It says something that the biggest surprise of the night was Best Foreign Film...Japan's Departures. Otherwise, the evening was full of the expected. My perfect night of predictions in the Big 8 categories ended when Sean Penn won his second Best Actor Oscar for "Milk". I had thought that his first win for "Mystic River" was too recent and that the Mickey Rourke comeback story would prove irresistible. That being said, it's hard to quibble with the award going to Penn because he was truly outstanding as Harvey Milk.
As to the rest of the categories: Nailed 'em, but it didn't seem all that difficult...a little suspense in the two actress categories.
But the Slumdog momentum was just too much everywhere else. Including a tiny surprise in Sound Mixing that made the total count for Slumdog go to 8 Oscars.
I have said it before...I think that we discovered after Telluride this year that it was not the best year for film. Compared to last year's fest (Juno, Into the Wild, Diving Bell, There Will Be Blood, Persepolis...) and the year that was 2007...2008 couldn't really compete. I think we also realized as the fall turned into winter that the festival organizers had done a terrific job with what films they had to chose from. Slumdog isn't a great film...it's good, but not great...still, it was the best thing I saw all year (Milk was a close second).
We learned again that the Telluride Festival is, perhaps, the most influential fest in the world...certainly among the top 5...and as I watched the Oscar telecast last night, I was reminded of how incredibly fortunate I have been to have been able to have participated the last three years. And I am thrilled at the prospect that come Labor Day this year, I expect to be back. Thanks Larry and Mitzi!!!
The Telluride Film Blog now goes into hibernation for a while. I'm at my busiest time of the school year for the next 2 months. As we approach summer, I'll resurrect the blog and start the speculation about what the 2009 version of Telluride may hold. Can't wait!