By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire February 25, 2008 at 2:11AM
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen's "No Country For Old Men" was the winner of four big Oscars at the 80th Academy Awards tonight in Southern California. The film was named best picture of the year and the Coens won awards for directing and their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel, while Javier Bardem won the best supporting actor Oscar. The Academy Award for best foreign language film went to Stefan Ruzowitzky's "The Counterfeiters" from Austria and the Oscar for best documentary was presented tonight to Alex Gibney's "Taxi To the Darkside."
"Ethan and I have been making stories with movie cameras since we were kids," recalled Joel Coen, accepting the best director Oscar with his brother, noting, "In the late '60s when Ethan was 11 or 12, he got a suit and a briefcase and we went to the Minneapolis International Airport with a Super 8 camera and made a movie about shuttle diplomacy called "Henry Kissinger, Man on the Go." And honestly, what we do now doesn't feel that much different from what we were doing then." Concluding, he added, "We're very thankful to all of you out there for letting us continue to play in our corner of the sandbox, so thank you very much."
While American stories were celebrated with top awards, European actors lead the way with performance prizes. In addition to Bardem, Daniel Day-Lewis won the Oscar for best actor for "There Will Be Blood" and Marion Cotillard won best actress for "La Vie en Rose," while Tilda Swinton was honored for best supporting actress for her role in "Michael Clayton."
Documentarians spoke out briefly on stage tonight. "It was Lieutenant Laurel Hester's dying wish that her fight for, against discrimination would make a difference for all the same sex couples across the country that face discrimination every day. Discrimination that I don't face as a married woman," noted Cynthia Wade, director of short subject doc winner, "Freeheld." While Alex Gibney, director of "Taxi to the Dark Side," recalled the horrors and torture depicted in his film, thanking his father for inspiring the movie. Concluding, he added, "Let's hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light."
But, a highlight for many fans who watched the broadcast was the win for John Carney's "Once," the low-budget Irish film that debuted at Sundance last year and won the Oscar for best song tonight. "This is amazing," noted musician Glen Hansard, who starred in the film. "What are we doing here? This is mad. We made this film two years ago. We shot on two Handycams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people. It's been an amazing thing."
Hansard's co-star Marketa Irglova was cut off from speaking by swelling music at the end of Hansard's speech, but after a commercial break, was brought back on stage to speak. "This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible," Irglova said, adding, "And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are."
The full list of 80th Academy Award winners:
Best motion picture of the year:
"No Country For Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Achievement in directing:
"No Country For Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Joel and Ethan Coen
Performance by an actress in a leading role:
Marion Cotillard in "La Vie En Rose"
Performance by an actor in a leading role:
Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood"
Performance by an actress in a supporting role:
Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton"
Performance by an actor in a supporting role:
Javier Bardem for "No Country For Old Men"
"No Country For Old Men," screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen
"Juno," screenplay by Diablo Cody
Best animated feature film of the year:
"Ratatouille," Brad Bird
Best foreign language film of the year:
"The Counterfeiters," Stefan Ruzowitzky (Austria)
Achievement in art direction
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Art Direction: Dante Ferretti
Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
Achievement in cinematography
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Robert Elswit
Achievement in costume design
"Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
Best documentary feature
"Taxi to the Dark Side" (THINKFilm)
An X-Ray Production
Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
Best documentary short subject
A Lieutenant Films Production
Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
Achievement in film editing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal) Christopher Rouse
Achievement in makeup
"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Falling Slowly" from "Once"
Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Best animated short film
"Peter & the Wolf" (BreakThru Films)
A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production
Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman
Best live action short film
"Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)" (Premium Films)
A Kare Production
Achievement in sound editing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal)
Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
Achievement in sound mixing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal)
Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
Achievement in visual effects
"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners)
Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
Get the latest from awards weekend anytime in indieWIRE's special Awards Watch section.