The Watchers

The Watchers

Monday, 27 February 2012

The 84th Annual Academy Awards

I love the Oscars.

This won’t come as any surprise to anyone who’s been watching or listening to the show, but it’s true. I love the Oscars. And I make time for them. Since 2002, I have watched the Oscar telecast and been amazed, moved, stunned and occasionally bored rigid by the night.

Last night/this morning was a night of few surprises but a lot of heart.

The biggest surprise seems to be The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo winning for Best Editing. Most of the other big awards went the way they were supposed to. But more of that later.

Billy Crystal was on top form, taking hosting duties for the ninth time. He made for an affable and charming host with the occasional barb thrown in for good measure (his little crack about being in Christian Bale’s eye-line before the volatile actor came on to announce Best Supporting Actress was rather nice). He also made a very touching personal tribute to former Academy producer Gil Cates, who passed away in the last year, before the ‘In Memoriam’ segment.

It may just have been me, but the ceremony felt a lot more streamlined this year. It may be due to the fact that there were nine films nominated for Best Picture, but they dispensed with individual segments for each of the Best Picture nominations; instead, they played together as a montage before the main prize was announced. Similarly, there was no full performance of the songs nominated for Best Original Song; a bit of an odd oversight considering there were only two songs, and I would have paid good money to see the Muppets on the Oscar stage. All of this brought the running time in to approximately three-and-a-quarter hours (including copious ad breaks).

On to the awards themselves.

Unsurprisingly, The Artist took Best Picture. It also took Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Original Score (Ludovic Bource), Best Costume Design (Mark Bridges) and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin. As you may know, I plumped for George Clooney in the Best Actor category but, hey, five out of six ain’t bad (and I did better than last year!). The Gallic exuberance of Hazanavicius and Dujardin in their acceptance speeches was truly touching and they are both very worthy winners.

Not to be outdone, the other paean to the art of the movies, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo also took home five technical awards (Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects)- again, all well-deserved. Even without the 3D addition, Hugo is one of the most visually stunning films of the last twelve months.

No surprises in the other acting awards with Meryl Streep picking up her third Academy Award, after twenty-nine years, for The Iron Lady; Octavia Spencer ‘freaking out’ after being awarded Best Supporting Actress for The Help and Christopher Plummer giving a very dignified and lovely acceptance speech when he picked up Best Supporting Actor for his role in Beginners (which makes him the oldest actor not only to win Best Supporting Actor but to win a competitive acting Oscar; at 82, he surpasses Jessica Tandy who won at the age of 80 for Driving Miss Daisy)

The guest hosts for each award, as usual, varied in quality. My personal favourites were Chris Rock presenting the award for Best Animated Feature (in those two minutes, he showed more edge and charisma than he did when he actually hosted the Oscars); Emma Stone and Ben Stiller presenting Best Visual Effects (with Stone skewering some of Stiller’s previous Oscar appearances, which I have personally found increasingly insufferable) and the cast of Bridesmaids who paired off to present the three Short Film sections. There was also some wonderful banter between Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow as they presented Best Documentary Feature.

All in all, an absolutely wonderful night celebrating the best in movies.

Below is the full list of winners at the 84th Annual 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 Original Screenplay: Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (The Descendants)

Best Animated Feature: Rango

Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation

Best Original Song: ‘Man Or Muppet’ from The Muppets

Best Live Action Short Film: The Shore

Best Animated Short Film: The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr Morris Lessmore

Best Documentary (Short Subject): Saving Face

Best Documentary (Feature): Undefeated

Best Visual Effects: Hugo

Best Sound Editing: Hugo

Best Sound Mixing: Hugo

Best Art Direction: Hugo

Best Cinematography: Hugo

Best Original Score: The Artist

Best Costume Design: The Artist

Best Make-Up: The Iron Lady

Best Editing: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Congratulations to all winners!

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to bed - it's been something of a long night.


No comments:

Post a Comment