Omar Sharif Jr. & Kirk Douglas spar, Melissa Leo makes Oscar history of sorts
Standing next to veteran Kirk Douglas at the 2011 Academy Awards is Omar Sharif Jr. – grandson of Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago star Omar Sharif and an Oscar ceremony supporting player, at one point humorously sparring with Douglas over a cane. Douglas then stole the spotlight at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, taking his time to name the eventual winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar: Melissa Leo for David O. Russell's The Fighter.
Then it was Melissa Leo's turn to steal the spotlight by making Academy Award history: she is the first person to (audibly) use the word “fuck” – in any form (past, present, future, noun, adjective, verb, etc.) – while onstage at an Oscar show. Well, at the very least Leo's is the first such expletive to have gone on record.
Kirk Douglas Oscar nominations
Kirk Douglas never made a movie with Omar Sharif Jr.'s grandfather, but he did receive three Best Actor nominations:
- As an ambitious boxer in Mark Robson's Champion (1949).
Winner: Broderick Crawford for Robert Rossen's All the King's Men.
- As a ruthless movie producer in Vincente Minnelli's The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).
Winner: Gary Cooper for Fred Zinnemann's High Noon.
- As Vincent Van Gogh in Minnelli's Lust for Life (1956).
Winner: Yul Brynner for Walter Lang's The King and I.
The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony was held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles.
March '12 update: About a year after this photo was taken, Omar Sharif Jr. became news fodder after publicly coming out as a gay (Canadian-born, internationally raised) Egyptian man whose mother happens to be Jewish.
Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Melissa Leo, Kirk Douglas, and Omar Sharif Jr. photo: Michael Yada / © A.M.P.A.S.
Melissa Leo Oscar winner
Donning a white dress, Melissa Leo is seen above on the 2011 Oscars' Red Carpet. The Best Supporting Actress winner's competitors were the following:
- Amy Adams for The Fighter.
- Helena Bonham Carter for Tom Hooper's The King's Speech.
- Jacki Weaver for David Michôd's Animal Kingdom.
- Hailee Steinfeld for Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit.
“Controversial” Oscar ads or no, Melissa Leo's victory was no surprise, as she had already taken home a number of Best Supporting Actress awards this season. The surprise was the fact that on television her thank you speech was briefly muted as a result of her choice of words – as mentioned earlier in this post.
To date, Melissa Leo has never made a movie with either Omar Sharif Jr.'s grandfather or with Best Supporting Actress Oscar presenter Kirk Douglas.
Oscar ceremony: A couple of surprises, little humor
So far there have been a couple of surprises at the 2011 Academy Awards:
- Tim Burton's lavish Alice in Wonderland won for Best Art Direction – instead of either Tom Hooper's The King's Speech or Christopher Nolan's Inception.
- Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister, not the True Grit veteran Roger Deakins, took home the Best Cinematography Oscar.
Melissa Leo Oscar Red Carpet photo: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.
Ariane Labed, Yorgos Lanthimos and Aggeliki Papoulia: 'Dogtooth' contingent on Oscars' Red Carpet
Yorgos Lanthimos, whose Dogtooth was shortlisted in the 2011 Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category, arrives with his wife, 2010 Venice Film Festival Best Actress winner Ariane Labed (for Attenberg), and Dogtooth actress Aggeliki Papoulia at the 83rd Academy Awards.
Although widely acclaimed, Dogtooth was considered an unlikely Oscar contender because of its “unusualness.” This year's three other Best Foreign Language Film nominees were:
- Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful (Mexico).
- Denis Villeneuve's Incendies (Canada).
- Rachid Bouchareb's Outside the Law (Algeria).
Ariane Labed, Aggeliki Papoulia, and Yorgos Lanthimos photo: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.