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Screen Grabs: Spreading the Love

This year's Oscars may have been a lower-key affair than usual, but the ceremony still offered plenty of moments and an interesting storyline. Plus Juno, Away from Her, and La Vie en Rose do well at other award shows, and everyone seems to be doing everyone else on late-night TV.
Marion CotillardLast Sunday night, Hollywood staged the Academy Awards, its annual lovefest to itself. This was a relief to everyone after concerns that the just-concluded writer's' strike would hijack the 80th annual ceremony; however, the Oscar telecast drew record low ratings, prompting another kind of soul-searching. Whether the Academy Awards need a facelift or not, this year's ceremony still had its moments—Supporting Actress winner Tilda Swinton dedicating her award to her Oscar-lookalike agent (who was thrilled), upset Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard providing the instantly clip-worthy line "It is true there are some angels in this city," and Jon Stewart showing his class by inviting "Falling Slowly" songwriter Marketa Irgova back to the stage after she'd been cut off by a musical cue.


The night also offered a clear narrative: spreading the love by exporting California gold to foreign lands. For the first time in more than three decades, none of the acting award winners Diablo Cody were Americans, and as one observer noted, none of the top six prizes went to single Americans—the Coen Brothers count as dual Americans. They're also consummate outsiders, and outsiders were another big story on a night when Juno scribe Diablo Cody, who had her stripper past mocked in a parody video a few days earlier and by Stewart in his opening remarks, capped her remarkable ascendancy by winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and receiving a standing O from Oscar goers.


PersepolisCody shared the love with her legions of adoring fans by posting a picture of herself in bed with the trophy to her MySpace blog the next morning, but the Oscar wasn't the only love she got last weekend. The Academy Awards might be the big kahuna, but there were other shows too, including the Independent Spirit Awards, where Juno was honored for best picture, actress, and debut screenplay. Canada had an awards show too, the inaugural Canadian Indie Awards, which bestowed its top prize to Sarah Polley's acclaimed Alzheimer's drama, Away from Her. And in France, they had the Cesars, where Cotillard's La Vie en Rose cleaned up, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly's Mathieu Almaric won best actor, and Marjane Satrapi's lovely animated Persepolis earned best first film and adapted screenplay, gaining some consolation after having been shut out of the Academy Awards' disastrous foreign film category this year.


Jimmy Kimmel and Ben AffleckIn another form of spreading the love, a new meme fully exploded on late-night TV and the Internet of celebrities [bonking] one another in jest. In a special post-Oscars show, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel took revenge on longtime girlfriend Sarah Silverman for her satiric "I'm [Bonking] Matt Damon" video by running a star-studded "We Are the World"-style video in which he declared that he was [bonking] Ben Affleck. Director Kevin Smith sought to exploit the situation to promote his upcoming film Zack and Miri Make a Porno with yet another video titled "I'm [Bonking] Seth Rogen," who stars in the film. The New York Times got tongue-tied trying to analyze the phenomenon, while others just wished it would stop. With all this [bonking], perhaps it was appropriate that the trailer for the much-anticipated Sex and the City movie came out last week. Maybe it also helps explain why so much of Hollywood seems to be pregnant, as Stewart also pointed out during the Oscars, with Nicole Kidman, Jessica Alba, Cate Blanchett, and Angelina Jolie all expecting. Maybe Juno had a bigger impact on Hollywood than anyone even realized.


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