The 84th Academy Awards did not elicit much controversy. It is the classiest show of the so-called “awards season”, for celebrities are generally more well behaved here than at the Grammy’s or even the MTV Video Music Awards. The night is filled with inspiring movie clips and speeches about the power of film. As an avid fan of movies and all things fantastical, it certainly is one of my favorite events to watch.
Despite the elegant aspects of the affair, there is always dispute regarding the Oscar winners. This year, Best Picture went to “The Artist,” which has caused quite a stir. This French film is a black-and-white, silent interpretation of Hollywood in the late 1920’s. It beat out movies such as “The Help” and, my personal favorite, “Midnight in Paris.” The dialogue of most films contributes so heavily to the plot that viewers were astounded that a soundless story could win in the Oscars’ best category.
“Come on, her again?” Meryl Streep expressed as she took to the stage in acceptance for Best Actress award. She appeared overwhelmed by her win, citing others in the category as much deserving of the prize. Yet, her performance in the “The Iron Lady” was so powerful that many were not surprised that this is the actress’ third trophy. Thus far, Katherine Hepburn has set the record for collecting Oscars at four wins. I have a feeling that Streep may be able to surpass this in years to come.
There were, as usual, the highly emotional speeches of the night. Octavia Spencer won for Best Supporting Actress in “The Help” and was so overcome with awe that much of her speech was in tears. “The Artist” won another Oscar thanks to Jean Dujardin’s role. He took the prize for Best Actor and was so thrilled that he swore in French during his speech. Yet, this was not so scandalous as Dujardin set up the curse in French as a fake acceptance of his character in the film.
Many of the films that won awards were set in former decades, conjuring the question—are the Oscars stuck in the past? The “Old Hollywood” style set precedent over more contemporary films such as “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “Bridesmaids.” Yet, perhaps that is what film industry is supposed to do, enable us to travel back in time and relive what we can no longer see today. At least, that is why I keep watching.