The highs and lows of the Oscars

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By Sara Johnson, staff writer, @sarajohnsauce Pin It

ST.BONAVENTURE (March 1) – Meryl Streep said it best when accepting the Academy Award for Best Actress on Sunday.

“When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no!’” she said.

Welcome to the Oscars, where votes are anonymous and your opinion, no matter how badly you believed Viola Davis was going to win Best Actress for her role in “The Help,” doesn’t matter.

[Related: Best Bonaventure tweets about the 84th Academy Awards.]

The show kicked off with host Billy Crystal doing a comedic video montage featuring a kiss from George Clooney and Crystal’s controversial Sammy Davis impression. Then he began to sing a song featuring every nominee in the best picture category.

Although his early jokes weren’t met with more than giggles, he made the audience roar with the last line, “Nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires presenting each other gold statues.”

And just like every other year, the presenters stole the show.

Robert Downey, Jr. appeared on stage with his own camera crew, claiming he was making a documentary called “The Presenter,” and that he turned down Clooney’s role in “The Descendants.”

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis walked around the front of the stage carrying cymbals, which they banged in Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s faces as they walked by and continued to drop on stage when opening the envelope.

Chris Rock delivered the most laughs while presenting the award for Best Animated Feature.

He explained that having an animated role is the easiest job of all. You show up, read some lines, “and then they give me a million dollars,” said Rock bluntly.

My favorite presenters for the night were Ben Stiller and Emma Stone.

Stone loomed over Stiller at about a foot taller than him and presented different ideas to the audience of funny skits they could do on stage.

“We should have some banter,” said Stone, “Where you act cocky, and I shut you down and you call me pretty, but I say ‘No chance, funny boy!’ and everybody laughs.”

Overall, “The Artist” was the big winner for the night. The silent film, completely in black and white, took home five Oscars during the show. Mark Bridges, a Niagara Falls native, won for Costume Design. Michel Hazanavicius, won for Directing. Ludovic Bource won for Original Score. Actor Jean Dujardin, won Best Actor in a Leading Role and the film took home the holy grail of the Academy Awards – Best Picture.

Martin Scorcese’s children’s film “Hugo,” also won five Oscars that night. Its awards included Cinematography, Art Direction and Visual Effects.

Some of the best Oscars speeches of the night included Mark Bridges (Costume Design, “The Artist”).

 “…you know, I was just a kid from Niagara Falls,” said Bridges, “Who dreamed, ate, and slept movies, and so I want to thank the Academy for this honor and for making a lifelong dream come true.”

Alexander Payne (Best Adapted Screenplay, “The Descendants”) gave a shout out to his mother in the audience when he said, “She said if I ever won an Oscar I had to dedicate it to her, just like Javier Bardem did with his mother.”

Philip Stockton (Sound Editing, “Hugo”) kept his speech short.

 “Thank you to who’s ever been born … And if you haven’t, you know who you are.”

The other big winners of the night were Octavia Spencer (“The Help”), who won Actress in a Leading Role, and Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”), who won Actor in a Leading Role at the age of 82, the oldest Oscar winner in history.

Despite Streep winning the statue over Viola Davis for her role in “The Iron Lady,” the 84th Academy Awards were funny, entertaining and had many worthy winners. If they would have just gotten rid of the out of place Cirqu de’ Soleil performance, then we might have been able to enjoy the Muppets singing “Man or Muppet,” which won Best Song.

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