While it was supposed to be the evening of the French-made silent film "The Artist" -- and don't worry, eventually it was -- the narrative of the 84th Annual Academy Awards was certainly, for at least two-thirds of the show, all about Martin Scorsese's "Hugo." Both nostalgic, celebratory love letters to cinema, Scorsese's "Hugo," starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz and Sir Ben Kingsley, broke out early in the technical categories, leading all the films in wins throughout most of the ceremony leaving Oscar pundits a little nervous that their 'Artist' guesses might have been wrong.
But the film quickly topped out at five awards and never took any major prizes after that. And while the film did take home five Oscar statuettes, the same as "The Artist," the Michel Hazanavicius-directed film performed in the big categories as expected including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin, besting the more well-known George Clooney. The big "shock" of the evening, if we want to call it that, was Meryl Streep winning Best Actress for "The Iron Lady." She had been nominated 17 whopping times for Oscar, more than any other actor ever, but most pundits (and us) believed Viola Davis would be taking it for her excellent turn in "The Help." Still, despite Streep's omnipresence in the awards, it has been 30 years since she actually took home the gold statue for "Sophie's Choice," and it was not to be for Davis. Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," another favored film, only took one award in the Adapted Screenplay category.
The secondary big narrative of the night was the continuing awards-winning sweep of Harvey Weinstein, who cleaned up last year at the Oscars with "The King's Speech." "The Artist" was a Weinstein Company film as was "The Iron Lady," so Harv and co. took four of the six major awards (Picture, Director Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Actress). They also took Best Documentary Feature with "Undefeated." Another major surprise was the sole win for "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which scored the editing award, a bauble that traditionally goes to whatever film wins Best Picture (Fun Fact: the last time an award just won editing and nothing else? 1968 when "Bullitt" did the same).
EARLIER: Alright, it's on. The 84th Annual Academy Awards are finally here, an evening for Oscar bloggers to complain about "The Artist," the lack of surprises in the Oscar season and why "The Artist" is OK but not that good. Don't get it twisted, we don't think it's the be all end all of movies either, but frankly, as we said on Twitter yesterday, is it really that bad a move on Hollywood's part to celebrate a silent, black and white film with no discernible stars? Of course it wasn't indie enough for the Independent Spirit Awards, at least not for some of its critics. Whatever, we could all do a lot worse, frankly. And yes, we all expect it to sweep up tonight, but "Hugo" will likely do well too if you go by our predictions.
Still, the good news is that there likely will be some surprises, but don't be shocked if this is one of the lowest-rated Academy Awards in recent years, because of that damned lack of drama (something the pundits all hate when it gets out of hand; damned if you do, damned if you don't). Anyhow, you can check out our liveblog here and for a complete list of the winners as they happen, well you're in the right place. So sit back, relax and be soothed by the dulcet tones and hilarious antics of Billy Crystal. Uh....ok.
Winner: "The Artist"
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
"Midnight In Paris"
"The Tree of Life"
Winner: Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady"
Viola Davis - "The Help"
Glenn Close - "Albert Nobbs"
Rooney Mara - "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Michelle Williams - "My Week With Marilyn"
Winner: Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"
Demián Bichir - "A Better Life"
George Clooney - "The Descendants"
Brad Pitt - "Moneyball"
Gary Oldman - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Winner: Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Alexander Payne - "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese - "Hugo"
Woody Allen - "Midnight In Paris"
Terrence Malick - "The Tree of Life"
Best Animated Short
Winner: "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
"A Morning Stroll"
Best Documentary Short
Winner: "Saving Face"
"The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement"
"God Is The Bigger Elvis"
"Incident In New Baghdad"
"The Tsunami & the Cherry Blossom"
Best Live-Action Short
Winner: "The Shore"
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Woody Allen - "Midnight in Paris"
Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Kristin Wiig & Annie Mumolo - "Bridesmaids"
J.C. Chandor - "Margin Call"
Asghar Farhadi - "A Separation"
Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: Jim Rash, Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne - "The Descendants"
John Logan - "Hugo"
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon - "The Ides of March"
Steve Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin - "Moneyball"
Peter Straughan & Bridget O'Connor - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Best Original Song
Winner: "Man Or Muppet" - "The Muppets"
"Real In Rio" - "Rio"
Winner: Ludovic Bource - "The Artist"
Alberto Iglesias - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Howard Shore - "Hugo"
John Williams - "The Adventures Of Tintin"
John Williams - "War Horse"
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"
Kenneth Branagh - "My Week With Marilyn"
Jonah Hill - "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte - "Warrior"
Max Von Sydow - "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
Best Visual Effects
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
"Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"A Cat In Paris"
"Chico & Rita"
"Kung Fu Panda 2"
"Puss In Boots"
"Hell And Back Again"
"If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front"
"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"
Best Sound Mixing
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Transformers: Dark of The Moon"
Best Sound Editing
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo""
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
Winner: Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall - "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazavanicius - "The Artist"
Kevin Tent - "The Descendants"
Thelma Schoonmaker - "Hugo"
Christopher Tellefsen - "Moneyball"
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Octavia Spencer - "The Help"
Bérénice Bejo - "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain - "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy - "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer - "Albert Nobbs"
Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: "A Separation"
Winner: "The Iron Lady"
"Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2"
Best Costume Design
Winner: Mark Bridges - "The Artist"
Lisy Christl - "Anonymous"
Sandy Powell - "Hugo"
Michael O'Connor - "Jane Eyre"
Arianne Philips - "W.E."
Best Art Direction
Winner: Dante Ferretti, Dorothee Baussan, Francesca Lo Schiavo - "Hugo"
Laurence Bennett - "The Artist"
Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2"
Anne Seibel, Hélène Dubreuil - "Midnight In Paris"
Rick Carter - "War Horse"
Winner: Robert Richardson - "Hugo"
Guillaume Shiffman - "The Artist"
Jeff Cronenweth - "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Emmanuel Lubezki - "The Tree of Life"
Janusz Kaminski - "War Horse"