... I avoided watching the Academy Awards the other night, less on principle than because I find the ceremony, and many of the films that typically are up for consideration, both boring and stupid. Plus, if you have skipped most of them, it's even harder to motivate any interest.
But this doesn't mean one can't check out who wins the awards, especially since I had seen two of the main candidates: Million Dollar Baby and Sideways. I was glad to see Eastwood and Million Dollar Baby do so well. I liked this film when I saw it, although I would call it good but not great and perhaps a bit on the stereotyped side. But it has lingered on my palate quite well (to sound like one of the characters in Sideways), whereas some movies I start to forget even as I am walking out of the theater. Likewise, Sideways, though a bit implausible in how well the two loser guys seemed to be doing, was quite enjoyable and pretty good, which these days is high praise.
(Presumably, the reason alternative music is artistically doing so much better these days than independent film is that the production cost and cash stakes are so much lower.)
I don't join the number of those who complain about Scorcese losing out again, even though his films from the 1970s through the Raging Bull/King of Comedy/After Hours era are among my absolute favorites. Some of his past best-director losses (e.g., to Kevin Costner) were ludicrous, but for the most part he just doesn't seem to make interesting films any more, and thus for many years I have been staying away.