Now boasting rather heavy pockets after marching through awards seasons, The Artist was the big winner of the night, picking up 5 Academy Awards including the biggie – Best Picture. Michel Hanzanavicius won Best Director – his inevitable step into the world of Hollywood ‘talkies’ will be an interesting journey to follow.
The Artist’s 5 Oscars was matched by Martin Scorsese’s Hugo – which swept the Academy’s technical awards. Nominated for 5 awards, The Descendants came away with the Best Adapted Screenplay (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash). Woody Allen won his 4th Oscar (3rd for Best Original Screenplay) for his screenplay for Midnight in Paris.
There were no shocks at all in the acting categories with Jean Dujardin winning best actor, Meryl Streep Best Actress (her 3rd win in 17 nominations), Octavia Spencer winning the Best Supporting Actress and Christopher Plummer now becoming the oldest person to ever receive an Oscar, aged 82. He won Best Supporting Actor for his wonderful performance in Beginners.
Meanwhile the tedious red carpet was livened up with Sacha Baron Cohen in full The Dictator regalia spilling the ashes of his ‘good friend and doubles tennis partner’ Kim Jong-Il onto presenter Ryan Seacrest. Quite what they were expecting to happen when they decided to let Cohen appear as The Dictator, I don’t know… Probably not something that messy (or hilarious!).
In an era of booming social media, another big winner of the night was Angelina Jolie’s right leg spawning its own Twitter page – and amassing 10k+ followers in a matter of hours (@AngiesRightLeg).
All in all, it was an Academy Awards that will not only be remembered for The Artist’s dominance, but also for its rather curious omissions (Shame, Drive, Senna, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Tintin) – and the inclusion of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, the worst reviewed Best Picture nominee of all time. Meanwhile, nominations for my favourite film of the year The Guard were nowhere to be found. Are the Academy Awards really a celebration of the year’s best films, or just an exercise in raising the profile of cinema? It’s always been rather political, but I’m really struggling for reasons behind the aforementioned omissions…
Anyway, congratulations to The Artist!!
The complete list of winners can be found here: http://oscar.go.com/nominees