Coens kill but no gold for Canada

“The fight is over. So tonight, welcome to the makeup sex,” quipped host Jon Stewart at the glamorous post-strike event.

Although, with the number of montages aired throughout the broadcast, it was easy to see organizers were still using part of a strike game plan to fill in for the lack of preparation time.

Last night’s 80th annual Academy Awards brought some early surprises with Tilda Swinton winning Best Supporting Actress for her role as a ruthless lawyer in Michael Clayton, beating out favourites Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) and Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There).

Then Marion Cotillard (La vie en rose) edged out Julie Christie (Away from Her) and Canadian sweetheart Ellen Page (Juno) for Best Leading Actress for her portrayal of chanteuse Edith Piaf. Overjoyed, she exclaimed, “Thank you life, thank you love, and it is true, there is some angels in this city!”

Non-traditional women and girls everywhere can applaud Diablo Cody for her stand-out leopard print dress that in no way attempted to conceal her large shoulder tattoo. There was no hiding the former exotic dancer when she took the stage to accept the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for her witty teen pregnancy comedy, Juno. However, the gifted eccentric was at a loss for words, thanking her fellow writers, her family (including Jason Reitman) and star Ellen Page before bursting into tears.

In the end, No Country for Old Men was the big winner of the night taking home four awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Joel and Ether Coen), Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Coen brothers).

Bardem gave one of the more memorable speeches thanking the Coens “for being crazy enough to think that I could do that and put one of the most horrible haircuts in history over my head,” and then addressing his mother in Spanish, bringing her to tears. Ethan Coen would be presented with the award for simplest acceptance of the night just saying “thank you.”

The most unusual reference to the Oscar statue in an acceptance speech came from Best Leading Actor Daniel Day-Lewis who said, “My deepest thanks to the members of the Academy for whacking me with the handsomest bludgeon in town.” He was honoured for his portrayal of a determined oilman in There Will Be Blood.

Canada had 13 nominations in a dozen categories this year, including what looked to be two great chances for Best Animated Short Film: I Met the Walrus, a tale of a John Lennon meeting directed by Toronto’s Josh Raskin, and the NFB’s Madame Tutli-Putli by Montreal’s Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski. But alas, no gold-plated hardware is flying north of the border this year. Peter and the Wolf took the Animated Short category.

Unfortunately, it was no surprise that this year’s ceremony took a dive in the ratings compared to last year’s telecast. Preliminary Nielson ratings estimated an average 32 million viewers tuned in to the most important event in Hollywood. That is a 20% drop from last year’s broadcast and only a third of the viewership of this year’s Super Bowl.

For a full list of winners, visit the official Academy Awards winners list by clicking here.

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