Boo-boo at 79th OSCARS:
Feb 26 2007 -- After being snubbed for more than 30 years, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences finally recognised the work of veteran film-maker Martin Scorsese, showering his movie, "The Departed", with four Oscars – for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. Scorsese had been previously nominated for five Best Director awards since "Raging Bull" in 1980.
However, in typical Hollywood ‘head-in-the-sand’ fashion, the Academy made a boo-boo when it announced that "The Departed" was adapted (by William Monahan) from a Japanese script – instead of the Hong Kong production, "Infernal Affairs". The Cantonese screenplay was actually written by Felix Chong and Mak Siu Fai who are clearly not Japanese. This ‘little slip’ must have been a big slap-in-the-face for the Hong Kong producers, considering that "The Departed", which copied the plot of the Hong Kong film, was the one movie that took home the most Oscars at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles last night. No attempt was made to correct the mistake in subsequent announcements or acceptance speeches.
Mexican film "Pan's Labyrinth," a fantasy about a young girl who discovers a violent world in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, was the second top winner, earning three Oscars -- for art direction, make-up and cinematography. It lost the foreign language trophy to Germany's "The Lives of Others," which deals with a conflicted police officer in the old East Germany.
Minor upsets of the night came when Alan Arkin took the Best Supporting Actor award (for "Little Miss Sunshine") over crowd favourite Eddie Murphy ("Dreamgirls"), while Forrest Whitaker won the Best Actor statuette for "King Of Scotland" over the touted Will Smith ("Pursuit Of Happyness") and Leonardo DiCaprio ("Blood Diamond").
The women’s acting categories offer no surprises when Helen Mirren won the Best Actress title for "The Queen", and American Idol favourite Jennifer Hudson was named Best Supporting Actress – for her first ever feature film, "Dreamgirls".
The most disappointed among the nominees last night must be sound engineer Kevin O'Connell, who extended his losing streak to 19 nominations without a win. This time around, O'Connell and two colleagues were nominated for sound mixing on "Apocalypto," Mel Gibson’s movie about the savage decline of the Mayan empire. "Apocalypto" lost in all three categories in which it was nominated, all for technical achievements.
Although only a handful of the Oscar-nominated movies have been shown in Malaysia, Oscar Fever nevertheless ran high in Kuala Lumpur this morning as Astro held its own ‘Red Carpet’ Breakfast Show, featuring local celebrities arriving at a major city hotel to catch the Academy Awards live on Star Movies.