"Hugo" snags its fifth Oscar for best visual effects. "The Artist" wasn't nominated but still ...
And Pixar wins the best animated feature for ... oh, wait, Pixar wasn't nominated this year. There is no joy in Emeryville as "Rango" takes home the prize.
We have our first musical playoff as the award is accepted for best documentary and things go long. But "Undefeated," which won't open in Bay Area theaters until next Friday and may be limited to only San Francisco theater, is a very worthy winner. It's "Blind Side" without all the schmaltz and a lot more edge.
Cirque du Soleil live? Mesmerizing. Cirque du Soleil on television? Not so much.
Well, there's no question the Academy voters think "Hugo" is a really well-made film -- a really, really well-made film. It just grabbed the awards for sound editing and mixing -- making it four gold guys for the evening already. It may not get the top prize but it looks like Martin Scorcese may go home with the most Oscars. Oh, and "The Artist" got another unexpected (and unwanted) surprise when the film editing award went to "The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo." Still betting that "The Artist" is there at the end of the evening (whenever that comes) but ...
Ah, we were starting to roll along -- and then came an utterly pointless skit involving "The Wizard of Oz" and focus groups. Billy liked it, though, congratulating those in the skit and saying, "Weren't they hilarious?" Uh, actually, not really.
Let the predictability commence: OK, everybody who thought Olivia Spencer WASN'T going to win best supporting actress for "The Help" raise your hands. That's what I thought. The couple of you who did: Your Oscar credentials have been revoked. Nice to see Spencer get a spontaneous standing ovation.
The producers of the Oscar telecast seem to determined to get the awards Hollywood loves but no one else cares about out of the way early. "The Artist" wins for best costume design; "Iron Lady" gets best makeup. And if you're thinking: how hard is it to do costumes for a film that's in black and white? Well, sometimes the last thing that looks good in black and white is black and white. And props to winner Mark Bridges for his shout-out for being from Niagara Falls. Those of us born and raised in upstate New York don't often admit it.
The first awards -- the highly-anticipated golden guys for best art direction and best cinematography -- are finally handed out and go to ... "Hugo," even though "The Artist" is a nominee in both categories. Should we read anything into that? Probably not but you can discuss among yourselves if you like.
Well, it's actually Morgan Freeman (that would be the Voice of God) who opens the show as a warmup to Billy. I'm afraid Billy -- back after eight years -- isn't as much of a yuckmeister as he used to be but at least, he's an improvement over last year's misguided match of James Franco and Ann Hathaway. Well, let's not blame Hathaway too much for that.
Only 10 minutes until Billy Crystal sings the national anthem ... errr, starts the show. Let the real fun begin.
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