Five words: Scorsese wins for Best Director.
Not much needs to be said beyond that. I'm still shocked that his first Oscar was for The Departed and not Goodfellas, but, I suppose, better late than never. Congrats to him and the entire cast.
The best actor and actress awards didn't shock me; Helen Mirren, who looked incredible for a woman of 62 (although Diane Keaton, at 61, also looked phenomenal), supposedly turned in one of the best performances ever committed to screen. And I give kudos to Forest Whitaker, who is always dead-on perfect. I didn't see The Last King of Scotland, but I remember three of his many performances -- The Crying Game, The Color of Money and Fast Times At Ridgemont High -- as proof that no matter what type of film or what role he fills, he hits it out of the park.
I feel badly for Eddie Murphy; I think Alan Arkin is great so it's not a disappointment that he won (Glengarry Glen Ross and Grosse Point Blank are two of my Arkin favorites). Either way, I hope Eddie Murphy has more Dreamgirls-esque opportunities and no more Pluto Nash, Best Defense or Holy Man movies in his future. I'm glad Jennifer Hudson won; just watching her reaction and seeing how moved she was was a wonderful experience.
Overall, I enjoyed the show; Ellen DeGeneres was entertaining without being preachy, and the show seemed to move along, despite running 45 minutes over, in a fairly quick-paced manner. Having not bothered to see four of the five nominated films -- The Departed was the only one I did see -- I was really shocked that Scorsese and this film won. My only other disappointment other than Eddie Murphy not going home a winner was that Clint Eastwood didn't win anything for Flags Of Our Fathers or Letters From Iwo Jima.
But on this night, I'm just glad I saw -- and enjoyed -- the movie that won Best Director and Best Film. I'm a bit shocked -- and frankly, I'm not even sure I would have given The Departed Best Film -- but overall I'm just happy for Martin Scorsese. After failing to win a Best Director Oscar for Goodfellas, I'm sure he believed he'd die without winning an Oscar. I suppose better late than never.