|The Oscars Web site was a winner with live cameras at|
multiple backstage locations.
What a stroke of luck that Eddie Murphy dropped out as host and Billy Crystal had to fill in at the figurative last minute. Having Crystal back with his trademark opening movie sequence, monologue and song was a breath of fresh air. He is truly funny and Hollywood loves him. What other man could get George Clooney to lean over and kiss him?
Crystal’s take on everything is terrific. He zeroes in on the aspects of the movies we may be contemplating only subconsciously – that Martin Scorsese can’t make a film without mobsters, that Justin Bieber was needed, if only for a few seconds, to lure in the younger demographic, and that you could use the Mr. Ed theme song to mock a cinematic masterpiece like War Horse. And who else would segue from The Help to Bridesmaids, finding the lone scatological elements of each.
The Artist and Hugo dominated the awards. They won the most awards as The Descendants and The Help fell behind, which was a disappointment to me and not what I expected.
Who and what else were good and bad?
I’d put the following in the good column:
· Sandra Bullock for having class, for looking good (read age appropriate) and for being funny at the same time.
· The faux focus group that pointed out with sarcasm that focus groups are for panderers and studios lacking the creativity to make a movie without them.
· Chris Rock for his inside joke about Eddie Murphy playing a donkey.
· Ellen DeGeneres commercial for JC Penny, er JCP.
· The Oscar Web site with live behind-the-scenes cameras in a number of different places – the pressroom, backstage, the winners walk, the control booth and the host camera. There was also a map and Twitter board, so viewers could keep up with all aspects while remaining on the page. Very cool.
· J-Lo for having a horrible dress and for catering to the least common denominator – appalled conservatives and teenage boys who actually want to see her nipples.
· Cirque du Soleil at the movies. No reason needed. It wasn’t Rob Lowe as Prince Charming, but it was close.
· Emma Stone’s big red dress.
· The fact that “Man or Muppet” won for best Original Song.
· Meryl Streep’s dress. She is, as Billy Crystal described her, the best actress of our time, but taste? Nope.
· Woody Allen for not showing up to accept his Best Original Screenplay award.
· Clips of movie stars explaining why they like movies.
And, for those who didn’t see the show, here are the winners:
Best Picture -The Artist
Best Actor – Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Actress – Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Actor in a Supporting Role – Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Actress in a Supporting Role – Octavia Spencer, The Help
Animated Feature Film, Rango, Gore Verbinski
Cinamatography – Hugo, Robert Richardson
Art Direction – Hugo
Costume Design – The Artist
Directing – Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Documentary Feature – Undefeated
Documentary Short – Saving Face
Film Editing – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Foreign Language Film – Iran, “A Separation”
Makeup – The Iron Lady
Music (Original Score) – The Artist
Music (Original Song) – “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets
Short Film (Animated) – The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Short Film (Live Action) – The Shore
Sound Editing – Hugo
Sound Mixing – Hugo
Visual Effects – Hugo
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) – The Descendants
Writing (Original Screenplay) – Midnight in Paris