Monday, February 25, 2008
Since I had seen so few of the Oscar nominees, I was pleased that Marion Cotillard took home a statuette for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, one of the few of the nominated pictures that I actually had a chance to watch. Cotillard, who is only 32, played Piaf - in many ways, the French Judy Garland - from her hardscrabble teenage days on the streets of Paris to when she was a wizened, morphine-addicted old lady who looked to be in her sixties. Of course, Piaf died at the age of 47, which makes Cotillard's performance either dishonest or gut-wrenching, and I'm betting on the latter. Piaf had an even harder life than Garland, but Cotillard never got mawkish or asked for our pity.
It was also nice to see Daniel Day-Lewis take home one of the top awards for the second time in his distinguished career. For my money, his work this time was more solid, less showy, yet every bit as hard-won and realistic as when he won his first Best Mustache Oscar, for Gangs of New York.
Day-Lewis could really retire this category, if he wants to. He is the most versatile and resourceful mustache-grower in the business today. Previous winners of the Best Mustache Oscar include:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat (2006)
George Clooney, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
Aaron Eckhart, Erin Brockovich (2000)
Bill Murray, Rushmore (1998)
Sam Elliott, Tombstone (1993)
Bruce Willis, Mortal Thoughts (1991)
James Cagney, Ragtime (1981)
Jack Nicholson, The Last Detail (1973)
Tony Randall, Seven Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)
William Powell, The Thin Man (1934)