We had the usual red carpet build up so the nominees could compete in the fashion stakes – Gwyneth Paltrow’s, Calvin Klein dress was a hit whilst Nicole Kidman’s Dior ensemble was not. My personal favourite was Helena Bonham Carter who announced she wore a black gown (designed by costume designer and Oscar winner Coleen Attwood) in celebration of acting, not fashion.
Then onto the Award Winners themselves: The King’s Speech was the big winner of the night. With 12 nominations, it scooped up 4 of the main prizes for Best Screenplay, Best Film, Best Director for Tom Hopper and Best Actor for Colin Firth. Predictably, Natalie Portman won Best Actress for Black Swan and Christian Bale beat (no pun intended) veteran Geoffrey Rush to the fore with his win for Best Supporting Actor. Best Supporting Actress went to Melissa Leo, also for her role in The Fighter.
The closest challenger to The King's Speech had been The Social Network, which came away with three statuettes: the Adapted Screenplay accolade for Aaron Sorkin and the awards for Editing and Original Score.
Christopher Nolan's dream-invading heist thriller Inception fared well, matching The King's Speech with a total of four awards: Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects, though it was felt that Nolan had been snubbed as he didn’t receive a nomination in the best Director’s category. Horror remake The Wolfman won Best Make-Up.
Other winners were: Toy Story 3 (Animated Feature, Original Song), In A Better World (Best Foreign Language Film), Alice in Wonderland (Art Direction, Costume Design), Inside Job (Documentary Feature), Strangers No More (Documentary Short), The Lost Thing (Animated Short), God of Love (Live Action Short).
This year’s ceremony sparked an online reaction as ‘the most boring one yet’ and I’m sorry to say that I think this really was the case.
There was no lavish Baz Luhrmann inspired musical segment or charismatic host as last year, in its place we have a lot of forced jokes and an usual dynamic between our two hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Hathaway certainly got through the requisite number of costume changes, but some of their material fell flat as she hogged the limelight and Franco was left smiling and squinting in the background.
Instead of a relaxed and humorous opening ala Hugh Jackman and Billy Crystal, things started off with a rather uninspired comedy montage that would be more at home on the MTV Awards than the Oscars.
We did have some highlights in the form of the speeches, with a brilliant Firth saying, “I think my career has peaked” and the not-so brilliant Melissa Leo cursing live on air. There was also an inspired segment by Billy Crystal (Its just not Oscar night without him).
All in all, I think the statuettes were handed to the right films and Oscar did his bit in acknowledging the best films and actors of the past 12 months. Let’s just hope the ceremony itself is more interesting next year.