Last Updated: February 25, 2008By Tags:

(BY ALI NADERZAD) Some day, I will be invited to the Academy Awards and will get to wear a tuxedo. Did you know that tuxedo in French translates as ‘smoking’? No big surprises concerning the ceremony’s format: the lesser-watched categories went up first and slowed down the evening to a grind for the first half-hour. Then, things started to get interesting. Boldfaced names seem to be more on the other side of the glare, however. Most of the A-listers did the presenting at this year’s Academy Awards. Indie pics, Europeans and fresh-faced actors were in plentiful numbers in the most-watched categories. It was no surprise that Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor award for his portrayal of Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. His performance as the ruthless oil tycoon whose ascent to power and wealth drives him mad was devastating–the kind of tour-de-force you only see once every few years. Marion Cotillard received a well-deserved Best Actress for her Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose. Cotillard, who is virtually unknown in the States, gave a moving but brief acceptance speech, inexplicably thanking love but declaring, ‘there really are angels in this city.’ Though there was no landslide multi-category winner like John Cameron’s Titanic in 1997, No Country For Old Men seemed to dominate the evening with a Best Picture nod and a Best Supporting Actor award going to Javier Bardem. SCREENCOMMENT.COM was of course hoping for a Best Animated Picture win for Persepolis, which would have rounded off nicely a triumphant year for the French-Iranian cartoonist Marjane Satrapi. Alas, it wasn’t to be, and the Academy went for the safer choice of Ratatouille, a nevertheless highly entertaining animated picture. It would be hard to qualify these Awards as generally safe, however, since besides Juno, darkness and despair pervaded all of this year’s nominations for Best Picture. A hearty SCREENCOMMENT.COM congratulations to the Coen Brothers!