80th Academy Awards
|80th Academy Awards|
|Date||Sunday, February 24, 2008|
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
|Director||Louis J. Horvitz|
|Best Picture||No Country for Old Men|
|Most awards||No Country for Old Men (4)|
|Most nominations||No Country for Old Men
& There Will Be Blood (8)
|TV in the United States|
|Duration||3 hours, 21 minutes|
18.66 (Nielsen ratings)
The 80th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2007 in the United States and took place February 24, 2008, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. The ceremony was televised in the United States by ABC. Actor and talk show host Jon Stewart hosted the show for the second time, having previously presided over the 78th ceremony held in 2006.
For the first time since the 37th Academy Awards (1964), the Academy presented all four of the acting awards to non-American actors. They were: Daniel Day-Lewis (British) for There Will Be Blood (Best Actor), Marion Cotillard (French) for La Vie en rose (Best Actress), Javier Bardem (Spanish) for No Country for Old Men (Best Supporting Actor), and Tilda Swinton (British) for Michael Clayton (Best Supporting Actress). This ceremony also continued trends of recent years, with no film winning more than four awards, the honors for non-documentary features being spread among 13 different films, and major acting honors going to a biographical film.
Winners and nominees 
The nominees were announced on January 22 at 5:38 a.m. PST (13:38 UTC) by Academy president Sid Ganis and actress Kathy Bates, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy's Beverly Hills headquarters. No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood each received eight nominations.
Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.
Academy Honorary Award 
- Robert F. Boyle – "To Robert Boyle in recognition of one of cinema's great careers in art direction."
Multiple nominations and awards 
The following 21 films received multiple nominations:
The following four films received multiple awards:
Presenters and performers 
Bill Conti was the musical arranger and the head orchestral conductor. Other performers included:
- Amy Adams sang "Happy Working Song" from Enchanted.
- Jamia Simone Nash and the Impact Repertory Theatre, an African-American youth theatre group based in Harlem, sang "Raise It Up" from August Rush.
- Kristin Chenoweth and Marlon Saunders sang "That's How You Know" also from Enchanted, with accompanying dance cast.
- Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová performed "Falling Slowly" from Once.
- Jon McLaughlin performed "So Close", also from Enchanted, as live cast danced.
Voting trends and summary 
For the fourth consecutive year, the field of major nominees did not include a bona fide blockbuster at the U.S. box office, with the nominees for Best Picture performing even more poorly than those of the previous year, although slightly better than in 2005.
None of the five Best Picture nominees was among the year's top 30 releases in box office at the time of the nominations; at the time of the announcement on January 22, Juno was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $87.1 million in domestic box office receipts (the film was the only Best Picture nominee of the five to earn more than $100 million before the ceremony date). The film was followed by No Country for Old Men which earned $48.9 million, Michael Clayton with $39.4 million, and Atonement with $32.7 million. There Will Be Blood rounded out the Best Picture nominees with $8.7 million. Out of the top 50 grossing movies of the year (prior to announcement), 30 nominations went to 11 films on the list. Only Ratatouille (11th), American Gangster (19th), Juno (32nd), and Charlie Wilson's War (40th) received nominations for best picture, directing, acting, or screenwriting. The other top-50 box office hits that earned nominations were Transformers (3rd), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (4th), The Bourne Ultimatum (7th), Norbit (30th), The Golden Compass (38th), Surf's Up (42nd), and 3:10 to Yuma (45th).
For the third consecutive year, a majority of the Best Picture nominees were rated R (under 17 requires accompanying adult). Of the 88 nominations awarded to non-documentary feature films (apart from the Foreign Film category), a slight majority of 50 went to R-rated films, 29 to films rated PG-13, 4 to PG-rated films and 5 to a G-rated film. There was a remarkable rating-related division among the nominations: R-rated films captured 24 of the 40 nominations for Best Picture, directing, screenwriting and acting; while non-R-rated films received 26 of the 45 nominations in the remaining categories, primarily those in "below the line" areas.
"Dark" Oscars? 
Many news organizations have pointed out that numerous films nominated focused primarily on deeply grisly subjects such as greed, corruption, and violence. Films that prominently featured dark subjects included No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Atonement, Sweeney Todd, and Michael Clayton.
According to an article printed in the Los Angeles Times, writer Patrick Goldstein notes
|“||Shot in a deliberative, unsentimental style, No Country is a bone-chilling tale of violence, stupidity and revenge, with a relentless, amoral killer (played by supporting actor winner Javier Bardem) at its center, coolly dispatching anyone in his way with a cattle gun. It is not the only acclaimed movie to have emerged from a forbidding corner of the American psyche. Many of this year's most compelling movies -- notably, two other best picture nominees, There Will Be Blood and Michael Clayton, as well as American Gangster, Eastern Promises, Gone Baby Gone and The Bourne Ultimatum -- were meditations on violence, betrayal, revenge and grand ambition run amok.||”|
Another article, written by Press Democrat writer Rachel Abramowitz recapped the five Best Picture nominees:
|“||So how do you like your America -- as a mildly flawed Mayberry or a seething pit of lies, corruption and greed? That's the battle shaping up at the 2008 Oscars, as films as brutal as There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men and Michael Clayton line up against the sunny upstart Juno for the top prize. The entirely British, but equally dark, Atonement is the final film battling for the best picture spot.||”|
Host Jon Stewart observed this trend in his opening monologue when he asked "Does this town need a hug?" In another reference to the four darker, dramatic films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, he commented "Thank God for teen pregnancy", a reference to the comparatively lighter theme of Juno.
For the fourth year in a row, no film received more than four awards. The honors for achievements in non-documentary features were spread among 13 different films. All the acting awards were presented to performers who were born outside of the United States. The last time this happened was in 1964. Daniel Day-Lewis is a British and Irish citizen, Tilda Swinton is from the UK, Marion Cotillard is from France, and Javier Bardem is from Spain.
Marion Cotillard's win for her portrayal of Édith Piaf marked the third year in a row, and the seventh time in nine years, that the Best Actress award went to a performance in a biographical film, though the win by Day-Lewis was the first Best Actor nod in four years for playing a fictional character. Also, Cotillard became the first actress since Sophia Loren in 1961 to receive an Oscar for a non-English speaking role. Overall Cotillard is the fifth performer to win for a non-English speaking role after Loren, Robert De Niro in 1974 (for supporting), Roberto Benigni in 1998, and Benicio del Toro in 2000 (for supporting). Cotillard became the fourth French-born actress after Claudette Colbert in 1934, Simone Signoret in 1959, and Juliette Binoche in 1996 (for supporting) to win an Oscar. She became the first to win for a French-language performance. All of the previous foreign-language winners won for Italian- or Spanish-speaking roles.
The Coen brothers' win for Best Director marks the second time the award was shared between two individuals for a single film. The first time was in 1961, when Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise earned Oscars for co-directing West Side Story.
Notable events 
- When Markéta Irglová was presented the Award for Best Original Song with Glen Hansard for "Falling Slowly", her acceptance speech after Hansard's seemingly was preempted by the orchestra's music cue to leave the stage. In an unprecedented move, host Jon Stewart invited Irglová back on stage to deliver her acceptance speech following the commercial break. Director Gil Cates said the early cue was accidental. The pair said afterward that they had never intended to have Irglová speak.
- In his acceptance speech, Javier Bardem honored his mother, who attended the ceremony with him, with a tribute in Spanish that brought her to tears. He said: "Mom, this is for you, this is for your grandparents, for your parents and the Matilde family, this is for the comedians of Spain, who have, like you, brought dignity and pride to our profession. This is for Spain, and this is for all of us."
- After Tom Hanks introduced them, six US military personnel stationed in Iraq announced (in a taped segment) the four nominees and the winner for Best Documentary Short Subject. Army Specialist Alexandria Corneiro had filmed four different announcements, naming each nominee as the winner. After the nominees' names were read, a representative from PricewaterhouseCoopers told the video engineer which footage to roll.
- Stewart joked about the endless amount of montages (see "special segments") and took an additional jab at the "Plan B" ceremony proposed in the event that the writers' strike continued. Stewart presented a humorous selection of clips, one consisting of film clips "saluting binoculars and telescopes" and another of "saluting characters awakening from bad dreams."
- Prior to the presentation of the Best Animated Short Film, Barry Bee Benson (voiced by Jerry Seinfeld) touted his "minor" roles in other films such as Election, Rushmore, A Room with a View and The Swarm, all of which included scenes prominently featuring bees.
- Ruby Dee and Hal Holbrook's nominations made them the last two people born before the 1st Oscars to be nominated.
- Jon Stewart, at one point, could be seen playing Wii Sports on the large cinema screen at the ceremony.
- No Country for Old Men was the first Best Picture winner since Million Dollar Baby to only win major awards, meaning it took home no tech or music awards. This happened again 3 years later with The King's Speech.
- Austria has won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year for the first time.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street became the first movie musical to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor (Johnny Depp) since Roy Scheider for All That Jazz in 1980.
The American telecast drew in an average of 31.76 million viewers over its length, which was down 20 percent from the previous year, and a household rating of 18.66%. Although an average of 32.61 million people watched during the first half-hour of the show, the audience diminished to an average of 25.17 million by its last half-hour. The ceremony also drew a record low 10.68 rating in the 18–49 target demographics. It surpassed the ceremony of five years earlier as the lowest rated and least watched show since Nielsen ratings were recorded for the telecast in 1967 and audience size was monitored beginning in 1974. Ratings for this ceremony were 14% lower than the previous record holder. Many were also quick to point out a big contrast between the ratings for the show and Super Bowl XLII, which attracted a record 97.5 million (three times as much as the ceremony) with 43.3% of households. According to the Chicago Tribune the Super Bowl and the Oscars (which since 2004, have usually occurred in the same month) have been usually the two big events that traditionally attract a large number of television viewers.
Many insiders and critics blame the extremely low ratings and shrunken audience size to the fact that, like the awards telecast of two-years earlier, no box office hits were nominated. The host of both low rated telecasts was John Stewart, which also may have alienated some conservative viewers. Many believe that the ratings for the awards heavily depend on what films receive the nominations. During the 70th Academy Awards, an audience of 57.25 million tuned into the ceremony in which the global blockbuster Titanic won a record-tying 11 awards from its 14 nominations.
Others blamed the preceding writers' strike for the low ratings because it allotted for less time for the writers to prepare adequate material and more deeply thought humor (see below). It also may have hindered ABC (the broadcaster of the ceremony in the United States) in promoting the event for a longer time period due to doubts of the outcome of the strike.
Special segments 
Throughout the ceremony, there were various tributes to the 80th Anniversary of the Academy Awards ceremony. One segment recapping the previous winners of the Best Picture award. Another montage highlighted the history of the ceremony. Preceding each acting award and the best director award presentation, a montage saluting previous winners of each award was shown. Several pre-recorded segments featured past winners discussing their feelings on winning, including Barbra Streisand, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sidney Poitier, Steven Spielberg, and Elton John.
In Memoriam 
The annual "In Memoriam" tribute was presented by Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank. The memorial list included those who died between February 1, 2007, and January 31, 2008.
Like many entertainment award telecasts, the Academy Awards ceremony has suffered controversies throughout its history. However the broadcast had never before faced turmoil to the point of endangerment, as threatened by the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike.
Writers' strike effects 
The strike created uncertainty regarding the 2008 Awards. Although the strike was lifted before the date of the Awards, this occurred less than two weeks before and therefore long-term planning was difficult.
On December 18, 2007, the striking Writers Guild of America denied a waiver requested by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in connection with film clips and excerpts from previous award ceremonies to be shown at the 2008 awards. The material could have still been used though, as the denial only affected the conditions under which the clips are shown. This was not the first time the ceremony took place during a labor dispute: the 60th Academy Awards occurred 37 days after that year's writers strike began. At the time, material was already completed in anticipation for the strike, and actors were in full attendance of the ceremony.
In anticipation that the strike would continue through Oscar Night, the Academy developed a Plan B show that would not have included actors accepting their awards. It would have included the musical numbers, but would have relied heavily on historic film clips, emphasizing the 80th anniversary of the awards. Nevertheless, the strike was lifted on February 12, as a result of a deal reached by the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers introduced three days earlier. Therefore, the fear of picketing writers and boycotting actors (as a result of solidarity by the Screen Actors Guild) was eliminated, and the ceremony proceeded as normal.
Many analysts still suspect that the strike affected the amount of time for writing preparation and promotion for the ceremony itself.
One Oscar-related casualty from the strike aside from the ceremony were the cancellation of several entertainment parties in support of the strike, including one held by Vanity Fair and another by Entertainment Weekly.
Other controversies 
Brad Renfro was not among those mourned in the In Memoriam tribute, although he had died in January 2008. Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger responded to criticism by stating, "Unfortunately we cannot include everyone. Our goal is to honor individuals who worked in the many professions and trades of the motion picture industry, not just actors." Also among those omitted was costume designer Marit Allen, who was among the year's nominees for her work on La Vie en Rose. Ulrich Mühe, the star of the German film The Lives of Others (which won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2006) was not mentioned. Also excluded were Robert Goulet, Joey Bishop, actress/singer Barbara McNair,the French mime artist Marcel Marceau, veteran actor Charles Lane, film critic Joel Siegel, Kerwin Mathews, Yvonne de Carlo, writer Sidney Sheldon, musician Frankie Laine, Gordon Scott, and Edward Yang, the Cannes-fêted Taiwanese director acclaimed for humane films including Yi Yi and A Brighter Summer Day. Also left out was Maila Nurmi (aka "Vampira"), who starred in such films as The Beat Generation, I Woke Up Early The Day I Died and the infamous cult classic Plan 9 from Outer Space, though she was later mentioned in the In Memoriam montage for the following year's ceremony.
Also, many TV viewers observed that during the montages honoring the 80-year history of the awards, highlights from four-time host Whoopi Goldberg and two-time host Steve Martin were notably absent from the montage (though Goldberg was acknowledged in another segment recognizing previous Best Supporting Actress winners). On the talk show The View the following morning, Goldberg's co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck pointed out the omission, to which Goldberg responded, "Undoubtedly, I pissed somebody off once again. You know what, I don't--I don't know". Co-hosts Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, Joy Behar and Barbara Walters then embraced Goldberg and praised her for her accomplishments. Producer Gil Cates issued an apology to Goldberg three days after the ceremony.
Memorable quotes 
- "Oscar is 80 this year, which automatically makes him the frontrunner for the Republican nomination." – Jon Stewart, in a reference to John McCain's age (then 71).
- "Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you." – Marketa Irglova, giving her highlight acceptance speech for Best Original Song after being cut off by the orchestra before the commercials.
- "Mama, this is for you. This is for your grandparents and your parents, Rafael and Matilde. This is for the comedians of Spain who, like you, have brought dignity and pride to our profession. This is for Spain and this is for all of you." – Javier Bardem, speaking in Spanish, in a moving and emotional acceptance speech that brought his mother to tears
- "I have an American agent who is the spitting image of this [statuette]. Really, truly, the same shape head and, it has to be said, the buttocks." – Tilda Swinton on accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress
- "Well...uh...thank you very much." – Ethan Coen on accepting the award for Best Adapted Screenplay
- "The baby goes to...I'm just stunned. It goes to...ANGELINA JOLIE! That's terrific! Obviously Angelina Jolie couldn't be here – it's hard to find 17 babysitters on Oscar night! I accept this baby on her behalf." – Jon Stewart on rumors of Jolie's pregnancy which were denied after an attendance at the Independent Spirit Awards
- "Well, I'm speechless now. I -- I -- well, I -- thank you life, thank you love, and it is true, there is some angels in this city! Thank you so, so much!" – Marion Cotillard on accepting the award for Best Actress
- "What is happening? This is for the writers, and I want to thank all the writers. I especially want to thank my fellow nominees because I worship you guys and I'm learning from you every day, so thank you very much. ... I want to thank Mason Novick who knew I could do this before I did. And most of all, I want to thank my family for loving me exactly the way I am." – Diablo Cody on accepting the award for Original Screenplay
- "That's the closest I'll ever come to getting a knighthood." – Daniel Day-Lewis on accepting the award for Best Actor from Helen Mirren (who won in 2007 for playing Elizabeth II in The Queen)
- "I don't have a lot to add to what I said earlier. Thank you." – Ethan Coen on accepting the award for Best Director
International broadcasters 
- Due to the restrictions of a three-hour timeslot, some of the awards were cut out of the broadcast in Australia, including Best Foreign Language Film, and the Sci-tech awards
- Due to restrictions the Australian broadcast was shown in standard definition only
See also 
- 14th Screen Actors Guild Awards
- 28th Golden Raspberry Awards
- 50th Grammy Awards
- 59th Primetime Emmy Awards
- 60th Primetime Emmy Awards
- 61st British Academy Film Awards
- 62nd Tony Awards
- 65th Golden Globe Awards
- 2007 in film
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|Wikinews has related news:|
- Academy Awards official website
- Academy 2008 press releases (includes all official presenter & performer announcements)
- List of eligible films
- The Oscars at YouTube (run by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)