As it happens, I just saw the film “Milk” this afternoon. So when Sean Penn won the Academy Award and gave that lovely and inspirational acceptance speech, I was not at all surprised.
The friend I saw the film with knows Mickey Rourke, and says that Mickey had said that he would be happy were his friend Sean to win, and he knew that the feeling was recipricated. So it came as no surprise at all to me when Sean Penn paid special tribute to his friend and fellow actor.
I thought the this year’s show did a much better job than usual in helping the TV audience to understand what all those various awards are actually for – and what is actually done by the many kinds of people who help make a film possible.
As somebody who has long worked in computer graphics, I was heartened to see that Ed Catmull has finally been foiled in his decades-long campaign to render himself utterly invisible while being by far the most important force behind the emergence of computer generated films. No honor was ever greater deserved.
And I was very happy to see that the writers had the best lines. Tina Fey and Steve Martin, in their few minutes on-stage, practically stole the show (I particularly liked Martin’s beautifully subtle dig at Anne Heche). Although Philippe Petit’s wonderful antics topped even them, reminding us all – in case we ever needed reminding – that movies are very much a visual medium.