Monday, February 27, 2012

The Artist Triumphs At the Academy Awards

Only three films managed to get more than one win. Two of those films, The Artist and Hugo, were expected and actually tied with 5 wins each. The other film, The Iron Lady, gave us perhaps the most shocking result of the evening as Meryl Streep won the Best Actress award over friend and presumed front-runner Viola Davis. The full list of winners is below:

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Lead Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Lead Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Animated Film: Rango
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Original Score: The Artist
Best Original Song: "Man or Muppet," The Muppets
Best Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Cinematography: Hugo
Best Costume Design: The Artist
Best Makeup: The Iron Lady
Best Documentary: Undefeated
Best Documentary Short: Saving Face
Best Animated Short: The Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Best Live Action Short: The Shore
Best Sound Editing: Hugo
Best Sound Mixing: Hugo
Best Visual Effects: Hugo

5 - The Artist, Hugo
2 - The Iron Lady
1 - Beginners, The Help, Midnight in Paris, The Descendants, Rango, A Separation, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Muppets, Undefeated, Saving Face, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, and The Shore

The biggest winner of the night was France especially with The Artist, Hugo, and Midnight in Paris coming out on top. Hugo was the night's early winner picking up most of the tech awards it was nominated for, but The Artist took the biggest awards later on with wins for Picture, Director, and Actor as well as Score and Costume Design. The BAFTA acting winners repeated here with Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer, and Christopher Plummer winning. While this is the third Oscar win for Streep (out of 17 nominations), it's the first for the others with Dujardin becoming the first Frenchman to win and Plummer becoming the oldest actor, male or female, to win.

The ceremony itself is a bit difficult to judge. I actually thought the pacing was pretty good as well as the general structure of when each of the awards were given. Yes, there were a few awkward presenters, but for the most part most didn't screw up. The stage looked wonderful, designed as the outside of a old-school movie house. The entire night was actually about the love of seeing films with many skits and interviews reflecting this. The talking heads of the numerous famous celebrities were just lovely and while shoddily shot, the Cirque Du Soleil performance was fun. The host, Billy Crystal, like the show itself, relied on the past. A few of his schticks worked, but for the most part they felt a bit dated. Throughout the night I just kept seeing presenter after presenter who I wished were chosen to be hosts instead--Emma Stone, the Bridesmaids cast, Robert Downey Jr., Tina Fey. Even some of the winners would have been great like Jim Rash and Bret McKenzie.

My predictions were par for the course with me getting 16/24 (66.67%) and like last year the short categories messed me up even though I actually saw all of the live-action nominees this year! I did like that I correctly predicted Documentary and the two Sound categories. Oh well, upwards and onwards! See you next year and good night, Harvey Weinstein.

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