I recorded the Oscars, so that I could watch it last night and fast forward through the interpretive dance, tributes to key grips, Best Song nominees, and Tom Cruise. The most important thing to mention is my relief that the woeful Babel missed out in all the major categories, making the far superior Pan's Labyrinth the most successful Mexican film of the night. It did, however, manage to win one for best original score. I either haven't seen or don't remember the music from the other contenders, but what I can say is that the score in Babel was one of the worst things in a genuinely horrible film. The irritating and incessant strumming of a middle-eastern stringed instrument (the highest selling song off the Babel soundtrack on iTunes!) over long, lingering scenery shots highlighted the self-congratulatory intellectual wankery of the film. There's a song on the soundtrack called "World Citizen (I Won't Be Disappointed/Looped Piano)", for goodness sake. Before everyone forgets about your film, Mr. Iñárritu, can I just emphasise one more time the truly awful word-of-mouth that your film has had from people that I have spoken to. Now piss off.
Anyway, the other thing that I noticed was the adulation with which Al Gore was treated at the ceremony. Seriously, they loved him. Loads of tributes, and an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth (which caused Di Caprio to cry. He loves the environment that much.) made it Al's night as much as Scorsese's. And after I had stopped wondering how many pies Gore had eaten recently, I got to thinking how different the world might have been had he been allowed to become president in 2000. My thoughts were all bollocks, so luckily the New Yorker had the same idea, managing to put it in an interesting article.
I always wondered, after that election that Bush basically fixed in the courts in what was effectively a coup, what the reaction of the international community would have been if a country such as, hmm, Iraq, had invaded the USA to remove an unelected leader? Regime change goes both ways...