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Stars, Bling, and Anti-War Jokes: Hollywood Is Back in Business

The 80th Annual Academy Awards brought the glamour and champagne back to Hollywood after a grim 100-day strike. John Stewart cracked the requisite jokes about the work stoppage --calling the Oscars the "makeup sex" for the industry.

The Oscars
AP
The Oscars

And, of course--this being Hollywood--there were a number of comments about politics (namely about how the war is dragging on, like the awards ceremony often does). And, there were just a couple of digs about movie moguls being competitive, heartless, yadda yadda.

But this was a relatively uneventful Oscars--Michael Moore didn't give an incendiary speech (I was surprised "Sicko" didn't win best documentary), there were no huge surprises and no enormous fashion faux pas.

The film that really took home the gold was Miramax's "No Country for Old Men" (distributed by Miramax in the U.S., and internationally by the film's co-producer Paramount Vantage): Best picture, best director, best supporting actor (Javier Bardem), best adapted screenplay (from
the Cormac McCarthy novel). Whew.

Miramax also won another top prize--best animated picture for "Ratatouille." And the other big film Miramax co-produced with Paramount Vantage, "There Will be Blood," also did quite well: Paramount taking a bit more credit here because it did the U.S. distribution. The movie brought home best cinematography and best actor, Daniel Day-Lewis.

"No Country" didn't win a lot of the technical awards, as the best picture winner often does, so all the studios had a reason to celebrate (and could justify the huge cost of their Oscar ad
campaigns).

Tom Wilkinson, left, and George Clooney are shown in a scene from "Michael Clayton."
Warner Bros./AP
Tom Wilkinson, left, and George Clooney are shown in a scene from "Michael Clayton."

The one big contender that got relatively few wins considering the huge number of nominations it got, was "Michael Clayton". Tilda Swinton for best supporting actress.

Time Warner's Warner Bros. and New Line movie studios did still bring home an armload of awards. 'La Vie En Rose,' from the company's 'Picturehouse' specialty unit, brought home best actress and best makeup.

CNBC's parent company, NBC-Universal, brought home a whole bunch--best costumes for "Elizabeth-The Golden Years", best score for "Atonement", from Universal's Focus Features division. And some of the more technical Oscars...sound editing, sound mixing, and film editing for "The Bourne Ultimatum."

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And there were lots of jokes about the pregnant teenager who made "Juno" the most successful of the best picture nominees at the box office. Fox Searchlight's award for that low budget winner was best screenplay.

Sure, there were no dramatic upsets. But back to business as usual is probably what Hollywood needs right now. Next year I bet the speeches will be bolder, the fashion faux pas wilder. This year, it's all about getting back on track.

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