The highlight of the film year has officially passed. After months of period dramas and auteur-directed, highfalutin movies—not to mention the never-ending parade of meaningless award shows—the big one has come and gone. This year, like always, the Academy Awards wrapped up the year rather predictably, but with a class and panache reserved only for the Oscars.
If you tune in to the Oscars to see who gets which award, there weren’t too many surprises. Martin Scorsese’s children’s movie “Hugo” received five technical awards while the big winner was black-and-white silent French film “The Artist.” It took home many of the biggest prizes of the evening, including Best Picture, Best Director for Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius, Best Actor for the endlessly charming Jean Dujardin and two other technical awards. With those two juggernauts hogging the majority of the awards, no other film received more than two awards.
If the awards bore you and you only watch the Oscars for the spectacle, you were out of luck. After attempting to manufacture spectacle for the past couple of years with flat-lining hosting duos, the Academy responded to the incendiary comments of Brett Ratner with the safest, most conservative show they could put on. Cue Billy Crystal.
It was certainly a welcome sight to see him back on stage with light one-liners, and he treated us to his famous videos of inserting himself into the Best Picture-nominated films. However, that’s where the fun really ended. The only moments really worth YouTubing were Jim Rash’s mockery of Angelina Jolie’s infamous right leg and a few of the more touching acceptance speeches from Spencer, Plummer, Streep and Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Iranian Best Foreign Language Winner “A Separation.” Besides that, the ceremony was a classy event that was certainly an improvement over previous failures.
But at least a failure is fun to watch—this year was just simple and safe.