Sunday, February 26, 2012

Silence is Golden as the Academy Awards Pay Tribute to Why We Love the Movies

Image DetailAt tonight's Academy Award ceremony 9 time host Billy Crystal brought back the days of classic 
Hollywood, and made some great jokes about the Kodak Theatre.  Crystal reminded viewers that in a year that paid homage to Hollywood's past there is beauty in film.  Crystal's opening schtick remains the same, there is a video montage that included him kissing George Clooney and inserting himself into some of the most memorable films from 2011; he also did a song where he talked about all of the Best Picture nominees.  Even though his routine was the same Crystal showed his true colors and why he is one of the best Oscar hosts of all time; he is a master host.

Here are my own personal awards I would hand out for the nights show:

Best Presenter: Emma Stone-Like Ann Hathaway a few years ago, this girl showed a room full of Hollywood big wigs that she is one of the funniest people working today who deserves to work even more than she does.

Best Skit-Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Jennifer Coolidge, and Fred Willard act as a focus group for 1939's Wizard of Oz-This skit proves why these are some of the funniest working people today.  The chemistry they have just works, and it was one of my favorite moments of the evening.

Most Unnecessary Moment-Crique du Soleil-I am tired of Award shows thinking they need something hip like this to make the show "cool."  This routine did not work when the Daytime Emmys did it a few years ago and it was not needed tonight.  Hint Brian Grazer, Cirque du Soleil does appeal to the younger viewers it appeals to those old people Billy Crystal kept joking about.

Best Speech (tie) Meryl Streep and Octavia Spencer-These two women hit it out of the park.  Octavia's speech made me emotional and award shows never really do that.  I felt her surprise and genuine gratitude.  Streep finally winning her third trophy had me actually clapping, and yelling, and her speech showed that even in her surprise she is one classy broad.

The theme of the night was remembering the old, and why people love movies.  One of my other favorite moments from the night was getting past Oscar winners/nominees and a few other actors thrown in for good measure talking about the emotional heft movies bring, their first experience at the movies, what movies do to them, and saw on.  This was an incredible way to tie in the theme of the evening.  Even though the Oscars appeal to that average age of their winners 62 as Billy joked, they still put on one of the classiest shows of the year which honor some of the best films of the year.

Two films tied for the most trophies, The Artist and Hugo.  Hugo cleaned up in the technical categories winning five trophies winning best art direction, cinematography, sound mixing, sound editing, and visual effects.  The Artist won two awards in the technical genre best costume design and best original score, but it also took home three of the top prizes Best Picture, Best Director, and Jean Dujardin won for Best Lead Actor.  These two films pay tribute to the beginning of film and honor the nostalgic theme of the show.  The Artist is the first silent film to win Best Picture since the  first year of the Academy Awards.

The biggest nail biter of the night was the Best Actress category.  Going into the night many people were predicting Viola Davis because of her SAG win, but even in my predictions I had a hunch that Meryl would win.  Meryl Streep did in fact win, and took home her first Oscar trophy in exactly 30 years.  The last time Meryl won was for her role in Sophie's Choice.  While I loved Davis, I was incredibly happy Meryl finally had another Oscar to add to her mantel.

In the supporting categories the predicted winners Christopher Plummer won for Beginners and Octavia Spencer won for The Help.  These two had long been predicted from the beginning of the awards season.  In the screenplay categories Midnight in Paris won for Best Original Screenplay and The Descendants won for Best Adapted Screenplay.  

After a so-so year in film I was still mesmerized by this wonderful night, and happy to welcome Billy Crystal back into my living room, or well my friend's living room.  Listed below is the entire winner's list.

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

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