“If George Valentin could speak, he’d say, “Formidable! Merci beaucoup,” ~ Jean Dujardin, Best Actor, “The Artist“
That was Frenchman Dujardin’ reaction to winning the Oscar over favorite American George Clooney. There were the expected winners, “The Artist” taking the top three awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Dujardin’s Best Actor, putting the movies total statue count at six. It was followed closely by “Hugo” with five. The win for Best Actress by Meryl Streep for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” was an upset for favored nominee, Viola Davis for her role in “The Help“. I’m sure Melissa Harris Perry is pleased, she hated “The Help.” You can find all the winners marked with an asterisk in last night’s Live Blog diary.
It was an interesting night that was both old and new. Old in the age of many of the winners, Christopher Plummer, Best Supporting Actor, at 82 is the Academy’s oldest recipient.”You’re only two years older than me, darling!” Plummer said to the Oscar he was clutching. “Where have you been all my life?” In the ninth stint as host, a much older, comedian Billy Crystal along with a receding hairline was a lot of funnier than last year’s co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway. The new was that the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress wasn’t the first award given. As with last year all the life time and humanitarian awards are given the night before at a special ceremony, much like all the technical awards, with the winners announced and introduced en masse. It does shorten the show and the tedium.
There were some politics, inevitable in an election year. On of the proudest moments was when “A Separation“, became the first Iranian movie to win the Best foreign Language Film. In his acceptance speech, director Asghar Farhadi read a statement graciously thanking the Academy:
“At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy,” director Farhadi said while accepting the Oscar.
“At a time of talk of war, intimidation and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their county, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.”
“I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”
During last night’s broadcast, Center for Consumer Freedom, a corporate front group run by right-wing PR flack Rick Berman that is closely tied to the food industry purchased air time to run an attack ad on the Humane Society of the United States claiming that only a small percentage of their donations went to shelters. Of course they forgot to include the work the Humane Society does fighting animal cruelty in the courts and in legislatures. Sheesh
One of the most obvious politic quotes came from Tom Hanks, introducing Christian Bale, slyly quipped, “A dark knight, an American psycho, a charismatic crack addict — you’ll get to choose one on Super Tuesday!” That’s about right.
Then there were the fashions with the usual hits and misses. Most of the men looked dashing in their tuxedos wit a few minor faux pas, like George Clooney’s Armani pants pooling around the top of his shoes and a number of more well endowed ladies in ill fitting stapless gowns. But the talk of the night were the ladies in red, or shades of red.
Ladies in Red left to right: Livia Firth in Valentino for the Green Carpet Challenge; Natalie Portman in vintage Christian Dior; Jane Seymour.
I guess it’s a matter of taste.