Monday, February 25, 2008

Hope in the Dark

I enjoy watching the Oscars every year, not as much for who is going to win, but more for the production values, interesting history, and spontaneous behavior of the participants.

This year's edition had been labeled by the media as a somewhat under-anticipated affair, given that a lot of the nominated films were considered "dark" and had not enjoyed mainstream success. I got to see three of them, and of the ones I saw the best one took the prize.

No Country For Old Men ranks up there with Reservoir Dogs as one of those films where it felt like you were seeing the conjured manifestation of evil right up there on the screen. Combine this with a very unconventional ending (at least in comparison to the stereotypical good guy/bad guy film), and you had something that really stuck to you after you left the theater. Even as good as I know this movie is, I was still rooting for Juno.

One thing that struck me last night that Reuters picked up on this morning was the fact that all of the acting award winners were foreigners, two from the UK, one from France, and one from Spain. This is the first time in 44 years that this has happened. The media types were all atwitter over Marion Cotillard, who channeled Edith Piaf so memorably.

Even though Michael Moore didn't win for Sicko, he made his point early on. After the furor over his acceptance speech after winning for Bowling for Columbine in 2003, he said last week something to the effect of "what got me booed off the stage five years ago is today the subject of three of the five nominated documentaries". Earthly vindication (if that's what you're into) doesn't come in a sound bite; sometimes it takes a very long time.

My favorite moments of the show surrounded the Best Original Song winner, from the low-budget independent film Once, which will be on my next-to-rent list. The classiest moment from the Oscar Show was after the commercial break, when Jon Stewart had Marketa Irglova come out and finish her acceptance speech, which had been interrupted by the orchestra wanting to speed the winners along. Nicely done and well deserved.

Theirs was a beautiful performance of a touching song of hope and love. Something to remember and gather solace from, in my estimation, so much so that I found the video and lyric and felt it necessary to share.

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react

And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black

You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now

Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing along

I hope that everyone has as good a week as you can. In keeping with a theme of memorable movie moments, and as a reminder to myself and others, I found one of my favorites. Enjoy.

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