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2012 Oscar Recap - Billy Crystal, Predictable Winners and Cirque du Soleil

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After last year’s debacle, the Academy turned to Billy Crystal to host his 9th Oscar ceremony. He delivered predictable laughs, a few zingers, (leave Jonah Hill and Christian Bale alone) and created another goofy montage using footage from the nominated films interspersed with his take on the key roles. He threw Justin Bieber in there with the Biebes explaining, “I’m here to get you the 18 to 24 year old demographic.” Billy Crystal photo: http://www.ranker.com
 

Seriously? 24 year-olds? 

In an effort to mix up the format, short videos were interspersed throughout the night, most of them featured actors commented on the work of those nominated in the category. It was a good idea – but it was poorly executed. It resulted in just more face time for the actors. Why not focus on behind the scene details for makeup or costume design?  

Some highlights included Christopher Plummer’s  win – he’s the oldest recipient of the Oscar, and he quipped, “You’re only 2 years older than me you’re darling, where have you been all my life?” Bret McKenzie  from the comedy musical duo Flight of the Concords won for his Muppets song ‘Man or Muppet.’  Octavia Spencer, best supporting actress winner, took time to thanks the academy for “putting me with the hottest guy in the room.”  Grammy darling Esperanza Spaulding and the Southern California Children’s Choir performed the classic, It’s a Wonderful World during the photo montage of those who passed away last year.  

Overall, this year disappointed – the skits ran too long, and then winners were rushed off the stage. Everyone was well behaved – after all, this is not the Golden Globes – though I thought ingénue Emma Stone finally cracked when she wafted on stage like she took a page out of Mr. Franco’s handbook last year. Fortunately, it was just a rambling act with Ben Stiller. Christopher Guest and his merry band of comedians/comediennes went back in time to portray a focus group critiquing the Wizard of Oz. Why? I have no idea. I knew something was amiss when Cirque du Soleil’s performance was one of my favorite parts of the night. Meryl Streep photo: http://celebrity-gossip.net

Most alarming to me was the increasing number of underfed actresses that graced the stag. Yes, I’m talking about Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and now you, Rose Byrne. There were the overly plump lips and face-lifts, but at least the botoxed faces made it easy for people to look neutral when they lost.

The Artist swept the awards, winning best picture, best director, best actor, best original score and best costume design. Martin Scorsese’s glorious 3-D spectacle Hugo  won best cinematography, best art direction, best sounding edit, best sound mixing and best visual effects. The Descendents won for best adapted screenplay, and Woody Allen won best original screenplay for Midnight in Paris.  

Meryl Streep  took home her third Oscar – after being nominated 17 times.  The handsome French actor Jean Dujardin postponed George Clooney’s dreams of winner for Best Actor.  

But that gives us something to look forward to next year.

Best pictureThe Artist photo: crowesmostlymovies.blogspot.com

The Artist

Thomas Langmann, Producer


Directing

The Artist

Michel Hazanavicius


Actor In a Leading Role

Jean Dujardin

The Artist

Hugo photo: hugo-movie-trailer.blogspot.com
Actress In a Leading Role

Meryl Streep

The Iron Lady


Actor In a Supporting Role

Christopher Plummer

Beginners


Actress In a Supporting Role

Octavia Spencer

The Help


Visual Effects

Hugo

Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning


Costume Design

The Artist

Mark Bridges

Makeup

The Iron Lady

Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland


Music (Original Score)

The Artist

Ludovic Bource


Music (Original Song)

"Man or Muppet" from THE MUPPETS

Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie


Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Descendants

Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash


Writing (Original Screenplay)

Midnight in Paris

Written by Woody Allen


Cinematography

Hugo

Robert Richardson

Midnight in Paris photo: google.com
Art Direction

Hugo

Dante Ferretti (Production Design); Francesca Lo Schiavo (Set Decoration)

 

Documentary Feature

Undefeated

TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Rich Middlemas


Documentary Short

Saving Face

Daniel Junge Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

 

Film Editing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall


Foreign Language Film

Iran, "A Separation"

Asghar Farhadi, director


Animated Feature Film

Rango Rango photo: spoutingoff.wordpress.com

Gore Verbinski

 

Documentary Short

Saving Face

Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy


Short Film (Animated)

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg


Short Film (Live Action)

The Shore

Terry George and Oorlagh George

 

Sound Editing

Hugo

Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty


Sound Mixing

Hugo

Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

 

Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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Billy Crystal photo: http://www.ranker.com

 Meryl Streep photo: http://celebrity-gossip.net

 The Artist photo: crowesmostlymovies.blogspot.com

Midnight in Paris photo: thirteenthbabyopossum.com 

Rango photo: spoutingoff.wordpress.com