Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2011: The Chronicle (@ Long Last!), Episode Three
Now we've covered all of the key awards, except for Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Short, and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Cinematography. Let's start with the animation awards, as presented by Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake.
There were basically two reasons that Disney/Pixar put out Toy Story 3 in 2010: One --- to win the Best Animated Feature Oscar (which is usually presented solely to that film's Director, in this case Lee Unkrich); two --- Nobody. Beats. Pixar. EVER.
Here, then, Lee's remarks on accepting the award: "I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but thank you to the Academy. I wouldn't be standing here if it weren't for the vision of three incredible guys: John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs, the founders of Pixar Animation Studios, which, by the way, is the most awesome place on the planet to make movies. .... To every single person who had absolutely anything to do with making Toy Story 3 and getting it out into the world, I share this with you ... and finally, thank you to audiences all over the world who came out in historic numbers and embraced a movie about talking toys that hopefully had something very human to say."
In the Australian-made animated short The Lost Thing, a young boy discovers a strange creature while strolling along the beach. Showing some compassion, the lad decides to find a home for the thing. "Our film is about a creature that no one pays any attention to," explained producer-director Shaun Tan, "so this is wonderfully ironic. This award really goes to our producer, Sophie Byrne, the real champion of this project for the past 10 years." Andy Ruhemann, the co-director of the film, dedicated his share of the award "to all lost things everywhere." Ooooookay!
Tom Hanks, as noted last episode, presented Art Direction and Cinematography. Robert Stromberg, Production Designer; and Set Decorator Karen O'Hara triumphed for their work on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, wherein Alice, now aged 19, escapes from her imminent marriage to an obnoxious Victorian aristocrat, only to once more tumble down the legendary rabbit hole, where, she soon discovers, the weirdos of Wonderland have been waiting for her return.
Stromberg was the more overzealous of the two, thanking all in the Alice Art Department and wondering why he didn't lost that twenty pounds. Hmph!
Inception won the last key tech Oscar of the evening, and here's what Wally Pfister thought: "Good God, what have you done? This is a phenomenal honor for me. Thank you, Academy, for this great honor and for the respect you have shown for all cinematographers. I gotta take a breath here for a minute. Where's that thing that shows how much time? --- There it goes! None of what I did would have been possible without the incredible vision of my master, Christopher Nolan. His work has inspired me for 12 years and continues to; he's a brillant filmmaker, as we all know..."
Well, we're up to the Big Six Oscars now. We begin with Best Director, presented by Hilary Swank, and the previous year's winner --- the first female Best Director Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow (whom I'm still mad at for having filched Avatar's thunder!). Anyway, here's Tom Hooper's bedtime story, for those of you Mortals who are into such things:
"Most of all, thank you to my parents, my Mum and Dad, who are in the audience tonight. And I know there's been a whole lot of thanking of mothers, but this is slightly different because in 2007, my Mum was invited by some Australian friends --- she's an Australian in London --- to a Fringe theatre play reading of an unproduced, unrehearsed play entitled The King's Speech. Now, she's never been invited to a play reading in her entire life before, and she almost didn't go because it didn't sound exactly promising. But thank God she did, because she came home, called me up and said, 'Tom, I think I've found your next film.' So, with this tonight, I honor you; and the moral of the story is: Listen to your mother."
Your Dragonmaster, of course, always listens to his dear Mumsey.
It has long been Academy tradition that the previous year's winners in the Acting awards serve as presenters in the same category on the following year's Oscar telecast, and 2010 was (somewhat) no exception. Sandra Bullock presented Actor in a Leading Role; Jeff Bridges, Actress in a Leading Role; Reese Witherspoon, Actor in a Supporting Role; and 94-year-old Kirk Douglas, Actress in a Supporting Role. At this point, I'll just let you read the thoughts of the winners, starting with....
The most recent Oscar telecast tradition has been to have the final award of the evening, Best Picture, presented by the most powerful man in the Multiverse, alias Steven Spielberg. And when the time came for the King to ascend to his throne, producers Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin were there with their tributes.
There were a few memorable announcements, too, the biggest of them coming from Anne Sweeney, President and CEO, Disney/ABC Television Group and Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, that the Academy Awards were going to stay on ABC for the foreseeable future. Still the one, indeed! There was the return of beloved and glorious Billy Crystal, whose presence makes every Oscar show worthwhile. And even old Bob Hope showed up to make a somewhat ghostly guest appearance!
But no moment on Oscar Night meant more than this one:
JAMES FRANCO: "Anne and I have had an amazing time tonight, helping celebrate so many extraordinary films and filmmakers. Wherever in the world you've been watching, I hope you've enjoyed it, too."
ANNE HATHAWAY: "And as Oscar turns 83, we're reminded once again how each generation rediscovers the magic of the movies for themselves. And whether you're one of the fabulous Fifth-Grade Chorus from P.S. 22 in Staten Island, New York --- or an Oscar winner tonight, our final song reminds us that dreams really DO come true!"
Y'know, ya gotta work real hard, even on Hollywood's Biggest Night, to make even an old Mage like me blubber tears of unexpected joy --- and these wonderful kids did just that! Just this one moment alone is reason enough as to why the 83rd Annual Academy Awards has been nominated for nine Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Direction of a Variety, Musical or Comedy Special!
Anywho, that'll do it for Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2011. Hope you've all enjoyed it. Now, if you'll all kindly excuse me, there are a few Mortals I must go grumble at for making me late when I should have shared all this with you on the immediate morning after! Toodles for the moment!