The announcement of the 84th Academy Award nominations in January predictably saw a wave of protests wash over the forums and outlets of the online community
The announcement of the 84th Academy Award nominations in January predictably saw a wave of protests wash over the forums and outlets of the online community as the usual bout of oversights fell into the shadows. This year Michael Fassbender and Shame, Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About and TinTin seemed the biggest shuns, especially where BAFTA had embraced them openly.
The subject of the Academy awards is always faced with some cynicism from critics, industry members and audiences alike, with this year’s ceremony causing the originally nominated host Eddie Murphy to walk away from the role following the departure of the show’s producer Brett Ratner. The Hollywood’s producer stepped down after accusations of homophobic remarks, and so in rolled Brian Gazer, and Oscar winner himself and producer of A Beautiful Mind. Murphy’s prize grin was replaced with the nasal musings of previous host Billy Crystal, back for the ninth time.
The ceremony has been thrust forward from a $5 brunch affair at the Roosevelt in 1929 to the indulgent after parties of Vanity Fair and the global media coverage of tears and triumphs of today. The winners are determined by the Academy , a collection of invitation only industry members. You have to be sponsored by two other members and approved by the body of governors but then you’re in for good, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tom Hanks and Sacha Baron Cohens (who was barely allowed back on the red carpet this year, and with the Kim Jong-il Ryan Seacrest incident with good reason) and making career shaping decisions for your peers. As well as the A listers, directors and producers are the crew members, visual effects, sound editors and the like. It’s these voters that have been criticised for their previous decisions being decidedly “blue blooded” with films such as last year’s The Kids Are Alright being shunned over the King’s Speech. The ultimately decide the big visual winners as well, see Inception. Whereas BAFTA has always been a favourite for diversity and recognition outside of the big names of cinema, you can always count on the OSCARs for a show, and whereas Colin Firth probably won’t be stooping to replace Meryl Streep’s shoe like the contemporary prince he is, you can always hope for a Halle Berry style tear sodden speech, a wholly disaster of a red carpet outfit, see Bjork’s 2001 Swangate, or the infamous streaker during David Niven’s speech in 1974.
This year’s red carpet coverage could not have found more worthy hosts as most infamous couple in recent decades Miss Piggy and Kermit held the microphones up to the Clooneys and Chastains of the evening. Results wise it was tough to determine which route the academy would take; whether members would fall in tow with some pretty set opinions which of course is what makes the ceremony all the more fun.
As it turned out the winners were pretty much a reflection of the BAFTA results a few weeks prior, with The Artist storming most of the major categories and a gracious Streep clutching the third OSCAR of her career.
Best cinematography Robert Richardson, Hugo
Best art direction Hugo
Best costume design The Artist
Best make up The Iron Lady
Best foreign language film A Separation
Best actress in a supporting role Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best film editing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best sound editing Hugo
Best sound mixing Hugo
Best documentary feature Undefeated
Best animated film Rango
Best visual effects Hugo
Best actor in a supporting role Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best original score Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Best song Man or Muppet, The Muppets
Best adapted screenplay Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash, The Descendants
Best original screenplay Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Best live action short The Shore
Best documentary short Saving Face
Best animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore
Best director Michel Hazavanicius, The Artist
Best actor in a leading role Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best actress in a leading role Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best picture The Artist