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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And The Winner Is...

There were multiple winners at this year's Academy Awards, of course, but that title sounds better. To me anyway. "And The Winners Are..." It sounds rather nautical, in a pirate way. Moving on. Last night, I finally watched the 84th Annual Academy Awards, and while two days after the actual event does not sound that long a wait, it definitely was. All throughout the past two days, I avoided the Internet and conversations surrounding the topic. (I just caught myself digressing in a pointless description.) Instead of detailing my days pre-Oscars, allow me to continue onto my reception of the event.

Let me tell you now, this was, perhaps, the greatest Academy Awards ceremony thus far, that I've seen. Not only did the winners please me immensely, but the show itself was a major improvement from last year. Considering Billy Crystal hosted, this was no shock. Like an Oscar host should, he made me laugh more than a few times, particularly when he told us what actors were thinking (Martin Scorsese and Nick Nolte were the tops). Also, his opening montage, where he inserted himself in the nominated pictures, was delightful, as was his small song-and-dance. I, for one, think he has a charming singing voice. Even at sixty-three, he proved he still has that irresistible, comical charm that makes the Academy Awards an entertaining ceremony. Not that age matters or anything. While my dad and I were a bit disappointed that Eddie Murphy did not get a chance to host (and never will, according to my dad, but I disagree), it was very refreshing to see a true Oscar-master take the reins of the show. This was Billy Crystal's ninth time hosting. Thought that was worth mentioning. And, again, Eddie Murphy is still young, and as long as he doesn't make any Jack and Jills, I'm sure he'll get another chance.

Onto the Oscar recipients! The exclamation point is to emphasize my vast thrill of the evening's turn-out. I have to warn you now, what follows is basically an "I'm-so-happy-with-the-winners" post. More often than not, an "I'm-so-aggravated-about-who-won" post is much more enjoyable, since expressing opposition is more interesting to read than one of simple pleasure. Unless you disagree with what I thought to be an utter joy, then you'll have some fun arguing with your computer screen. Again, I won't get into too much detail of how enchanted I was by the winners. Just the basic synonyms for "happy" and "great" will do.

And the Best Actor goes to...Jean Dujardin for The Artist!


That deserves an exclamation point because it truly was the highlight of the show. Never have I been so anxious to hear the envelope being torn open and read. Each second felt like two seconds. As Natalie Portman introduced the nominees, giving a small, flattering description of each actor's performance, my heart was beating so loud and so dramatically. Time stopped for a moment when they showed a clip of Jean Dujardin in The Artist, and I beamed at the marvelous actor's brilliant silent performance. When the nominees were called, Natalie Portman breathed those frightening words: "And the Oscar goes to...Jean Dujardin, The Artist." It's as if I cannot help but repeating this, that the Oscar went to him, "against all the odds". I won't even mention his supposedly neck-at-neck opponent because this is a celebration for Jean Dujardin, in the greatest performance of the year, perhaps of the entire decade. Perhaps it is, indeed.

And the Best Actress goes to...Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady!


In all honestly, I was surprised by this triumph. Of course, Meryl Streep is a renowned First Lady of Cinema, proving that she can transform herself into any character and execute it flawlessly. Particularly here, as she portrayed the formidable Margaret Thatcher with such ease and poise. I'm sure even Great Britain was astonished by the keen resemblance, so much so that they must have hated her on the screen as they did in reality. Despite all this, Viola Davis was still in the lead for her decent performance in The Help. As I probably said before, the Academy should not award mere decency but true grandiose, and it was proven here as Meryl Streep was called up to the stage. I'd also like to note how majestic she looked that night, in a dress only she could pull off. Anyone else wears that and they'd be shunned to the worst dressed list. Just another example of how dominating and extraordinary Meryl Streep, the Iron Lady, is.

And the Best Supporting Actor goes to...Christopher Plummer for Beginners




Totally called that. Did you know that he is now the oldest Oscar recipient at eighty-two? To the Oscar statuette, he said: "You're only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?"

And the Best Supporting Actress goes to...Octavia Spencer for The Help!


Even though she was the definite winner of her category, I was pleased to see her walk up to the stage to accept her most-deserved award. Also, she waited to cry until the very end of her speech, when she walked backstage, which I thought was very professional, classy, and a helpful time-saver. Not that I am itching to point this out, but, most of the time, African-American recipients cry a lot during their speech, and excessively thank God, and yada yada yada. I'm sorry, but the audience gets tired of that emotional fluff. Well, I do, anyway. Octavia, however, put a tiny joke in her speech, thanked the state of Alabama, and trotted off to wipe her happy tears away. Absolutely a most deserving win.

And the Best Director goes to...Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist!


Now, this, is a truly remarkable victory. A French director, unknown in the States, triumphed over legends like Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. (Who were the other two nominees? Whatever.) As I've said before, a director's work does not usually pop out at me; if the movie's good and the acting is good, then so is the director. In this case, however, besides the film's obvious magnificence and the actors' impressive performances, the work of Michel Hazanavicius was put on display for my eyes to feast upon. Perhaps it is because the film is silent, allowing me to concentrate more on its entire surroundings rather than get distracted by informational dialogue. Regardless of why, Michel Hazanavicius is certainly the most ingenious director of the year. Finally, a newcomer I can adore.

And the Best Original Screenplay goes to...Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris!


Another delightful triumph. (Many delights at this ceremony, aren't there?) As much as I adored this light yet enormously satisfying film, I expected Michel Hazanavicius to pick this up for The Artist, as it is exceedingly original in nature. Instead, the Academy, rightfully, bestowed this honor upon Woody Allen's sensational romantic film...of course, he was not there to accept the award.

And the Best Picture goes to...The Artist!


Although this was more or less a certainty (to me anyway), I was just as delighted to see this magnificent film win its fifth Oscar of the evening. I believe I've exaggerated my affection for the film enough for one post, don't you? One more. The Artist is a freshly exquisite black-and-white silent film, an ode to the golden era of cinema, as well as a sweet romance, with a dash of whimsical comedy. Magnifique!


Overall, this year's Academy Awards were beyond amazing. No need to add any more unnecessary, nominal compliments to the show's quality. Farewell, Awards Season! Until next time.

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