It has been said that nothing brings back the past better than the movies, and this year’s Oscar Award Show did exactly that.
Long-time favorite Billy Crystal returned for his 9th stint as host, and started the show with a vintage Crystal opening montage and a show full of gentle barbs and generally less-than-edgy humor.
A silent film, “The Artist,” and the most nominated actress in Academy history, Meryl Streep, were both winners. A silent film hadn’t won a Best picture Oscar since “Wings” in 1927. Streep upset Viola Davis, who was considered a sure winner for her wonderful work in “The Help.” In fact, when she heard her name announced as winner, Streep looked at the camera in disbelief and said, “What?” And the oldest working actor to ever receive an Oscar, Christopher Plummer, 82, won Best Supporting Actor for “Beginners.”
Cirque du Soleil provided the biggest and best choreography ever seen in an Oscar telecast in a number that was a tribute to going out to the movies. (Take that, Netflix!) And in a real tribute to the past, the telecast almost finished on time!
Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” and “The Artist” both collected the most Oscars with 5 each. Oscars 2012 looked like a show driven by the goal to “play it safe” rather than anything else. The fact that “The Help” was not showcased and lost in a category (Best Actress) where it should have been a sure winner was perhaps a sign of the Academy wanting to play it too safe.