Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 Academy Awards: The Recap...

And, so the 85th Annual Academy Awards have come to a close.

I'd give it a C+. There was just such low energy throughout the entire night, save when a few individual presenters livened things up (Scorcese ! Robert Downey, Jr., Ferrell and Galifinakis). In a night that was supposed to be about fans and creators love of movies, there seemed to be a lack of movie clips. We saw actors talk about their favorite films, but I would much rather see the clips rather than hear, with a shorter voice over).

I was glad The Artist won, and was surprised that Hugo won most of the tech awards.

I was sad that Viola Davis won, but happy not sad that Meryl Streep did. I'm also glad that Octavia Spencer took home the statue. Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) took home an Oscar, becoming the oldest performer to do so, as did Jean Dujardin (significantly younger, but with a killer French accent).

The Death Montage was nicely understated, but I still miss the Governor's Award presentation on the big telecast.

I had high hopes for Billy Crystal (and maybe that was my fault, as my hopes could have been too high). Aside from the opening montage (where he inserted himself into various films), nothing he did stuck out. Though, he seemed to find himself awfully funny, so there's that. yay to all the other winners.

However, yay to all the winners. Like I've said, it was a good season for movies (though I do wish Harry Potter had filled that 10th slot for Best Picture nominees).

Now, I don't know how one gets in the Academy, but lets hope for some additional diversity in the coming years, so it becomes less old, white male

Best Picture...

And Tom Cruise presents the last category of the evening, Best Picture. And, here we get the montage of all the Best Picture nominees, which I feel are usually interspersed throughout the evening. I'm not sure how I feel about having the single montage at the end of the evening.

And the winner is...


I called it. And, I'm glad it won. But, it was a very, very good year for movies.

The French are funny. And apparently grow very tall women.

Lots of shout outs to directors past. I approve.

Best Lead Actress...

And, Colin Firth introduces all of the nominees individually, again. There is just something informal about the way these start with the speaking directly to the nominee, using just the first name. It's so insular. Bah. That said, I will listen to Colin Firth say just about anything, so I'm more okay with this segment than with Natalie Portman's.
He also clearly liked working with Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams (but more Meryl).

And the Oscar goes to Meryl Streep. I'm surprised, I really thought it was going to Viola Davis. And, I do love Meryl Streep, but Viola was just great. And, Viola was the first to stand, and went over to give her a hug. I love that. I do.

And, she starts with the shout out to her husband, so it wouldn't be missed by the music. That's adorable. And, she thanks her hair/makeup guy who won earlier that night. And, now she talks about how great it is working with her friends, old and new, here and departed. That was a great speech and sounded a bit like a retirement speech. Which, I hope she's not.

Best Lead Actor...

More actors talking about movies, only this time coming out of commercial. I think that's the first time this has happened. This time they're talking about how hard it is to make films.

Billy Crystal needs to stop laughing at his own jokes.

Natalie Portman is introducing the Best Actor nominees individually. Which is sweet, but I'm kind of ready for the show to be over.

Okay, it's dragging. I'm ready for this bit to be over.
For this they cut out the Governor's Awards? Bah! Or the Best Song performances? Double Bah!
And, Jean Dujardin wins for The Artist! I totally called that. He loves our country. And apparently we love him. Actually, we really do.

Apparently, the first Oscars ceremony only lasted 15 minutes. Good to know.

Also, he's got a killer French accent when he speaks English and I really wish I could speak French when he speaks French.

I'm a whopping 8-22.

In Memorium...

Kathy just pointed out that Whitney died this year, so she might not even be represented. Excellent point.

Gil Cates (former Oscar Director) gets a special shout out by Billy Crystal. And Esperanza Spalding is singing "What a Wonferful World." She has a great voice.

And, Whitney was represented in this year's show, as was Steve Jobs.

I wonder how they decided who actually got to speak.

And, Liz Taylor does end it, with a touch more time than everyone else.

That was well done. Classy, understated. It seems like everyone got the same amount of time onscreen.

Who will end the Death Montage?

Early money is on Liz Taylor, but late money is claiming Whitney.

And, I loved the Oprah/Jimmy Fallon promo.

Governor's Awards...

Billy Crystal introduces Meryl Streep, pointing out that she's 2-17 in Oscar victories.

I love her. I do. But, I still hope Viola Davis wins.

And, she gets stuck introducing the Governor's Awards (Honorary Oscars and Lifetime Achievement Awards). I still say that this award should still be televised and still don't understand Oprah getting a movie awards even if it is the Jean Hersholdt Humanitarian Award. Though I do approve of the standing ovation, which is what would happen if these awards were televised which they totally should be.

Best Direction...

Presented by Michael Douglas...

If Terence Malick wins, I'll be miffed. I'm rooting for Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist. And, he wins!

Aww, poor guy, he forgot his speech, but he's covering well, even remembering to thank the dog. And, his French accent is full of win.

I'm 7-21.

Tech Awards recap...

I'm sorry, there's just no way to make that interesting.

And now the cast of The Bridesmaids are introducing short films (and do a funny bit with penis jokes, in the size does matter vein).

Best Live action short...
The winner is The Shore. And, of course I had Time Freak. The director is father of the producer and now he doesn't have to wait til her wedding to tell everyone how great she is. That's adorable. And, the rest of his family is practically in tears cheering him on. That's adorable.

Best Documentary short...
And the girls continue the Scorcese drinking game, started at the Golden Globes. Brilliant!
The winner is Saving Face. And, I had Incident in New Baghdad.

Best Animated Short Film...
And the winner is The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and of course I had Wild Life.

At 6-20, I am just getting crushed.

So, with 45 minutes left til the end of the show, we still have Best Picture, Director, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, and Death montage. Are we even getting a shout out to the Lifetime achievement awards peeps?

And Billy Crystal flubs a line...

in introducing Angelina Jolie is introducing Best Original Screenplay. And, Kathy is right, that is a high slit in her dress.

Did Angelina Jolie have work done on her face?

And the winner is... Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash! The latter two are members of The Groundlings (both of whom are imitating Angelina Jolie's posing).

How do you think George Clooney feels? The film he starred in won, but the film he starred in and wrote, lost.

Alexander Payne had a lovely speech, dedicating his win to his mother, just as Javier Bardem did.

And now, Best Original Screenplay...

I thought Midnight in Paris would win, but I wouldn't be surprised if Bridesmaids does.

And the Oscar goes to... Woody Allen in Midnight in Paris!

It was his best movie in 30 years. And, he didn't show up, I wondered if he would.

I am enjoying these bits with the actors and filmmakers talking about their favorite films as we go to commercial. And, it is in these scenes that Sasha Baron Cohen shows up, as himself. He likes the same kind of sick movies he produces (which is not how I would describe his films, but whatever.)

Best Original Score (and Song)...

And now a salute to the music of the Academy Awards, with a torah looking thing.

Owen Wilson and Penelope Cruz are introducing Best Original Score...

And The Artist wins, taking me to 4-14.

And Will Ferrel and Zack Gallifinakis play the cymbals to introduce Best Original Song.

Which didn't get sung. There are only two songs, how could they not manage to fit them both in?

And the Oscar goes to...

Man or Muppet (Brett McKenzie). I liked his speech, but I'm surprised Jason Segal didn't get a shout out. Still, lots of Muppet-love going on, so it's all to the good.

Yay, I got that one too. I'm on a mini-roll.

Though, I'm not getting the flight attendant popcorn vendors.

Billy Crystal plays What are they Thinking...

I'm liking this...

He hit Brad and Angelina, Morgan Freeman, George Clooney, Viola Davis, Martin Scorcese, Nick Nolte, and the dog from The Artist.

I laughed out loud, so I suppose it was a succesful endeavor.

And, now Tom Sherak, the president of the MPAA is speaking, but he does not mention the producing/hosting controversy and neither does Billy. Though, Billy does point out how low key Sherak was. "Mr. Excitement."

Best Supporting Actor...

Melissa Leo (winner last year for The Fighter) presents. I've liked her since Homicide: Life on the Streets.

I had forgotten Nick Nolte was nominated this year.

And the Oscar goes to Christopher Plummer. WhooHoo! I'm 3-13. At the age of 82, he becomes the oldest actor ever to win an acting award. And, he gets a standing ovation, but a great opening line. "You're only two years older than me, where have you been all my life." And, he gives a classy speech, thaning his fellow nominees, director, Ewan Macgregor who he would share the award with if he had any decency. And, he brings his wife to tears with his thank you of her.

Achievement in Visual Effects

I like Emma Stone. She's funny and likeable. And quite tall compared to Ben Stiller. It went on a tiny bit too long, but the ending was worth it, when she called out Stiller for his Avatar bit last year.

C'mon, Harry Potter has to win something... Let it be Visual Effects.

And the winner goes to Hugo. Wow, I can't buy a correct answer tonight. I'm 2-12.

Hugo is racking up the victories tonight. Maybe because Scorcese has been in the business for so long, he and his people have built up a ton of good will?

Best Animated Feature...

Chris Rock does a bit for Best Animation, and it's very funny and smart.

And Rango wins! I'm 2-11.

Best Documentary...

Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow as yet have the best presenting bit, with the documentary The Presenter (note the non plurals).

And, the winner is Undefeated, which I am glad won, even though I had Paradise Lost 3. And, they had a good speech, up until they did not thank the football players whose lives they documented.


talking about their memorable first movie and introducing Cirque du Soleil. As the only person in the world who does not like Cirque Du Soleil, I'm watching this under protest. Isn't the cool thing about Cirque du Soeil seeing it in person, rather than on the tv screen?

I do like how they're incproating the backdrop of famous movies, however. But, they cut out the various Lifetime Achievement awards for this.

And, I like George Clooney as much as the next person, but why cut to his reaction during the performance. Bah!

Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing

Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper presented. They are just so darn likeable.

I had Thelma Schoonmaker for Hugo winning, because she's just kind of awesome.

And the winner is... Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall (Girl with a Dragon Tatt00).

I am kind of, really surprised.

And, now I'm 1-8.

For Best Sound Editing, I had Drive and of course Hugo won.

This is not my night.

For Best Sound Mixing, I had War Horse (it's World War I, people!), but of course Hugo wins (Tom Fleischman and John Midgley).

And I drop to 1-9.

We've done 10/24 awards in an hour. I feel like the show is going to slow down considerably for the remainder of the show, not good for a telecast that already feels very slow.

Comedy bit...

Billy Crystal riffing on The Help win and lack of African Americans in Beverly Hills (closest one was 45 minutes outside of town).

And now a comedy bit starring Christopher Guest's comedy troupe on what if a focus group watched Wizard of Oz.
See, monkeys can fly!
I have always wondered why Glinda never did tell Dorothy to just click her heels together.

And, that was cute

Billy Crystal says that George Clooney is a good kisser, which Clooney does not argue with. I love Clooney.

Best Supporting Actress...

So weird hearing Christian Bale speak with his native accent. The only movies I've seen him use it in were when he was a kid (Henry V and Empire of the Sun).

Jessica Chastain's reaction with her mom was adorable.

And the winner is... Octavia Spencer. Wow!

I said that Melissa McCarthy would win, but wouldn't be sad if Octavia Spencer did. And, I'm not sad. But, I am 1-6.

Do they always give standing ovations when people win? I can't recall seeing that for the acting categories.

Allison Janney gets a shout out. And so does Spielberg. What did she do with Steven Spielberg?

45 minutes in, I feel like this is a very low-energy Oscars. It feels very meh. As my friend Kathy pointed out, it did start out with several awards that the general audience doesn't really care about.

Best Foreign Language Film...

Sandra Bullock is speaking Mandarin in a German accent. Not really getting that, but she's pimping the internationality of movies.

And A Separation wins! Yay! I had that one!

Now, I'm 1-5.

Achievement in Makeup

I missed something with Cameron Diaz and J-Lo, but I don't feel so bad because apparently, so did the Theater.

The winner is Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland (The Iron Lady)

And, I'm 0-4, as I had Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, though just before the winner was announced I did say that I wouldn't be surprised if Iron Lady won, and it did. So, I feel like I should get partial credit for that.

I am beginning to dig the little bits of the actors talking about their early movie-going experience.

Who takes their child to see Elephant Man?

And Barbra Streisand making an appearance? I feel like I haven't seen her in years.

Costume Design

So far, Billy's best jokes are mocking the Kodak Corporation.

No, I'm not going to see Titanic in 3-D, thanks for asking, but I would see Princess Bride in 3-D.

We're gonna need a bigger boat - Jaws (love that line!)

Okay, I loved the Best Scenes montage because I love those kinds of thing., but since I have a feeling we're going to run out of time when we get to the big categories, I feel like that could have been cut.

And the winner is... Mark Bridges (The Artist)

Of course, I had Hugo winning for this one (the one time I didn't have the Artist). So, now I'm 0-3 if you're keeping track at home (and really, who isn't?).

Achievement in Cinematography and Art Direction

Tom Hanks presents. Interesting that he introduced the early awards. Doesn't he usually do the later awards when he's presenting?

We met Carl, the seat-filler. Or, is he?

And the Oscar goes to Robert Richardson (Hugo).

I had The Artist. Oh well, I'm 0-1.

And now, Achievement in Art Direction...

And the Oscar goes to Hugo.

Once again, I had The Artist. Now, I'm 0-2. This is going against my belief that The Artist would roll up all these early awards leading to an easy call for Best Picture.

It's a Wonderful Time for Oscar...

And Morgan Freeman comes out to introduce the 2012 Academy Awards...

Leading into a Billy Crystal patented film montage...

Yeah, Justin Bieber is getting Billy the 12-17 demographic, not the 18-24 year olds...

Love The Help!

Okay, I'm a sap, but I love these montages. Though, Billy is so puffy.

His one-liners were dying until Chapte 11 Theater.

It's true, movies have always been there for us.

Yay Medley!

It's a wonderful time for Oscar...

The Artist...

War Horse...

Extremely Close & Incredibly Loud...



Tree of Life...

The Descendants...

Midnight in Paris...

The Help...

They did indeed fit all nine, but I was less than impressed...

Your 2012 Academy Awards Nominations...

Below, are the nominations for the 2012 Academy Awards. My choices are in bold…

Best Picture

There were a slew of great movies this year and The Artist just nudges out The Help in my mind.

War Horse

The Artist


The Descendants

The Tree of Life

Midnight in Paris

The Help


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Actress

While I love Meryl Streep in everything, Viola Davis just inhabited her role.

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Viola Davis, The Help

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Actor

Another toughy… I would put Jean Dujardin just ahead of George Clooney for Best Actor. He totally carried The Artist, and I don’t know that another actor could have done it so well.

Demian Bichir, A Better Life

George Clooney, The Descendants

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Supporting Actress

I think McCarthy is going to get it just so Bridesmaids gets something (and she’d deserve it, too), but if Octavia Spencer takes home the statue, I’d be okay with that.

Berenice Bejo, The Artist

Jessica Chastain, The Help

Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer, The Help

Supporting Actor

80-something Plummer versus 80-something von Snydow, with Plummer getting the win.

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Nick Nolte, Warrior

Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Director

The Artist is going to win a ton of awards tonight, leading to its Best Picture victory.

Michel Hazanivicus, The Artist

Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Best Original Screenplay

I could see Wiig and Mumulo getting the win, but I do think this is Woody Allen’s year, and since he’s not getting the Director statue, I think they give him screenplay. It was his best film in 30 years.

Michel Hazanivicius, The Artist

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo, Bridesmaids

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay

Love Jim Rash in Community, so I hope he, Payne and Faxon get the win.

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants

John Logan, Hugo

George Clooney, Beau Willimon and Grant Heslov, The Ides of March

Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball

Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Foreign Feature

Admittedly, I know nothing of this category, but I’ve heard of A Separation, so I’m thinking it’s taking the victory.



In Darkness

Monsieur Lazhar

A Separation

Best Animated Feature

Not a particularly good year for animation, or at least mainstream animation.

A Cat in Paris

Chico & Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots


Art Direction

The Artist was just gorgeous.

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Midnight in Paris

War Horse


The Artist was just gorgeously shot, though so was War Horse and Hugo and Tree of Life. Okay, another great category, but I think The Artist is going to be rolling downhill and collecting wins..

The Artist

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


The Tree of Life

War Horse

Costume Design

If Hugo doesn’t win, it’s going to be The Artist, because those costumes were gorgeous, but I just remember thinking about the costumes during Hugo (and it wasn’t because I was bored during the film).


The Artist


Jane Eyre


Documentary Feature

I was going to give this to Hell and Back Again, but Paradise Lost 3 has so many heavy hitters behind it, I’m leaning towards that.

Hell and Back Again

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory



Documentary Short Subject

Who doesn’t love a documentary short about the Iraqi War?

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement

God Is the Bigger Elvis

Incident in New Baghdad

Saving Face

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Film Editing

Though I would not be surprised if Bion and Hazanavicius win, I’m thinking it’s Thema Schoonmaker’s year. Just a hunch.

Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Kevin Tent, The Descendants

Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo

Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball


C’mon, Harry Potter has to win something, right? And, I still firmly believes it belongs up there with the Best Picture nominees.

Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle, Albert Nobbs

Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady

Music (Original Score)

The score helped sell the film; it’s gotta win.

John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin

Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Howard Shore, Hugo

Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

John Williams, War Horse

Music (Original Song)

Only two songs? Seriously? Muppets, for the win!

"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie

"Real in Rio" from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett

Sound Editing

I think Drive has to win something, and since this was the only thing it was nominated for (sorry, Albert Brooks), I think it wins.


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

War Horse

Sound Mixing

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo



Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

War Horse

Visual Effects

C’mon, Potter! Avenge the snub of Alan Rickman!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

Short Film (Animated)

I know nothing of this category, so I threw a dart.


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

La Luna

A Morning Stroll

Wild Life

Short Film (Live Action)

My second dart.



The Shore

Time Freak

Tuba Atlantic