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2012 Oscar Winners (Octavia Spencer, Undefeated Take Home Trophies)

Awards
by Tambay A. Obenson
February 27, 2012 10:28 AM
38 Comments
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Octavia Spencer oscar

I'm sure everyone's heard the news by now, so I won't offer much commentary. Viola Davis lost, Octavia Spencer won. And that just about wraps it up for last year's most polarizing film, The Help.

Thank goodness; hopefully this means there'll be much less discussion about it... as we await what will likely be this year's (and next year's) most polarizing film, Django Unchained.

Also worth noting, the high school football documentary Undefeated (a film we've covered quite a bit in recent months), won the Oscar for Best Documentary.

Despite a rather dull night overall (oddly enough, Billy Crystal really didn't do much; he wasn't much of a factor), congrats to all the winners... till next year:

Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson, "Hugo"
Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schavo, "Hugo"
Best Costume Design: Mark Bridges, "The Artist"
Best Makeup: Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, "The Iron Lady"
Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Best Editing: Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Best Sound Editing: Phillip Stockton and Eugene Gearty, "Hugo"
Best Sound Mixing: Tom Fleischman and John Midgley, "Hugo"
Best Documentary: "Undefeated"
Best Animated Feature: "Rango"
Best Visual Effects: "Hugo"
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"
Best Original Song: Bret McKenzie, "Man or Muppet"
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Best Live Action Short: "The Shore"
Best Documentary Short: "Saving Face"
Best Animated Short: "The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Best Picture: "The Artist"

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38 Comments

  • Miles Ellison | February 27, 2012 9:36 PMReply

    A black and white silent film wins Best Picture? A black woman wins an Oscar for playing a maid? What year is this?

  • Neziah | February 28, 2012 12:44 AM

    It's more of an homage to silent pictures, it isn't even an actual silent film, there's sound in the film during at least two scenes. I have no qualms with it winning, though. It's a very well made, well acted and beautifully realized film that is undeniably a breath of fresh air in the wake of standard Oscar bait.

  • onyx | February 27, 2012 4:58 PMReply

    The author of The Help revealed an "Agreeement" early on that Octavia would get the role of Minny in an audio interview (Dec 2009 on Audible.com). Spencer popped up on internet sites prior to that (I've got a screenshot on my site from Feb 2009) defending the novel, even though it contains an error on Medgar Evers means of death, which repeats the author's claim that Evers was "bludgeoned to death in front of his children" in three known interview (also audio, one of Barnes and Noble site that's still up) The book was riddled with errors and insults of the black culture, yet both Spencer and Davis proclaimed it "beautiful"
    For more - http://acriticalreviewofthehelp.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/how-the-help-was-pimped/

  • B | February 27, 2012 5:14 PM

    Thank you! I've felt a lot of ambivalence about Octavia and Viola, considering how they defended this horrible book (even if I was rooting for Octavia's success at the Oscars).

  • hilo | February 27, 2012 3:30 PMReply

    Does anyone know how many overweight white women have won Oscars for best supporting or lead actress?

  • Ali | February 28, 2012 9:56 AM

    @Nadine- No, I don't agree with this whole "overweight black women" win the Oscar because that's the Academy's agenda. I agree it's a result of Hollywood's lack of diversity and quality for African American women and how sometimes the more beautiful you are, the more you're likely to be stuck in thankless roles. But 4 black women that were big is not really alarming to me. Sorry. Plus, I don't think being overweight or being considered unattractive is inherently a negative thing and I applaud people based off of performances. If you want to talk about how many slim black women have won? Halle Berry. The typical Hollywood bombshell men go gaga over. But now you're going to talk about the role she won for and how she had to get busy with a racist white guy. Jennifer Hudson HARDLY won because of her size. She was considered extremely beautiful on the circuit that year. And Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Diana Ross, Dorothy Dandridge, Angela Bassett, Sophie Okonedo, etc have all been nominated. The problem is they don't have enough roles in the first place. The lack of nominations and wins is upsetting. But I don't think we should make EVERY little thing look bad and pick at it.

  • Nadine | February 28, 2012 9:44 AM

    ...oh, and why don't you list them as well.

  • Nadine | February 28, 2012 9:44 AM

    @ALI - please stop. I understand you're simply answering the question, but you're not serious about this "tit for tat" argument. Try flipping the question. Would the outcome be the same? "How many average to slim WW have won Oscars for ..." compared. Not sure of the agenda, ALI, but you're throwing up smoke and mirrors to dispel an obvious truth, like c'mon man. It's sick.

  • Ali | February 27, 2012 5:19 PM

    Marie Dressler, Jane Darwell, Kathy Bates, Brenda Fricker. If we're including Whoopi Goldberg among those overweight black women, then there have been many out of shape white women that aren't known for or considered desirable.

  • Rota | February 27, 2012 4:43 PM

    I think that grossly obese actress from what's eating Gilbert grape won. Apart from that, no.

  • Orville | February 27, 2012 3:19 PMReply

    Octavia won an Oscar for being mammy just like Hattie McDaniel did in 1940. Hollywood loves giving overweight black women Oscars. I don't see this victory for Spencer as progress.
    Viola Davis bought into the white media's hype and it burst like a balloon when she did NOT win the Oscar. Now, maybe Viola can come back down to earth and get over herself. Did Viola think she was going to crossover into white America just like Halle Berry?

  • ojie king | February 28, 2012 8:55 AM

    I think she has crossed over even more so than halle berry. She has now established herself as a leading lady and a serious credible actress in Hollywood. Unlike Halle Berry, she has had real acting training from Julliard, done an extensive amount of stage work (earning two tony's in that time) and now she has two oscar nominations. So, even if she didn't win the gong, i think now she has won because now she is now Viola Davis not the black lady who was in a scene with Meryl Streep, and Meryl Streep likes her so that counts as well.

  • Ali | February 27, 2012 6:01 PM

    Orville, all you do is talk about looks and how the mainstream and "white America" won't accept black women. But anytime a black woman that gains success has a look you don't approve of, you call them horrible names and dismiss them under the guise of "black beauty don't get no play." Now I ask you, when you constantly spew venom toward the black women(regardless of what they look like), why would a white person be any different? And when you're so negative, who's really the problem? Hollywood or you? If every time I see an overweight black woman get a part of a comedic co-worker and I say "Gabrielle "can't act a lick" Union should have gotten that part over that ugly fat Mammy bitch! White people don't only want to put these fat bitches out there to make us look bad," who's really the one bringing up this "mammy" talk?

  • CareyCarey | February 27, 2012 5:51 PM

    Pure bullsh*t Orville, and you know it. No you didn't say Viola bought into the white media's hype (wth is that) and, when did viola leave this earth? Get over herself? Man, you need to quit. Viola has been doing her job. That's right, she has paid her dues for many years. Now she's been doing the right thing by promoting The Help (her boss) and standing tall in the wake of comments similar to yours. Now Orville, tell me, many of your comments regarding black women have the smell of some type of hatred for women in general. You've told us that you are gay, so does any of your less than flattering comments play into this? Yeah, I had to call you out because you've been a bad boy :-)

  • Geneva Girl | February 27, 2012 3:19 PMReply

    To follow up to the conversation below: Halle Berry wasn't overweight.

    Loved Viola's hair, but, sadly, not the dress.

  • BONDGIRL | February 28, 2012 1:15 PM

    Tambay is missing a great opportunity to have this blog sponsored by Zoloft. There is clearly so much healing that has to take place among black people in order to evolve. The sad truth is of all of the white female Best Actress nominees, none of their roles would be embraced if they were played by BW. My Week with Marilyn would be called Jezebel, The Iron Lady would be called the angry BW/villain, Albert Nobbs would be called the gender-bending pervert. The roles for women, black or white, are scrutinized in such a malicious, mean-spirited way that it makes it impossible for any actress to be lauded by her contemporaries. God bless lady thespians for dealing with the public and their schizophrenic ramblings, because men really do have better support.

  • Nadine | February 28, 2012 12:00 PM

    @Clayton - If I didn't mean, I wouldn't write it. NOTHING as VILE. HALLE was DIS-GUSTING in that scene... a rabid animal. @NEZIAH - I don't want to start trouble, but Viola's hair was NOT flattering. The hair stylist clearly wanted to make a name for him or herself, extremely selfish to do something so risky on Viola's day. I've been natural for 13 years and rarely color my hair because these stylists always want to go crazy with what is on YOUR head. Viola's hair (and eyebrows) were clearly over-bleached which is just as destructive as relaxing. Viola is around my complexion so I don't know WHAT kind of stylists thought that they could be so liberal with color. Viola's look, I thought, was representative of folks in the industry. Everyone wants to make a name for themselves and aren't interested in the big picture. The dress had nothing to do with the hair and the hair had nothing to do with the dress. Viola is a beautiful woman, but I feel like she gave opportunities to people who didn't care enough about her to take care of her and make her day more special. That was not her Cinderella moment, and it most certainly could have been. That's all I'll say...

  • Clayton | February 28, 2012 11:22 AM

    Ten years later and the disrespect just keeps on coming. #Smgdh

  • Neziah | February 28, 2012 12:41 AM

    I think black people are the only folks who admired her hair.

  • Clayton | February 27, 2012 6:50 PM

    A Jezebel? You've never seen anything as vile? Really?

  • Nadine | February 27, 2012 3:45 PM

    Octavia... played the Sapphire...

  • Nadine | February 27, 2012 3:44 PM

    ...but Halle played the Jezebel. I've never seen anything as vile.

  • darralynn | February 27, 2012 12:49 PMReply

    http://www.blackenterprise.com/2012/02/27/the-oscars-decoded-the-black-winners-who-often-get-overlooked/

  • CareyCarey | February 27, 2012 12:42 PMReply

    MY PEOPLE MY PEOPLE! I'm riding with Sharon on this one. "what do you mean CareyCarey?". Well, let me count the ways. Why do so many of us cry "RACISM" every damn time something does not go as we expect it (or want them to)? What fools sit around analizing weight vs acting ability? Past African American winners have been fat women... WTF? Are those who talk that sh*t implying that white voters send out e-mails suggesting to their fellow voters to only vote for fat black women, regardless of their performance? DAMN DAMN DAMN, cry wolf and cry me a river but baby baby baby please, baby baby please, stop dropping the race card every freaking time something does not go your way. Nobody respects nor likes cry babies. Stick a pacifer in it or have another drink, but please play a different song.

  • Neziah | February 28, 2012 12:41 AM

    Yep, people need to wake up and smell the coffee, this isn't about race. The Academy obviously felt that Streep's performance was most deserving of the award, and I've talked to several people already who felt Streep's win was more than well deserved.

  • Clayton Broomes | February 27, 2012 6:47 PM

    I'm with you and @SHARON. Notice my response to her.

  • Ali | February 27, 2012 12:00 PMReply

    I think she'll be back as a nominee and possibly a winner. If there is any black actress that you can say this about, Viola Davis is the one. There is more respect for her craft and talent and dedication in the industry than almost any other black actress to get to this point. I think she might buck the trend and get the "coveted third" nomination.

  • B | February 27, 2012 11:48 AMReply

    Viola Davis looked stunning! But I'm glad Octavia Spencer won and glad that Viola didn't win. Why? Viola, from the interviews I've seen her in recently (especially the Tavis Smiley interview), yearned for that Oscar in a way that made me worry about her. She puts herself down constantly and it makes me feel a bit concerned about her. She seems to almost REQUIRE (white) Hollywood's approval in a way that Octavia Spencer doesn't. I want Viola to just be Viola and realize how effing amazingly talented and beautiful she is without having to hear it come from Hollywood or white folks. Not to personalize it too much, since I don't know the woman. But I think she's better off having not won it (besides, we all know how many actor's careers seem to go into a perpetual slump after they win an Oscar, e.g. Halle Berry).

  • Neziah | February 28, 2012 12:39 AM

    Exactly. Besides, I'd rather have her win for a more complex and sophisticated role requiring more skill to pull off. Then she can rub that in all her naysayer's faces.

  • jmac | February 27, 2012 1:40 PM

    I didn't want either of them to win, tbh but if only one had to I'm glad it was Octavia. She probably won't do much else after winning. Viola I think will be nominated more times in the future and I'd rather she win for a better role than The Help.

  • Neziah | February 27, 2012 11:46 AMReply

    Did anybody seriously expect both of them to win? I didn't.

  • sharon | February 27, 2012 11:42 AMReply

    Folks, though the African American women might have extra lbs, they are talented and deserve to win, but so does Streep. I'll never forget her performance in Out of Africa. She also is very talented. Why does it always have to be about race. Hopefully, casting will improve so that more roles open up for African American women -- overweight, slim, tall, short, etc. that's where the focus should be, and they should be judged by the merits of their performance not on the girth of their waistline.

  • Clayton Broomes | February 27, 2012 6:45 PM

    I share in @SHARON'S optimism. In fact, Sergio said it best in the podcast. These black actresses need to have some initiative and seek out talented writer/directors to develop projects around them. I get it. Few people are confident in their judgement call to take such an initiative for fear of making a decision that can cost them their career. But this thing of ours is one big risk and it should be worth the risk. No? There ARE more roles open for African-American women, the casting will improve.

  • Joe | February 27, 2012 12:20 PM

    The late great Amos Wilson cautioned about hope. At what point do you abandon it? Can't share your optimism casting will improve for black women in the racist Hollywood institution. History has proven otherwise. And unfortunately, everything in this world(at least this country) is about race. It is dangerous to ignore/dismiss that.

  • Rota | February 27, 2012 11:06 AMReply

    Am I the only that notices that all black female Oscar winners have been overweight? I call it the mammy syndrome. Won't be long till gabourey sidibe joins their ranks

    Halle berry excepted

  • Clayton Broomes | February 27, 2012 6:32 PM

    @MC said, "Viola Davis was pretty much on every expert's list to win and won previous movie awards for her stellar role in 'The Help.' However, the voting committee gave it to their Hollywood favorite instead..." I knew Viola Davis chances of losing went up when she lost the BAFTA. No conspiracy. The experts, and when I say experts I mean working film professionals and craftsman, of the BAFTA's, which make up a big portion of the Academy (about 20%), thought Meryl Streep was the Best Actress. Forget the so-called experts and learn more about what's on the minds of actual members (voters), like the many who are British Academy members. See what these working professionals are thinking. And let's not refer to it as a committee. I think of a committee, I think of a small group. The Academy is made up of 6,000 members. This isn't a committee.

  • Ash | February 27, 2012 11:15 AM

    Well 5 of the black women nominated for Oscars have been maids so the two things may be related in a sick, typical Academy Award-fashion. Also, did you see how everyone stood up and clapped for Octavia when she went up there? They were like "You go, fat black woman who won, this will be your first and last award so you can take your statue and go on home now" lol.

  • MC | February 27, 2012 11:12 AM

    Did you also notice how political it was that Meryl Streep won the Best Actress award? Viola Davis was pretty much on every expert's list to win and won previous movie awards for her stellar role in "The Help." However, the voting committee gave it to their Hollywood favorite instead, Streep. Shame on them.

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