Oscar History

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« Internal Conflict & Streep's Third Oscar | Main | The Morning After »

Gold Thread, Crystal Host, Bronze Bragging (If We Must)

1. Open (Gold) Thread! What's one thing you most want to discuss in the post-mortem?
Besides the [ahem] obvious. Here's the schedule...

Tonight & Tomorrow
Key Moments, Internal Conflict, Good Speech, Final Takeaway

Fashion Wrap up.

2. Billy's Return?
One of the online Oscar sports each year is arguing about how well the Oscar Host did? I confess that this isn't an area that ever sparks much from me in terms of critique or conversation since The Host(s) isn't at all why I watch the show. But how'd you think he did?

I thought Reasonably Fine Not Special though there was an awful lot of asking for assurance that he was 'reasonably fine,' right? A lot of "wasn't that amazing/beautiful/special?" Um... if you say so, Billy.

3. How'd you do on your predictions?
I scored a not-embarrassing but hardly statue worthy 17/24. I assume this puts me outside the "shortlist" of Best Predictors, no medals for me. Not even bronze. I've been snubbed... by myself and my wishful / pessimistic thinking stumbles (either can get you into trouble). If you beat me, feel free to brag about it in the comments.

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Reader Comments (47)

The Viola loss cuts deep. It proves that Best Actress is the unmoveable impossible.

Nick Davis, baby, get on it!

Best Actress: Icons Viola Davis
1 Nomination (11), 0 Wins
1 Supporting Nomination (08), 0 Wins

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfull

1) The awards themselves were such a snooze across the board (even the best actress "upset") that I'm really really really really beyond ready to stop talking about 2011 Oscar movies and start thinking about 2012.

2) I thought Crystal was fine - a vast improvement over last year's disaster, and about in line with his past performances. He handled the size of the show with grace, had a couple funny jokes, and looked like he was having a blast. That's more than enough for me. Then again, I've always liked Crystal - never really understood the complaints he got, especially in later years.

3) 15/24 - I overestimated the size of The Artist's wave and underestimated the degree to which Hugo would dominate the tech categories. Alas, alack.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the Lubezki thing. What's wrong with them (particularly when one also takes Mr. Roger Deakins into consideration)?
When I'm going through some of the Meryl and Viola comments, then I'm beginning to think that The Film Experience is on its way of becoming an IMDb board.
And I really don't like that Billy Crystal always has to chuckle over his own jokes.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilly

just want to say i have been following your articles for years and i love your site. As for the Oscars i did very well this year i i was 19 of 24 and considering the one's that i missed were mostly the shorts and docs (missed 3of 4) so i was 18 of 20 in the major categories. so this was my best year ever. Anyway want to say keep up the good work and hope to see the rest of the film bitch awards for this year soon and can't wait until next year

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjeff

I got 13 right. Good show overall, very well produced. I actually thought it flowed better than usual. Liked the musical touches. Crystal was ok. He had some hits, some misses... no big whoop.

I wish there had been a tie in the style of Hepburn/Streisand... because they both deserved it for way different reasons. Happy for Meryl, but was slightly pushing for Viola. Good thing to take away from this: Meryl has been given the ultimate life achievement now and she can just be good in movies again... and Viola will now be in more fabulous movies and finally win in the upcoming years.

And Oh lord, isn't Jean Dujardin delicious?

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Oh, and yes... Lubezki... ROBBED AGAIN!

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

I for one am delighted whenever there is an "upset". I mean how boring is it when the expected same people wiln over and over and over. That's why Best Actor and Actress this year were so great for me, because really any of them could have been possibilities.
Welcome the unexpected!!

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Also I hope that next year we will not see a Naomi Watts steamroller in every awards show for playing Princess Diana! lol


February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

1.- Time flies! Can't believe Woody Allen's last won an Oscar 25 years ago. It was 1987, my very first year watching the show live so... congratulations to me! I don't quite get why I keep watching it since I almost never end satisfied.

2.- I have never been a Billy Crystal fan. Overall, I think he was pretty boring and self-indulgent. I really don't want him to repeat.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

She won't. She's yesterday's news.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfull

3rtfull... are you referring to Naomi Watts or Billy Crystal? LOL

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid


February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfull

Robert, regarding the Lubezki disaster: It's certainly not unreasonable to assume that they fell asleep during the first seconds of The Tree of Life, but even then they could have voted for that film in cinematography. Lubezki had won the critics awards, the ASC award, never won an Oscar despite four previous nominations, and Malick's films seem to have at least moderate support within The Academy. I don't get it.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilly

On a superficial level, as soon as I saw Viola Davis in that unflattering gown, I had a feeling she wouldn't win. Just didnt scream " best actress" winner to me. Then, when " The Iron Lady" won best make up, I knew we'd be having "La Vie En Rose" all over again. And when i saw what color she wore when she won her second Oscar and how it resembled her gown last night. It was a clear sign.
Oh Well, at least she's finally got her third now. time to give the overdue status to some other deserving actresses. I think we can all agree that Viola Davis joined that rank now. Let's just hope she win the makeup Oscar in lead, not supporting.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGolden

I feel like such a noob for crying during the in memoriam segment! Perfect ending with Elizabeth Taylor. I was completely expecting Clooney and Davis to win so I was happily surprised Streep and Dujardin won. Little moment that I loved was Berenice Bejo translating what Natalie Portman said about Jean Dujardin.
Not impressed with Billy Crystal, laughing at his own jokes and stuff. Loved Emma Stone presenting and Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis were hilarious!

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNina

I also loved the Stone's bit. Too bad she was paired with Ben Stiller. His comedic chops peaked in " theres something about mary", imo. So it didn't go as smooth as it should have been.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGolden

I first tried reasoning that it was possible the Academy members at large take the work of Lubezki and Deakins for granted, as if they're just so consistently great that it's hard to single out one movie as the one for which they should win an Oscar. But then I got a bit more cynical and realized that the projects they tend to do, for the most part, are a bit more daring than the usual winners in this category. They like pretty pictures, especially pretty pictures set against pretty scenery. A pretty telling statistic is that only one of the past ten Best Cinematography winners won for a film that was not also nominated for Best Art Direction. In addition, Cinematography and Art Direction have gone to the same movie for five out of the past ten years. I take that as a pretty clear indication that they like lush, pretty imagery over rich, thematic lighting.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn-Paul

@Robert: Delicious isn't even the word. He's quickly replaced Michael Fassbender as my European actor crush.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Jean Dujardin is the new George Clooney. He charmed the hell out of everyone. Totally happy he won best actor and kept George Clooney from winning from that movie.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGolden

1. MERYL and WOODY won their third and this time i was around to see it happen [by around i mean been born] - i was so shocked by the ACTRESS "upset" [even though she was my alt] that i don't even remembered it [maybe i passed out] - i actually i'm glad they won but is it wrong to think that they won for the wrong movies?

2. BILLY was fine, the ceremony was not, it was an open call for whoever was willing to perform, the montages were terrible [TWILIGHT? the HANGOVER?], the directing was so bad [worst reaction shots ever] and the presenters were a snooze, everyone apparently has tenure and has to present every year - at least EMMA STONE was fantastic.

3. i did horrible, 12/24; i think i have never done this bad but i blame awards season fatigue but most likely both optimistic thinking [MONEYBALL in editing and writing = what was i thinking? - the IRON LADY has to go empty handed = so wrong] and pessimistic thinking as well [A SEPARATION and the MUPPETS winning is too good to be true].

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterseasondays

On the whole, I thought this year's winners were definitely above par - happy for A Separation, Beginners, The Artist, Dragon Tattoo, Rango, The Muppets (even if it was for the wrong song), the make-up team of The Iron Lady and that Art Direction didn't go to something garish for a change.

Too bad that the screenplay categories, which are often the awesomest, were this time by far the worst. I mean, seriously - both The Descendants and Midnight in Paris are at best mediocre and that's actually mostly due to their half-assed scripts.

And I'm sorry for Viola that this turned out to be the year the Academy had had enough of postponing Meryl's third Oscar. If only she had already gotten it for Adaptation... But I have to say, it was still great to see Meryl finally win one in my lifetime.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJan

I knew he was most likely not going to win Best Actor, but my heart and soul wanted Demian Bichir to win the gold statue! I sincerely loved the Artist and Jean Dujardin's performance was great, but I wanted the man who gave a voice to those who cannot speak to get the honor.

As a young Latina, I can say that I am still proud that he was nominated, especially for a movie that was not on my radar until about a month ago.

As for the Meryl and Viola fight, I think both deserved the Oscar. I am happy Meryl won, but I would have felt the same if Viola won, too. I can only hope the Fences adaptation comes out, though. Viola does deserve an Oscar and anyways, Fences was a damn good play :)

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIzzBzz

There ceremony was nice, but it lacked any 1 big memorable moment. When you eliminate the honorary awards and the song performances you kinda take the variety out of the variety show.

That said, I thought the ceremony got a lot of the little things right. Most of the presenters were fun. Emma Stone's bit was great. The Bridesmaids ladies were great. Even Will Ferrell and Zack G were funny.

Crystal had some good moments but the whole putting self into movies opening montage and "It's time for Oscar" musical number feel like mandatory annoyances that come along with him anymore.

I loved how many of the nominee readings were intercut with interview snippets describing why they were nom-worthy.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Honestly in a weird way, this could be good for Viola Davis. If she had won this year, there was an unfortunately large chance that the industry would pat themselves on the back and call it a day, then completely forget about her and go back to ignoring scripts with African American leads until her name was no longer viable. Now they are kind of obligated to give her roles. The uproar over her loss may actually help her career more than an award would.

And now that Meryl Streep has her Oscar, maybe she can go back to giving performances that are daring and difficult, rather than baity. The whole situation is unexpected, but it seems like a sort of a win to me. The cinematography category on the other hand: complete travesty. I'm still fuming.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Brad Pitt not winning for Moneyball (his last scene -- gah!) and not even getting *nominated* for The Tree of Life is the real casualty of the night. (DuJardin is delicious though, and delightful in The Artist.)

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

My naive hope is that Alexander Payne, the Coen Brothers, Lynn Ramsey, Jason Reitman, Todd Haynes, and Paul Thomas Anderson are now fired up to write a string of lead roles for Viola and she gets to deliver one knockout performance after another.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan

1) Meryl! I'd love for Viola to win, but this was unexpected (at least for me, I was certain Meryl would lose again) and you gotta love when something surprises you! Same goes for Film Editing (yay!) and Cinematography (meh!). And the Dean from Community mocking Angelina!! haha

2) Wasn't impressed. Maybe because I had high expectations, dunno. I chuckled a few times, but most of it was painfully unfunny and felt forced... Could've been worse, I suppose. And there was something wrong with the sound!

3) It depends. On the ballot I filled just before the Oscars: 18/24. On the ones I had on GoldDerby and the Oscars site: 19/24

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Just off the top of my mind: how come you have Spencer, Plummer and Dujardin featured in the TFE header but not Ms Streep?!

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

I had an odd feeling early on in the night when Meryl featured rather prominently in the show and especially when Billy Crystal specifically made a joke about how she needed an Oscar. I know the votes are "sealed," but you have to wonder if the producers knew what was going to happen...

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Well with this miss Glenn Close is tied with Thelma Ritter and Deborah Kerr as the most nominated actresses without a win not a club she was anxious to get in I'm sure. However this nom should get her back in the features game so maybe she'll get another crack at a statue.

It seemed like a real squeaker between Viola and Meryl, a tie would have been ideal but they are so rare, she'll be back. I hope though they don't just throw a statue at her like they did with Bette Davis the first time, Joan Fontaine for losing with Rebecca and several others. Meryl's great but can they now stop nominating her for every other film, she's always fine so that's a given let other fine performers get the spotlight and opportunity.

Would have loved to see a real surprise in Best Actor and have Brad walk away with the prize but I'm glad for Jean DuJardin and hope it leads to some real leads not villains in mass entertainment junk.

The show itself was fine not the best ever but certainly not the worst. Billy moved thing along but comes across as smug. Get Neil Patrick Harris next year, he's the best host for these kind of things by far, Hugh Jackman is great too, as far as him being too TV Johnny Carson hosted for years and they were some of the best. It requires someone who is facile and charming who can move the beast along, not a great actor.

Know the fashion review isn't up yet but I have to say that while what there was of JLo's dress was beautiful I am tired of seeing her popping out at every turn. We get it you're proud of the girls but suggestion is far more appealing than a full show. I busted out laughing when she said the line about Edith Head saying a dress should be loose enough to show the actress wearing it was a lady while she was dressed like a dockside floozy.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

@Evan That made me think the exact opposite thing, haha! It felt like they were "conforting" Meryl since she would lose yet again. A small tribute of sorts.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Am I the only one who will ever long for Steve Martin as Oscar's host? I mean, without Baldwin? Martin has always been so smart and lovely, and perfect for this show. Martin is so underrated, even as Oscar host, damn it!

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Meryl Streep is the master of external appearances — eyes, voice, mannerisms, tics — but has never disappeared as an actress.

The masses are too blinded by her strong mimicking abilities to realize the extent of her limitations.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Close is not endng up a Ritter or Kerr, but rather the way of Geraldine Page.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim B.

1) My absolute favorite moment of the show was Scorsese's clearly confused face during the Scorsese-drinking-game call back. My Oscar party, most of whom knew the SAG bit, went nuts about it.

2) I went 18/24 - and that's because I didn't have the guts to go for Hugo in the two categories I was hedging on: Cinematography and Visual FX (does Rob Legato always seem angry he's won?) and I didn't want Meryl win so I refused to put her down.

3) How many people were booing and hissing Sandra Bullock when Meryl won? If Meryl takes it for J&J, then we wouldn't have our Viola loss :-(

4) Emma Stone, I love you.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjtagliere

i did horribly on my picks. I leaned too much on what I wanted to win in various categories (Moneyball, Tree of Life, A Separation). Has anyone seen the best documentary winner? I hadn't even heard of it. I was sure Pina was going to win. As for the best actress thing, well...I am tired of the whole conversation. I love Meryl and grew up with her in Kramer, Sophie, Deerhunter, Manhattan, etc. I remember back then a criticism of her was "she acts with her hair." That's the same argument, I guess, as the notion that she's all surface. I don't know how you can watch her in anything and not see the soul beyond the surface. That said, I really wanted Viola Davis to win. That was a great performance. But yeah, I am tired of the conversation, including my part in it, so I will stop. This weekend I am going to see a new release for the first time in months. Time to move into the movie present, I suppose.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertimothy

1. I kind of agree with Tim B-Close has a hunger for this thing again. After waiting 23 years for a sixth nomination, she clearly, clearly wants it, and I suspect is going to start getting her hands on any Oscar bait she can find and while I suspect it will be supporting, she seems like she'll return.

Of the Best Actresses, I kind of feel like this is it for Viola Davis and Rooney Mara-unless Denzel signs on for Fences, it's just not going to happen, and he really seems gung-ho on making adventure movies with high pay days more than prestige. Davis could get in for supporting, that's true, but there simply aren't enough lead roles for African-American actresses out there for her. The fact that even Whoopi Goldberg, who was a far more bankable movie star than Davis, couldn't get more than two nominations when she was a marquee name, sort of shows that Davis's third nomination is going to be a steep uphill climb. Mara, I feel, lucked into this nomination because of the Academy's weird aversion to Tilda Swinton (2007 aside), and doesn't have the sort of personality of an actress who is going to take \"Best Actress\" sort of roles. Again, could be wrong (she is very young), but she doesn't have that vibe and doesn't have great tact in interviews.

As far as the \"first-time\" nominees in acting, I think Chastain is back very soon (possibly this year) and is the real deal as far as Streep/Blanchett/Winslet successors; DuJardin is likely a one-and-done sort of situation, as is Bichir, as is Bejo, as is probably Spencer. Since statistically it's something like 65% of them that won't return, my gut is that 3-4 returners will be Chastain, Oldman (who is going to get offered a King's Speech in the next few years), and McCarthy (who I keep feeling is going to take a play from the Bates playbook and get in again in an ensemble) all make it back. Jonah Hill is a question mark-very young guy, if he doesn't ruin his career with bad comedic decisions (The Sitter), he could also be back.

2. Billy did well-I think one of the things that the 9 nominees does is hinder hosts, and the sound guys at the beginning should be canned, but other than that it was a solid show, some stand-out presenters (Stone, McCarthy), and though I can quibble (no song performances? Come on), as a whole I liked it. Plus, hosting the Oscars it the world's most thankless job-no one likes the people who do it the morning, so I'm just going to stay on the side of it was a fun evening.

3. I got 19 out of 24, which I'm pretty darn proud of-I can't remember the last time I got all of the Short films right, and while I usually argue otherwise, I think seeing them this year actually helped quite a bit (wish I could say the same for Editing-saw them all and didn't see that one coming).

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

@John T, I think your predictions are spot on (in McCarthy's case, I certainly hope so).

I think my favorite moment of last night's broadcast was Close's sincerely happy applause for Meryl. Successful women are so often pitted against each other (and these two women in particular have been pitted against each other) that it was nice to see a gracious, sweet response from Meryl's generational colleague. I'm crossing my fingers that Glenn gets a lucky number seven (!).

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

1) Both actress awards felt weird to me. It was like wow, Octavia Spencer has an Oscar now. But it doesn't feel right to me because I kinda felt like...Octavia has an Oscar but Viola doesn't. I feel like it was a package deal and it feels incomplete to me without Viola winning (not to mention Viola deserved it and a win would've meant a lot more for her).

Merly winning was strange because...I'm so used to her losing that it was kind of like an outer-body experience. Like, she was actually winning another Oscar and I'm witnessing it. It was weird. I wish I could've enjoyed it more, but I was full-on Viola. She gave an amazingly classy speech, of course, that kinda made me tear up a little because as much as she can pretend it didn't, I know it meant a lot to her and she knew it was kind of a career thing - she was moved and was like \"thank you for this amazing career.\" So as much as I wanted Viola to win, I still appreciate Meryl of course and loved her speech. I only wish it was back in 2009 instead.

2) I thought he was okay, but uh...Idk. I wish they would've just had Whoopi back.

3) I got 18/24. Pretty good.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Meryl's speech was epic, and so emotional, it was just wonderful seeing her up there again, you should post the speech Nat.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I was also sad that they totally rushed Octavia off stage. I didn't feel satisfied with her speech.

I actually had this weird feeling a few days ago that Meryl would win too. I just felt it. But I just stuck with Viola because aside from it being neck-and-neck between the two, it was also wishful thinking since I really wanted her to win.

I could tell when Viola didn't hear her name she hesitated :(. It made me so sad. It sucks for her to come that close and not get it. :/

Also, I was surprised at how happy Glenn looked when Meryl won. Acting? lol.

The cinematography award was a mess. How many times are CGI-heavy movies going to win that award? It's unfair to films (i.e. The Tree of Life) that make amazing shots with just a camera, not making it completely with CGI. Like, what they showed for Hugo (the train station) was clearly very CGI-ed.

Overall, I enjoyed the show. It was a little messy, but I enjoyed it more than the past few ceremonies I think.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Suzanne-I agree. One of the best things to do the day after the Oscars is watch the reaction shots, and I was surprised that Glenn looked the happiest there. As much as the public pitted the two of them against each other for decades, I have a feeling that they truly are friends in real life.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T



February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfull

The dresses please!!!! Talk about the dresses

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHonduran

we will. but that takes a while to collate all the photos. we'll do it wednesday i hope.

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

19/24! Woot! Best I've ever done. Missed Editing (would have never guessed \"Dragon Tattoo\" over FOUR BP nominees), Visual Effects (thought for sure they'd go with \"Apes\"--never count out a BP nominee there), Cinematography (sniff, sniff Emmanuel Lubeski), Documentary (was totally guessing on \"Paradise Lost 3\", just thought the notoriety would catapult it to the top--haven't seen any of the nominees, since regular folk aren't allowed to see them in theaters), and Live Action Short (\"The Shore\" was middle of the pack at best--\"Tuba Atlantic\" was robbed). Funny thing is how little I cared about the races this year, and that would be the year I do my best predictions. Here's to more gimmicky BP winners and blah acting categories next year!

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvy

//Am I the only one who will ever long for Steve Martin as Oscar's host? I mean, without Baldwin? Martin has always been so smart and lovely, and perfect for this show. Martin is so underrated, even as Oscar host, damn it!//

@calroth -Agreed. His comment to Richard Gere (when Gere was not nominated for Chicago - not that he should have been) "Welcome to my world" is one of the best-ever quips from an Oscar host IMO. (I'm still waiting for them to hire NPH, though.)

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice
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