Destination: LA. It’s work again. Some event called The Oscars…
I’m very excited. Undoubtedly the most prestigious and most revered of all award shows in the known universe — and like most of you, I have been watching the Oscars on TV for as long as I can remember. There simply is no other awards show like it.
So what am I doing there? Well, I’ve been asked to host our Oscars preshow webcast live from the red carpet (7 p.m. ET on MTV.com). No script and no commercials: just one hour of Oscars fever with the biggest and best names in film. It’ll be a very different style of show as we’re going to take you further inside the Oscars than ever before with a true behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 Oscars.
It’s actually the first time MTV has hit the Oscars red-carpet in over 10 years, but this year we’re back and we’re going to do it big!
The Oscars will be celebrating its 80th anniversary, further reminding us all that the show is one of the great American traditions. I mean, who hasn’t practiced giving an Oscars acceptance speech at least once…right? From those coveted little gold statues to the major fashion show that takes place on the red-carpet (even the camera-operators are asked to respect the black-tie dress code) - there is a class about the Oscars that is unrivalled anywhere else. If I’m honest, not even the Grammys, which is a very extravagant affair, can touch the Oscars when it comes to style, grace and prestige.
The guest list is one that sometimes even the biggest names in entertainment can’t get on, and the best seats are saved for only Hollywood’s finest, the old-guard and the nominees. But above all the glitz and glamour, it comes down to one thing - a celebration.
The Oscars are about celebrating the best movies from the year and this year, the competition was fierce.
Let’s start with the big guns - Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress.
With “No Country For Old Men,” “Michael Clayton” and “There Will Be Blood” all up for the gigantic Best Picture award its going to be a tough call…a really tough call.
“There Will Be Blood” was an epic movie. A beautiful example of majestic cinematography accompanied by a haunting-yet-beautiful score and above all, an exceptional performance from Daniel Day-Lewis (the best performance of the year in my opinion). Then you have “No Country For Old Men.” What can I say about this movie that hasn’t been said before? Two words…Anton Chigurh. Sure, the abrupt ending was a let down, but the film was magnificent. But again, much like “There Will Be Blood,” it was the one performance (Javier Bardem) that turned this movie from good to great. Beautifully shot (as we have come to expect from the brothers Coen), the film magically captures the essence of a long forgotten era when men were either hunter or hunted.
Then there is “Michael Clayton.” A movie so different from my other two favorites, I’m forced to judge it with a different perspective altogether. No huge panoramic crane shots, no beautiful landscapes, no special effects…just a movie with such a compelling storyline and such a great cast (George Clooney gives the best performance of his career so far. Both Tilda Swinton and Michael Wilkinson are great as well). You are reminded of an era in filmmaking when all you needed was a solid script, solid actors and a solid director.
For me though, the Best Picture award should go to “No Country for Old Men.”
Next up is the category of Best Actor. Now this is where the Oscars become a bit unfair. If there was a steroid that actors could take to make them act better, then someone needs to drug-test Daniel Day-Lewis. This guy possesses a superhero-like ability for acting. He is ActingMan. I’ve seen pretty much all of Day-Lewis’ movies (not hard considering he only does one every few years) and I got the same feeling from watching his performance in “There Will Be Blood” as I did when I saw “Gangs of New York.” His performance isn’t an act anymore. He has transcended that. He becomes his character in his entirety, and for that reason I think he should take home the award for Best Actor.
In the case of Best Actress, there is a strong argument for each of my three favorites. Of course, I’d like to see Ellen Page take it home. She’s young, talented, intelligent and cute and “Juno” — from its cast to its writer — will be a breath of fresh air come the Oscars on Sunday. However, I’m not sure Ellen Page should get the award for Best Actress. When it comes to the job of acting, don’t get me wrong, I think she did a great job at portraying a young, talented, intelligent and cute girl…but hang on, how hard is it for her to do? She is, after all, a young, talented, intelligent and cute girl. Is it an acting performance worthy of an Oscar when you are almost playing yourself?
So it might come down to Cate Blanchett (who is also up for Best Supporting Actress). After all, the Academy seems to like films made about the various Queens of England. As you may remember, Dame Helen Mirren took the Best Actress award for her modern-day portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II just last year. So despite appearing in two Oscar-nominated films this year, it is Cate’s portrayal of her Queen Elizabeth I that has garnered her the Oscar nod for Best Actress. Beneath the heavy costume and make-up, Blanchett embodies the role of fiery-haired Queen Elizabeth with a powerful-yet-vulnerable grace showing a most intimate look at a Queen.
Supporting Actor…no competition. Go see “No Country for Old Men” and you will understand. Javier Bardem is truly a force to be reckoned with this year. It’s seldom often that you get both a masterpiece movie and an incredible stand-out performance but with “No Country,” Javier Bardem brings the pain! Bardem’s portrayal of the cold-blooded, unstoppable, soulless yet somewhat charismatic hitman is sensational and the stuff all movies should be made of.
Actress in a Best Supporting Role is a really strong category this year. From Cate Blanchett (who I fancy) to Tilda Swinton (who scares me) to Saoirse Ronan (who had a strangely similar haircut to Bardem in “No Country”) to Amy Ryan (who you just end up hating because of her character in “Gone Baby Gone”) - this is a really hard one to call but I’m going to have to go with Tilda Swinton or Amy Ryan. Swinton was a brilliant bit of casting. Her ice-cold stare and wiry frame fits her character in “Michael Clayton” perfectly. Witness the beginning of the film, a flash-forward to what is to come, Swinton plays a cold, calculating, ruthless business woman who demonstrates that she will do anything (even murder) to see her business survive.
Then there’s Amy Ryan who makes you really hate her character with pure disgust in the Ben Affleck-directed “Gone Baby Gone” (major props to Ben Affleck for a stellar movie). She convinces you totally that she is a foul-mouthed, coke-taking, scumbag mother who cares so little for her daughter that it makes you sick. If I have to put my money down…I think I’ll go with Ryan.
Either way, the awards are on Sunday and all will be revealed.
Watch Tim Kash live on the red carpet starting 7 p.m. ET on MTV.com!