The Oscars are finally upon us. Can The Artist pull a clean sweep? Can anyone stop Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer from taking home the gold? The awards ceremony is now underway and we'll be bringing all the winners live, so keep coming back throughout the evening for more updates.
Before we get started, do you have your predictions together yet? It's your last chance, but don't worry… We've got you covered. (Last year we accurately called 19/24 categories.) You may also want to check out this week's episode of The B-Movies Podcast, in which Witney Seibold and I gave our duelling picks for each category, and made a wager: if Witney predicts the most categories correctly, I will be performing dramatic monologue from Gigli on next week's episode. But if I win, Witney has to get drunk – for the first time ever – live on the show. Either way, next week's episode promises to be epic.
Enough with the pleasantries. Let's bring on the Oscar winners…!
Winner: Robert Richardson, for Hugo
Robert Richardson takes home his third Oscar, and his second for a Martin Scorsese film, after The Aviator.
Best Art Direction
Winner: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo, for Hugo
Hugo is off to a good start. Apparently The Artist doesn't have the momentum for a clean sweep. Will Hugo sweep the technical awards? Incidentally, both Ferretti and Lo Schiavo also won Oscars for Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, which swept the technical awards but lost Best Picture to Chicago. History could repeat itself tonight.
Incidentally, we're already two for two in our predictions.
Best Costume Design
Winner: Mark Bridges, for The Artist
Mark Bridges wins his first Oscar for The Artist. Surprisingly, it was his first nomination after films like There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights.
Winner: Mark Coulier, Amanda Knight and J. Roy Helland, for The Iron Lady
Somewhat surprisingly, the admittedly impressive age makeup from The Iron Lady trumped the more outwardly fantastical Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Maybe they realized that Voldermort's face was done with CGI.
Alas, we are now two for four in our predictions. We'll keep you posted.
Best Foreign Film
Winner: A Separation (Iran)
A Separation wins the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and deservedly so. If you haven't seen it yet, you really should.
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Octavia Spencer, for The Help
Surprising nobody, Octavia Spencer wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Help. She gets a standing ovation and gives a tearful acceptance speech. We weren't the biggest fans of the film, but she's wonderful in it anyway.
Best Film Editing
Winner: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
In the first genuine shock of the night, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo takes home the award for Best Editing. The recipients are as shocked as we are, and clearly unprepared for their win. The film seemed to lose momentum after the critic's awards, but it pulled it off anyway.
Best Sound Editing
Winner: Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty, for Hugo
As we predicted, the award went to the film the Academy clearly likes the most, but what the heck? It's deserving anyway.
Best Sound Mixing
Winner: Tom Fleischman and John Midgley, for Hugo
We are officially back on track with another safe pick for Best Sound Mixing, Hugo. Again though, it's a very well crafted piece all around.
Best Documentary Feature
In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, the football documentary Undefeated takes home the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, beating out the third Paradise Lost and Wim Wenders' acclaimed dance documentary, Pina.
Best Animated Feature
Chris Rock presents the Best Animated Feature Oscar to Rango, the expected and deserving frontrunner. Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski wins his first Oscar for his first animated film.
Best Visual Effects
Winner: Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman, Alex Henning, for Hugo
Emma Stone adorably heckles Ben Stiller before they award Best Visual Effects to Hugo, in its fifth win of the night. The film shut out Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which many believed would take home the prize for its exceptional motion-capture effects, or at least as a consolation prized for Andy Serkis, who was left out of the Best Supporting Actor race. The Academy clearly loves this sucker, but we'd still be surprised if it can unseat The Artist for Best Picture.
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Christopher Plummer, for Beginners
Christopher Plummer officially becomes the oldest actor ever to win an competitive Oscar, at age 82, for his delightful performance as a man who decides to come out of the closet in his twilight years in the underseen Beginners. It was most expected, and pretty damned deserving.
Best Original Score
Winner: Ludovic Bource, for The Artist
Ludovic Bource wins his first Academy Award for his mostly original score to The Artist, which takes home its second win of the night. (The film included throwbacks to Bernard Hermann's score for Vertigo.) No surprises here. As a silent film, The Artist's score was unmistakably showstopping.
Best Original Song
Winner: Bret McKenzie, for "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets
And at least one half of The Flight of the Conchords is now an Academy Award-winner. All is right with the world. We still can't believe they didn't get to perform the song, presumably to make time for Cirque du Soleil to perform "an interpretation of going to the movies."
Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, for The Descendants
The Descendants takes its first Academy Award, and Alexander Payne takes home his second, for Best Adapted Screenplay. It wasn't our top pick (poor Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy…), but it was our prediction to win.
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Woody Allen, for Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen didn't show up, as usual, but he took home his fourth Oscar, and third for Best Original Screenplay, for his nostalgic and sweet script to Midnight in Paris. It's his best screenplay since Match Point (which lost this award). We are pleased. Even though we thought the award was going to go to The Artist, this is definitely the better choice.
Best Live-Action Short
Winner: The Shore
Hotel Rwanda director Terry George takes home the award, along with his daughter Oorlagh, for the sweet and touching short film The Shore, starring Ciaran Hinds. It's a deserving piece, although we still think Tuba Atlantic was better.
Best Documentary Short
Winner: Saving Face
As predicted, Saving Face – about acid attacks on women in Pakistan – wins the award for Best Documentary Short Film. We haven't seen it, but it seemed like the frontrunner because it's about the most f*cked up subject matter in the lot.
Best Animated Short
Winner: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
The aesthetically pleasing but narratively thin Morris Lessmore wins the trophy, and good for them, but both Wild Life and A Morning Stroll made a greater impression on us. Oh well.
Winner: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Winner: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
And it seems like a sure thing now, doesn't it? Poor Scorsese. It's another Chicago/Aviator year, isn't it? Despite losing a lot of the technical awards, it now seems like a sure thing for Best Picture. We'll be back with confirmation after the acting awards are given out.
Winner: Jean Dujardin, for The Artist
Jean Dujardin wins Best Actor for his silent performance in The Artist, the ending of which Natalie Portman ruined in her introduction. We'll let that slide. For fans of the Podcast, Dujardin's win means that the two hosts tied, and the next episode will feature Witney getting drunk on the air (the first time he'll ever have been drunk), and myself performing monologues from Gigli.
Winner: Meryl Streep, for The Iron Lady
Even Meryl Streep looked surprised to win Best Actress for The Iron Lady, her first Oscar win in 29 years. She beat out the expected winner Viola Davis, but was considered a serious contender for the award all along. It's her third win, after Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice.
Winner: The Artist
Despite losing most of the awards it was nominated for, The Artist manages to take home the Best Picture award, as predicted by many. It's the first (mostly) silent film to win the top prize since Wings won the first Best Picture prize in 1929.
Wow, crazy year. Several upsets and nobody sweeped, with The Artist and Hugo each taking five Academy Awards each, and only The (rather bad) Iron Lady managing more than single win out of all the other nominated films. For those who were counting, we managed to predict 16 out of 24 categories correctly, thanks to a few upsets (we're still surprised by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Meryl Streep, quite frankly) and the silly choice to listen to our guts for Best Animated Short and Best Live-Action Short, and not to listen to our guts for Best Original Screenplay. C'est la vie.
Fans of The B-Movies Podcast should know that Bibbs barely eked out a win over Professor Witney Seibold, 16-15. It was a squeaker, right down to the second-to-last award, for Best Actor. Check out next week's episode for the fallout!