When I was growing up, I loved watching the Oscars.
I’d sit in front of the TV and wait for the red carpet interviews, seeing what all my favorite actors were wearing to Hollywood’s biggest awards show and waiting for the winners to be announced.
But the Internet and the onslaught of celebrity news have made the experience less appealing. I wait until the next morning and read about the winners, the long speeches, the uncomfortable moments and the bad fashion choices on the Web.
But this year I decided to tune in. And not because George Clooney and Brad Pitt were competing for the Best Actor award.
I was actually interested to see Billy Crystal, who hosted last night’s 84th annual Academy Awards for the ninth time.
He’s still one of my favorite hosts. And, with lines like, “We’re here at the beautiful Chapter 11
theater,” he remains one of the best in history.
But enough about him.
Let’s dish about the awards show!
“The Descendants,” written by local girl Kaui Hart Hemmings, nominated for five Academy Awards, took home just one, for adapted screenplay. It was the silent flick, “The Artist,” that turned out to be the big winner, taking home five statues including “Best Picture.”
But what really stole the show last night was a movie or comedy montage. It was a captivating performance by Cirque du Soleil — and a sincerely heartfelt acceptance speech by supporting actress winner Octavia Spencer for her role on “The Help” — that got people on their feet.
Here were my highlights:
• Just the fact that Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”) and Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”) were nominated for Oscars. I love it when funny people — and not the usual suspects — get props for their work.
• Christopher Plummer, who, at 82, became the oldest acting winner for his supporting role in “Beginners.” And sharp, too, starting his acceptance speech looking at the statue and quipping, “You’re only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?”
• Chris Rock. Period.
• Meryl Streep won her third Oscar — her first since 1982 — for her role in “The Iron Lady.” I would’ve given her the statue for “The Devil Wears Prada,” but no one asked me.
• Billy Crystal’s “What Everyone Is Thinking” segment. My favorite had to be Nick Nolte.
• Anytime Will Ferrell gets on the stage, I know it’s going to be one of my favorite moments, no matter what happens. When he came on stage with fellow comic Zach Galifianakis, bashing cymbals semi-rhythmically, it was definitely a bright spot in the show.
• Uggie, the canine star of “The Artist,” got a shout-out from director Michel Hazanavicius: “I think he doesn’t care. I don’t think he knows what I say. I don’t think he’s that good.”
What was your favorite moment during last night’s Oscars?