the Oscar for Schindler’s List to “male menopause.” Personally, I can’t think of two worse words to commemorate his win for the greatest Holocaust film of all-time — and my choice for greatest film ever at that. Maybe he could have called it “an experience unlike anything else.” Or “a once-in-a-lifetime moment.” Instead he makes an analogy to the inevitable ceasing of reproduction functions in women, often associated with mood swings, anxiety and hot flashes.

2. Every supporting actress except Tilda Swinton. Look, I’m not saying that Tilda (short for Matilda?) didn’t deserve her win, but she was so surprised to hear her name called in this category that her hair stood straight up. Every other nominee for supporting actress seemed more than prepared to accept the award: Cate Blanchett probably thought that the Academy asking her to present was a subtle hint that she’d win; Amy Ryan looked rather stunning, despite being the least-hyped performer of any category last night; even Ruby Dee put off dying for another week ’cause she thought this award would go her way. But alas, no luck for any of them. The award went Tilda’s way, and with drapes that orange we’re left wondering whether she has a red carpet of her own.

1. Transformers. Like I said above, it was hard to pick a huge loser from last night. But if there is one, then Transformers is it. The big budget, massively-successful summer blockbuster was completely shut out last night, including in the coveted Best Visual Effects (read: the Oscar for nerds) category that everyone thought it had locked up. In choice words, Steven Spielberg — who executive produced the film — compared the bad night to “male menopause.”


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