oscars2012b

The 84th Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • Shut up Ryan Seacrest … Like the studio isn’t going to reimburse you. Cry about it #Oscars12

And with a little Bisquick, the 84th Annual Academy Awards show began before the camera even entered the Kodak “Chapter 11″ Theatre. The is he or isn’t he banned from the show star of The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen, did what he does best by getting interviewed in character and causing a scene.

Ryan Seacrest appeared to be enjoying the joke of it all and remained quite amiable until the comedian went for glory and dumped a faux urn of Kim Jong-il’s ashes over the ubiquitous pre-show host’s tuxedo. Not so surprising, the millionaire fought back what looked like tears as Cohen uttered the punchline, “Now when they ask who you are wearing, you can say Kim Jong-il”. We all laughed hysterically at home.

@jaredmobarak • Billy’s been pretty good. I’m sure better than Eddie Murphy doing Charlie Murphy as Eddie Murphy would be #Oscars12

The real show began when nine-time host Billy Crystal‘s black and white mug parodying The Artist graced our television screens and his trademark spoof reel played. After Brett Ratner‘s homophobic slur got him fired and Eddie Murphy bailed once his ‘integrity’ for constantly refusing the job in the past kicked back in, Crystal was the man left standing. Leave it to him to then go blackface and pose as Sammy Davis Jr. without any repercussion besides laughter. It’s interesting who we forgive and whom we don’t depending on context—let’s just make everything un-PC okay and live for once.

@jaredmobarak • Why did Billy have ten fingers up for nine noms? #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • So ELIC only gets a “Tom Hanks is a memory” mention in the song? #Oscars12

Breaking into song like we remember all those times before, Crystal’s showmanship remains forever entertaining. He was made for a ceremony possessing nine Best Picture nominees if only to pad his musical tribute with tighter jokes. Was it an intentional move to give Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close a five-word mention when the rest got more? Perhaps. It does seem like everyone thought its inclusion in the final grouping was a waste of a spot and a total “Oscars move”. I didn’t even bother to see the damn thing—the only one of the nine—because between the lamentations of its overt manipulation and umpteenth example of a kid on the Autistic spectrum, I could better spend my time catching up on “Friday Night Lights”.

@jaredmobarak • Carl’s wearing the same tux my father wore at his wedding #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Cinematography: Tree of Life should win … #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Cinematography: Hugo is winner. I’m ok with it, really worked the 3D perfectly #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Hooray Italy! I didn’t even know they were up for an Oscar #Oscars12

It’s was Tom Hanks who became the first martyr for bad jokes. I’m not sure if he was auditioning for the host role when he started talking about ‘star’ seat-filler Carl, but the bit fell as flat as James Franco and Anne Hathaway‘s pretend grandma and mother of last year. There was really no purpose for the gag considering he was on stage to announce Best Cinematography and Art Direction (both going to Hugo), and it stalled what had been a fun if not obvious start.

The wins for Martin Scorsese‘s film were just the first of many to make up for the fact it wouldn’t take victory in any category the general populace cares about and were somewhat of a shock. Cinematography was Emmanuel Lubezki‘s to lose and he did. Definitely deserving with his work in 3D through the walls of a Paris train station, Robert Richardson simply didn’t have The Tree of Life‘s grandeur making it the most gorgeous film I saw all year. As far as Art Direction went, kudos to Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo for their great work. I just love how her Oscar was dedicated to Scorsese and Italy. They’re my go-to thank yous as well.

@jaredmobarak • Costume Design: winner is The Artist. It’s great but I say Jane Eyre deserved. So authentic #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Make-Up: winner is Iron Lady. Albert Nobbs got robbed by crooked teeth … #Oscars12

Next up—amidst the supposed nip-slip wardrobe malfunction on behalf of Jennifer Lopez—came Best Costume Design and Make-up. In my opinion both were highway robbery. How the amazingly intricate work in Jane Eyre—stunning in its authenticity under the glow of candlelight—could lose to The Artist, I don’t know. Mark Bridges did a great job with the silent era style, but I simply can’t accept it was a better representation of excellence than Michael O’Connor‘s.

And seriously? Crooked teeth wins Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland an Oscar for The Iron Lady? At least give it to Harry Potter for the sheer legacy of work done to bring that fantasy to life if you aren’t going to award Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston, and Matthew W. Mungle the prize for Albert Nobbs. Their work transforming Glenn Close and Janet McTeer was subtle, effective, and completely believable. I may be angered at this decision more than any other on the night.

@jaredmobarak • Brad Pitt just ruined Gargantua for me. Ass #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak Bullhead, Bullhead, Bullhead!!! Win it! #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak A Separation‘s dude looks like Ben Kingsley from Hugo #Oscars12

They may be bare-bone and clichéd, but I have to say my favorite aspect of this year’s show was the talking head interviews of actors sharing their memories of movie magic. The raw footage is probably fascinating as all get out and when guys like Brad Pitt weren’t ruining the endings of films, the snippets we saw were great.

There was something about listening to these celebrities talk about their inspiration that perfectly moved into Best Foreign Film. How awesome would it have been if Bullhead director Michaël R. Roskam spoke about his love of gangster movies and the kinds of films he held in the back of his mind when filming Belgium’s worthy nominee?

The result, of course, was inevitable. A Separation is an amazing feat and whether the win had political undertones or not I’m happy the Academy gave it the trophy. Hopefully the victory will open the doors for people in America to see work from nations we may not have the best relationship with and that they will in turn continue to make great pieces of art for us to view and learn more about their culture and ideals.

@jaredmobarak • How cute is Jessica Chastain? #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer. Kudos to her. The acting makes The Help even have a chance at Best Film #Oscars12

Best Supporting Actress was another foregone conclusion as The Help was never in contention of winning anything besides acting accolades. A sufficiently made film that hits all the Best Seller checkpoints to be successful, it really was the likes of Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer who vaulted it to Oscar glory.

Spencer’s breakdown was quite possibly the most authentic moment of the evening; she simply couldn’t calm herself down. I can only imagine what occurred when she had to face the flashbulbs of the pressroom, but seeing her humbly give into her emotions was a wonderful example of how the Oscars do still mean something to some. We may joke that it’s all a laugh to snark at and point out errors, but for the working actors who give it their all every time the director yells action, this praise means the world.

@jaredmobarak • Did Chris Guest direct this focus group #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Film Editing: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Interesting, never gave it a chance #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Best acceptance speech ever! #Oscars12

And just when you thought the show would streamline into being awards, talking heads, and the off joke by Crystal, a five minute bit with the Christopher Guest company plays to ensure no one gets to bed before midnight. Yes, I loved it—especially Eugene Levy and Fred Willard—but was it really necessary? They always talk about making things smoother and yet continue to add and add and add. The show is about the winners and yet they are the ones punished from shining due to rushed speeches and a quota of one per award. The joke writers, on the other hand, get to run free.

At least Best Film Editing victors, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, understood brevity was the name of the game. A surprising win for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when they were opposite a juggernaut like Thelma Schoonmaker‘s work in Hugo—which won technical prizes left and right all night—the “We weren’t expecting this” was fitting. If only everyone could be speechless enough to say, “Let’s get out of here” and “Okay, we’re editors, so … thank you!”

@jaredmobarak • Sound Editing: Hugo. I still don’t know what this category even entails … #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Sound Mixing: Hugo. Wait. This seems so familiar. Didn’t we do this? #Oscars12

Leave it to Philip Stockton—winner with Eugene Gearty for Best Sound Editing on Hugo—to give the greatest commentary on the awards show speech ever. His thanking everyone alive, dead, born, born again, etc. was a laugh and the perfect send-up to how overblown a lot of what is said actually is.

I honestly don’t know what his award or Tom Fleischman and John Midgley‘s Best Sound Mixing mean, but I guess it’s good to see Hugo win them both when the prize easily could have gone to Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Glad we dodged that bullet …

@jaredmobarak • Meryl Streep is trying to get out of frame … #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Yeah, so this Cirque stuff is cool and all, but why? Seriously, I want to go to bed #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Miracle Max needs Carol King to come on stage … “Liar! Liiiiaaaarrrrr! #Oscars12

Why was Cirque there? At least the introduction was from Kermit and Miss Piggy, even if they weren’t given the hosting job like so many people with lofty and misguided imaginations clamored for. Watching Meryl Streep get a bit awkward when the performers next to her started talking and offering popcorn was fun too. And how about that giant logo at the end in case we thought it was the Cirque Du Soleil’s equivalent to The Moopets?

Billy’s hamstring joke was lame and I don’t think he looked older at any other point in the show than admiring their acrobatic skills. The elderly bit didn’t help, but I will give him props for the Flomax joke—only because it might not be one. And as far as Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow‘s documentary schtick goes, they aren’t as cute as they think.

@jaredmobarak • Wow. Turned the mic off. Dick move. Let’s have the circus come back instead … #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Chris Rock just blasphemed Obi Wan #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • I love Emma Stone #Oscars12

Next came Best Documentary‘s Undefeated—the only microphone shutoff and curse word censor of the night; Best Animated Feature‘s Rango—the only surprise to me being that The Adventures of Tintin was somehow not nominated; and the best presenter pairing in the form of Ben Stiller and Emma Stone. So great to see them turn Stiller’s penchant for going too big at the Oscars on its head.

Chris Rock then mocked the fact Alec Guinness played an Arab in Lawrence of Arabia, called doing voice work an easy paycheck, and proved how despite being one of the worst actors in the world, he is still amazingly entertaining and spot-on with his stand-up. Watching him work the crowd was brilliant … and then came Melissa McCarthy and Crystal’s uninspired Bridesmaids homage. Oh the difference minutes can make.

@jaredmobarak • Supporting Actor: Chris Plummer BETTER win this award #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Marty’s a great sport #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Nolte is too … Why Uggie and no Cosmo? #Oscars12

Poor Nick Nolte. He loses to Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor—yay, Chris!—came off grouchy and indecipherable when interview on the red carpet, and not becomes the butt of Crystal’s shining moment. An easy routine of mocking celebrity personalities as thought he is orating their thoughts, after Scorsese plays along swimmingly it is Nolte’s shocked face of recollection that Billy’s growling is for him which could become a memory for Oscar history. Good on him for being a good sport about it too.

@jaredmobarak • Random soloists in boxes is weird #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Best Original Score: The Artist. Kim Novak is gonna be pissed! #Oscars12

It’s probably completely pretentious of me, but I softened on the stunt of musicians playing us out to commercials from the box seats once I discovered through the Twittersphere that Sheila E. and Pharrell were the random drummers. What first appeared an obnoxious stunt with no real purpose since the pit orchestra could be playing nominated scores or something soon became a cool little gimmick.

And then The Artist won Best Score to not shock anyone but Kim Novak. It was great, though, when Ludovic Bource asked for ten extra seconds to finish his speech.

@jaredmobarak • Ok. Zach butchering his name was pretty great #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Jason Segel is like “You Bastard! Thank Me!!!” #Oscars12

I’d like to hope the only reason Best Original Song had two nominees was because the Academy refused to let Madonna get a chance to wax on about being a filmmaker when she won like at the Golden Globes. Talk about your cinematic talents when you win for those talents, not when they’re applauding you for doing what you’ve done for over two decades.

Thankfully “Conchord” Bret McKenzie was victorious and able to grace the world with that glorious New Zealand accent. The fact that Steve Pond at The Wrap learned a mythical third season of the off-kilter show would see them putting the statue on a table and never making mention of it only creates a more impressive aura around the event. It would have been nice to hear him thank the man behind The Muppets—see what I did there?—Jason Segel, though. I know the dude was giddy just to be at the show, but he would have gone through the roof if he heard his name in the acceptance speech.


@jaredmobarak • Really? You’re putting the leg out like that? Slut #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Dean Dong is winning an Oscar! Let’s do this! #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Original Screenplay: Woody Allen. Wow! That’s just … Wow! Upset of night probably #Oscars12

Does anyone believe yet that “Community’s” Dean Pelton and Beerfest‘s Rolf are Oscar winners? I haven’t been this flabbergasted since Fischer Stevens grew from borderline racist with his stereotyped Indian in Short Circuit 2 to become producer of Best Documentary The Cove.

Of course these two knuckleheads would let Alexander Payne do all the talking upon climbing the stage for The DescendantsBest Adapted Screenplay, but they wouldn’t be outdone. The mimicked pose that appears to have been preconceived ever since Angelina Jolie took the microphone made her rendition of the Showgirls poster worth every whorish second. I was so impressed by Jim Rash and Nat Faxon‘s flippant disregard for the niceties of such an event that I was still laughing when Woody Allen somehow won Best Original Screenplay. Not only did I think they’d throw the Bridesmaids bunch that little token, I figured awards season powerhouse The Artist would take it otherwise. So glad Midnight in Paris got some recognition.

@jaredmobarak • What Milla meant—”29 individuals got a chance to oogle me in person” #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Scorsese has no idea! Drinking game greatness #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Best Short (animated): The Fantastic Flying Books of Blah Blah Blah. surprised Pixar lost … #Oscars12

This year’s hot actress slumming it with the nerds unworthy to be seen on national TV was Milla Jovovich. Don’t worry about them, though, they got to stand next to her onstage.

And after stylish professionalism came crass indifference as the Bridesmaids cast reunited for the reading of the Best Shorts categories. The Shore took home Live Action, Saving Face got Documentary, and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore shocked the fifteen people who saw each nominee when it defeated the heavy favorite La Luna for Animated. When I say favorite I do mean Pixar produced. One would figure that since Cars 2 was forgotten pretty much on opening weekend, they’d at least take this one so as not to call the whole year a bust.

But the true moment of brilliance from this troupe of presenters came when someone in the crowd yelled “Scorsese” loud enough for Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy to take out airplane bottles of liquor and partake in a little drinking game action. No one was more surprised—or perhaps confused—than Marty himself, sitting next to an eight year old who surely wanted to join in the fun.

@jaredmobarak • Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius. Congrats to him. Great to see a passion project get awards. Too bad not Tree of Life #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Wow. They just ruined Empire Strikes Back for everyone. Not cool #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • So they say Actor for the women who passed but still haven’t changed the award to Female Actor? Get with it Academy #Oscars12

We all know there was no way in hell Terrence Malick would show up to the ceremony—nor Woody for that matter—but I still say no film from 2012 had more of its director’s fingerprints on every frame than The Tree of Life. A passion project of true emotional and visceral beauty, I’m going to edit my memory and believe he won.

I mean no offense to the actual Best Director winner, Michel Hazanavicius—how great would it have been if Zach Galifianakis presented the award and butchered his name too—because The Artist too was a work close to his heart. He had a vision and somehow captured it onscreen to win over the entire world and make cinema fans fall in love with silent movie stars once more.

I’m not so sure about the Governors’ Awards, however, since it appears they’ve gone the way of the Technicals. No longer does an industry member talk about the Lifetime Achievement winner before they come onstage to talk even longer. Now it’s a short clip montage and quick applause for the trio of Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones, and Dick Smith. And not only that, but they totally showed the climactic moment of Empire Strikes Back. Talk about a slap in George Lucas‘ face. Maybe he’ll just cut that famous revelation out of the next DVD edition.

@jaredmobarak • 75% of this show is recorded faces. Maybe that documentary joke of RDJ was real … #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Best Actor: Jean Dujardin. Really happy about this one #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Forgot Firth won his Single Man Oscar a year late #Oscars12
@jaredmobarak • Best Actress: Meryl Streep. Viola gets robbed. Uninspired pick. Still can’t believe her bad teeth beat Nobbs in make-up #Oscars12

As for the coveted Best Actor and Actress—no surprises. This is great where Jean Dujardin is concerned—his infectious smile IS The Artist—and lame when it comes to Meryl Streep. I know she hasn’t won in forever, but she’s been nominated almost every year since. Viola Davis was robbed in 2009 by Penélope Cruz—who really won a year late for Volver much like Colin Firth did for A Single Man—and while she wasn’t the best actress of the year in my opinion, she deserved the win.

I really find it quite boring that anytime someone impersonates a real life person it generally earns him or her gold. Isn’t the ability to create a living, breathing human soul out of nothing more impressive than someone who studied film footage and parroted the role? I know Streep’s Margaret Thatcher was more than this simplistic generalization, but it doesn’t make it right. At least give it to Glenn Close if not Viola.

@jaredmobarak • Best Picture: The Artist. I still say it won’t stand the test of time like Tree of Life, but still well deserved #Oscars12

And just like we all knew would happen, The Artist won Best Picture. It’s a film with wide appeal and film history detail making it perfect for the Academy’s conservative sensibilities. The real tragedy is that works like Melancholia and Shame—pieces with real artistic merit—and more crowd-pleasing successes like Beginners and 50/50 were noticeably absent.

Interesting to note is the fact John Goodman was not in attendance and how Uggie the dog somehow found a ticket when Cohen’s Dictator could not. Considering everyone and his mother knew the silent film would take top honors, I don’t mind that they figured the little guy would get one last time to shine onstage. Mini-Peter Lorre, or as he likes to call himself, Thomas Langmann, said his thanks and Hazanavicius got the opportunity to thank both his wife/star Bérénice Bejo and the ghost of Billy Wilder.

So, all in all the Oscars was a tame evening lacking any real surprise or controversy. Unmemorable yet effective, I think Billy Crystal kept his hosting legacy intact and proved less is more. I’ll still hold out hope that Ricky Gervais graces the stage next year, but when we find out it’s Tom Hanks instead, I won’t be too crushed.

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