Billy Crystal put on a funny and classy act. Opening the show with his signature montage of footage from the nominated films and inserting himself into the scenes was a great start to the ceremony and he poked a lot of fun at the bankrupt Kodak Theatre calling it the Chapter 11 theatre.
Also very funny were Iron Man cast Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, who were presenters for the Documentary award, being followed around by a camera crew because Robert was making a documentary called ‘The Presenter’, and Chris Rock’s explanation on how easy it is to do voice work for animation presented the animated feature.
I won my Oscar pool again this year predicting 17 of the awards accurately. Admittedly the pool only had three people in it and the other two even peeked at my ballot and still came up short. That’s the nice thing about Oscar pools; everyone sticks to their sentimental choices no matter what.
The Artist and Hugo tied with 5 Oscars each. I expected both these films to do well as they had the most nominations but Hugo did better than I predicted, winning for Cinematography, which I thought would go to The Tree of Life and Visual Effects which I thought would be awarded to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Other surprises include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo winning for Editing and Undefeated winning for best Documentary feature. The editors of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were so surprised to be up at the podium that they were totally unprepared to give a speech and then just said ‘Let’s get outa here’ in disbelief.
Meryl Streep winning for best Actress was a bit of an upset as Viola Davis was favored to win for The Help but most other categories went as expected.
The Artist came out the big winner with Oscars for best Picture, Director, Actor, Costume and Score.
Hugo also won big with Oscars for Cinematography, Visual Effects, Art Direction and two Sound awards.
The Iron Lady won both of its two Oscar nominations for best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Makeup.
The Descendants won one of its five nominated Oscars for Adapted Screenplay.
Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris won one of its four Oscar nominations for best Original Screenplay.
The Help won one of its three nominations for best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer)
Beginners won the Oscar for best Supporting Actor (Christopher Plummer)
Iran’s A Separation won for best foreign film.
Rango won for best animated feature as predicted.
The Muppets won the Oscar for best Song ‘Man or Muppet’
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse all nominated for best film came out with no wins.