InSing.com takes a look at what some of highlights and notable moments of the marathon three-and-a-half hour ceremony, telecast ‘live’ in Singapore the morning of 8 March.
Best Battle of the Exes Joke
Steve Martin to his co-host Alec Baldwin (who both co-starred with Meryl Streep in It's Complicated, below):
You know, Alec, it’s an amazing fact that (Avatar director) James Cameron used to be married to the director of another nominated film, The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow. (applause)
Alec: And she was so pleased to be nominated with him she sent him a beautiful gift basket — with a timer! And he reciprocated with a Toyota!
Funniest (cheesiest) moment
Funnyman Ben Stiller steps onto the stage to present the prize for Best Makeup, and draws laughter (of sympathy, perhaps) from the audience immediately. He goes on to spout what appears to be the Avatar language of Na’vi, before translating: “That means, this seemed like a better idea in rehearsal.”
Stand-up-comedian-turned-actress Mo’Nique, one of the most obvious winners on the night, in her acceptance speech thanks trailblazer Hattie McDaniel (the first African-American to win an Oscar for Gone with the Wind) for “enduring all that she had to so that I would not have to”.
Most self-effacing speech
Showing awareness that she was not the most deserving nominee in the eyes of some, Sandra Bullock accepted her Best Actress award for her role in The Blind Sideby first saying: “Did I really earn this or did I just wear you down?
She would go on to salute her fellow nominees, calling Streep “such a good kisser” and “my lover” in reference to their jocular lip-lock at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards in January, before turning serious and thanking her mother and all the mothers in the world who take in and care for children.
Incidentally, the night before, Bullock became one of the few A-listers to ever attend the Razzie Awards, a tongue-in-cheek alternative awards show that gave her the Worst Actress prize for her little-seen film All About Steve.
“If you don’t show up for something like the Razzies, then you’re a little hypocritical,” she was reported to have said. “You can’t just show up for the good stuff.”
Most picked on
The most picked-on lady in the audience was none other than 16-time nominee (and twice winner) Meryl Streep, who was singled out by the hosts as well as Julie & Julia co-star Stanley Tucci during his introduction of her as a Best Actress nominee.
In the monologue, hosts Martin and Baldwin noted that ballets for the awards get sent out to about 6,000 members of the Academy each year, are marked, tabulated by auditors, and then “no matter what, they nominate Meryl Streep.”
To this, Martin quipped: “Meryl Streep holds the record for most nominations as an actress, or as I like to think of it: most losses.
The most picked-on man was George Clooney, a Best Actor nominee for Up in the Air, who was the butt of two jokes in the monologue, whereby the hosts first noted his presence and then drew laughs for saying nothing more about him.
They later poke fun at Clooney, and his perceived ultra-popularity in Hollywood (and with the ladies), further by pretending they did not know who, aside from favourite Jeff Bridges, was nominated for Best Actor – and staring at Clooney while the camera caught him reacting with a less-than-cordial expression.
Geekiest little known fact
The win by JJ Abrams’ Star Trek re-boot for Best Makeup marked the first triumph by any movie of the Trek franchise, which has spanned three decades and produced 11 films.
Most glaring omission
It wasn’t the snub of Michael Stuhlbarg (above right) of A Serious Man for Best Actor consideration, or the omission of Tobey Maguire (above left) for intense turn on Brothers, or the fact that Hayao Miyazaki’s delightful Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea didn’t get nominated for Best Animated Feature.
It was the fact that “Charlie’s Angel” Farrah Fawcett, who died last June, was left out of the In Memoriam segment which annually pays tribute to the dearly departed members of the Hollywood community.
Funniest peer review
Actor Tim Robbins, when introducing his former co-star Morgan Freeman as one of the nominees for Best Actor, joked about how close the two got on the set of The Shawshank Redemption (1994).
On the last day of the shoot, he claimed that Freeman told him that “being a friend is getting the other a cup of coffee; can you do that for me, Ted? It is Ted, isn’t it?”
Maybe you’ll disagree, but doesn’t Mark Boal, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Hurt Locker, look a little like a younger brother of Keanu Reeves? And doesn’t Best Director nominee Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) remind one of My Name is Earl actor Jason Lee? You be the judge.
MediaCorp TV Channel 5 is showing the repeat telecast of the Pre-Academy Awards red-carpet show at 6.30pm, 8 March, followed by the a re-run of the ceremony the same evening, from 10.30pm to 2am.