Maya Rudolph attends the Governors Ball after the 84th Academy Awards ceremony held at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood on Feb. 26, '12. Rudolph wasn't nominated for any Oscars, but she was a presenter alongside fellow Bridesmaids actresses Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Kristen Wiig. (Image: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.)
Billy Crystal was this year's Oscar host. Among the Academy Award presenters / Oscar show participants were The Fighter / The Flowers of War / The Dark Knight / The Dark Knight Rises' Christian Bale; Casa de Mi Padre / Dogfight's Will Ferrell; 30 Rock / Date Night's Tina Fey; The King's Speech / Gambit's Colin Firth; The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close / Cloud Atlas / Forrest Gump / Big's Tom Hanks; The Tourist / Salt / Maleficent / Girl, Interrupted's Angelina Jolie; Resident Evil: Apocalypse / Resident Evil: Retribution / The Three Musketeers' Milla Jovovich; and 21 Grams / Welcome to the Rileys / Dwegons / Flight's Melissa Leo.
Also: What to Expect When You're Expecting / Parker / Ice Age: Continental Drift / Maid in Manhattan's Jennifer Lopez; Thor / Black Swan / No Strings Attached / The Phantom Menace's Natalie Portman; 2 Days in New York's Chris Rock; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty / Neighborhood Watch / Night at the Museum / Little Fockers' Ben Stiller; The Amazing Spider-Man / The Help / Movie 43 / The Gangster Squad / Easy A's Emma Stone; and The Devil Wears Prada / Doubt/ Julie & Julia / Kramer vs. Kramer / August: Osage County / Great Hope Springs' Meryl Streep.
Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone
Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone arrive for the 84th Annual Academy Awards from Hollywood, CA, on Feb. 26, 2012. McCarthy was a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for her performance in Paul Feig's sleeper hit Bridesmaids. She lost to Octavia Spencer for Tate Taylor's The Help. (Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.)
Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer's competitors were The Help's Jessica Chastain, The Artist's Bérénice Bejo, and Albert Nobbs' Janet McTeer. McCarthy's next movie is This Is 40, directed by Judd Apatow (one of the Bridesmaids producers), and featuring Paul Rudd, Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Leslie Mann, Albert Brooks, Chris O'Dowd, John Lithgow, and Charline Yi.
Alexandra Edenborough, Gary Oldman
Alexandra Edenborough and Gary Oldman, could be spotted at the Governors Ball following the 84th Academy Awards ceremony at Hollywood & Highland on Feb. 26, 2012. Oldman was a Best Actor contender for Tomas Alfredson's well-received spy drama Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He lost to Jean Dujardin for his performance in Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist. (Image: Matt Petit / © A.M.P.A.S.)
Gary Oldman's competitors in the Best Actor Oscar race were George Clooney for Alexander Payne's The Descendants, Demián Bichir for Chris Weitz's A Better Life, and Brad Pitt for Bennett Miller's Moneyball.
On the red carpet, Oldman (half?-)jokingly claimed that his fees for playing villains had gone way up. He'll next be seen in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, starring Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, and Tom Hardy; Wettest County, with Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, and Dane DeHaan; and, possibly, David Dobson's Arthur & Lancelot, as Merlin the magician, and Donald Petrie's State of the Union.
Sandra Bullock, Milla Jovovich
Sandra Bullock and Milla Jovovich run into one another at the Governors Ball following the 84th Academy Awards ceremony at Hollywood & Highland on Feb. 26, 2012. Jovovich can't believe her eyes; Bullock can't believe she's still standing. Well, at least that's the impression we get looking at the above photo. (Image: Matt Petit / © A.M.P.A.S.)
Sandra Bullock won the Best Actress Oscar two years ago for The Blind Side. Milla Jovovich hasn't won any Academy Awards, but she's the star of the Resident Evil movie franchise. She was also the hostess at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Technical and Scientific Awards, held a week or so prior to the Oscars. Bullock, for her part, presented the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the Oscar ceremony – speaking German while pretending to speak Chinese (with a German accent) – to Asghar Farhadi's A Separation, who spoke English with an Iranian accent.
Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty
First, it was soccer players Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud. Then it was George Clooney and Billy Crystal in (sort of) The Descendants. And finally, it was the turn of Academy Award-winning sound editors Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty. Whether or not I got the order of events straight (so to speak), it's the end of civilization as we know it, some (i.e., Kirk Cameron and his ilk) would say. But then again, if the end is near, people might as well enjoy themselves – and show their appreciation for one another – while they still can, no? Liplockers Stockton and Gearty shared the Best Sound Editing Oscar for their work on Martin Scorsese's Hugo. (Image: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.)
Hugo's competition in the Best Sound Editing category consisted of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Steven Spielberg's War Horse, and Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Hugo's Tom Fleischman and John Midgley were the winners for the Best Sound Mixing Oscar.
Below is a partial transcript of the Philip Stockton / Eugene Gearty q&a held in the pressroom after their Oscar victory. The transcript comes courtesy of AMPAS:
Q. It's your first win. Just tell us how you're feeling right now and what it means to you.
A. (Gearty) We're feeling pretty darn good, I'd say. It means a lot to us to be here. Pretty great.
A. (Stockton) Absolute honor.
Q. So, Hugo just won for visual effects as well?
A. (Gearty) Yes.
Q. So, do you think this reflects, perhaps, the Academy's embracing of the whole ethos of silent cinema and everything that Hugo kind of represented?
A. (Stockton) In a word, yes. I mean, obviously, a lot of technical skills went into this. I'm actually a little disappointed that there weren't any actor and actress nominations for [Hugo]. Obviously it was a technical masterpiece to pull off. Obviously, the tech award[s] to have that recognized makes a lot of sense.
Q. Hi guys, I'm wondering if while you're making the movie, are you able to look at each other at some point and say, you know, “This is really good. I mean, we might win an Oscar for this.” Is that something that goes through your mind?
A. (Gearty) Yes, that definitely has gone through our mind. When you work for Martin Scorsese, there's always a chance you're going to be nominated for an Oscar. So, yes [inaudible].
A. (Stockton) I think we would have been nominated for Shutter Island if it came out in the right year.
Q. Scorsese's films have a distinct sound to them, especially with soundtracks – The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton – especially Goodfellas and Casino. Given that legacy, what was the challenge here and did you fight that trend, or what – how did it work [for you] as a sound editor knowing how rich his music is in his prior films?
A. (Gearty) We actually worked on all of those films, so we I guess we just had to sort of …
A. (Stockton) Yeah, it's actually a really good question. It's incredibly difficult to work with the situation where Marty is very – the most important thing is dialogue, the narration and then the soundtrack, as is music. And rightfully so.
… [T]he films you mentioned have great soundtracks – rock and roll and everything. What was great on this was Howard Shore's score was such a masterpiece and we were very fortunate to be able to work early on together and it [?] intertwined. Forgive me, but I think there were only two source cues on this film as opposed to the films you mentioned that have a lot more source cues.
Cinematographer Robert Richardson, Oscar winner for his work on Martin Scorsese's Hugo, attends the Oscar 2012 Governors Ball on February 26. (Image: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.)
Richardson's competitors were The Artist's Guillaume Schiffman, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Jeff Cronenweth, The Tree of Life's Emmanuel Lubezki, and War Horse's Janusz Kaminski. Lubezki was the critics' favorite and the winner of the American Society of Cinematographers Award – which Richardson has never won despite his ten nominations.
Below is the Robert Richardson Q&A (courtesy of AMPAS) held in the Oscar 2012 pressroom.
Q. You did make a comment on stage about the cinematography award being first. Were you serious? Is that something that's bothering you or do you have strong feelings about that?
A. No. It's a fear factor. … We are behind the lens. We are not in front of the lens. So, it made it a little complex for me to walk up there.
Q. So, what was it like for you DP'ing on Scorsese film that's every bit as much rendering green screen as it is actually staged?
A. Oh, I don't know if you are absolutely accurate on that part. There was not as much green screen as there was on the production side. Once you get [art director] Dante [Ferretti] here, I think that's conversation you should have with him. He might not take well to that one. It was a great deal of practical. The sets were phenomenal. So, I am not appropriate for that one.
Q. All right. I'm wondering if you can talk about working in 3D. This is not the first 3D film to win, but it's unusual to get recognized with 3D.
A. You're right. I think the odds of winning are extraordinarily small. I was the crystal ball didn't work this way. [?] I know it worked that way for Mark Wahlberg, but for me, I didn't see it. I don't know [unintelligible] a Mark Wahlberg piece, but his predictions are near two for three. Uhm, yeah, I know it's very difficult to choose 3D, and I'm surprised by it as well. And I think it's not just 3D. It's a digital aspect versus a film aspect.
Q. Where do we go now, dramatically, with 3D now that you've paved the way?
A. That's a huge question, but I don't think there's any limits for it. 3D is a very solid step. I believe it's 15, 20 percent, give an arbitrary percentage. The advantage is a tool towards what filmmakers can use, if used, as just that, as a tool, not as a gimmick. There's an end. I do believe it will alter that, but, technically, I don't believe we can go into that here, 'cause I could go on for an hour [inaudible].
Q. This is the last year of Kodak sponsoring the venue for the Oscars. Can you talk about shooting digital versus shooting film?
A. Last night, I was at the Kodak dinner at The Bistro. And, of course, it's a bit painful. I'm shooting currently on film. Uhm, I'm with Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained. I don't think it's an issue of film versus digital. I'm hoping that film can survive for as long as possible. I hope Kodak sticks here, but it's not over yet, virtually, every film, is digitized in one way or another, so we have to think about that. The digital media sweep.
Q. I'm curious with such a prominent group of cinematographers that you were nominated with, how does it feel for you now that you were the one that was called and won the Oscar?
A. I'm elated. I didn't see this as happening. I have to say, personally, I love the work of Chivo [Emmanuel Lubezki] in The Tree of Life. I, also, think he's well overdue, but that said, I am extraordinarily happy. I do love that man, so, I would like to see that not too far in the future. Thank you all very much.
Perhaps I'm the only person on the planet who thinks that the Academy Awards ceremony should once again be held in late March or early April. I believe that would have several advantages. (Image: Richard D. Salyer / © A.M.P.A.S.)
For instance, the Oscars would no longer be just one more awards ceremony during the frenzied awards season; instead, it would have its own slot, far apart from the “lesser” ceremonies preceding it. Just as importantly, by having the Oscars stand apart from awards-season madness, favorites could lose their momentum weeks before Oscar ballots would be due (whether by mail or via online voting) – which theoretically might mean more frequent surprises. And finally, a later date would give Academy members more time to watch, consider, rewatch, reconsider the usual 35-45 nominated movies – or any of each year's 250+ eligible movies, as an Oscar ceremony in the spring would also mean that nominees would be announced in early-to-mid February.
In any case, it's not as if the move from late March to late February has resulted in higher television ratings for the Oscarcast as the Academy's powers-that-be had hoped. For the most part, viewership numbers have continued their downward slide.
Yet, the Academy's Board of Governors is clearly of a different mindset. Although the 2013 Oscar ceremony will be held once again on the last Sunday in February, the 24th, the Oscar nominations will come out on January 15 – about a week earlier than in the last few years. In TheWrap, Steve Pond sees that as another indication that the Academy wants its awards ceremony taking place earlier in the year. Some have claimed that could be as early as the last week of January.
If that happens, don't be too surprised if the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, and the BAFTAs are held in mid-December, or if US critics announce their winners in November, or if Hollywood studios and independents release their Oscar hopefuls in early fall or whereabouts. In other words, everything would remain the same – but with the awards season calendar pushed forward by a few weeks.
This year, there were nine Best Picture nominees:
- Alexander Payne's The Descendants, with George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges;
- Steven Spielberg's War Horse, with Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, and Tom Hiddleston;
- Martin Scorsese's Hugo, with Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Sacha Baron Cohen;
- Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, with Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, Penelope Ann Miller, John Goodman, Missi Pyle, James Cromwell, Uggie;
- Bennett Miller's Moneyball, with Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright;
- Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, with Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn;
- Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, with Thomas Horn, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Max von Sydow;
- Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, with Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Carla Bruni;
- Tate Taylor's The Help, with Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, Mark Vogel, Mary Steenburgen, Chris Lowell, Allison Janney, Cicely Tyson.
The French-made The Artist was the Best Picture winner, earning the Best Director honors to Michel Hazanavicius and Best Actor to Jean Dujardin, the first Frenchman to win in the acting categories.
Meryl Streep was the Best Actress winner for her Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd's The Iron Lady. The Sound of Music veteran Christopher Plummer was chosen as Best Supporting Actor for Mike Mills' Beginners, while Octavia Spencer was Best Supporting Actress for Tate Taylor's comedy-drama The Help.
The Best Original Screenplay Oscar went to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris – Allen's first since Hannah and Her Sisters – while Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash won for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants. Asghar Farhadi's A Separation was the Best Foreign Language Film winner.
In addition to The Artist, recent Best Picture Oscar winners include Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men, Martin Scorsese's The Departed, Paul Haggis' Crash, Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, and Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.