The 2012 Academy Awards Are Handed Out

'The Artist' Becomes the First Silent Film to Win 'Best Picture' in 83 Years

The stars came out last night at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, CA last night for the 84th annual Academy Awards in order to celebrate their own and heap praise and awards on the best of the best in Film from the last year. By pretty much all accounts, last night’s Oscars telecast was not the best show to watch ever. From the endless sound problems, to the geriatric jokes to the ceaseless montages one after the other, all night long … the 84th annual Academy Awards show can only be described as tedious at best, unwatchable at worst. Click below to check out some of the fashions that made their way down the Oscar red carpet last night and find out who won some of the big Oscars. You will be happy to know that there are no montages, awkward acceptance speeches or lame Billy Crystal jokes to be had at all in this post.


Out with the new. Back with the old. And that’s not just because “The Artist,” a largely silent film set in 1920s Hollywood, won so many awards, including best picture, actor and director at the Academy Awards ceremony. “The Descendants” was the only one of the nine films nominated for best picture set in the present. “The Help” took place in the Jim Crow South. Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” was set in 1950 Texas — with an occasional flip back to the Dinosaur Age. The whole night looked like an AARP pep rally, starting with an introduction by Morgan Freeman, who was followed by Billy Crystal, returning to host his ninth Oscar ceremony. And age was his theme of the night. He did his usual comic medley of movie moments, including a sketch with George Clooney in “The Descendants,” urging Mr. Crystal to host the show. He promised “the youngest, hippest writers in town” and the camera panned to a group of drooping, old white men from the film “Moneyball.” And those may well have been the writers. When Octavia Spencer won a best supporting actress Oscar for playing a maid in “The Help,” Mr. Crystal joked that after he saw the movie, he was so moved he wanted to hug the first black woman he saw, adding, “which in Beverly Hills is about a 45-minute drive.” It was a line that could have been used back when Hattie McDaniel, the first black actress to be honored with an Academy Award, won for playing a maid in “Gone With the Wind.” It all looked very familiar, which is perhaps necessary when so few of the nominated films are. The Academy Awards are about competition, but it’s less about winners and losers than it is about the ceremony’s struggle to stay on top in a television landscape cluttered with award shows, notably ones that ignore tedious technical awards and combine television and movies, like the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. (People still watch a lot of television; movie attendance in 2011 was at a 16-year low.) Previous efforts to rejuvenate the Oscars mostly flopped, including last year’s event, which paired an ill-prepared, disaffected James Franco with a hypereager Anne Hathaway and had them try to amuse youth with lame jokes about text messages, Twitter and iPhone apps. Sunday’s event tried to return to tradition, but it didn’t do itself any favors by starting with some of the least interesting awards. The first acting award wasn’t announced until 45 minutes into the show. Even the montage of clips from classics, from “Star Wars” to “When Harry Met Sally,” was mostly a reminder of the many movies we liked better than this year’s nominees. A taped skit, imagining a focus group’s reaction to “The Wizard of Oz,” was more imaginative. So was a Cirque du Soleil homage to classic cinema. There were other signs of Hollywood of yesteryear, though a few seemed less retro than regressive. For all of Hollywood’s supposed political correctness, some of the bigger awards went to movies with an oddly atavistic way of righting social wrongs. “The Help” rues racial wrongdoing but put a white heroine in the foreground — a little like the 1967 movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Similarly, Christopher Plummer, 82, won for the supporting actor award for playing an gay father in “Beginners.” That character, too, is shown through the prism of a straight leading man, Ewan McGregor. The industry congratulates itself on its big, progressive heart but it’s the progressivism of a 62-year-old white man — the median age of Academy voters, according to a study by The Los Angeles Times. Even “The Artist,” which seems so fresh, works as a fantasy for older Hollywood men — a star facing decline finds new vigor from the love of a younger, trophy wife. For a town that prides itself on tinsel and titillation, the night was pretty tame. Angelina Jolie showed some leg, Jennifer Lopez showed quite a bit of cleavage, but the raciest moment may have been when Sandra Bullock introduced the foreign-language film award in German.

Ugh … yes … this New York Times article REALLY gets it right. The Academy is so out of touch with, you know, actual people that they just never know how to get it right. Last year, they tried to be too young and hip … and gave us a shit show. This year, they went for tradition … and they bored the Hell out of us. I hope to gawd they learn how to get it right … it’s like torture watching these shows anymore. BUT, the real reason for the show is to hand out awards … and here are some of the folks/movies that won awards last night:

01. Cinematography: “Hugo.”
02. Art Direction: “Hugo.”
03. Costume Design: “The Artist.”
04. Makeup: “The Iron Lady.”
05. Foreign Language Film: “A Separation,” Iran.
06. Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help.”
07. Film Editing: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
08. Sound Editing: “Hugo.”
09. Sound Mixing: “Hugo.”
10. Documentary Feature: “Undefeated.”
11. Animated Feature Film: “Rango.”
12. Visual Effects: “Hugo.”
13. Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners.”
14. Original Score: “The Artist.”
15. Original Song: “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets.”
16. Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants.”
17. Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris.”
18. Live Action Short Film: “The Shore.”
19. Documentary (short subject): “Saving Face.”
20. Animated Short Film: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”
21. Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist.”
22. Actor: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist.”
23. Actress: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady.”
25. Best Picture: “The Artist”

There wasn’t a single surprise … nothing at all to get excited about … except for Angelina Jolie‘s leg and Jennifer Lopez‘s nipple (which some swear they saw, others deny seeing) — both of which are on Twitter now: @AngiesRightLeg & @JLosNipple. I am minorly charmed by the fact that The Artist is the first silent film to win Best Picture since the very first Academy Awards were held 83 years ago (still, the film did NOT hold enough charm for me to actually go see it). I’m glad Meryl won for The Iron Lady, it was much deserved … as was Octavia Spencer‘s award. Still … I couldn’t actually be arsed to even watch the entire show last night. Each year, the Academy attempts to put on a lavish and entertaining show that seeks to not only find a way to dole out golden statuettes to the most deserving but to fill the hours in between award presentations with funny, touching and serious bits of entertainment for the millions watching the show all around the world. This year, the Academy outdid itself, in my personal opinion. While in previous years the Oscars telecast managed to be merely terrible and difficult to watch, this year’s show was so insufferably boring that I actually turned off the TV and went to bed early … well before the 4 biggest awards of the night were handed out. I mean, I just couldn’t take the tremendously old fashioned jokes and the mind-numbing montages … I literally could not keep my eyes open. Even still, the show did go on and the awards were handed out … bringing to a close another awards season in Hollywood. I’m kinda bummed that I’m so meh. about the Oscars this year … because I am a big movie fan … but, alas, ’tis so. What did y’all think of the show last night … were you impressed and/or entertained? What were your fave parts? What parts did you hate? Please make me feel better … I cannot be the only person here to think the Oscars were insufferable to watch, right?

[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source]

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  1. Erika

    I liked Crystal’s musical bit in the beginning, Chris Rock and Emma Stone were funny. Cameron we all know is free spirited a child at heart, Jlo just seemed immature behaving that way, that part irritated me the way they presented and the “giggling.” (Would love to see Jlo in an outfit that is tasteful and not overtly sexy btw) Was thrilled to see Octavia win…Felt that Viola and Michelle were disappointed at not winning, but everyone loves Meryl. Felt Halle’s absence as a presenter, she always looks on point and is perfectly dressed and poised.

  2. Nicola

    I loved it. It felt familiar and comfortable. I thought Billy Crystal was exactly what I hoped he’d be. Funny (not hilarious) and inoffensive. I wasn’t bored at all, thought the speeches were lovely and none ran on and on.

  3. Joanna

    Let’s put it this way ANYTHING is better than last year. A paper bag hosting the show would have done a better job. I get that Billy Crystal is safe it it was the first time I’ve ever seen him as OLD. It also didn’t help that he wasn’t all that funny either. Everyone who was supposed to win did so that’s nice. I think someone with more energy and stage presence like NPH should have hosted. He’s fantastic.

  4. Susan

    I loved it too. I love Billy Crystal and thought he did an excellent job. I felt like they kept the show fresh without trying to be super-hip like last year (and then failing miserably). Octavia and Christopher’s acceptance speeches made me tear up – I adore them. I HATED when Angelina Jolie posed onstage to show her leg through the slit. So trashy. It’s the Oscars, honey. Let’s try to pretend you have some class for one night of the year. Overall, I really enjoyed it!

  5. ClaireMichelle

    Aside from the wonderful speeches, the highlights for me were easily Emma Stone and the cast of Bridesmaids. They all brought some fun to the night which was much appreciated. And Angelina and her leg… Ugh, I can’t even. Enough.

  6. Holly

    I agree with Susan, I thought that Angelina sticking her leg waaaaaay out like that on stage was going to lead into some kind of joke during her intro to the award, but nope! It was funny how one of the male winners got up on stage and stuck his leg out too though!
    I worked late and only caught the last hour…I’m comforted to know that I didn’t miss much! The only good part that I saw was Emma Stone presenting with Ben Stiller, she was the only one on that whole show who actually seemed natural as opposed to stiff and scripted.

  7. Fabio

    Angelina looked amazing! I think some people are just jealous. I was so gutted that Michelle didn’t win imo she was much better and the film it self was much better but that’s the way it goes. I found this years to be quite boring and you could tell exactly who was going to win yawn! I still think that they should have a action/drama and comedy/musical award for the acting nominations.

  8. Shannon

    Yay for Bret from FOTC winning for best song!!

  9. Ria

    Midnight in Paris?! Really?! Oh come on, it was ridiculously juvenile.

  10. Lame ass show, for sure.
    I was looking forward to Billy Crystal hosting because he used to do a great job of it, but he was lame and not funny last night.
    I HATED how they changed up the order in which awards are handed out. They usually kick things off with a Supporting Actor or Actress award. But instead we got all the fucking boring technical awards off the top.
    Angelina’s “pose” made us laugh out loud. I mean, who the fuck IS she? I’m not sure even she knows.
    I did like the Cirque during Soleil bit, they’re always fun to see.
    Emma Stone was pretty much the highlight of the night, her bit was really cute.
    I wasn’t surprised by one single winner. But that’s okay, I think the top awards went to those who deserved them. Especially Meryl Streep! I love that she said ‘oh whatever’ during her speech.
    But yeah, the Oscars this year were a total yawnfest. Not even anything worth tweeting about except Angelina’s match stick arms, and that was only because I was bored into bitchiness by that point.

  11. Jim Rash’s imitation of Angelina Jolie and her stupid pose was EASILY one of the highlights of the night..I dug the Cirque Du Soleil stuff..Just amazing how these people can contort their bodies! Stoked Meryl Streep won..I just love her..The Bridesmaids women were funny, but dick jokes? Really?

  12. CHASE

    I couldn’t watch the Oscars since I had to pick my sister up from the airport in Sacramento, but it was already painfully obvious who was getting the Oscar VS. who wasn’t. Last year’s Oscars were much more interesting, in my opinion, because 2010 film was better than 2011 film by a wide margin. 2011 was a very weak year in film; it was all about the actors and actresses, not the film itself. All in all, BLAH.

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