The name of the game was "expected," with no real surprises in any category. Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker came away with six statues on Sunday, way more than Avatar could have ever hoped for. But don't fret for James Cameron. His people won three technical awards. And he has a couple billion dollars to his name.
Motion Picture: The Hurt Locker
Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Foreign Film: El Secreto de Sus Ojos, Argentina
Adapted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Animated Feature Film: Up
Art Direction: Avatar
Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker
Sound Editing: The Hurt Locker
Original Score: Up, Michael Giacchino
Original Song: The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart, Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Costume: The Young Victoria
Documentary Feature: The Cove
Documentary (short subject): Music by Prudence
Film Editing: The Hurt Locker
Makeup: Star Trek
Animated Short Film: Logorama
Live Action Short Film: The New Tenants
Visual Effects: Avatar
Hosts with the … enough
Hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin ended up being two great tastes that tasted, eh, okay together. It was obvious right after the fun opening number by Neil Patrick Harris that having two acerbic, salt-and-pepper comedians dishing jokes is kinda tough when both have the exact same deadpan delivery and dry humor. More isn't always more, Academy; just one of these great comic actors would have been enough. The proof? Both were much better later in the show when they got to split up. At least they weren't sucking up to everyone.
Awards for a song
Didja notice we didn't have to sit through 25 minutes of performances by pop artists for the original song award? (Strangely, original score did get a medley.) Nope, we only had to watch Miley Cyrus and Amanda Seyfried hand it out to Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett (who was out sick) for The Weary Kind from Crazy Heart as the third award. Maybe that's because ABC wasted 27 of the first 30 minutes on animation and dumb jokes.
Finally, a moving tribute
Molly Ringwald, Matthew Broderick, Jon Cryer, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson (who looked like he's the one who died) and Macaulay Culkin got together for a tear-jerking tribute to John Hughes. Is it just us, or were the lines in the montage better than we remember them? Maybe they just mean more now. From the look on her face, Kristen Stewart may not have known who Hughes was.
This is a media empire?
ABC really screwed themselves in two ways for this year's broadcast. Because of a fee disagreement with Cablevision, 3.1 million potential viewers in the New York City area had to do without their Academy Awards broadcast when ABC pulled out of Cablevision's lineup. That was only expounded by our second gripe, which was that the ceremony was not broadcast on Oscar.com or ABC.com (thank you, possibly illegal UStream feeds). Hey guys, it's the 21st century — not everyone watches TV on their TV anymore, including lowly Juice* writers who have to sit at their desks all night to make fun of all of you.
An unlikely pair of wins
While Sandra Bullock won best actress for The Blind Side, she also won the Razzie for worst actress for All About Steve on Saturday night. But her teary acceptance speech, preceded by thanks and acknowledgement to all her competition, proves she deserved it. Plus, she talked about kissing Meryl Streep while the cameras showed hubby Jesse James. It almost makes us forget about her in Speed.
A race to the finish
More notable than The Hurt Locker beating out a laughable nine other nominees was how fast presenter Tom Hanks had to spit out the winner. So much for building suspense. Hey, the clock was ticking. Meanwhile, James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino likely were headed out for a drink together.
You've got your own, Jim
A woman finally won best director when The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow beat out her ex-husband Cameron. That was pretty mean of presenter Barbra Streisand to pause after saying "The time has come" and make Precious helmer Lee Daniels think just for a moment that he was the first black director to ever win. Still, at least there was one first.
Odds & ends
Ben Stiller decided to go ahead and do that Avatar thing without Sacha Baron Cohen while presenting for best makeup. Too bad.
Zoe Saldana was obviously presenting the awards for shorts because of how high her skirt's hemline was.
The Hurt Locker's screenwriter Mark Boal didn't mention in his speech he's being sued by Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver for defamation. He did talk about it backstage, though.
Mo'Nique revealed in a red carpet interview that she didn't shave her legs Sunday night. That made it hard to take her seriously while she was accepting her supporting actress award.
The one big presentation hiccup was the blowhard adulation for best actor and actress. It made up for the butt-kissing Martin and Baldwin didn't do.
It was great seeing Jeff Bridges finally win best actor, which was no surprise. We can't wait until he wins again for Tron Legacy.