It was not a vintage year for SF at last night's Academy Awards. As Hollywood's great and good converged on the Kodak Theatre for the 79th Oscar ceremony, a disappointing number of air kisses were thrown in the direction of fantasy fare, with only Pan's Labyrinth and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest leaving with Golden Baldies in their pockets.
But for Pan's Labyrinth, undoubtedly one of the finest films of the year in any genre, its three technical awards for Best Cinematography, Best Make-up and Best Art Direction are akin to praising Citizen Kane for the typeface in its opening credits - especially when the film was overlooked for Best Foreign Language movie. Unsurprisingly, Pirates walked off with the Special Effects Award.
Still, in the absence of better news for SF films, SFX is more than happy to get all patriotic and offer our congratulations to Helen Mirren, who was crowned Best Actress for The Queen. And it would take a real curmudgeon to begrudge Martin Scorsese his long overdue Best Director award for The Departed.
In the weekend's other major awards ceremony, the Golden Raspberries - AKA the one no one wants to win - M Night Shyamalan was rewarded for his, er, sterling work on Lady in the Water with awards for Worst Director and Worst Supporting Actor.