The 84th Academy Awards concluded a short time ago. The Artist won four Oscars including Best Picture while Michel Hazanavicius won Best Director, Jean Dujardin won Best Actor and Ludovic Bource won Best Original Score. I was suprised to learn Bource had no formal musical training.
Meryl Streep won Best Actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. It was her 17th Academy Award nomination but only her third win. As Billy Crystal noted, Streep has been nominated for Academy Awards in five different decades going back to the 1970s. She won her last Oscar in 1983 for Sophie’s Choice. Her win was somehwat unexpected as Viola Davis was heavily favored to win for her performance in The Help.
However, Davis’ co-star Octavia Spencer won for Best Supporting Actress. I remember Spencer for her roles in the TV series Ugly Betty and the shortlived Comedy Central series Halfway Home.
Canadian born Christopher Plummer became the oldest Oscar recipient with a Best Supporting Actor Award for Beginners at the age of 82. Although he has been making films for more than 50 years, Plummer did not receive his first Academy nomination until two years ago for his portrayal of Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station.
It was great to see Billy Crystal back as master of ceremonies even when his jokes bombed. He knows how to keep the evening moving along. I’ll take him over Anne Hathaway and James Franco anyday, never mind Alec Baldwin or Jon Stewart.
I liked the skit featuring Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara parodying a focus group that had just viewed The Wizard of Oz. I’ve enjoyed this ensemble’s work in Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration. Alas, I’ve never seen Best in Show. But I hope they get together for another movie soon. It’s been more than five years since their last.
I also really liked it when Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz had their backs to the audience.
Politics was kept to a minimum. Although I suspect that will change next year if there is a Republican in the White House.
I do wish the Academy would go back to only nominating five films for Best Picture. After nominating ten films in both 2009 and 2010, they nominated nine films for 2011. Of the nine films, nominated I only saw Moneyball and The Artist. In fact, I saw The Artist less than a week ago and you can read my thoughts on it here.