The 84th annual Academy Awards opened with a very familiar formula but it felt more tried than true. With Billy Crystal hosting the awards for the ninth time, he barely strayed from tradition with a tone-deaf sing-along parody of the nine nominated films — a gag he and other hosts have done year after year.
But the evening was not without laughs — Crystal’s stale jokes notwithstanding. The principle cast of “Bridesmaids” managed to sneak in jokes about how “size matters,” Emma Stone gamely flirted with Jonah Hill from the stage and the Christopher Guest crew did a sketch about an imagined focus group for “The Wizard of Oz.”
Also entirely predictable were the wins for the biggest awards. Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer accepted their awards for best supporting actress and actor — both of whom were the predicted front-runners in their categories. And while Martin Scorsese’s 3-D film “Hugo” swept most of the technical awards, Michel Hazanavicius’ much-hyped, but little seen indie film “The Artist” took top honors for Best Original Score, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Picture.
Complete list of winners:
Achievement in cinematography: Robert Richardson, "Hugo"
Best Art direction: "Hugo"
Best Costume design: Mark Bridges, "The Artist"
Best Make up: Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, "The Iron Lady"
Best Foreign Language: "A Separation", Iran
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Best Film Editing: "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Achievement in Sound Editing: "Hugo"
Best Documentary: "Undefeated"
Best Animated Feature Film: "Rango"
Achievement Visual Effects: "Hugo"
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"
Best Music (Original Song): Bret McKenzie for 'Man or Muppet,' "The Muppets"
Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Best Short Film (Live Action): Terry George and Oorlagh George, "The Shore."
Best Documentary Short: "Saving Face"
Best Animated Short Film: "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin for "The Artist"
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady"
Best Film: "The Artist"