The Artist sweeps awards season and The Lorax posts its biggest theater open

 

The Artist reigns supreme! I’m Realistic Fish Head. The night belonged to the Artist last week as it picks up 5 Oscars including Best Picture. The critics along with our own Gene Scallop have predicted that the silent film might be the big winner, and they were right! Hugo also took 5 Oscars as well, but the most awards this award season have went in favor of the silent picture.

 

Perch Perkins on who else racked up some Oscars last week and we asked him which animated toon movie did the academy like? We too ask Gene scallop in his entertainment report, how has The Artist knocked down last year’s blockbuster hits?

 

Perch Perkins (at the Oscars): Oscar voters endorsed a nostalgic look back to the early days of the movie business on Sunday night, showering “The Artist” with five awards, including Best Picture.

After starting slow and lagging behind “Hugo,” the black-and-white silent film came roaring back at the 84th Academy Awards, winning a Best Director Oscar for Michel Hazanavicius and a Best Actor statue for Jean Dujardin in addition to the night’s top prize.

Its main rival “Hugo,” which, like “The Artist,” was deeply steeped in film history, also won five awards. Yet its statues all came in technical categories.

It was an evening that was short on surprises and long on veteran talent. Screen legends Meryl Streep and Christopher Plummer picked up statues for their work, while Billy Crystal returned to host his ninth Academy Awards telecast.

Despite the fondness for the tried and true, the largely unknown Dujardin held off challenges from Hollywood stars such as George Clooney (“The Descendants”) and Brad Pitt (“Money ball”) to win the honor for his performance as a silent film star struggling with the advent of sound.

“I love your country,” the France-born Dujardin said. He went on to thank silent film star Douglas Fairbanks, saying the actor’s joie de vivre inspired his performance.

Perhaps the evening’s sole unexpected winner was Streep, who many had predicted would be left sitting in the audience while Viola Davis accepted an award for her work in “The Help.”

However, the shape-shifting actress picked up her first Academy Award in nearly three decades on Sunday for her performance as doggedly determined British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”

“This is such a great honor, but the thing that counts the most to me is the love and the joy … we have shared making movies together,” Streep said.

It was her third Oscar, having previously received awards for “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) and “Sophie’s Choice” (1982).

“The Artist” director Hazanavicius thanked the film’s cast, including its canine star, Uggie.

He also paid tribute to the film itself, saying, “Its life is full of grace and it brings to us joy and happiness.”

Beginners” star Plummer captured a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as a gay man coming out of the closet late in life.

The 82-year-old Plummer became the oldest person ever to win an acting Oscar.

“When I first emerged from my mother’s womb, I was already rehearsing my Oscar acceptance speech, but it was so long ago … mercifully I forgot it,” Plummer quipped.

Plummer was the odds-on favorite entering Sunday’s contest, as was Octavia Spencer, who won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a maid in the segregated South in “The Help.”

The visibly emotional actress thanked her director, Tate Taylor, and her co-stars.

“I share this with everybody,” Spencer said. “Thank you, world.”

Continuing the tradition of honoring veteran talent, Woody Allen won his first Oscar since 1986’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” for his screenplay for “Midnight in Paris.” True to form, the perennial Oscar no-show was not on hand to pick up his award.

Though some had expected George Clooney to win his first Best Actor statue for his work in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” the tragi-comedy won its sole Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the director and co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

Sending up the Old West did the trick for “Rango,” which won a Best Animated Feature award for Gore Verbinski. The director applauded the star of the animated film and his previous collaborator on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.

“I want to thank the real-world chameleon Johnny Depp,” Verbinski said.

In a night free of politics, the only nod to world events came as “A Separation” captured Best Foreign Language Film.

With a nod to the tensions between his country and the Western world, the Iranian film’s director, Asghar Farhadi, thanked his fellow countrymen, noting that many were “people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

In the Best Original Song category, Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets.”

“I was genuinely starstruck when I met Kermit the Frog, but once you get to know him, he’s a regular frog,” McKenzie joked.

In addition to its awards for acting, directing and picture, “The Artist” was honored for its 1920s costumes and for Ludovic Bource’s score, the latter earned despite a controversy involving the composer’s mimicry of Bernard Herrmann’s work on “Vertigo.”

The evening started off on a familiar note as Crystal took the stage at the theater formerly known as the Kodak and revived his typical musical medley featuring the top films vying for honors.

As he had done in eight previous hosting stints, Crystal gently ribbed Hollywood egos and the event’s pomposity, without really going for the jugular.

“Nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues,” Crystal said.

With a nod to the Kodak Theatre’s impending name change and the namesake company’s recent bankruptcy, Crystal quipped, “We’re here at the beautiful Chapter 11 theater.”  

It marked the Oscar staple’s first hosting gig since 2004.

There were also performances by Cirque du Soleil and a humorous parody of a test screening for “The Wizard of Oz” featuring Christopher Guest, Fred Willard and Catherine O’Hara.

 

Gene: Cheers for The Artist! You know, I was searching for that silent film in my previous box office reports last year and they were right on target. Thanks to my prediction last week, The Artist wasn’t affected by the box office slump. That’s why it kept going by knocking out last year’s movies spot by spot in order to continue its award winning domination! Pretty sneaky Weinstein’s!

 

For animated toons however, Rango shot the lights out thanks in part to “Pirates” star Johnny Depp proving to Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda that it takes more than sharp shooting to be the best animated feature in the cartoon business better than being a swashbuckler or a kung fu master.

 

With that added as the 84th Best Picture and Rango the star of the show in animated entertainment, let’s say happy birthday to Dr. Seuss!

 

 

It’s also Universal’s 100th birthday making it the second most (Paramount being the first after Universal) movie studio in the world! The last movie with the previous logo was 1997’s Jurassic Park which started its trilogy onwards until 2000. And who was the star in the studio’s centennial? None other than The Lorax, which made its debut along with the new logo! This tough guy puts the 2 month animation slump away for good, which is good news for the box office!

 

The animated Seuss story racks up 70 million smackers making it the best open ever in all theaters including IMAX. Following the Lorax’s way, Warner Bros. refreshed movie Project X moves in with 21 million smackers in 2nd putting last week’s movies down another spot from 3rd-9th. The award winning film The Artist finishes the top 10 with 15 weeks total after a 5-Oscar win.

 

Paramount’s Hugo earns 5 Oscars too. And as 2 bonuses in addition to the Weinstein’s win with The Artist, it joins Wings as the 2nd silent feature. As for TV along with movies itself with 11 awards, its 5 Oscars brings the actual total of 16 awards altogether!

 

With only 2 months to go until Paramount’s actual 100th anniversary, it will be like Universal, a big bonanza! Did you know that some of Universal’s films are based on a true story? The same goes for animation too! What an award season it was for entertainment!

 

With award season under wraps, it’s time for kids to make their choice! Join Will Smith as he hosts the 2012 Kids Choice Awards! As we speak, millions of kids are still voting for their favorites in each category. If you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time! Keep voting until March 30th to see if your choices like the Academy, agree with your choices! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, keep voting and make it count!

 

 

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