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The 2012 Oscars: Results and Opinions

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Posted by: Lawrence Napoli, Staff Writer
created 02/27/2012 - 9:19am, updated 10/01/2012 - 2:54pm

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The State of Hollywood

2012 Oscar Fallout

 

(Editor's Note: CBN's movie reviewer, Lawrence Napoli, offers his views and opinions on the movie biz in his column, "The State Of Hollywood.")

 

pic

So the 2012 Academy Awards are here to celebrate the previous year’s best examples of filmmaking. You’ll excuse me right now if I’ll just give a nice big yawn for boredom because the cold hard fact is that this past year doesn’t even come close to matching the excellence of 2011’s lineup.  There were so many well made films that year that had such high entertainment value that I was compelled to see every single one of them.  How many of the nominees for this year’s Oscars have I been compelled to see?  NOT every single one of them.  Sure, the summer of 2011 was one heck of an event (generally speaking), but the poignant films that will all be represented this night just didn’t grab me, and with limited time and finances, even I cannot indulge in literally “every” single film. That being said, I’m still very interested in the results of this show as movies maintain their status as my passion in life.

The obligatory video intro that pokes fun of last year’s films with Billy Crystal had a pretty standard array of jokes, but Billy just seemed to make them work better than previous hosts of the past.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he’s done this 8 times before this year?

Billy’s opening monologue/sing and dance number wasn’t as good as his video intro to the program.  My favorite of all time remains Hugh Jackman’s number.

 

758

Best Cinematography - Hugo and Robert Richardson.

Best Art Direction – Hugo and Dante Ferreti   

Best Costume Design – The Artist and Mark Bridges (from Niagara Falls!  Go Western New York!)

Best Makeup – The Iron Lady and Mark Coulier

Best Foreign Language Film – A Separation (Iran)

Best Supporting Actress – The Help and Octavia Spencer w/ Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises) as Presenter

 

The first test screen audience spoof starring the cast of Best in Show was kind of funny, but only if you're into that dry American humor. 

Best Film Editing – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

Best Sound Editing – Hugo and Philip Stockton  

Best Sound Mixing – Hugo and Tom Flieschman

 

Cirque Du Soleil’s performance – It was pretty neat how they began swinging out into the audience, not so cool how one of them fell down pretty early on in the number, but certainly showcased the awesome art of acrobatics and gymnastics better than most professionals.  I didn’t exactly get how their “dance” was meant to be a homage to “going to the movies,” but whatever.

 

759

Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow’s presentation of best documentary was hilarious in that it was 100% Tony Stark ego meeting Pepper Potts’ need to maintain control which made a relatively dull category, a tad more interesting.

Best documentary feature - Undefeated and TJ Martin and co.  A little frat boy nonsensical cursing that was muted out, and the specter of Damon and Afleck still cannot escape the Oscars.

 

Chris Rock loves animation?  He has a nice way of showing it by mocking the fact he gets paid “a million dollars” for doing voice-overs when the fact of the matter that is that most VO actors struggle to make a living (just not Nolan North).  Just because some no-name casting director thought Chris Rock’s geeky, squeaky voice would be perfect for a cartoon doesn’t necessarily meant he had any genuine artistic contribution to any film he simply read lines for.  I get he was trying to make a joke, but he came off like an ignorant knucklehead. 

Best animated feature – Rango and Gore Verbinski

 

Ben Stiller and Emma Stone = great, comedic co-presentation.  Ben still tries to evoke comedy out of playing the straight man and allows his partner to generate all the laughs.  Emma Stone continues to solidify herself as one of my favorite women in all of Hollywood.

Best visual effects – Hugo and Rob Legato

 

Best supporting actor – Beginners, and Christopher Plummer wins his FIRST OSCAR!!!  Way to go Chris!  What a great thank you speech and it’s about time you got recognition for a hall of fame acting career while avoiding the undesirable “lifetime achievement” Oscar. 

 

Billy Crystal’s “I know what everyone is thinking” was pretty funny:

1) Brad Pitt - “This show better not go too late, I’ve got 6 parent-teacher conferences in the morning.”

2) Morgan Freeman – Random quotes from March of the Penguins mixed with The Shawshank Redemption

3) The dog from The Artist – “If I had ”˜em, I’d like ”˜em.”

4) Nick Nolte – “Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.”

 

They paired Penelope Cruz with the one person in the world who has an uglier nose than her: Owen Wilson!  Naturally, they present a best music Oscar.

Best original score – The Artist and Ludvic Bourge

 

Will Ferrell and Zach Galafianakis come marching up from the orchestra pit smashing cymbals and wearing all white tuxedos.  The funniest part was Galafianakis mispronouncing his own last name as they both introduced themselves to the audience.

Best original song – Man or Muppet and Brett Mckenzie

 

Angelina Jolie gives a sexy pose, sticks her leg out from that hot black dress, says “good evening” and the audience responds, but upon closer inspection of Jolie herself, her arms look severely anorexic and I can’t imagine the lack of meat she is hiding beneath the dress.  They say the camera adds 20 pounds?  In her case it subtracted 20 off a frame that had no more than 110 originally.

Best adapted screenplay – The Descendants, and Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon trying to do their best Angelina Jolie impersonation.

Best original screenplay – Midnight in Paris, and Woody Allen was a no show to pick up his Oscar, but he probably gives two sh*ts about the Academy.

 

The cast of Bridesmaids presents the next 3 awards in character.  It was funnier than Ferrell and Galafianakis, but not by much.

Best live action short – The Shore and Terry George

Best documentary feature – Saving Face and Daniel Junge

Best animated short film – The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and William Joyce and Branden Oldenburg

 

Michael Douglas presents:

Best Director – The Artist’s Michel Hazanavicius

 

Meryl Streep presents the board of governor Oscars to:

Dick Smith (makeup), James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey

In memoriam sequence to What a Wonderful World – Clearly, the most difficult part of the evening, and the Academy did the right thing by giving the nod to Whitney Houston.  BUT, what I don’t understand is acknowledging Steve Jobs.  What Hollywood production was he ever associated with?  Aside from making filthy amounts of money on computing and bringing Final Cut Pro to regular consumers (which is significant) I don’t see how he belongs on the Academy’s radar.  Brilliant human being?  No question there, but it’s like the Academy honoring the passing of some amazing scientist, humanitarian, politician, or (insert profession outside of Hollywood here) and I think this move was purely political.

 

Natalie Portman presents:

Best Actor – The Artist’s Jean Dujardin.  Side note: this reminded me of Roberto Benigni winning for Life Is Beautiful (1997), and it took a film that was so unconventional that it literally came out of nowhere to take the Oscars by storm.  Only time will tell Jean, like Roberto before him, never returns to the Oscar stage again.

 

Colin Firth presents:

Best Actress – The Iron Lady’s Meryl Streep.  17 Nominations and this being only her 3rd victory seems a little strange.  She really is the best film actress of America for the past 40 years and no one else comes close to the quality and diversity of her body of work. 

 

Tom Cruise presents:

Best Picture: The Artist is perhaps the most anti-climactic end to an Academy Awards because everyone and their mother knew this was going to happen.  And why not?  It’s all we’ve been hearing about for the past month or so, and although I have no issue with this picture winning over the rest, there is something worth mentioning.  The Academy has shown a propensity for giving props to retro productions.  The most recent was a return to musicals that began with Moulin Rouge! (2001), and although that film did not win best picture that year (because it was especially strange) it certainly opened the door wide open for Chicago to do so the very next year.  The brilliance of a silent film is not the same stuff of a brilliant “talkie,” so in a way, it isn’t exactly fair to be judging all nine of these films in the same category.  Sound in the filmmaking process has become almost as important as producing the images that make the moving picture, and for a film like this to win tosses theoretical mud in the faces of those who won for best sound editing and mixing.  Regardless, I am certain this film was deserving of victory and I intend to see The Artist at my earliest convenience.  You’ll only hear again from me on this matter if what I encounter is a film that was severely hyped and what it actually delivered was a cornucopia of over indulgence.

 

Final thoughts:

All in all, the 84th Academy Awards went off without a hitch, and you can attribute this to the veteran leadership of one Billy Crystal.  He may not have much left in the tank to sell films by himself, but the man knows how to host the Oscars.  In this man’s humble opinion there is Bob Hope, Billy Crystal and no one else that have done this job with class, comedy and calm.  Crystal was quick with the one-liners and in tandem with some fairly entertaining presenters, the overall pace of the show never lagged.  The only other highlight of the evening was how Sash Sacha Baron Cohen (as The Dictator) dumped fake Kim Jong Il ashes all over Ryan Seacrest, and I’m sure that ruined his tux enough to force him into an unexpected costume change.  Anything that knocks out that prissy punk Seacrest gets a thumbs up in my book.  Well done Borat, well done.  Hugo took home the largest number of Oscars, but The Artist was the best. 

The State of Hollywood

2012 Oscar Fallout

 

(Editor's Note: CBN's movie reviewer, Lawrence Napoli, offers his views and opinions on the movie biz in his column, "The State Of Hollywood.")

 

pic

So the 2012 Academy Awards are here to celebrate the previous year’s best examples of filmmaking. You’ll excuse me right now if I’ll just give a nice big yawn for boredom because the cold hard fact is that this past year doesn’t even come close to matching the excellence of 2011’s lineup.  There were so many well made films that year that had such high entertainment value that I was compelled to see every single one of them.  How many of the nominees for this year’s Oscars have I been compelled to see?  NOT every single one of them.  Sure, the summer of 2011 was one heck of an event (generally speaking), but the poignant films that will all be represented this night just didn’t grab me, and with limited time and finances, even I cannot indulge in literally “every” single film. That being said, I’m still very interested in the results of this show as movies maintain their status as my passion in life.

The obligatory video intro that pokes fun of last year’s films with Billy Crystal had a pretty standard array of jokes, but Billy just seemed to make them work better than previous hosts of the past.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he’s done this 8 times before this year?

Billy’s opening monologue/sing and dance number wasn’t as good as his video intro to the program.  My favorite of all time remains Hugh Jackman’s number.

 

758

Best Cinematography - Hugo and Robert Richardson.

Best Art Direction – Hugo and Dante Ferreti   

Best Costume Design – The Artist and Mark Bridges (from Niagara Falls!  Go Western New York!)

Best Makeup – The Iron Lady and Mark Coulier

Best Foreign Language Film – A Separation (Iran)

Best Supporting Actress – The Help and Octavia Spencer w/ Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises) as Presenter

 

The first test screen audience spoof starring the cast of Best in Show was kind of funny, but only if you're into that dry American humor. 

Best Film Editing – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

Best Sound Editing – Hugo and Philip Stockton  

Best Sound Mixing – Hugo and Tom Flieschman

 

Cirque Du Soleil’s performance – It was pretty neat how they began swinging out into the audience, not so cool how one of them fell down pretty early on in the number, but certainly showcased the awesome art of acrobatics and gymnastics better than most professionals.  I didn’t exactly get how their “dance” was meant to be a homage to “going to the movies,” but whatever.

 

759

Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow’s presentation of best documentary was hilarious in that it was 100% Tony Stark ego meeting Pepper Potts’ need to maintain control which made a relatively dull category, a tad more interesting.

Best documentary feature - Undefeated and TJ Martin and co.  A little frat boy nonsensical cursing that was muted out, and the specter of Damon and Afleck still cannot escape the Oscars.

 

Chris Rock loves animation?  He has a nice way of showing it by mocking the fact he gets paid “a million dollars” for doing voice-overs when the fact of the matter that is that most VO actors struggle to make a living (just not Nolan North).  Just because some no-name casting director thought Chris Rock’s geeky, squeaky voice would be perfect for a cartoon doesn’t necessarily meant he had any genuine artistic contribution to any film he simply read lines for.  I get he was trying to make a joke, but he came off like an ignorant knucklehead. 

Best animated feature – Rango and Gore Verbinski

 

Ben Stiller and Emma Stone = great, comedic co-presentation.  Ben still tries to evoke comedy out of playing the straight man and allows his partner to generate all the laughs.  Emma Stone continues to solidify herself as one of my favorite women in all of Hollywood.

Best visual effects – Hugo and Rob Legato

 

Best supporting actor – Beginners, and Christopher Plummer wins his FIRST OSCAR!!!  Way to go Chris!  What a great thank you speech and it’s about time you got recognition for a hall of fame acting career while avoiding the undesirable “lifetime achievement” Oscar. 

 

Billy Crystal’s “I know what everyone is thinking” was pretty funny:

1) Brad Pitt - “This show better not go too late, I’ve got 6 parent-teacher conferences in the morning.”

2) Morgan Freeman – Random quotes from March of the Penguins mixed with The Shawshank Redemption

3) The dog from The Artist – “If I had ”˜em, I’d like ”˜em.”

4) Nick Nolte – “Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.”

 

They paired Penelope Cruz with the one person in the world who has an uglier nose than her: Owen Wilson!  Naturally, they present a best music Oscar.

Best original score – The Artist and Ludvic Bourge

 

Will Ferrell and Zach Galafianakis come marching up from the orchestra pit smashing cymbals and wearing all white tuxedos.  The funniest part was Galafianakis mispronouncing his own last name as they both introduced themselves to the audience.

Best original song – Man or Muppet and Brett Mckenzie

 

Angelina Jolie gives a sexy pose, sticks her leg out from that hot black dress, says “good evening” and the audience responds, but upon closer inspection of Jolie herself, her arms look severely anorexic and I can’t imagine the lack of meat she is hiding beneath the dress.  They say the camera adds 20 pounds?  In her case it subtracted 20 off a frame that had no more than 110 originally.

Best adapted screenplay – The Descendants, and Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon trying to do their best Angelina Jolie impersonation.

Best original screenplay – Midnight in Paris, and Woody Allen was a no show to pick up his Oscar, but he probably gives two sh*ts about the Academy.

 

The cast of Bridesmaids presents the next 3 awards in character.  It was funnier than Ferrell and Galafianakis, but not by much.

Best live action short – The Shore and Terry George

Best documentary feature – Saving Face and Daniel Junge

Best animated short film – The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and William Joyce and Branden Oldenburg

 

Michael Douglas presents:

Best Director – The Artist’s Michel Hazanavicius

 

Meryl Streep presents the board of governor Oscars to:

Dick Smith (makeup), James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey

In memoriam sequence to What a Wonderful World – Clearly, the most difficult part of the evening, and the Academy did the right thing by giving the nod to Whitney Houston.  BUT, what I don’t understand is acknowledging Steve Jobs.  What Hollywood production was he ever associated with?  Aside from making filthy amounts of money on computing and bringing Final Cut Pro to regular consumers (which is significant) I don’t see how he belongs on the Academy’s radar.  Brilliant human being?  No question there, but it’s like the Academy honoring the passing of some amazing scientist, humanitarian, politician, or (insert profession outside of Hollywood here) and I think this move was purely political.

 

Natalie Portman presents:

Best Actor – The Artist’s Jean Dujardin.  Side note: this reminded me of Roberto Benigni winning for Life Is Beautiful (1997), and it took a film that was so unconventional that it literally came out of nowhere to take the Oscars by storm.  Only time will tell Jean, like Roberto before him, never returns to the Oscar stage again.

 

Colin Firth presents:

Best Actress – The Iron Lady’s Meryl Streep.  17 Nominations and this being only her 3rd victory seems a little strange.  She really is the best film actress of America for the past 40 years and no one else comes close to the quality and diversity of her body of work. 

 

Tom Cruise presents:

Best Picture: The Artist is perhaps the most anti-climactic end to an Academy Awards because everyone and their mother knew this was going to happen.  And why not?  It’s all we’ve been hearing about for the past month or so, and although I have no issue with this picture winning over the rest, there is something worth mentioning.  The Academy has shown a propensity for giving props to retro productions.  The most recent was a return to musicals that began with Moulin Rouge! (2001), and although that film did not win best picture that year (because it was especially strange) it certainly opened the door wide open for Chicago to do so the very next year.  The brilliance of a silent film is not the same stuff of a brilliant “talkie,” so in a way, it isn’t exactly fair to be judging all nine of these films in the same category.  Sound in the filmmaking process has become almost as important as producing the images that make the moving picture, and for a film like this to win tosses theoretical mud in the faces of those who won for best sound editing and mixing.  Regardless, I am certain this film was deserving of victory and I intend to see The Artist at my earliest convenience.  You’ll only hear again from me on this matter if what I encounter is a film that was severely hyped and what it actually delivered was a cornucopia of over indulgence.

 

Final thoughts:

All in all, the 84th Academy Awards went off without a hitch, and you can attribute this to the veteran leadership of one Billy Crystal.  He may not have much left in the tank to sell films by himself, but the man knows how to host the Oscars.  In this man’s humble opinion there is Bob Hope, Billy Crystal and no one else that have done this job with class, comedy and calm.  Crystal was quick with the one-liners and in tandem with some fairly entertaining presenters, the overall pace of the show never lagged.  The only other highlight of the evening was how Sash Sacha Baron Cohen (as The Dictator) dumped fake Kim Jong Il ashes all over Ryan Seacrest, and I’m sure that ruined his tux enough to force him into an unexpected costume change.  Anything that knocks out that prissy punk Seacrest gets a thumbs up in my book.  Well done Borat, well done.  Hugo took home the largest number of Oscars, but The Artist was the best. 

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