As my father liked to say every Christmas morning, “It’s all over but the shoutin’.”
The 2012 Academy Awards were presented last night in Hollywood and as usual the morning after effect is in full swing.
For anyone who was trapped in an elevator overnight with zero cellphone service available, the French silent dramedy The Artist predictably took home the Best Picture Oscar along with awards for Best Actor, Director, and Costume Design.
Martin Scorsese’s Hugo tied with The Artist by also taking home five golden boys which, in the adsence of any acting categories, were all for technical ones such as Best Art Direction, Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects.
While Oscar critics and blahggers (no, that’s not a typo) perenially complain about the show being boring and predictable, no one can make the complaint regarding the latter for last night’s welcome return to form, even if “form” means safe and relatively uncontroversial.
Billy Crystal returned for a much-anticipated ninth appearance as master of ceremony and the man who begat the beloved musical movie title medley was welcomed by the attending Academy members with open arms.
However, the show was barely halfway through it’s nearly three and a half hour running time when the blahgesphere lit up with complaints that Billy Crystal’s previously adored impersonation of the late Sammy Davis Jr. was nothing short of a white man appearing in blackface.
Give us a break, people.
Surprisingly, no neo-Nazis have yet to complain that the punchline to the Sammy bit was “Let’s kill Hitler.”
Despite this anemic bit of noncontroversial controversy, Crystal did the job just fine, even if at times he came across as everyone’s dear uncle who liked to tell the same jokes over and over.
And unlike James Franco, he didn’t live-tweet once from the stage.
The show did contain at least a few surprises and viral video-worthy moments such as 29-year in a row “loser” Meryl Streep pulling a “hail Meryl” by winning Best Actress for her so-real-it’s scary performance as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”
Many prognosticators, including yours truly, thought “The Help’s” Viola Davis was a virtual lock this year. Hasta la vista, Oscar office pool winnings!
As funny as Crystal was though, he couldn’t top the zingers and antics supplied by comedians Will Ferrell, Zach Galifinakas, and Chris Rock, who killed in a bit describing how doing animated voiceover work is the easiest gig in town.
Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., and Emma Stone’s podium shtick didn’t go over quite as well but no one totally bombed either. Also, no one was cut off by the normally trigger-happy Oscars band but there wasn’t any classic “WTF” moments in the Sacheen Littlefeather vein either.
That dubious honor went to actress-turned-tabloid-magnet Sean Young after the broadcast when she was arrested for misdemeanor battery charges outside the illustrious Vanity Fair Oscars party.
Apparently, Ms. Young had “camped out” in front of the entrance in order to get photo ops with some of the A list guests of honor but was forcibly removed after slapping a security guard who had attempted to escort her off the property.
Once a Replicant, always a Replicant.
For a complete list of winners, click here.
Ward Porrill would like to thank the Academy for 84 years of saluting the wonderful world of the movies. Now about that whole Kevin Costner beating out Martin Scorsese thing…