Scorsese scores at Oscars

Departed director finally wins at seventh attempt on feelgood night in Kodak Theatre.

by Chris Docker

Scorsese finally gets to grips with Oscar All images Copyright © A.M.P.A.S.

At this year's Academy Awards, the feelgood factor triumphs in spades. Firstly the big awards. It maybe wasn't his best ever picture. But by common consensus he is considered one of the greatest living directors working in cinema today.

What if he hasn't got the gong this year? What if he goes home, after being nominated seven times and never wining, empty-handed again? The thought is almost too much - he's 64 for goodness sake - he could, heaven forbid, drop dead tomorrow . . .

The standing ovation as Martin Scorsese's name is announced is instant and heartfelt. After so many near misses, he finally gets to the make the acceptance speech.

"Could you double-check the envelope?" he quips. Scorsese reads his thank-yous for crime thriller The Departed. He keeps it witty and brief, but you can see how much an acknowledgement from Scorsese - finally honoured for Best Film and Best Director - means to someone like Leonardo DiCaprio as the cameras pan to the younger man's face.

Britain acquits itself honourably, not just in the number of nominations, but in the charming, humble and eloquent speech by Helen Mirren, in recognition of her role as Britain's reigning monarch.

Forest Whittaker, Jennifer Hudson, Helen Mirren and Alan Arkin, show off the latest additions to their trophy cabinets

She says: "My sister told me that all kids get gold stars and this is the largest and best gold star I've ever had." She adds that she wants to share 'her gold star' with her fellow nominees, before offering a tribute to the lady her character is based on:

"For 50 years and more, Elizabeth Windsor has maintained her dignity, her sense of duty and her hairstyle. She's had her feet planted firmly on the ground, her hat on her head, her handbag on her arm, and she's weathered many, many storms. I salute her courage and consistency, and I thank her - if it wasn't for her I most certainly would not be here. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you," (raising the statuette), "The Queen."

Forest Whitaker, winning Best Actor for his performance as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, comes to the stage and admits: "I wrote something down cos I thought I might be overwhelmed - and I am." But the rest of the speech is not bad and his wife, in the audience, cries beautifully - a single tear running down her cheek.

Less convincing is Jennifer Hudson, very emotional over her predicted win for Dreamgirls, and slightly out of control in one of those thank-you-God speeches.

Al Gore is uncharacteristically entertaining. He does a short presenter double act with fellow environmentalist DiCaprio.

Leonardo keeps pressing him: "Do you have any other announcement to make on this grand occasion?" After getting out of the question - which obviously refers to the possibility of him standing again for President - he eventually starts to make an announcement. We wait with baited breath, only for him to be drowned out by the end-of-speech music.

Host DeGeneres was a hit

Host Ellen DeGeneres is a great hit, avoiding the politicisation of left and right that has been a feature of many Awards nights.

DeGeneres - openly gay herself - says: "If there weren't blacks, Jews and gays, there wouldn't be any Oscars."

Her act includes asides and cameos as she walks through the audience, offering Scorsese a 'script', getting her photo taken with the stars, or nearly hoovering up dresses in the front row as she does some vacuuming.

Awards are evenly spread. In addition to Scorsese's gongs,The Departed also wins Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing.

Mexican film, Pan's Labyrinth claims three awards; and Dreamgirls, Little Miss Sunshine and An Inconvenient Truth all get two each.

This year's Oscars have a greater feelgood factor than for many a year. The non-partisan environmental issues are something everyone rallies round (even the organisers) and there is a rare sense of Hollywood contributing something worthwhile beyond entertainment. Let's hope the warm optimism lasts.

We'll be bringing you the lowdown on the fashion highs and lows soon.

But without further ado, the winners (and losers) are:

BEST PICTURE





BEST DIRECTOR
- Letters From Iwo Jima
- The Queen
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu - Babel
-
- The Departed

BEST ACTOR
- Blood Diamond
- Half Nelson
- Venus
- The Pursuit of Happyness
- The Last King of Scotland

BEST ACTRESS
- Volver
- Notes On A Scandal
- The Queen
- The Devil Wears Prada
- Little Children

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
- Little Miss Sunshine
- Little Children
- Blood Diamond
- Dreamgirls
- The Departed

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
- Babel
- Notes On A Scandal
- Little Miss Sunshine
- Dreamgirls
- Babel

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Denmark - After The Wedding
Algeria -
Germany -
Mexico -

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
- John Lasseter
-
-

ART DIRECTION
- John Mayer, Nancy Haigh
- Jeannie Oppewaal, Gretchen Rau, Leslie E. Rollins
- Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta
- Rick Heinrichs, Cheryl A Carasik
- Nathan Crowley, Julie Ochipinti

CINEMATOGRAPHY
- Vilmos Zsigmond
- Emmanuel Lubeski
- Dick Pope
- Guillermo Navarro
- Wally Pfister

COSTUME DESIGN
Curse of the Golden Flower - Yee Chung Man
- Patricia Field
- Sharen Davis
- Milena Canonero
- Consolata Boyle

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Deliver us from Evil


Jesus Camp

EDITING
- Stephen Mirrione, Douglas Crise
- Steven Rosenblum
- Alex Rodriguez,
- Thelma Schoonmaker
- Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse, Richard Pearson

MAKEUP - Aldo Signoretti, Vittorio Sodano
- Kazuhiro Tsuji and Bill Corso
- David Marti and Montse Ribe

MUSIC - ORIGINAL SCORE
Gustavo Santaolalla -
Thomas Newman - The Good German
Philip Glass -
Javier Navarette -
Alexandre Desplat -

MUSIC - ORIGINAL SONG
"I need to Wake up" -
"Listen" -
"Love You I Do" -
"Our Town" -
"Patience" -

SOUND EDITING
- Sean McCormack, Kami Asgar
- Lon Bender
- Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
- Alan Robert Murray
- Christopher Boyes, George Watters II

SOUND MIXING
- Kevin O' Connell, Greg P. Russell, Fernando Camara
- Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer, Ivan Sharrock
- Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer, Willie Burton
- John Reitz, Dave Campbell, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin
- Paul Massey, Christopher Boyes, Lee Orloff

VISUAL EFFECTS
- John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson, Allen Hall
- Boyd Shermis, Kim Libreri, Chaz Jarrett, John Frazier
- Mark Stetson, Neil Corbould, Richard R. Hoover, Jon Thum

BEST WRITING - ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Borat - , Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer
- , Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
- William Monahan
- , Tom Perrotta
- Patrick Marber

BEST WRITING - ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
- Guillermo Arriaga
- Iris Yamashita,
- Michael Arndt
-
- Peter Morgan

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
The Danish Poet
Lifted
The Little Matchgirl
Maestro
No Time for Nuts

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
The Blood of Yingzhou District
Recycled Life
Rehearsing a Dream
Two Hands

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Binta and the Great Idea (Binta y la gran idea)
Eramos Pocos (One Too Many)
Helmer & Son
The Saviour West Bank Story

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