You thought it was gonna be "Avatar" all night long, didn't you? Suck it, blue CGI people!! Kathryn Bigelow's war movie "The Hurt Locker" won big at last night's Academy Awards Show, on a night when there were not very many big surprises.
Here's the recap, in case you missed something from the 4-hour telecast.
The Neil Patrick Harris opening was perfection. Sure, he's dangling on the precipice of over-exposure, but it was a fantastic song and dance number. Wonderful way to open.
And maybe I'm alone, but I kind of liked the Steve Martin-Alec Baldwin monologue. A few of the jokes were lame and both men have definitely been funnier, but some of the jokes scored. I loved Steve Martin's "The Jerk" joke about how both he and Gabby Sidibe were born poor black people in their first films. And Martin announcing "There's damn Hellen Mirren" and being corrected by Baldwin that it's "dame," caught me off guard and made me laugh out loud. Much as I love Baldwin, I think Martin would have been better doing the show alone.
The first award of the night went to Best Supporting Actor, Christoph Waltz ("Inglorious Basterds"), which was pretty expected. Unexpected - that iPad commercial! Want one.
Then Cameron Diaz and Steve Carrell (aka Jude Law) introduced animated features, in a clip that had Barbara Walters asking animated characters how it felt to be nominated. George Clooney was funny as The Fantastic Mr. Fox, irritated that he wasn't nominated with "real" movies, and the gator from "The Princess and the Frog" did a great Halle Berry riff. The winner for Best Animated feature went to "Up." Again, no shock.
Miley Cyrus helped give the award for Best Original Song, but unfortunately forgot to put the top part of her dress on over her slip/bustier. Embarrassed for her. She and Amanda Seyfried ("Big Love") gave the award to T-Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham for their lovely "The Weary Kind" song from "Crazy Heart."
Alec Baldwin gave Tina Fey credit for reviving his career as he introduced her and Robert Downey Jr (speaking of revived careers). The Fey-Downey pairing was hilarious, introducing the Best Original Screenplay as they both listed things writers and actors like (hint: they aren't the same things). The Winner: (former reporter) Mark Boal for "The Hurt Locker." Yeah!
There was a really nice John Hughes tribute, introduced by Matthew Broderick and Molly Ringwald, which made me incredibly nostalgic. Want to see every single one of those movies again right now. After the montage of his incredible classic movies, some iconic Hughes actors (Jon Cryer, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and McCauley Culkin) came out to speak about him. Okay, so maybe they all looked a little ... real. But they spoke pretty eloquently about Hughes, and it was touching. But why did the camera go directly to a shot of Taylor Lautner in the audience? And his "Twilight" co-star Kristen Stewart looked bored and irritated by all those old people on stage.
The winner for Best Animated Short (you can watch it here): "Logorama." Best Documentary Short went to "Music By Prudence." The producer (?) got hijacked by some crazy red-headed lady who broke into the middle of his speech to give her own speech. They got played off.
The winner for Best Live Action Short Film was "The New Tenants." Watch it here.
Ben Stiller came out as a Na'vi from "Avatar" to present the award for Best Makeup (and as he noted, "Avatar" wasn't even nominated for that award, since all the blue people were CGI). He had the blue face paint and gross yellow contact lenses and a fishing pole connected to his long tail. Way to commit. The makeup winner: "Star Trek."
Jake Gyllenhaal and some woman (sorry, can only see Jake when he's on the screen) gave the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. It went to Geoffrey Fletcher for "Precious." Is that the one based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire? Yeah, that's the one. Very nice speech. Wonder why they went to a reaction shot from Morgan Freeman? I wonder.
Queen Latifah looked really beautiful. Great dress, great hair - very classic. She introduced a clip from the Governor's Awards (Lauren Bacall and Roger Corman were honored).
Robin Williams introduced the Best Actress in a Supporting Role. You knew it was gonna be Mo'Nique (as it should have been). Could have done without the "politics" cracks, even though she's right. But it felt like a little bit of a slam on other nominees and ... oh never mind. The important thing is, she won. She was unbelievable in that role.
Best Art Direction went to "Avatar."
Another funny cue card 'misread' by Steve Martin, who pronounced "clothes horses" as "clothes whores," and then when corrected by Baldwin, insisted, "I don't think the plural of 'whores' is 'whorses.'" I'm simple. I laughed. Then the woman who won for costume design so graciously informed us, "Well, I already have two of these." Really? Good for you.
The awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing both went to "The Hurt Locker," and the awards were accepted by someone who fell out of the Horror Movie montage.
NOTE: I really wish they wouldn't keep eating up precious time explaining stuff like, how sound works. And a major WTH on the interpretive dance. Nobody wanted to see that. They'd rather get to bed ten minutes earlier.
Oh, and "Avatar" won the Oscar for Best Cinematography -- for a movie mostly made with CGI and green screens? That's fair. They also got the Oscar for Best Visual Effects -- that, I can see. (And while I'm outraged, a dead people tribute without Farrah Fawcett?)
The Best Documentary Feature award went to "The Cove," a film I know would devastate me if I saw it, so I can never see it. Leave the dolphins alone!
Sometime after 11pm, "The Hurt Locker" won for Film Editing.
There was an overly long introduction of the Best Actor nominees, and it was no surprise when the award went to Jeff Bridges. He got a standing ovation and gave a lovely, exuberant speech, man, honoring his parents and all that stuff, man. The Dude abides.
Next up, actresses. We have to wait through another overly long introduction of nominees by their peers. Don't get me wrong -- it would have been interesting if it hadn't been almost midnight.
The Best Actress Award went to Sandra Bullock. Again, no surprise (If there could have been a runner-up, it would have been Gabby Sidibe). Bullock accepted the award and said, "Did I deserve this or did I just wear you down?" She then addressed all the other nominees and told them all how much she loved and respected them. It was a terrific speech. Funny, touching. Just right. Best of the night so far.
The next award for Best Director, introduced by Barbra Streisand, went to Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to ever win an Oscar for Direction. Sweet. Plus, she's like nine feet tall, which is also cool. And a very nice speech.
Finally, "The Hurt Locker" won the Best Picture. Yeah! Take that, weird blue 3-D creatures!