Allow me to disagree, Frank. I have seen La Vie En Rose, based on the life of Edith Piaf, and Marion Cotillard is a deserving winner. She inhabits her character so completely it is easy to forget that Piaf has been dead for some time now. Also, Bardem, who won for No Country for Old Men, is so sinister in the film he actually manages to scare you every time he looks into the camera with those dead eyes. I haven't seen There Will be Blood, so cannot comment on it. But please don't tar all of today's films with the same brush. Have you seen Juno? You should, you'd be surprised at how sassily the very young Ellen Page plays her part.
Hi Vikram, My wife saw La Vie en Rose and liked Cotillard's performance better than she did the film. As for Country and Blood, I'm just not into the violence. Hollywood is always preaching peace, love and understanding, but seems to revel in the details of violence, which makes one think of a preacher denouncing the pornography he so carefully studies. That said, I'm sure you're right that these are well-made and well-acted films. A former film critic said to me just the other day that the percentage of good movies was probably no better decades ago, it's just that only the good ones are remembered. Off the top of my head, the best films I have seen in recent years were The Illusionist and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring. Also Into Great Silence.
If you liked Illusionist, you should see The Prestige. Atmospheric and original.