The Times, 23 February 2009


Last night was Oscar night; the culmination of the awards season, and a chance for Hollywood to look back on the year and congratulate themselves on a job well done. Given that all the real drama of the past twelve months has been on the news rather than the silver screen, it seems unfair that politicians don't have the same opportunity. Well, now they do.

Best Actor
Barack Obama never looked in any doubt of winning this one. His capacity to work those crowd scenes is unrivalled - we've not seen anything on this scale since Gandhi, Metropolis or El Cid. And, in homage to previous African-American Oscar-winner, Cuba Gooding Jr, Obama had barely finished his acceptance speech before demanding that Congress, 'Show me the money!'.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The field is wide open this year - Allen Stanford had a late surge with the bookies, but sports movies never win big. So the statuette goes to... Bernie Madoff, for his terrific performance as a loveable rogue in a jewellery heist that goes wrong.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Hillary Clinton. Almost nominated in the Best Actress category, she's a shoo-in for this one. A gritty, brave performance of a woman who with everything who loses it all, and then gets a little back. The Erin Brockovich of the noughties.

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Labour government has written a great script. You can't move in Westminster without someone quoting the phrases 'global financial crisis', and 'the UK is uniquely well-placed to handle the economic downturn'. Never has fiction sounded so sincere.

Best Original Screenplay
The Treasury Select Committee drew tremendous work from Lord Stevenson, Sir Tom McKillop, Sir Fred Goodwin, and Andy Hornby. This award is shared between all the major bank execs: their creative attitude to risk-taking which saw banks on the verge of collapse was just the beginning. Now we've seen their verbal flair when someone asks them to say sorry.

Best Cinematography
An easy win for Jacqui Smith. It takes an amazing talent to make a spare room look bigger than a family home, but she's got it.

Best Editing
The London Olympic Committee. They've edited the 2012 Olympic budget till it bears literally no resemblance at all to the original bid. An astonishing effort.

Best Film
There's only one film that everyone's talking about, and that's The Recession. This sleeper hit has been on everyone's minds since it first appeared on our screens way back in 2008. A real word-of-mouth hit, if not a feel-good movie. Is a sequel, The Depression, on the cards?

Best Director
He shies away from taking credit for anything. He says he owes it all to the global markets. But how could anyone deny Gordon Brown this long-awaited gong? Expect a continuation of that long, long acceptance speech, where he keeps on mentioning everyone else he thinks contributed to his finest work, The Recession. His next project is a superhero flick, so he can save the world all over again.