Final Thoughts on Oscars 2012

So the year is over. In just a few days I will start my first ever Screenday Awards, and I’ll name the Best of 2011. I would’ve done it sooner, but there were some technical problems and the like so whenever it happens it happens. The important thing is that it does. Not for the reader, but for myself. I think it will be fun to curate a list of bests, and maybe see who, over 10 years appears multiple times. I don’t know.

But alas. The Oscars have come and gone and I can’t help but feeling empty. Meryl won which was bittersweet. The Artist triumphed which I am all too happy about, as it was a charming film amongst a sea of other boring snooze fests, oh, and The Tree of Life. That was good too.

Here is my final write up of The Oscars courtesy of The Stanford Daily. Enjoy, and I look forward to 2012! Vive La Cinéma!

 

“Officially, the highlight of the film year has passed. After months of period dramas and auteur directed high-falutin’movies, and not to mention the never ending parade of meaningless award shows, the big one has come and gone. This year, like always, the Academy Awards wrapped up the year rather predictably, but with a class and panache reserved only for the Oscars.

If you tune in to the Oscars to see who gets which award, there weren’t too many surprises. Martin Scorsese’s children’s movie “Hugo” received 5 technical awards, while the big winner was a black-and-white, silent, French film called “The Artist”. It took home many of the biggest prizes of the evening, including Best Picture, Best Director for Frenchman Michel Haznavicius, Best Actor for the endlessly charming Jean Dujardin, and two other technical awards. With those two juggernauts hogging the majority of the awards, the others were well spread out, with no film receiving more than 2 awards.

Predictably but deservingly, Christopher Plummer walked away with a Best Supporting Actor statue for his portrayal of an out of the closet gay father in the movie “Beginners”, while Octavia Spencer ended her long awards circuit with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “The Help”. The only real surprise, and boy was it a surprise, was Meryl Streep conquering the favorite to win, Viola Davis, for the Best Actress Oscar. While the public opinion is that Meryl Streep is constantly winning things, it just simply isn’t true. This is her first Academy Award win since 1983 for “Sophie’s Choice” and she sealed her win with one of the most graceful and reverent speeches of the evening. However, it is a tragic upset that the bold and brilliant performance from Davis, one of the finest African-American actresses working today went unsung.

If the awards bore you and you only watch the Oscars for the spectacle, it would seem that you were out of luck. After attempting to manufacture spectacle for the past couple of years with flat-lining hosting duos, the Academy responded to the incendiary comments of Brett Ratner with the safest, most conservative show they could put on. Cue Billy Crystal. It was certainly a welcome sight to see him back on stage with light one-liners and he treated us to his famous videos of inserting himself into the best picture nominated films. Yet that’s where the fun really ended. The only moments really worth YouTubing were Jim Rash’s mockery of Angelina Jolie’s infamous right leg and a few of the more touching acceptance speeches from Spencer, Plummer, Streep and Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Iranian Best Foreign Language Winner “A Separation”. Much beyond that, it was a classy night that was certainly an improvement over previous failures, but a failure is at least fun to watch – this year was just simple and safe. “

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