Last night, the 84th Academy Awards went a lot smoother than last year's James Franco/Anne Hathaway-helmed debacle. I've seen a bunch of Billy Crystal bashing online for doing the same old tired schtick, but I thought that's what they brought him back to do. His song and dance medley made my head hurt, but he had some funny moments. I loved this line in particular:
“Nothing eases the world's economic woes like watching millionaires give each other gold statues!”
Otherwise, there were few surprises. Christopher Plummer gave the classiest speach, Angelina Jolie made the creepiest pose, Octavia Spencer freaked out the most, and Christopher Guest and co.'s bit on film as a focus group in 1939 discussing THE WIZARD OF OZ was funnier than their last movie which was about the Oscars: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.
As for my Oscar picks I did a little better than the last 2 years when I guessed 13 out of 24. This year I got 15 out of 24.
Here's the ones I got wrong:
BEST ACTOR: I picked George Clooney for THE DESCENDANTS, but I should've figured that Jean Dujardin would get caught in the sweep for THE ARTIST. It's fine by me, I loved Dujardin's performance and thought it was cool that he thanked Douglas Fairbanks in his acceptance speech.
BEST ACTRESS: I think most folks were surprised that Meryl Streep won her 3rd Oscar for her excellent work as Margaret Thatcher (who she didn't thank) in THE IRON LADY over the others (Viola Davis, Michelle Williams, Glenn Close, and Rooney Mara). I had chosen Michelle Williams for her ace acting as Marilyn Monroe, but that was a personal choice - I expected either Viola Davis or Glenn Close to win. Streep, who seemed surprised too, said “I really understand I'll never be up here again,” but I bet she will be - the Academy likes her, they really like her!
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: I really thought Emmanuel Lubezki would win for THE TREE OF LIFE. I really did. Sigh.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: This was another I thought I was going to get wrong, but I still went with PARADISE 3: PURGATORY because, well, that was the only documentary of the nominees that I’ve seen. I’ll have to track down UNDEFEATED now.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: I was just shooting in the dark on this one. I've seen none of the nominees and I just liked the title THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM. Oh well, congrats to SAVING FACE.
BEST FILM EDITING: I should’ve known Martin Scorsese’s long time editor Thelma Schoonmaker wouldn’t get this – she’s won 3 times before. Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter did do a good job on THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO so bully for them.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: I really didn’t expect HUGO to sweep the technical awards, but it sure did – it won best cinematography, art direction, sound and this one. I had picked RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. That's right.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT: This was a surprise because I saw these shorts at the Galaxy Theater in Cary last week, and I thought RAJU would be up the Academy's alley. Instead they went for the sentimental Irish short THE SHORE. My personal choice would've been TIME FREAK, but I knew they would think that was too silly. At least I was right about that.
BEST SOUND EDITING: Another one from the HUGO sweep I didn't anticipate. I had picked WAR HORSE, but that didn't win anything.
Okay! So that's that. Here's hoping that next year I'll do better.
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