Questions Linger After Hollywood’s Biggest Night
The night that the acting world waits in anticipation for went off with some wild moments, a few surprises, a return of some of Oscars greats from the past, some real emotion combined some very funny moments, and all wrapped up as is usually the case not on time. The 84th Annual Academy Awards still has some questions lingering now that this year's show is all said and done.
The fist question that needs to be asked - How did George Clooney not win? Clooney is an Academy member, well liked by all in Hollywood, and had multiple nominations (Best Actor for "The Descendants" and Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Ides Of March"). The math says that multiple nominations in the same year usually nets you Oscar gold. This pattern rewarded Woody Allen (Best Original Screenplay for "Midnight In Paris"), Michel Hazanavicius (Best Director for "The Artist"), and Alexander Payne (Best Original Screenplay for "The Descendants"), and not for George this year?
The renaissance man of Hollywood has 7 Oscar nominations for his career - 4 for acting, 2 for writing, and 1 for directing. In 2006, Clooney had 3 Oscar nominations - the rare triple for Acting, Directing, and Writing. That year Clooney did capture an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in "Syriana", proving the theory of multiple nominations = Oscar. So what went wrong?
Clooney was not destined to be rewarded for Adapted Screenplay, thanks to his acting in "The Descendants", so the Best Actor award was going to ........... Jean Dujardin for "The Artist". The first Frenchman to win an Oscar had the momentum coming into the awards, but did an older Academy electorate help? Seems unlikely that anyone would be old enough to remember the Silent Film era, but an older audience may have a better appreciation for the work Dujardin put into this film. The average age of the Academy voters this year has been reported by The Telegraph UK as 62, with only 14% of the voters under 50. Needless to say that Clooney will be back, but the next question is figuring out our Best Actor Oscar winner.
2) Where will Jean Dujardin rank in time as an Oscar winner?
The jury is out on this 39-yr-old actor who is a huge star in France. Comparisons could be made to Roberto Begnini, who was a huge star in Italy then came up with his masterpiece in 1997 with "Life Is Beautiful". Begnini won the 1998 Best Actor Oscar, then faded out of the collective conscious of America. Dujardin's next projects are not geared toward a release in America, but that could change now. "A Stormy Summer Night" is slated for a 2013 release opposite former Oscar winner Juliette Binoche. According to IMDB, he does not have anything slated for this year. The key here is what Dujardin wants for himself - stay home and be safe, or branch out to maybe become even bigger? No matter what, Jean Dujardin will now be forever known as Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin.
3) What caused more controversy -- Jennifer Lopez and her potential exposure, or Sacha Baron Cohen as The Dictator?
Who were warned Friday is my Oscar predictions post that Cohen could very well show up as his character for his film on the Red Carpet, and the target was Ryan Seacrest (see Heather DeLuca's post for the video on this moment). Cohen got Seacrest really good with his prank, but now work has Seacrest might be filing charges. Someone tell Ryan that this was a joke and you did agree to have Cohen on camera in character right?
Lopez's dress turned heads, then had the Twitter world blowing up over whether or not she was exposing a part of her breast on nationally TV. This could explain why Co-presenter Cameron Diaz and J. Lo has their backs facing the camera with their heads turned around to announce an award winner (somebody caught this in one of the monitors probably). Check out Jeremy Taylor's post to see the video from last night and decide for yourself.
4) How did Billy Crystal do?
His return to the Oscars after an 8-year hiatus saw his quick wit work like it has in the past, but not all of his jokes were on target ("After I saw The Help I just wanted to hug the first black woman I saw, which from Beverly Hills is about a 45 minute drive" - major miss!) Billy brought back old favorites to his show like his Opening music medley, What Are The Stars Thinking (his comment about Nick Nolte was hilarious), and the superimposing of himself into films in the opening credits to the night. Considering he came in last minute to replace Eddie Murphy, and the disaster around last year's co-hosts, Crystal did well. Score it a 7 1/2 -- not vintage Billy Crystal, but he once again proves few can host this show as effective as Crystal (and have the show only run long by only 8 minutes).
5) Is Meryl Streep the Greatest Actress in Hollywood history?
She may have solidified her case with her 3rd Oscar win for "The Iron Lady" (which I called correctly with my prediction on Friday). Streep became only the 13 actress to win the Best Actress Oscar twice, and her 17 Oscar nominations in her career is a record that may be hard to top. You can say that she is in a class of actors that belongs to an elite few, but many will ask if Viola Davis was snubbed. You could say that Streep may have earned a career achievement Oscar with her win - consider that she had not won in almost 30 years, and the Academy has done similar moves before (Paul Newman comes to mind finally winning Oscar gold after having lost 7 times before - he wins for "The Color Of Money" in 1987, which many would say is not his greatest performance).
There will be debate over this one for a while, but Streep is a more than worthy winner - you can debate if Davis was better (and many will say she was).
6) What was the most memorable moment of Oscar night?
We have mentioned many, but Octavia Spencer during her acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress win was pure emotion that made you cry with joy along with her.