Oscar wrap up

Hollywood had their annual love affair with themselves this past Sunday with the 84th Academy Awards with host Billy Crystal emceeing for the ninth time.
A throw back to the past, Hollywood spent the night honoring movies about movies and awarding Hollywood’s elite who have been acknowledged with nominations, yet have not been given Oscar gold in decades (and in some cases never).
The show opened in typical Crystal fashion with a movie montage injecting him into some of the best movies from 2011, then his song and dance anthem honoring the nine films nominated for best picture.
Crystal moved the evening along with funny quips and light-hearted knocks at the Hollywood attendees. “So tonight, enjoy yourselves,” joked Crystal, “because nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues.”
‘The Artist’ and ‘Hugo’ were the biggest winners bringing home five statues each, with ‘Hugo’ cleaning up in the technical categories and ‘The Artist’ coming out on top in most of the major categories including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin.
“It’s funny because in 1929, it wasn’t Billy Crystal but Douglas Fairbanks who hosted the first Oscars ceremony,” said Dujardin in his acceptance speech. “Tickets cost five dollars and it lasted 15 minutes. Times have changed.”
The Academy did not forget to honor their legends this year presenting Meryl Streep with her third Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” While Streep is the most nominated performer in Oscar history with 17 nominations, she hasn’t won in 29 years when she took home the Best Actress statue for ‘Sophie’s Choice.’
“When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no. Come on… Her, again?’ You know. But, whatever,” Streep said as she took to the stage to collect her award.
Woody Allen, nominated a total of 23 times collectively for acting, directing and screen writing, won Best Original Screenplay for ‘Midnight in Paris,’ only his forth Oscar and his first since 1987 when he won for writing the screenplay to ‘Hanna and Her Sisters.’
Allen famously does not attend award shows and has never gone the Oscars except once in 2002. After the 9-11 terrorist attacks he made an appearance to ask producers to continue filming in New York City.
Christopher Plummer accepted his first Oscar at the age of 82 for playing a man coming out of the closet late in life after the death of his wife in the movie ‘Beginners.’
Plummer, a Hollywood legend from such classic films as ‘The Sound of Music,’ acknowledged that he is not much younger than the Oscars themselves.
“You’re only two years older than me darling, where have you been all my life?” said Plummer to his new golden statue.
‘The Help,’ the most commercially successful of the nine best pictures, was nominated for four awards and only brought home one. Octavia Spencer, Best Supporting Actress winner, could barely get through her acceptance speech amidst tears after hearing her name called.
“I’m sorry,” repeated Spencer, “I’m freaking out, thank you world.”
The Oscar telecast had more than 39 million viewers, up slightly from last year’s show in which ‘The King’s Speech’ won best picture and co-host’s Anne Hathaway and James Franco attempted to gather up a younger audience but fell flat for most viewers.
The uptick in viewership might be attributed to the return of Oscar-favorite host Crystal who put up sold numbers each time he has hosted in the past.
Viewership was important for ABC, the network that airs the Oscars, because of their status as the second most watched show in America each year after the Super Bowl, but with The Grammy telecast bringing in record numbers a few weeks ago due to the return of Adele to a live stage after throat surgery and the death of Whitney Houston it appears that they may to settle for third place.
The Academy Awards came to a close just over three hours, which is on the shorter end of the shows standard airtime and contained your typical award show fare, but the best moment from the Oscars came from a virtual unknown, the acceptance speech from Best Sound Editing winner Philip Stockton, who won for ‘Hugo,’ summed it up for all the winners.
“I want to thank everybody who is here tonight,” said Stockton, “and everybody who isn’t, and everybody who has ever been born or may be born or be born again or reborn. If I’ve forgotten anybody then you probably know who you are.”