The Artist and Hugo dominated today’s 2012 Academy Awards, while Meryl Streep ends a 30 year drought.
Movie history came full circle in Hollywood as French director Michel Hazanavicius’ silent comedy The Artist won five of its ten Academy Award nominations.
Long assumed to be the critics’ favourite, it took home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Jean Dujardin, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design.
The unapologetic love-letter to Hollywood’s pre-talkie era faced stiff competition from Martin Scorsese’s family sleeper Hugo, which led the pack with eleven nominations. It took home awards for cinematography, art direction, visual effects and sound.
But it was all eyes on seventeen-time nominee Meryl Streep, who won Best Actress for her astonishing embodiment of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Her win ends a thirty year wait for Streep, who last won in 1982 for Sophie’s Choice.
Introduced by Colin Firth with what was easily the night’s most memorable quote – “We were in Greece. We danced. I was gay, and we were happy.” – a teary-eyed Streep, thanked her long-time collaborator J. Roy Helland who was also recognised for his work on The Iron Lady – he shared the award for Best Makeup with Mark Coulier.
Comic legend Woody Allen was honoured with Best Original Screenplay for his golden age fantasy Midnight in Paris, while The Descendants walked away with best adaptation. New Zealand native Bret McKenzie won Best Original Song for Man or Muppet, prompting a ‘supportive’ Miss Piggy to tweet “I won! I finally won an #Oscar for my film, The #Muppets! Wait…why is Bret walking up there?”
82-year old Christopher Plummer picked up his first Oscar for his performance as elderly, newly out gay dad Hal Fields in Mike Mills’ film Beginners. He is now the oldest actor ever to win an Academy Award. Octavia Spencer picked up Best Supporting Actress for her role as Minny Jackson in The Help.
Billy Crystal hosted the evening, replacing Eddie Murphy, who had originally been slated to host. Murphy pulled out after original co-producer Brett Ratner resigned in the wake of using an anti-gay slur in reference to rehearsals.
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