Best Picture: The Artist-Everyone knew this was going to win Best Picture this year. It may not be the best film of 2011, but it really is amazing that a silent black and white movie can maintain enough support to get the votes. Making this movie was huge risk and could have been a disaster. The important people bought into it and rewarded it all season. The general public was not that interested and many complained about it’s front runner status. So when you step back and stop comparing it to the other nominees, you have a pretty good piece of art.
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist-He should be commended on telling a good story without words.
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady-Like most I was surprised at Streeps win. Even she was surprised. But when you consider that Meryl Streep carries the entire film herself and Viola Davis is technically in more of a supporting role, it makes sense.
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist-No surprise. He was great in the role and the movie would not have worked without him. He played the character at just the right pace without over acting as the tendency might be in a silent role.
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help-No surprise and well deserved.
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners-No surprise and well deserved. Oldest actor to ever win an Academy Award.
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris-No surprise. Funny how Woody has no desire to show up for awards shows.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne & Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants-Great movie, great Screenplay.
Best Foreign Language Film: Iran, A Separation-No surprise and a well deserved win. I think we all learned a little more about Iran after seeing this movie.
Best Documentary Feature: TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay & Richard Middlemas, Undefeated-This was a tough category, but everyone who has seen Undefeated loved it.
Best Animated Feature: Gore Verbinski, Rango-No surprise, not much competition this year.
Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson, Hugo-Big surprise and I think Tree of Life should have won this one. Every frame in the first 20 minutes in Tree of Life could stand alone as a still shot and tell a story.
Best Film Editing: Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Huge surprise that came out of nowhere.
Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti & Francesca Lo Schiavo, Hugo
Best Costume Design: Mark Bridges, The Artist
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Best Sound Editing: Philip Stockton & Eugene Gearty, Hugo
Best Sound Mixing: Tom Fleischman & John Midgley, Hugo
Best Visual Effects: Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman & Alex Henning, Hugo-This is the one place that they could have awarded Planet of the Apes, but you really can’t beat Hugo’s 3D.
Best Makeup: Mark Coulier & J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady
Best Documentary Short: Daniel Junge & Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Saving Face
Best Animated Short: William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Best Live Action Short: Terry George & Oorlagh George, The Shore
Best Original Song: Bret McKenzie, Man or Muppet-They had a 50/50 chance.