Monday, February 27, 2012

‘The Artist’ and ‘Hugo’ win big at the Academy Awards

"The Artist" won 5 awards Sunday night.

Copryright: La Petite Reine

The 84th Academy Awards, presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, was a mixed bag of treats and surprises. Billy Crystal hosted the award show for the 9th time, but his last time to host was back in 2004. After watching his introduction, pretty much made everyone wonder why it took so long for him to come back. Incidentally, the only person to host the Award more times was Bob Hope – which was 18 – so he has a lot more to do to catch up. Natalie Portman said just before the broadcast that she thought the award show was “in good hands” because Crystal is professional, funny and “not mean.”

In true Billy Crystal style, the program began with a montage of clips from the nominated movies with Crystal inserted in each of them and he sang a tribute to the nine Best Picture nominees.

The movie, “The Artist,” not only won the Best Picture Award, but also, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score. “The Artist” winning Best Picture is somewhat of a surprise due to the fact that it was filmed in black and white, is a silent film and foreign picture.

The other big winner of the night was “Hugo” winning five awards including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. “Hugo” is Martin Scorsese’s first family film, and hopefully not last his last.

The rest of the awards winners were:
  • Best Actress – Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady”
  • Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Plummer for “Beginners”
  • Best Supporting Actress – Octavia Spencer for “The Help”
  • Best Animated Feature – “Rango”
  • Best Foreign Film – “A Separation” (from Iran)
  • Best Original Screenplay – “Midnight Paris” (Woody Allen)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – “The Descendants”
  • Best Original Song – “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
  • Best Documentary – “Undefeated”
  • Best Documentary (Short) – “Saving Face”
  • Best Film Editing – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
  • Best Make Up – “The Iron Lady”
  • Best Short Film (Animated) – “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
  • Best Short Film (Live Action) – “The Shore”

 Highlights from this year’s broadcast included a special performance from Cirque du Soleil. It was supposed to show the excitement of going to the movie theater for the first time. Whether it achieved that goal is debatable, but it was truly entertaining, if not short. The other highlight worth noting was a short film that showed footage from the “first” feedback session from “The Wizard of Oz.” This tongue-in-cheek production included Christopher Guest, Catherine O’Hara, Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard and others as audience members critiquing the classic film.

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