The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rarely surprises viewers the way it did at the 80th annual Academy Awards.
Some of their unexpected moves this year included honoring bloody Western No Country for Old Men with the Best Picture award; giving French starlet Marion Cotillard the Best Actress statue for her leading role in a foreign film; and awarding a completely shocked Tilda Swinton with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in mainstream flick Michael Clayton.
The ceremony was eagerly awaited this year, and it didn’t disappoint.
Jon Stewart’s humor carried the 3-hour-and-20-minute event along smoothly and with plenty of laughter. From jokes about the writers’ strike to one about Angelina Jolie’s Best Pregnancy win, the comedian earned an A+ for his performance as a host.
Unfortunately Katherine Heigl didn’t show as much onstage savvy when it came to presenting. She froze up and her voice quivered as she announced the Best Makeup category.
One of the few expected wins of the evening was that of Javier Bardem, who was the Oscar favorite in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in No Country for Old Men.
The 38-year-old actor kicked off his acceptance speech in English, but then switched into Spanish to dedicate the statue to his mother. “Mom, this is for you, for your grandparents, for Spain’s comedians, for Spain and for all of us, Thank you very much,” he exclaimed amidst a burst of applause.
English actress Tilda Swinton made the audience laugh when she said she planned on giving her statue to her agent, because he looks just like Oscar, from the top of his head “to his buttocks, it must be said.”
French actress Marion Cotillard, 32, who won the Best Actress honor for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, was choked up when she gave her speech. “We’ll, I’m speechless now,” she said. “Thank you, life. Thank you, love. It is true, there are some angels in this city [Los Angeles].”
Daniel Day-Lewis, 50, took home the Best Actor prize for his role as a greedy oil man in There Will Be Blood. He hit the stage amidst a roar of applause and bowed before Helen Mirren, who presented the award, saying, “That’s the closest I’ll ever come to getting a knighthood.”
The Coen brothers scored two honors for their film No Country for Old Men, one for Best Adapted Screenplay and another for Best Directors. The bloody Western was also crowned the best movie of the year by the Academy.
Other winners included Ratatouille for Best Animated Picture; Diablo Cody, who won the Best Original Screenplay honor for Juno; and the Best Foreign Film – which was presented by Penélope Cruz – was Austria’s The Counterfeit.