Published on February 27th, 2012 | by Jen McShane0
And The Oscar Went To…
It’s the night that all of the Hollywood elite come out and dress to impress with hopes of taking Oscar, now at the grand old age of 84, home to proudly display on their mantel. Last night marked the show that added the cherry on top of award season, the 84th Annual Academy Awards. For film buffs like myself, this ceremony is the highlight of the season as we sit up until the wee hours of the morning hoping that our favourites will take home the highly coveted gold statuette. A lot was riding on this year’s show, given last years disappointing Oscar hosts, the boring Anne Hathaway and James Franco, so we were delighted to see the legend that is Billy Crystal was back at the helm.
Billy did what he does best and brought back a much-needed old school glamour feel to the show, he was endearing, funny and ran a smooth show with easy charm. We love Billy; he might have played it a little safe but it really worked.
Aside from the winners, all eyes were firstly on the ladies (and very handsome gents too!) as they wore impossibly beautiful gowns and looked so perfect that it just wasn’t fair. The Red Carpet coverage was fairly sparse this year, the coverage was stopped just as some big stars had yet to strut their stuff (and they didn’t get Gary Oldman, booooo!) but we did get to see Sasha Baron Cohen throw a heap of white powder over an unsuspecting Ryan Seacrest, brilliant stuff altogether.
Gwyneth Paltrow, J.Lo (who mentioned Ireland in her presenting bit, woo!) and Mila Jovovich all looked stunning, (I would like to come back as a combination of all three of them in the next life please) whereas I didn’t care for Sandra Bullock’s or Angelina’s outfit choices – eat some food woman!
On to the awards themselves: Silence roared as loud as it possibly could as it took away five gold statues including Best Picture. It became the first silent film in 83 years to win Best Picture at the Oscars. The Artist also struck gold for director, actor, costume design and original score, a numerical feat that was matched by Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, another homage to cinema that also won five trophies.
Best Director winner Michel Hazanavicius looked stunned and thoroughly delighted at his win and we were charmed by his lovely acceptance speeches. Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin was in one of the few nail-biters of the evening, winning in what was perceived a tight three-way race with superstars George Clooney and Brad Pitt. He truly deserved it and here at the Culch offices, we were thrilled for the whole cast and crew.
Best Actress winner Meryl Streep was in another tight race, the outcome of which no one could predict until the envelope was opened. It was her third Oscar win in a record 17 attempts, and her first in nearly 30 years, honouring her portrayal of former British Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Streep’s win caused a little surprise as it came at the expense of Viola Davis from The Help, who many thought would get the gong.
It was an especially grand occasion for Christopher Plummer, who at 82, was the oldest recipient of the award. He won Best Supporting Actor for Beginners, in which he plays a late-blooming gay man. Plummer received a standing ovation, as he happily accepted his first Oscar in his decades-long career.
Non-surprisingly, Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for The Help, received a standing ovation from the audience. Elsewhere, there were no surprises in the screenwriting categories, which both went to the favoured candidates: The Descendants for Best Adapted Screenplay and Midnight in Paris for Best Original Screenplay – YAY!!
There were some highlights, in the form of the Quebec’s Cirque du Soleil dance troupe, they performed an energetic special tribute to the movies to a beautiful score composed by Danny Elfman, Chris Rock got more than a few laughs as he presented the Best Animation award, which went to Gore Verbinski’s Rango – “..and then they pay me a million dollars!” and I loved Gwyneth and Robert Downey Jr’s comic turn as they presented best Documentary Film. There was also a mix of wonderful odes to cinema by Hollywood stars throughout the show as they spoke about their favourite thing about film. Touching and wonderful, I welled up at some of them! This is what the movies are about.
All in all, it was a great, albeit a slightly predictable show (we had no real surprise winners) but it was thoroughly enjoyable and thanks to Billy Cyrstal, we had a Oscar show as it was meant to be: full of fun, charm and always reminding us what makes movies so magical. Until next year, Oscar.