Richard Roeper on the Oscars

Richard Roeper nailed all the major categories and was 21 for 24 in his predictions. He sums up the night in his latest blog.

Who knows if Mickey Rourke’s offscreen antics cost him the Best Actor trophy. More likely, Academy voters felt Sean Penn’s performance in “Milk” was more likely to resonate through the ages. Both actors played charming, doomed characters, but Harvey Milk was a real-life crusader, whereas the wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson was a fictional creation. We felt empathy for Rourke’s character, despite his self-destructive and self-loathing ways—but we felt inspired by Penn’s Harvey Milk. The roles themselves might have given Penn the edge.

I love Kate Winslet but I didn’t love “The Reader.” She was fine in a supporting role, but she was unforgettable in her much larger role in “Revolutionary Road.” Heath Ledger’s performance was Oscar-worthy. The tragedy of his death was reflected in the faces of all those talented actors who worked with him or knew him or simply appreciated his gifts. Penelope Cruz had a showcase role in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and she hit it out of the park. Like Dianne Weist and Mira Sorvino, she is also the beneficiary of a Woody Allen screenplay.

“Slumdog Millionaire” was the best movie of 2008 and one of the best 100 films I’ve ever seen. I’m thrilled for the film, the cast and of course for Best Director winner Danny Boyle.

As for the show: Hugh Jackman did a fine job in a couple of lavish and slightly wacky production numbers, and then he seemed to disappear in the second half, as is usually the case with hosts. I can’t imagine that he’d ever want to take on the job again. The ratings won’t be great, but the Oscars will still bring in more viewers than the Grammys and the Emmys combined. Until/unless they cut the ceremony to two hours and eliminate the broadcast of the “minor” categories, the numbers will continue to go down. When the viewers at home have never heard of the winner onstage, have never seen his film and have never heard of any of the people he’s thanking—that’s not timeless TV.


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Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz

Nate Silver is off to a rough start with his predictions. He was nervous about this one, so he hedged his bets a little, but Penelope Cruz took the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress with her performance in “Vicky Christina Barcelona.”

Here’s what’s Jason Zingale had to say about Cruz’s performance in his review of the film.

This is when the film is at its best, with both Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz delivering such electrifying performances that not even Scarlett Johansson’s flat delivery could ruin the moment. The two Spanish-born actors bounce off one another with such fervor that you can’t believe Allen waited this long to introduce such a poignant character. Always most effective when acting in her native tongue (look no further than “Volver” for proof of that), Cruz completely reenergizes the film to the point that she almost steals the whole thing in a matter of minutes. And she would have, were it not for the fact that Bardem is so damn charming as the womanizing Juan Antonio that you actually miss him whenever he’s not onscreen.


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AskMen and Ye Shall Receive HotWomen has announced its 9th annual list of the “Top 99 Most Desirable Women,” and, man, did their readers come out in droves to make their opinions known. More than ten million votes were cast in this, the site’s ranking of women who best represent the qualities of the ideal girlfriend or wife, but since this is Premium Hollywood, we thought we’d take a gander at a handful of the list’s actress inclusions and offer up a few of our favorite film and TV appearances by these women.

(#7) Scarlett Johansson

Best Work: The obvious pick here is “Lost in Translation,” of course, since it’s generally considered to be Johansson’s breakthrough performance, but she also received a great deal of praise for her turn in Peter Webber’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” With that said, however, let’s not forget about her work for Terry Zwigoff in “Ghost World,” which was strong enough to earn her the long-term career that her co-star, Thora Birch, was unable to maintain.
Guiltiest Pleasures: “The Perfect Score.” It’s a spiritual descendant of “The Breakfast Club,” but while it’s in no way as good as that John Hughes classic, it’s a pleasant teen comedy with a nice ensemble cast. Also worth catching on a rainy Sunday afternoon is “Eight Legged Freaks,” a slight but fun throwback to ’50s sci-fi monster flicks.
A Must to Avoid: “The Spirit.” 50,000,000 movie critics can’t be wrong.

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GQ names 25 sexiest women in film

Jessica Alba in Sin CityWhen it comes to women in film, GQ has never been afraid to speak its mind, but with its new feature on the sexiest cinematic gals of all time, it will likely cause some debate amongst men, and even a few women. That isn’t to say they’ve necessarily chosen the wrong group of women, but when it comes to a topic like this, well, it’s more about personal reference than anything else.

There are plenty of no-brainers included (like Jessica Alba in “Sin City” and Raquel Welch in “100 Rifles”), as well as a few that are debatable (is Sienna Miller in “Layer Cake” any sexier than the many other model-turned-actress in the biz)?, but I have to imagine there was definitely someone more appropriate than “That Chick from ‘Planet of the Apes’” for the final spot. As it turns out, there is, and her name is Sophia Loren, who the magazine has included as the list’s unofficial 26th member. Check out the full feature here, along with photos and short blurbs on why each actress was chosen.


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