Oscar Winners and Review from Renee 2012

Happy 84th Oscars, everyone! It’s the Super Bowl of the entertainment industry, and oh what a night it was! The Oscars is literally one of my favorite nights of the year - I love the glitz, the glamor, the class and the gathering of the great people in this industry that I have loved for so many years. Starting the night out with a bottle of sauvignon blanc and flipping between the ABC Oscars Red Carpet Live and the E! Red Carpet Pre Show, the energy on the red carpet seemed palpable. Everyone was in a great mood - that is, until Sacha Baron Cohen dumped Kim Jong-il’s ashes all over Ryan Seacrest. Holy crap. That’s one for the history books. I actually just Googled Kim Jong-il and this was the first story to pop up. No lie. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall with that reaction when the cameras cut away. Good thing Ryan had a backup jacket!

 

And then it was on! I had high expectations for Billy Crystal since this was his ninth time hosting the Oscars, and he absolutely nailed it! The introductory clip was fantastic and classic! It had me laughing immediately, from the moment George Clooney leaned down to kiss Billy in the hospital bed. Justin Bieber in Midnight in Paris? Looks like more than just the tweens have Bieber fever! I mean, who doesn’t love Billy Crystal and his antics? Billy then had a few jabs of his own to give, with a stinger about helping the lagging economy by watching millionaires give each other golden statues, and then he segued into a song about the best picture nominees. Singing about Jonah Hill’s weight seemed a little cruel and unwarranted, but I loved the song other than that. I can’t tell you how much I love it when Billy Crystal hosts the Oscars. It really is magic!

The legend himself Tom Hanks presented the first two awards, starting with a cute little quip about an old man seat filler (which I’m still not sure if he’s an actual seat filler or not). But yea for a shout-out to one of the many invisible, and I’m sure thankless, jobs that goes into making the Oscars a success!

Cinematography

My prediction: The Tree of Life

And the Oscar Goes To: Hugo

I have not seen Hugo yet, but SERIOUSLY?! How could Tree of Life not win this category?! Crazy beans.

Art Direction

My Prediction: Midnight in Paris

And the Oscar Goes To: Hugo

WHOA. Go Hugo! Is this going to be a sweep? I guess we will see! Unexpected, for sure. At least in my book.

Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz showed up in nude sparkly dresses to present the next awards. My award show partner-in-crime pointed out that Jennifer’s risky dress was perhaps exposing an areola. Thoughts?

Costume Design

My Prediction: The Artist

And the Oscar Goes To: The Artist

Makeup

My Prediction: The Iron Lady

And the Oscar Goes To: The Iron Lady

I thought this was a sure win, because they are making someone up to look like someone else in real life. Even though the other movies were more impressive and drastic, I think it might be harder to make someone look like someone else that everyone already knows.

The next clip showed short interviews with movie stars on why they love the movies and why we all love the movies. Hilary Swank, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Adam Sandler, Barbara Streisand - they all shared little tidbits on how the movies first had an impact on them and why they got into the business. This is the kind of stuff I eat up - I hang on every word they say.

Sandra Bullock arrived to present the next award. Apparently she’s fluent in German! Or Chinese? In any case it was a good way to present the next award. I just wish she was wearing a different dress!

Foreign Language Film

My Prediction: A Separation

And the Oscar Goes To: A Separation

I loved Asghar Farhadi’s speech. It aimed to cross political boundaries and focus on the fact that the culture there is rich and glorious, but it’s been “hidden under a heavy dust of politics.” He went on to say, “I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.” Enough said.

Christian Bale presented the next award, looking sexier than ever. Just made my best dressed list!

Actress In a Supporting Role

My Prediction: Jessica Chastain (who I want to win), Octavia Spencer (who I think will win)

And The Oscar Goes To: Octavia Spencer

Can I just say, I think it’s bonkers that Jessica Chastain wasn’t nominated for The Tree of Life in this category? Talk about a stellar performance and a major Academy snub! With The Help and The Tree of Life, she’s turning out to be one of my favorite actresses! But how happy for Octavia Spencer were we? She even got a standing ovation! Her speech was tearful, heartfelt, touching and funny. Too bad it was cut short. (See Scott’s rant on Academy speeches).  Also listen to The Red Room's new podcast with Dodai Stewart from Jezebel.com to hear an interesting discussion about The Help and other topics.

Billy came back and was still so darn charming, even when making a slightly racist joke about wanting to hug the first black woman he saw after seeing The Help. He then introduced a clip about a fictitious Wizard of Oz focus group that was hilarious. Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Jennifer Coolidge, and other celebrities all gave horrible advice - cut the rainbow song, incorporate the farm hands into the movie so the audience cares about them at the end, and have more flying monkeys.

Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper presented the next three awards. My only question is: Why does Bradley have a mustache? Not a good look for him. I hope he shaves immediately.

Film Editing

My Prediction: The Artist

And the Oscar Goes To: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I had no idea on this one - just went with the Artist because it seemed like a safe bet. I guess not! Good for these guys; I still need to see this movie. However, these editors had the most boring speech of the night.

Sound Editing

My Prediction: Transformers Dark of the Moon

And The Oscar Goes To: Hugo

Ok! Looking good for Hugo! I just love the tech-gadgety sounds that the transformers make, so that explains my pick for the prediction. These guys had funny speeches, also short and sweet.

Sound Mixing

My Prediction: Transformers Dark of the Moon

And The Oscar Goes To: Hugo

Again, I picked my prediction based on the tech-gadgety sounds that the transformers make. I’ve never actually seen this Transformers movie, but loved the sounds from the first one. So I guess I’m not even qualified to make a prediction! Hugo wins again, which can only mean good things to come for Mr. Martin Scorsese.

Then the Muppets made an appearance! Kermit and Miss Piggy talked about their first memorable movie experience. And may I just say, Miss Piggy looked dashing. This segued into a Cirque du Soleil performance that was very interesting and different. Risky, for sure, but in the end, fantastic and entertaining! I mean those guys that flipped from one guy to the other?! They were literally flipping onto people! And the lady standing on that guy’s head? I was amazed! What a great performance! Are these people real humans?! How fantastic and aerobatic!

Gwenyth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. presented the next award with awkward jabber about Robert’s fake live documentary that I didn’t think was successful at all. And Gwenyth lost her cape! Where did it go?

Documentary Feature

My Prediction: I have no idea

And The Oscar Goes To: Undefeated

Chris Rock presented the next award and was pretty funny, I think. They were starting to lose me at this point so I wasn’t really paying attention.

Animated Feature Film

My Prediction: Rango

And The Oscar Goes To: Rango

This one was in the bucket already. Did anyone expect something else to win?

Melissa McCarthy was then featured in a funny clip a la her Bridesmaids character, trying to seduce Billy Crystal with her legs in the doorway. I think they could have done more with it, but it got a laugh out of me.

Ben Stiller and Emma Stone presented the next award. Emma was great and hilarious! I love her. She’s so spunky and charming! Ben’s chemistry with her was funny, too. It was by far my absolute favorite presenter gig of the night.

Visual Effects

My Prediction: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

And the Oscar Goes To: Hugo

Score another one for Hugo! They're having great success tonight. I’ll definitely have to put this on my list of movies to see as soon as possible.

Melissa Leo came onstage to present the next award. She was a good girl and behaved herself this time around.

Actor In a Supporting Role

My Prediction: Christopher Plummer

And The Oscar Goes To: Christopher Plummer

I am putting this movie on my “To Watch” list immediately. Eighty-two years old and winning his first Oscar! How magical. It serves as a reminder that it’s never too late to achieve your dreams. He had a wonderfully poignant speech, and I think I would love to meet this fellow. He seems enchanting and he’s probably a great storyteller.

Then came a bit about what the stars are thinking per Billy Crystal. Cute! Brad Pitt having to get up for six parent teacher conferences in the morning, Angelina Jolie fantasizing about Billy Crystal, Morgan Freeman saying famous lines from his movies, and others about Viola Davis and Martin Scorsese, then Nick Nolte growling (hilarious), and finally the adorable dog from The Artist!

Then the boring obligatory Academy speech. Billy made it worthwhile though, by thanking him for “whipping the crowd into a frenzy.” Everyone got a good laugh. I think we can all thank the Academy for making this section short and to the point!

Penelope Cruz and Owen Wilson presented the next award for music.

Music (Original Score)

My Prediction: The Artist

And The Oscar Goes To: The Artist

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis presented the next award by grandly coming onstage out of the musical pit in white suits loudly smacking cymbals together. This was my second favorite presenter speech of the night. And those cymbals can be noisy!

Music (Original Song)

My Prediction: Man or Muppet

And The Oscar Goes To: Man or Muppet

Bret McKenzie had a really cute acceptance speech about Kermit and genuine heartfelt thanks. I’m so glad this song won. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you should! It gave me hope that there can still be classic, funny movies without having to be raunchy or gory.

Angelina Jolie was up next looking fabulous and sexy! I missed her on the red carpet, so this was my first glance at her whole bod, and I think she just shot up to my #1 spot on the best dressed list. Red lips and legs for miles! Tonight, she was the definition of va-va-voom!

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

My Prediction: The Descendants

And The Oscar Goes To: The Descendants

Who knew the dean from Community helped write the Descendants?! Crazy!

Writing (Original Screenplay)

My Prediction: Midnight in Paris

And The Oscar Goes To: Midnight in Paris

YES! I loved this movie; it’s probably my favorite of the whole year! I am so happy for this win.

Next comes another clip of ‘What makes a good movie?’ with input from the stars. I love these segments; they make you feel so intimate with them. Truth, honesty, dignity, laughter, what else can you want from a motion picture?

Then the Bridesmaids got a run on stage! I love that a comedy is finally getting some real recognition at the Oscars. Even though their quip about wiener length was a little raunchy for the Oscars, I will still love Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph until the end of time.

Short Film (Live Action)

My Prediction: I have no clue

And The Oscar Goes To: The Shore

Documentary Short

My Prediction: I have no clue

And The Oscar Goes To: Saving Face

Short Film (Animated)

My Prediction: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

And The Oscar Goes To: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

I picked this as my prediction because it’s the only one I had heard of before. I don’t actually know anything about animated short films.

And then come the big awards! Michael Douglas started it off with the next presentation for best director.

Directing

My Prediction: Midnight in Paris (who I want to win), Hugo (who I think will win)

And The Oscar Goes To: The Artist

This win bodes well for best picture, I think. We’ll see what happens, but it seems like the frenchmen might take the night!

The In Memoriam section of the Oscars was next, with an awesome rendition of What A Wonderful World performed by Esperanza Spalding. No matter the year, I always get a little teary eyed during this section thinking of all the talent that has passed. Although, this could also be attributed to the wine I’ve consumed throughout the night.

How do you watch movies? Julia Roberts, Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr., Jonah Hill, Robert DeNiro, and other actors all weigh in on how they watch movies, what makes them special, and how they evolve. The stars make it all seem so enchanting!

Natalie Portman showed up to present the next award looking lovely in a red polka dot dress and gorgeous diamond necklace.

Actor In a Leading Role

My Prediction: George Clooney

And The Oscar Goes To: Jean Dujardin

How exciting! Jean was my second pick. Darn, I thought George Clooney would be the safe pick! So, how charming was Jean? He was so happy! What an infectious smile. It spread across the room! You can’t help but be happy for him and his first Oscar win.

Colin Firth is back to present the next award and introduce the nominees.

Actress In a Leading Role

My Prediction: Meryl Streep (who I want to win), Viola Davis (who I think will win)

And The Oscar Goes To: Meryl Streep

Gotta love Meryl! I wish she were in my family or something. I want to learn from her! What a confident, talented, awesome woman. Her speech was enthralling. I think we are all lucky for her to have found her niche in acting, and for us as a public to have recognized it. By FAR my favorite acceptance speech of the night! Billy earlier in the night said himself that she might be the greatest actress of our time. I think I agree! Plus, Meryl looked stunning in her gold v-neck draped gown.

Tom Cruise was out to present the final award (I would have picked someone else to present, but eh, details).

Best Picture

My Prediction: Midnight in Paris (what I want to win), The Artist (what I think will win)

And The Oscar Goes To: The Artist

To sum up the night, I thought it was a generally tasteful, classy ceremony. I love this night every year so much, because movies play such an important role in our lives. We grow up with them, we live our lives with them, they get us through good times and bad, and they touch a part of us to awaken our souls in ways we never though possible. Whether it’s recreating a story from our past, creating a story for our future, or imagining a unique fantasy world, movies play a special part in our lives. I am very grateful to Hollywood for sharing its wonderful talent with the world.

Renee’s Best Dressed List:

Angelina Jolie

Michelle Williams

Penelope Cruz

Ellie Kemper

Milla Jovovich

Jessica Chastain

Gwenyth Paltrow

Viola Davis

Tina Fey

Octavia Spencer

Cameron Diaz

Christian Bale

Renee’s Worst Dressed List:

Rooney Mara

Emma Stone

Melissa McCarthy

Berenice Bejo

Jennifer Lopez

 

 

Read Renee's Review of The Golden Globes and The Grammy's

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