Monday, February 27, 2012

THE 84TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS


Another Oscar night has ended and with the exception of Meryl Streep's win, there were no real surprises and the show was pretty safe and unadventurous. Now, I love the Oscars regardless but this is not the kind of show that's going to help lure a younger audience to the program although last year's attempt to do that was disastrous.

First off, welcome back, Billy Crystal! He was sorely missed and with his returning to host for the ninth time made it crystal clear (pun intended) how much the show needs his style of good-natured humor. Mr. Crystal effortlessly knows how to keep the program lively, entertaining and moving along. Although some of his jokes fell flat but he brought back the stuff that does work like inserting himself in the opening montage with clips from last year's films, the "Great Night For Oscar" tune and the "What Are The Stars Thinking?" skit.

As for my thoughts on the show; it surprisingly managed not to run too much over on time but that was due to the wise decision of having the same presenters hand out multiple awards at a time. It was simply ridiculous that there were only two nominees for Best Original Song and that they were not even performed on the show. They need to go back and reevaluate the nomination rules in that category. The Cirque Du Soleil performance was fine but felt unnecessary and somebody seriously needs to give Angelina Jolie a hamburger to eat. She is scary-skinny.

The majority of the awards were pretty much split between "Hugo" and "The Artist' with each winning five. Martin Scorsese's film swept the technical awards and my favorite, "The Artist" taking the top prizes. I thought Ms Streep was absolutely amazing in "The Iron Lady" but she's been nominated seventeen times and already has two Oscars. Viola Davis should have gotten that award, no question. I wish I could say she will get plenty of other opportunities for another nomination but the reality is that they're just not that many strong roles created or given to African-American actresses.

This is the complete list of the winners from the 2012 Academy Awards:

Best Picture: "The Artist"
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson, "Hugo"
Best Editing: Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"
Best Animated Feature: "Rango"
Best Animated Short: "The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
Best Live Action Short: "The Shore"
Best Documentary: "Undefeated"
Best Documentary Short: "Saving Face"
Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schavo, "Hugo"
Best Costume Design: Mark Bridges, "The Artist"
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"
Best Original Song: Bret McKenzie, "Man or Muppet"
Best Makeup: Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, "The Iron Lady"
Best Sound Editing: Phillip Stockton and Eugene Gearty, "Hugo"
Best Sound Mixing: Tom Fleischman and John Midgley, "Hugo"
Best Visual Effects: "Hugo"

Oscar winners previously presented this season:

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Oprah Winfrey
Honorary Award: James Earl Jones
Honorary Award: Dick Smith
Gordon E. Sawyer Award: Douglas Trumbull
Award of Merit: ARRI cameras