That's a Wrap!

Well the 84th Academy Awards have come to an end. If you read my previous post then you know all of the insecurities I had with some of these categories. As it turns out, I was probably over-thinking most of them. Definitely some surprises that no one (that I heard of) saw coming, but all just part of what made this a great night.

The show, in general, was a pretty good one. I enjoyed Billy Crystal as the host again - though it did feel like he missed on a few of his jokes; the timing or maybe even just content wasn't quite right on some of them. But he is an enjoyable guy, and really a face that just feels like the Academy Awards. One of my favorite parts of the evening was the Cirque du Soleil performance. Going into it I thought it was going to be overkill and that they didn't need to waste time putting on pointless performances. But I have to say, with the help of Danny Elfman's music as the driving force and theme behind the entire performance - which by the way really showed through - it actually made for an enjoyable segment.

The rest of the show went pretty much as expected though. They only went a couple of minutes over their scheduled time, which is good. It was a tidy three hours. And all of the actors and presenters were great too. Everyone really looked to be having a good time.

Anyway. While we'll be discussing the awards in full on this week's episode of the Slackers Selection CinemaCast, check after the break for a full listing of all of the winners, as well as some of my quick thoughts on a lot of those categories I was so unsure about going into the night.

In all five of the tech categories that I discussed previously (omitting Film Editing because that one actually went to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") - Art Direction, Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects - it was indeed "Hugo" that swept the field. "War Horse" didn't win either of the sound categories, "The Artist" didn't take Art Direction or Cinematography, and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" didn't win for Visual Effects. I mentioned it as a possibility that "Hugo" could sweep the field, but I truly thought there'd be some variety throughout. I knew the Academy loved the movie, I guess I just didn't realize quite how much. "Hugo" was a wonderful piece of film-making though, and I'm glad to see it win. I just expected they'd share the love with some of the other films.

Arguably the biggest upset of the night went to Meryl Streep for her win in the Best Actress category over the presumed front-runner Viola Davis. Other than at the BAFTA's (which most of us chalked-up to their preference for a British-themed film), Davis cleaned up. She took home every other notable Best Actress award, and did everything perfectly. Her speeches were all genuine and heartfelt, and there seemed to be a lot of sentiment for a hard-working actor finally getting her dues. But again, we underestimated the Academy. They love Meryl Streep. She's been nominated a million times (only 17 actually), and I guess they thought she needed a win tonight. I'm not upset or bothered in the slightest by the win (heck, she didn't even freak out this time, so that's already a plus!), it was just surprising. We'll hit on this more in our CinemaCast, but it was definitely note-worthy.

Outside of those categories though, most all other awards went out as expected. "The Artist" and "Hugo" both tied for the most award wins taking in five each.

The big "losers" tonight were "Moneyball" and "The Tree of Life" - two films that were beautifully made that most thought would find some love somewhere in the field. But alas, they did not (and for the record, I was 16 of 24 in my predictions - I completely bombed thinking that the tech categories would all be divvied up between three of four films).

Here's a list of all of the nominees and winners, information via the Academy's main site:

Best Picture
"War Horse"
"The Artist" -- Winner
"The Descendants"
"The Tree of Life"
"Midnight In Paris"
"The Help"
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

"The Artist" - Michel Hazanavicius -- Winner
"The Descendants" - Alexander Payne
"Hugo" - Martin Scorsese 
"Midnight in Paris" - Woody Allen
"The Tree of Life" - Terrence Malick

Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir in "A Better Life"
George Clooney in "The Descendants" 
Jean Dujardin in "The Artist" -- Winner
Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis in "The Help"
Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady" -- Winner 
Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"
Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte in "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer in "Beginners" -- Winner
Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Actress in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo in "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain in "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer in "The Help" -- Winner

Writing (Original Screenplay)
"The Artist" - Written by Michel Hazanavicius
"Bridesmaids" - Written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig
"Margin Call" - Written by J.C. Chandor
"Midnight in Paris" - Written by Woody Allen -- Winner 
"A Separation" - Written by Asghar Farhadi

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"The Descendants" - Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon and Jim Rash -- Winner 
"Hugo" - Screenplay by John Logan
"The Ides of March" - Screenplay by George Clooney and Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
"Moneyball" - Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" - Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan

Visual Effects
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
"Hugo" - Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning -- Winner 
"Real Steel" - Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" - Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Sound Mixing
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
"Hugo" - Tom Fleischman and John Midgley -- Winner 
"Moneyball" - Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
"War Horse" - Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Sound Editing
"Drive" - Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - Ren Klyce
"Hugo" - Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty -- Winner 
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
"War Horse" - Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Film Editing
"The Artist" Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
"The Descendants" Kevin Tent
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall -- Winner 
"Hugo" - Thelma Schoonmaker
"Moneyball" - Christopher Tellefsen

Art Direction
"The Artist" - Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
"Hugo" - Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo -- Winner 
"Midnight in Paris" - Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Helene Dubreuil
"War Horse" - Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

"The Artist" - Guillaume Schiffman
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - Jeff Cronenweth
"Hugo" - Robert Richardson -- Winner
"The Tree of Life" - Emmanuel Lubezki
"War Horse" - Janusz Kaminski

Music (Original Song)
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" - Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie -- Winner 
"Real in Rio" from "Rio" - Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Music (Original Score)
"The Adventures of Tintin" - John Williams
"The Artist" - Ludovic Bource -- Winner 
"Hugo" - Howard Shore
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" - Alberto Iglesias
"War Horse" - John Williams

"Albert Nobbs" - Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
"The Iron Lady" - Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland -- Winner 

Costume Design
"Anonymous" - Lisy Christl
"The Artist" - Mark Bridges -- Winner 
"Hugo" - Sandy Powell
"Jane Eyre" - Michael O'Connor
"W.E." - Arianne Phillips

Animated Feature Film
"A Cat in Paris" - Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
"Chico & Rita" - Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
"Kung Fu Panda 2" - Jennifer Yuh Nelson
"Puss in Boots" - Chris Miller
"Rango" - Gore Verbinski -- Winner

Documentary (Feature)
"Hell and Back Again" - Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
"If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" - Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" - Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Pina" - Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
"Undefeated" - TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas -- Winner

Foreign Language Film
"Bullhead" - Belgium
"Footnote" - Israel
"In Darkness" - Poland
"Monsieur Lazhar" - Canada
"A Separation" - Iran -- Winner

Short Film (Animated)
"Dimanche/Sunday" - Patrick Doyon
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" - William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg -- Winner 
"La Luna" - Enrico Casarosa
"A Morning Stroll" - Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
"Wild Life" - Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Documentary)
"The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement" - Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
"God Is the Bigger Elvis" - Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
"Incident in New Baghdad" - James Spione
"Saving Face" - Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy -- Winner
"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" - Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Short Film (Live Action)
"Pentecost" - Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane
"Raju" - Max Zahle and Stefan Gieren
"The Shore" Terry George and Oorlagh George -- Winner
"Time Freak" - Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
"Tuba Atlantic" - Hallvar Witzø