Tonight was Oscar night, and while there were a few surprises (Marcia Gay Harden winning Best Supporting Actress for Pollock
for Best Visual Effects, Steven Soderbergh for Best Director for Traffic
), there were also some expected wins (Julia Roberts for Best Actress, Benecio Del Toro for Best Supporting Actor).
But we at SoundtrackNet care more about the music awards. While some might feel that Randy Newman would finally get his Oscar (he's been nominated 14 times), the honor went (rather expectedly, when you think about it) to Bob Dylan. Looking a little like a cross between Vincent Price and Salvador Dali, Dylan wasn't even in Los Angeles - he was broadcasting live via satellite in Australia when he accepted his award. Ironically, later in the show Arthur C. Clarke made an appearance live from Sri Lanka and no one bothered to note that he was the inventor of the telecommunications satellite.
For Best Score, many of us felt that Ennio Morricone would finally be given his due. The Academy felt differently, and instead of giving the statue to the Maestro (or even to Zimmer for his work on Gladiator, as some feared might happen), it went to Tan Dun. This is rather interesting and certainly deserving. Tan Dun is now the second concert composer to win an Oscar in as many years (last year John Corigliano won for The Red Violin). Is this possibly signifying a new trend in film scores? Quick - if you're a classical composer, get going on a film!
The show ran shorter than last year, thanks in part to the lack of any tribute to Child Women Actors in Film who Eat Green Vegetables (or something like that), and thankfully the performances of the Best Score category were beautifully presented by Yo Yo Ma and Itzach Perlman. In the end, Julia got her little man, and Russell Crowe got his award for The Insider (I really think that Ed Harris should have gotten this one). We'll just see what 2001 brings!