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And The Oscar Goes To


 Oh her long, long silky smooth leg. The Academy Awards could have been so much more entertaining had they been hosted by Angelina Jolie's right leg. Instead, they chose Billy Crystal. Now as film buffs may recollect, Crystal was welcomed by a standing ovation when he came on to present at last year's awards. The Academy apparently mistook a brief spurt of nostalgia for a message from above and handed him the gig. His jokes seemed outdated and at times made younger viewers like me cringe. Hugh Jackman raised the bar and now it seems only contemporary stars can match his performance as host of the academy awards. Crystal's misery was compounded by the fact that one half of the first presenter duo was Emma Stone who I believe should have hosted the awards this year. She was genuinely funny and ever so energetic. Ben Stiller for once wasn't in full outer-space make-up! 

Usually when I discuss the Awards with friends I skip the technical awards line-up so as to not bore them to death. But even I was surprised to watch Hugo win the award for best special effects. I thought Rise of the Planet of the Apes (ROTPOTA) had this category nailed. This category exists to recognize groundbreaking work in visual effects and in the case of Hugo, as breath-taking as the visuals were, there was nothing path-breaking about them. The motion capture technology developed for ROTPOTA was the greatest achievement in special effects since Avatar. 

The writing category, as always had a lot of deserving contenders. It was only too easy to predict a win for The Descendants in the adapted screenplay category. It's debatable as to whether it deserved the award over say Hugo. In the original screenplay category I was rooting for Bridesmaids which was among the most hilarious comedies of the year. Never stood a chance against Midnight In Paris though. I'm not much of a Woody Allen fan but a deserving screenplay in a movie that featured the hitherto unknown acting talents of Owen Wilson! 

As for Editing, a category that is under-rated beyond belief, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo with an easy win. It was a no contest really. That screenplay with David Fincher at the helm is an editor's dream. The creepy setting and plot only add to the appeal. It's not uncommon for editing to walk hand in hand with Cinematography but this year Hugo owned this category for a visual treat of a film that it was. No one can dare grudge them their Oscar! Neither can anyone doubt Rango's credentials. Quite easily the best among the animated film category. If you're among those wondering why TinTin isn't even nominated it's because TinTin features Motion-capture animation which according to the academy puts it in the feature film category.

Christopher Plummer
Right. Now on to the big one quickly before I start talking about Angelina's leg again! In the Supporting Actor category Max Von Sydow and Christopher Plummer brought the stone age back to the Oscars and Plummer, the eventual winner made great, heartfelt acceptance speeches fashionable once more. Watching him receive the award after decades of rejection felt like watching Morgan Freeman's character finally receive parole in The Shawshank Redemption. After all those rejected parole pleas, Freeman's "Red" couldn't care less about getting parole and for the first time, speaks straight from the heart without any rehearsed embellishments. Much like Christopher Plummer at this year's Oscars. As for the women, another no contest with Octavia Spencer being the most deserving nominee. 

Meryl Streep
Jean Dujardin
For the awards for performances in the lead - The men's category had George Clooney and Brad Pitt in career defining performances and Gary Oldman nominated for yet another stellar performance. But the year belonged to Jean Dujardin who brought nostalgia to a theater near you in such poignant fashion. This is what The Academy wanted Billy Crystal to do, and it's what Dujardin did to perfection. Among the women, it's been a while since an award was this fiercely contested. As soon as the nominees were announced, people were quick to approve Rooney Mara's inclusion for having the balls to take on a role so risque that early on in her career and owning it. But they were just as quick to dismiss her chances of winning. Not this year. Not when Viola Davis, Michelle Williams and Glenn Close were nominated for performances which would have clinched the awards any other year. Not this year. Not when Meryl Streep is nominated for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. Not when she's nominated for a record 17th time. Not when on top of all else, she had to put on a foreign accent. Not this year. This year was Streep's and Streep's alone. 

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Nishant Boorla
Sarcasm means the world to me. Yeah that's always a good place to start. I watch movies...a lot of movies! Sports nut and a die hard Manchester United fan. Highly opinionated and that shows in my articles.


 

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