Academy Awards

A night of questionable wins

Anna Scholl, Talon Staff Writer

At seven-thirty, The Academy Awards open with Billy Crystal returning for the ninth time to host the biggest night in not only the movie business, but to movie buffs alike, including myself, one of the biggest nights of the year.

Two films showing the most prominence at the ceremony were acclaimed films Hugo (Directed by Martin Scorsese) and The Artist (Directed by Michael Hazanavicius), with both films winning five awards. While the former won mostly in visual style and filmmaking, the latter was able to garner larger-scale awards including Best Actor for Jean Dujardin, Best Director and Best Picture. But what makes The Artist’s recognition so astounding and so controversial is the fact that it’s a silent film. The last silent film to win Best Picture was Wings, which was, originally, the only silent film to hold the title, while also being the first film to ever win the award.

One of the great disappointments of the night was the award for Best Actress, which was given to Meryl Streep for her role in The Iron Lady. With actresses like Viola Davis (The Help) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), I thought that the award would certainly go to one of their performances. Not only were their portrayals excellent, but both films they starred in had earned an impressive amount of positive reviews.

However, the greatest snub of the night, I believe, was the award for Best Original Score, and may even be equal to my rage toward the same category and its winner from last year’s ceremony.

In last year’s show, there was great promise in the category. Returning composers included Hans Zimmer (Inception), Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech) and A.R. Rahman (127 Hours), along with rookie composer John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon), who’s best known for his work in animated feature films. The winner? Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network; they won for creating a score that holds no promise, no emotional depth, and doesn’t contain any story progression. After this horrible decision, I thought the Academy would be able to right their wrongs this year. With composers like John Williams (War Horse, The Adventures of Tintin), Howard Shore (Hugo), and Alberto Iglesias (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) nominated, there should surely be a rightful winner. This was not the case at all. Instead, Ludovic Bource’s score for The Artist won, leading me to question the Academy’s taste in musical composition even more.

It was a night of both earned victories and questionable wins. Lately, The Oscars have been questioned whether or not their perception of a good film is based on actual good filmmaking, or instead trying to weed out the stranger, more oddly formatted and ‘different’ films. But the Academy Awards still holds itself as the largest movie award ceremony, and it did not disappoint to entertain its audience.

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