Though 2006 was the year of the idiosyncratic cinematic showcase — with offbeat, original voices displayed in films such as "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Pan's Labyrinth" — the 2007 Oscar ceremony was anything but. Pegged by prognosticators as a wide-open race, the major awards went to heavy favorites, for the most part — the last hour was a pomp-and-circumstance list of sure-things and canned speeches.
"I'm staying! I'm staying! And you're gonna love me!"
Sing it, Effie — you're not going anywhere now. "Dreamgirls" star Jennifer Hudson won best supporting actress at a ceremony that offered several major surprises (not among them, sadly: coming in on time and being totally un-indulgent).
"Oh my God. I have to just take this moment in. I cannot believe this. Look what God can do," the "American Idol" castoff said between tears onstage.
The most nominated flick of the night, "Dreamgirls," was virtually shut out, with Hudson's win one of only two victories for the eight-time-nominated Motown musical. While his "Dreamgirls" counterpart scored a major victory, the heavily favored Eddie Murphy was left with a banana in his tailpipe.
Alan Arkin won best supporting actor in the night's first major upset for playing the drug-addicted, foulmouthed grandpa in "Little Miss Sunshine." "Acting for me has always been, and always will be, a team sport," the 72-year-old actor said during his acceptance speech, giving credit to an ensemble cast that included best supporting actress nominee Abigail Breslin.
The Academy finally got it right by giving Martin Scorsese his long-deserved Oscar for best director. Scorsese guided "The Departed" to wins for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay (for William Monahan) and Film Editing. Look what the man can do with a story, America!
"Could you double-check the envelope? I'm overwhelmed," Scorsese joked after accepting his award. "So many people over the years have been wishing this for me, [in] elevators, [during] X-rays. Friends of mine over the years, I thank you, this is for you."
Scorsese received the only standing ovation of the evening.
Al Gore likes to introduce himself as the guy "who used to be the next president of the United States." Now he can introduce himself as former vice president — and Oscar-winner — Al Gore. "An Inconvenient Truth," the global-warming documentary he was affiliated with, won the Academy Award for best documentary ... but might not totally make up for what happened in 2000.
"This is not a political issue and it is not a political movie. Some of the issues will need to be worked out in the political sphere. But [global warming] should be seen as bipartisan," Gore insisted backstage. "Go see the movie, learn about the climate crisis and become part of the solution."
"An Inconvenient Truth" also scored a win for Original Song, "I Need to Wake Up" by Melissa Etheridge. When Etheridge's name was announced, Gore — watching from the press room — got choked up. Etheridge went out of her way to thank him in her acceptance speech, after which Gore let out a yell and pumped his fist in the air.
Three men enter, one man leaves! George Miller, the director of "Mad Max" and "Babe," won best animated film for "Happy Feet," his computer-animated film about environmentally friendly dancing penguins. "I think every single live-action director now has to take into consideration animation," Miller insisted backstage. "It's part of our language now; part of our repertoire. We all need to learn it."
As expected, both Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren picked up lead-acting honors, for "The Last King of Scotland" and "The Queen," respectively.
An allegorical fairy tale about a young girl's fantasy world set during the Spanish Civil War, "Pan's Labyrinth" won three awards, for Cinematography, Art Direction, and Makeup, but lost Foreign Language Film to Germany's "The Lives of Others."
Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, the comedy bits of the evening were generally safe and well-received, including the talk-show host's impromptu audience conversations with Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood. However, the comic highlight of the evening belonged to Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly, who brought a rare bit of excitement to an otherwise staid affair. They sang a tragic ode to the forgotten plight of the comic come Oscar time; a sample lyric: "Ryan Gosling, you're all hip and now. But I'm going to break your hip, right now."
Here's a complete list of the winners:
- Best Picture: "The Departed"
- Actor in a Leading Role: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"
- Actress in a Leading Role: Helen Mirren, "The Queen"
- Actor in a Supporting Role: Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"
- Actress in a Supporting Role: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
- Directing: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"
- Writing (Adapted Screenplay): "The Departed"
- Writing (Original Screenplay): "Little Miss Sunshine"
- Animated Feature: "Happy Feet"
- Art Direction: "Pan's Labyrinth"
- Cinematography: "Pan's Labyrinth"
- Costume Design: "Marie Antoinette"
- Documentary Feature: "An Inconvenient Truth"
- Documentary Short Subject: The Blood of Yingzhou District"
- Film Editing: "The Departed"
- Foreign Language Film: "The Lives of Others"
- Makeup: "Pan's Labyrinth"
- Music (Score): "Babel"
- Music (Song): Melissa Etheridge's "I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth"
- Short Film (Animated): "The Danish Poet"
- Short Film (Live Action): "West Bank Story"
- Sound Editing: "Letters From Iwo Jima"
- Sound Mixing: "Dreamgirls"
- Visual Effects: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
The show's over but the fun hasn't stopped! Stick with MTVNews.com for the rest of the big winners and big moments from the show. From the awards ceremony to the star-studded afterparties, join MTV as we head backstage and hit the red carpets for Hollywood's biggest night. Check out photos of the hottest Oscar action, watch exclusive celebrity interviews and read the latest buzz, all starting Sunday (February 25) on Movies.MTV.com.
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