Oscars 2012 – Recap and Reflections

Happy Monday everybody! I was going to try to live blog this year just for the heck of it but I’m just not a fast enough typer, ahah. So I’ll just do a sort of play-by-play like I did with the Golden Globes last year.

I was hoping the ceremony would already start by 6PM CST when I turn my TV on but looks like the red carpet is still on for another hour or so, heh. But that’s ok I suppose, I enjoyed seeing a few of them in their glamorous dresses, I think the all of the cast of The Help look stunning. I LOVE how the short crop of Viola Davis really shows off her lovely face and that shade of green of her dress looks spectacular on her killer figure. I think Jessica Chastain‘s Alexander Mcqueen strapless black gown with heavy gold beading all over is my Best Dress pick of the night.

Ok, that’s about the extent of my red carpet coverage, as I’m really just about the ceremony and see if my Oscar predictions make out. For one I’m quite excited to see Billy Crystal as host, his ninth time! He was already making jokes about his opening number via Twitter before the ceremony started:

The montage of the host in each of the movies nominated has been done before but Billy still made it work, even the Justin Bieber bit about helping him with the young demographic was quite a hoot. Practically everyone at the red carpet expected to see him perform his musical number, and he didn’t disappoint. I think it’s quite fun to watch, he’s still got it and the number’s got an Old Hollywood feel to it, and not only because of the fact that Billy is 63, ahah. I do like him as host, at least he wasn’t trying to hard or sleepwalk his way into the ceremony like last year’s duo.

Here are some of his best quotes:

“So tonight, enjoy yourselves, because nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues.”

“We’re here at the beautiful Chapter 11 theater.” Ahah, poor Kodak.

“Congratulations to Mr Plummer. The average age of Oscar winners has now jumped to 67.”

• Well I got two of my predictions right in the first 2 awards, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction goes to HUGO which I think is fitting, though I wouldn’t mind the cinematography nod going to Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life.

• I’m glad The Artist got the award for Best Costume Design as I LOVE all those 1920s costumes, George’s tux and Peppy’s gorgeous dresses all have to be so meticulously crafted with textures to pop in black and white. Check out costume designer Mark Bridges’ interview with CNN on getting the Hollywood Golden Age look right for the film.

• Christian Bale looking so dapper (glad he shaved that unsightly beard from last year!) and using his own delightful accent presenting Best Supporting Actress award for the one I’m rooting for: Octavia Spencer, yay! Even miss Spencer acknowledged Bale’s hotness in her acceptance speech, ahah. But in all seriousness, I’m glad to see another colored person won an acting award. As I mentioned in my prediction post, there’s only been five black actresses who have taken home the statuettes. Now if Viola Davis wins again, that’ll make her the second winner!

• Ben Stiller and Emma Stone presenting… I’ve always loved the effortlessly sweet Emma and she played up being the ‘new girl in town’ beautifully against the ‘jaded movie star’ Ben Stiller who looked like a dwarf next to her, ahah. I like her jab about him being a ridiculous presenter a few years ago dressed as an Avatar character.

• The inherently good-humored Sandra Bullock introduced the best foreign language film in German, after jokingly said that the academy asked her to present the award in Chinese but with a German accent, ahah. I’m not too crazy about her dress but I’ve always liked her.

Hugo just kept on winning, 5 wins by 9:30 PM. I hope by the end The Artist will catch up with the big ones, especially Best Picture.

• WOW, those Cirque du Soleil dance sequence is incredible!! I LOVE the nod to classic films like North by Northwest, Casablanca, etc. with the guys wearing suits, absolutely fantastic. I wouldn’t mind seeing them perform at the Oscars every year!

• Robert Downey Jr. is always up for showing off his inherent swagger… “I’m filming a documentary called ‘The Presenter,'”  It’s always fun to see RDJ being his mischievous self but I gotta admit the banter with Paltrow a la Tony Stark & Pepper Potts felt awkward at times.

Christopher Plummer (who shall always be Captain Von Trapp to me) won Best Supporting Actor for Beginners. I haven’t seen the film yet but no doubt his performance was great and his nomination/win was way overdue anyway. He’s the oldest winner at 82 but he still looks dashing! Best. Speech. Ever. LOVE his cceptance speech opening line…“You’re only 2 years older than me my darling, where have you been all my life?” Oh and that gracious thank you to his wife… “…thank you for rescuing me every day of my life.” Awwwwwwww…

• Ok normally I’m not so into Will Ferrell, let alone that Zack Gawhateveryournameis guy from the Hangover movies, but them presenting Best Song complete with cymbals did get a few laughs from me.  And YES The Artist won for Best Original Score!

• Happy to see both of my Best Screenplay predictions are spot on… The Descendants won Best Adapted Screenplay and Midnight in Paris won for Best Original Screenplay. Congrats Alexander Payne and Woody Allen respectively. I think The Descendants is definitely got amazing dialog in it, mixing pathos and humor which is really quite a feat to pull off.

Chris Rock presented the award for Best Animated Feature and seemed to be a bit nostalgic about his hosting gig. I thought his wisecrack about how making animated feature is the easiest job in the world. And of course you’d expect him to say some racial remark about Hollywood…  “If you’re a fat woman, you can play a skinny princess. 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.” After the applause he added, “… he can’t play white, now, come on!”  Anyway, Rango wins, and since that’s the only one I’ve seen from the noms, I guess I can’t comment if it deserved it or not. Now if The Adventures of Tintin had been nominated, I’d be rooting for that one.

• I haven’t seen Bridesmaids but I’m sure lots of people are happy to see the whole cast up there presenting. I actually thought they’d make it to Best Picture nomination, but clearly one can’t undermine the power of Mr. Spielberg and Stephen Daldry.

• Woo hoo! Happy to see Michel Hazanavicius took home Best Director award for The Artist… at least the Academy voters got it right in this category! Hopefully this will translate to Best Picture as I still have no clue how a movie could win Best Director and his/her movie isn’t regarded as Best Picture.

• Ok, time to grab the tissue… In Memoriam montage is being played, honoring all the greats who have passed this year… man we lost a lot of people who left way too soon. I teared up seeing Whitney up there… Nice to see Steve Jobs up there as he did give us Pixar and those amazing animated masterpieces. I LOVE Esperanza Spalding’s rendition of the beautiful What a Wonderful World… it’s sweet yet haunting. I’ll put up the clip as soon as I find it but here’s the video if you want to watch it, I can’t embed it in this post.

• Finally, more acting awards. The lovely and now svelte-again-after-just-having-a-baby Natalie Portman presented Best Actor in a Leading Role. Dujardin and his awesome eyebrows is just lovely to watch. Y’know, seeing Gary Oldman’s clip as George Smiley makes me root for him even though I had been pulling for The Artist‘s actor to win… and YES, Jean Dujardin won! Well-deserved I’d say, and hopefully we’ll see more of him and those animated eyebrows in future Hollywood films.

• Well the next award isn’t as thrilling for me as I was REALLY pulling for Viola Davis. Ok it isn’t fair for me to say as Meryl Streep‘s performance in The Iron Lady probably is very deserving, but ah well, I guess congratulations is in order for Miss Streep. No doubt she is an acting legend… I just want someone else to get a shot, like Michelle Williams perhaps? Besides, the chance for someone like Viola to get thisclose to having an Oscar-winning role like this again is obviously much smaller than her white peers. Ah well, seems like the Academy voters are not ready to give a Best Leading Role Oscar to a black actress for the second time around, maybe they figure hey, we already gave one to Octavia for the night, so we’ve met our ‘quota’ 😦

• Now last BIG award of the night… my fingers are crossed for The Artist! And…. they WON!! Woo hoo! Even Uggie got up on the stage with the cast and crew, ahah. I really do think a silent film in this day and age that’s so well-crafted by Michel Hazanavicius and well-acted all around deserved this honor. It’s stylish without being a style over substance which is quite a feat. As I said in my review, it’s an exquisite blend of artistic visual style and engaging storytelling, a truly a magical time at the movies!

I’m glad this is the second year in a row that the movie I’m rooting for Best Picture actually won. Last year I gave this rationale for The King Speech for that honor. So in the end, though the Scorsese’s film seemed to have an early lead, Hugo and The Artist tie with five awards each, I guess it’s a safe move from the voters trying to please everybody.

So how did I do on my predictions? I got 11 right out of the 15 that I made in this post, not too shabby eh? 😀  Check out Never Too Early Movie Predictions post for the full list of winners.

Overall I think the ceremony turned out pretty well, not a whole lot of surprises but what do you expect based on the demographic of the academy, ahah. I did like the ‘Mom-ination‘ segment where they interviewed the mothers of the people nominated.

Favorite moments: The Cirque Du Soleil spectacle, Octavia Spencer & Christopher Plummer’s speeches, the In Memoriam segment and The Artist winning Best Picture.

Worst moments: J Lo & Cameron Diaz presenting (why them of all people??), Milla Jovovich’s weird flirtatious gesture as if she was trying to seduce the camera, and Angelina Jolie’s leg-revealing strut. Perhaps she’s trying to distract people from cringing at her scary super-skinny arms, they look like they’d snap like a twig if you pull her too hard. Someone tweeted that she looked like the corpse bride, ahah. So she’s naturally skinny whatever, but what turned me off is how she seemed to think she’s this incredibly sexy goddess that outshines everyone in the room. Gah, nothing is more repulsive than utter display of self-admiration.
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So did you watch the Oscars? What’s your pick of best and worst moments?