Highlights of the Oscars

It was Sean Penn’s turn to give an example of how to accept an Oscar, much as Mickey Rourke did with the Baftas opening with the ironically funny: “You Commie homo-loving sons of guns” , adding some Rourke-like modesty: “I know how hard I make to appreciate me.”

And finally making a heartfelt speech worthy of Milk himself on the “shame” of those who voted against gay marriage and the right of equality for all. While also paying homage to expected winner Rourke himself, who he described as “courageous” in “rising from the ashes” and his “brother.”  Spoken like a true gentleman and deserved Oscar winner.

Dustin Lance Black made a simarly moving speech on the verge of tears showing how much Milk meant to him in shaping his identity and how much he’d worked to get this far. His direct address to the gay community was particularly poignant as he told them that they are all “beautiful” and shouldn’t let the government, the churches or anyone put them down.

Milk’s wins illustrated most obviously the political significance of film in provoking productive comment and debate. Such a shame then that in the aftermath of the film’s two wins this was reported on Think Progress:

On his radio show, Mike Gallagher slammed Penn for ignoring “the majority of Americans” by supporting gay marriage rights, saying it went against America’s “fundamental values.”

Gallagher asked guest Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican Party, if he thought the party “ought to consider” something like civil unions. Steele replied immediately, “No, no, no,” adding, “What are you, crazy?” He made it clear that the party would not budge on gay rights.

On a lighter note Ben Stiller’s impression of Joaquin Phoenix was spot on (you knew he had to be satirised at some point. You just can’t get away with such behaviour) and provided some much-needed comedy in lieu of the lack of comedy in Jackman’s turn as host.

Meanwhile the fact that Slumdog predictably won 8 Oscars, Winslet won best actress etc. meant that the press was rife with British glory and Gordon Brown’s hypperbole.

According to Brown “we’re leading the world” , hmmm maybe in rates of teenage pregnancy, job losses and cases of diabetes. But c’mon Brown don’t try and deflect attention away from the fact that beacuse of the Government’s mishandling we’re deep in a recession.

And why does the Oscars have to be such a battle of the countries anyway? Aren’t most films co-productions? And what do we classify as British? Slumdog is set in India with a largely India cast, an Indian co-director and composer, and based on a novel by an Indian diplomat. But I guess the Government has to fuel patriotsim some way…

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1 Comment

  1. […] For those few of you who didn’t get Ben Stiller’s impression I alluded to here’s the original […]


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