Oscars 2012 recap

84th Academy Awards a mixed bag of dull and delightful

I love the Oscars.

I love watching rehearsed presenters try to appear spontaneously funny and then fail miserably.

I love watching pretty people wear dresses that cost more than the building I live in.

84th Academy Awards a mixed bag of dull and delightful

I love the Oscars.

I love watching rehearsed presenters try to appear spontaneously funny and then fail miserably.

I love watching pretty people wear dresses that cost more than the building I live in.

I love watching them wear the very jewels and diamonds that I try to find imitations of at Claire’s.

I love watching successful people hold little gold men and thank all of the lesser people they had to step on to get to that point in their lives.

Yeah, I love the Oscars.

Last Sunday, the 84th Academy Awards celebrated the best of the best in the film industry.

Actor-comedian Billy Crystal hosted the event this year, and since this was his ninth stint as Oscar host, I had high expectations. He did not entirely disappoint. During the ceremony, Crystal read people’s minds, kissed men and made racy jokes in a noble attempt to add some liveliness to the otherwise drab ceremony.

The academy gave the award for Best Cinematography to Robert Richardson for his work in the children’s movie Hugo. In his acceptance speech, he said, “To all the past, future and present filmmakers, this is for you.” No, Richardson, do not get their hopes up. It’s your award, not theirs, and they know it.

Octavia Spencer took home Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help. She was so overcome by emotion that three different people had to help her up before she even reached the stage. Her concluding words, “Please wrap up!? I’m wrapping up! I’m sorry; I’m freaking out! Thank you, world!” added a dose of real sincerity to the evening.

Chris Rock presented the award for the Best Animated Feature. “I love animation, because in the world of animation you can be anything you want to be,” Rock said. “If you’re a fat woman, you can play a skinny princess. If you’re a short wimpy guy, you can play a tall gladiator. If you’re a white man, you can play an Arabian prince. And if you’re a black man, you can play a donkey or a zebra.”

Gore Verbinsky won Best Animated Feature for his film Rango. Of course, everybody enjoys films in which animals with bad Mexican accents harass a poor non-Mexican lizard trying to adapt to his harsh environment. Great children’s movie, Gore.

The award for Best Supporting Actor went to Christopher Plummer for his role in Beginners. He began his speech by gazing admiringly into the eyes of his Oscar statuette, then said, “You’re only two years older than me, darling, where have you been all my life?” At 82, Plummer is the oldest person ever to win an Oscar.

One of the evening’s highlights was when the cast of Bridesmaids presented the award for Best Live Action Short. They all came onto the stage in gorgeous dresses, holding hands and smiling innocently. Kristen Wig then took the microphone and said, “Six beautiful—some say handsome—women, invited by the academy not only to present three awards but also to shatter the common belief that size doesn’t matter. Uh, hate to tell you guys this, but it kind of does.”

Maya Rudolph, who was standing next to her, proceeded to say, “Yes, but not length. As my grandma used to say, it can be short and still make your toes curl. And I believe in my heart my grandma wasn’t referring to wieners but short films.”

I’m unsure if Terry George and Oorlagh George appreciated such a racy introduction, but I sure did. The pair took home this Oscar for their short film, The Shore.

Of course, like any television show, the Oscars saved the best for last. The award for Best Actor went to Jean Dujardin for his role in The Artist. The award for Best Actress went to Meryl Streep (again!) for her role in The Iron Lady. Best Director went to Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist.

Lastly, the moment everyone stayed up for, the award for Best Picture went to The Artist. Producer Thomas Langmann accepted the Oscar.

Complete list of winners

Best Picture
Thomas Langmann for The Artist

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Best Actor
Jean Dujardin in The Artist

Best Actress
Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer in Beginners

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer in The Help

Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants

Best Animated Short
William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Best Documentary Short
Daniel Junge and Obaid Chinoy for Saving Face

Best Live Action Short
Terry George and Oorlagh George for The Shore

Best Original Song
Bret McKenzie for “Man or Muppet”

Best Original Score
Ludovic Bource for The Artist

Best Visual Effects
Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning for Hugo

Best Animated Feature
Gore Verbinski for Rango

Best Documentary
TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Rich Middlemas for Undefeated

Best Sound Mixing
Tom Fleischman and John Midgley for Hugo

Best Sound Editing
Phillip Stockton and Eugene Gearty for Hugo

Best Editing
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Foreign Language Film
Asghar Farhadi for A Separation

Best Makeup
Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland for The Iron Lady

Best Costume Design
Mark Bridges for The Artist

Best Art Direction
Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schavo for Hugo

Best Cinematography
Robert Richardson for Hugo