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Freeheld Takes Best Documentary Award at 80th Oscars

Freeheld1

Overall, I thought the Oscar telecast was pretty sluggish, though I was pleased with pretty much all of the winners, particularly Cynthia Wade (left) and Vanessa Roth's Best Documentary win for Freeheld, the story of terminally-ill cancer patient Laurel Hester and her dying battle to have her pension awarded to her female partner of six years. I posted about her courageous story quite a few times on this blog. It was gratifying to see these filmmakers win and definitely the 'gay moment' of the evening (aside from Scott Rudin's shout-out to his partner, "honey").

Freeheld2Backstage, after accepting their award, Wade told the media: "I was so moved by the story that I asked my husband to juggle two children, one four months, one five years, and his full time job so I could live with Laurel and Stacie for the last ten weeks of life. Laurel and Stacie helped changed laws in six counties in New Jersey, the ability to win the right for Stacie to have the pension. And nine months after, New Jersey passed the Civil Unions Act ensuring that all couples received the rights. I would say getting involved with a documentary is a marriage. You look at the best subject matter in the face and you say, 'in sickness and in health, for better or worse. I will be completely committed to you.' You film the subject matter and you live, breathe, eat, and sleep it for years, and it becomes one of your most valued relationships."

Also, did anyone else notice that Brad Renfro was left out of the 'in memoriam' clip montage?

See Wade and Roth's acceptance speech AFTER THE JUMP, along with the trailer for Freeheld and a FULL LIST of the Academy Award winners.

Freeheld [official site]
‘No Country for Old Men’ Wins Oscar Tug of War [tr]

Previously
Laurel Hester Loses Cancer Battle [tr]
Sad Battle of Bigotry Playing Out in New Jersey [tr]
Good News: Ocean County Bigots Relent [tr]

FULL LIST OF OSCAR WINNERS

BEST PICTURE
"Atonement"
"Juno"
"Michael Clayton"
"No Country for Old Men" (Winner)
"There Will Be Blood"

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"
Julie Christie, "Away From Her"
Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"(Winner)
Laura Linney, "The Savages"
Ellen Page, "Juno"

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"(Winner)
Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd"
Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"
Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"
Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"
Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"
Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton" (Winner)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"(Winner)
Hal Holbrook, "Into The Wild"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson's War"
Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton"

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood"
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men" (Winner)
Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"
Jason Reitman, "Juno"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Diablo Cody, "Juno" (Winner)
Nancy Oliver, "Lars and the Real Girl"
Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"
Brad Bird, Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird, "Ratatouille"
Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages"

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood"
Christopher Hampton, "Atonement"
Ronald Harwood, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"(Winner)
Sarah Polley, "Away From Her"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"Beaufort" (Israel)
"The Counterfeiters" (Austria) (Winner)
"Katyn" (Poland)
"Mongol" (Kazakhstan)
"12" (Russia)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
"Persepolis"
"Ratatouille"(Winner)
"Surf's Up"

BEST ART DIRECTION
"American Gangster"
"Atonement"
"The Golden Compass"
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"(Winner)
"There Will Be Blood"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" Roger Deakins
"Atonement," Seamus Mcgarvey
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Janusz Kaminski
"No Country For Old Men," Roger Deakins
"There Will Be Blood," Robert Elswit (Winner)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
"Across the Universe," Albert Wolsky
"Atonement," Jacqueline Durran
"Elizabeth: The Golden Age," Alexandra Byrne (Winner)
"La Vie En Rose," Marit Allen
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street," Colleen Atwood

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
"No End in Sight"
"Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience"
"Sicko"
"Taxi to the Dark Side" (Winner)
"War/Dance"

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
"Freeheld" (Winner)
"La Corona" ("The Crown")
"Salim Baba"
"Sari's Mother"

BEST FILM EDITING
"The Bourne Ultimatum," Christopher Rouse (Winner)
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Juliette Welfling
"Into the Wild," Jay Cassidy
"No Country for Old Men," Roderick Jaynes
"There Will Be Blood," Dylan Tichenor

BEST MAKEUP
"La Vie en Rose" (Winner)
"Norbit"
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
"Atonement", Dario Marianelli (Winner)
"The Kite Runner", Alberto Iglesias
"Michael Clayton", James Newton Howard
"Ratatouille", Michael Giacchino
"3:10 to Yuma", Marco Beltrami

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Falling Slowly" from "Once" (Winner)
"Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted"
"Raise It Up" from "August Rush"
"So Close" from "Enchanted"
"That's How You Know" from "Enchanted"

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
"I Met the Walrus"
"Madame Tutli-Putli"
"Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)"
"My Love (Moya Lyubov)"
"Peter & the Wolf" (Winner)

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
"At Night"
"Il Supplente (The Substitute)"
"Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)" (Winner)
"Tanghi Argentini"
"The Tonto Woman"

BEST SOUND EDITING
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Winner)
"No Country For Old Men"
"Ratatouille"
"There Will Be Blood"
"Transformers"

BEST SOUND MIXING
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Winner)
"No Country For Old Men"
"Ratatouille"
"3:10 to Yuma"
"Transformers"

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
"The Golden Compass" (Winner)
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"
"Transformers"

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Comments

  1. re: Brad Renfro. Guess he wasn't high profile enough. I was thinking it may be because he died in 2008, but they did include Suzanne Pleshette and Heath Ledger, both of whom died after Renfro. Probably will be in next year's.

    Posted by: Mark G | Feb 25, 2008 8:26:46 AM


  2. They did not include Roy Scheider either. I think (normally) they only include people who died in 2007. Heath being the exception to the rule.

    Posted by: Michael Regan | Feb 25, 2008 8:34:27 AM


  3. The only people they include in that "In Memoriam" clip are Academy members. I doubt that includes Brad Renfro.

    Roy died after the cutoff I believe so he'll be in next year's clip.

    Posted by: BANNE | Feb 25, 2008 9:28:07 AM


  4. The first thing I said after the memorium clip was, they left out Brad Renfro. He died a week or so before Ledger. I think the cutoff they had was Jan 31, 2007.

    Posted by: Lito S, | Feb 25, 2008 10:34:44 AM


  5. You don't have to be an Academy member to be included in that memorial. I think Brad Renfro's exclusion was just an oversight.

    Posted by: Patrick | Feb 25, 2008 11:33:40 AM


  6. Andy...I'm so glad you started the day with this post! Cynthia Wade's win for Freeheld, along with her acceptance speech, was the highlight of the evening for me.

    As for who the Academy includes in their "In Memoriam" clips, it is my understanding that A) the person must be a member of the Academy and B) their death must have occurred in between the previous year's Oscar telecast and the telecast you happen to be watching...I do not believe it is a calendar year.

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 25, 2008 12:49:42 PM


  7. Brad's exclusion must have been an error (or an error in judgment)—he died within the explicitly stated dates, so he ain't gonna show up in next year's. It's a shame. If he'd died abusing prescription as opposed to illegal drugs, maybe he would've made it. But more likely, he just wasn't on their radar in the way some of the old-time, legendary craftspeople and household-name actors were. Overall, I liked the show. I loved all the major wins—no complaints. I didn't realize this was the film that beat SICKO, but it explains why Michael Moore looked perfectly content to be beaten.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Feb 25, 2008 12:57:11 PM


  8. How well did they treat Heath?

    Posted by: anon | Feb 25, 2008 1:17:35 PM


  9. "Freeheld's" win was wonderful, all the more so because one of the producers introduced and praised the surviving lesbian partner in the audience, and they got the award from Tom Hanks whose timeless remarks about those "angels" who had been lost to AIDS in his Oscar acceptance speech for "Philadelphia" was briefly excerpted in one of the night's many montages. Alas, the set up with the soldiers in Iraq eliminated a clear description of what each of the short docs were about.

    Though not gay himself, the nod to the passing of Heath Ledger, an icon to many of us for his harrowing "Brokeback Mountain" incarnation, was shamefully of the proverbial "blink and you missed it" length. I was hoping that Daniel Day Lewis would make up for it a bit by repeating his gracious dedication of an earlier award [SAG?] to Ledger. Sadly, he did not, and the staggering actor who was robbed of his Oscar for BBM was slighted again. I'm still pissed!

    But, after the four actor awards, the world most cares about the Best Picture moment and its producer, as Andy mentioned, got to thank his man and call him "Honey" before untold millions watching around the world.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 25, 2008 1:47:30 PM


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