Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Oscars 2012: A Review

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

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