These actually happened to be the top two movies on our queue prior to the Oscars, and we got one on each side of the ceremony.
Best Supporting Actress Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton – One of my favorite actors, but she barely notches enough screen time for her billing, let alone for an award. And that doesn’t even take into account her lackluster performance. Her accent slips in multiple places, she has no good dialog save for her big scene with Clooney, and there she barely holds her own.
(Meanwhile, Clooney chose not to get into character whatsoever, leaving the whole affair with the air of a double-feature episode of Law and Order. The in medias res fails utterly because nothing interesting happens between the tease and the fulfillment.)
Best Actress Marion Cotillard in La Vie En Rose – One of the most notable performances I’ve seen this decade, and certainly in line with the strength of Helen Mirren’s win last year for The Queen. I know it’s easy to be impressive when you’re aping a real live person, but Cotillard goes beyond tricks of impersonation we’ve seen in other recent biopics to portray the actual heart of her character – without doing any of the singing.
(That she maintains that heart through an utterly bewildering series of narrative shifts in an overall average film is even more impressive. It would have been embarrassing if she didn’t win.)
That all said, they gave two of my favorite acceptance speeches of all time. I’ll let you decide which film we saw prior and which we saw post.
My report on Oscar’s best men coming never, because I don’t have a hair on my body that wants to watch either of those movies, even if I like one out of their three directors.
(ps, In case you need to fine tune to understand our taste, the next movie we received was Ratatouille, which is surely one of the most disappointing movies I’ve ever seen, especially after watching The Incredibles two or three times in the last week.)