28 Feb 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Over the years, I’ve made a habit of pointing out how Anglophilic the Academy tends to be, and this year was no exception. You couldn’t help but notice the profusion of English accents during acceptance speeches, between “The King’s Speech” and “Inception,” British productions that netted four Oscars apiece. Even Christian Bale’s thick Welsh brogue probably surprised a lot of folks who’d presumed him to be Yank after seeing him play so many American characters.
Why the U.S. continues to display such post-colonial deference to England centuries after declaring its independence is disconcerting. As a consequence of this lack of self-esteem, many deserving domestic talents remain fated never to enjoy a share the limelight.
The evening’s most memorable moment arrived courtesy of Leo who had to be bleeped when she tastelessly used the F-word while thanking the Academy. What’s perhaps more interesting is that she had come under criticism in recent weeks for launching her own ad campaign in the industry trade papers lobbying for votes. Obviously, the tactic worked, as it helped her edge out a Brit, “The King’s Speech’s” Helena Bonham Carter.
As for the co-hosts, James Franco and Anne Hathaway were visually appealing, but exhibited little in the way of chemistry or comedy chops. In fact, their performances peaked during the show’s opening, a pre-recorded parody featuring the pair immersed in famous scenes from screen classics courtesy of trick photography.
The absence of suspense or entertainment rendered the Academy Awards little more than a self-congratulatory celebration of material excess. This crop of Oscar-winners was lily-white, and unless I dozed off (which isn’t out of the realm of possibility), the only minority members who even appeared onstage as presenters, were Oprah, Jennifer Hudson and Halle Berry, who paid a posthumous tribute to the late Lena Horne. Hey, Javier Bardem doesn’t count because he was born in Spain, and I don’t think Castilians qualify as Latino.
The curtain came down on the night’s festivities with a cleansing Kumbaya moment courtesy of an ethnically-diverse choir of school kids from Staten Island, who sang “Somewhere over the Rainbow” during the closing credits. Let’s just pray that next year’s affair is a little more inclusive for the whole three hours.
COMPLETE LIST OF ACADEMY AWARD WINNERS
“The King’s Speech”
Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”
Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“The King’s Speech”, Screenplay by David Seidler
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“The Social Network”, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
BEST ANIMATED FILM
“Toy Story 3”
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“In a Better World” (Denmark)
“Inside Job”, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Inception”, Wally Pfister
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“The Social Network”, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
“We Belong Together,” “Toy Story 3”, Randy Newman
“The Social Network”, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“Inception”, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“Alice in Wonderland”, Colleen Atwood
“The Wolfman”, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
BEST SOUND EDITING
“Inception”, Richard King
BEST SOUND MIXING
“Inception”, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, and Ed Novick
BEST ART DIRECTION
“Alice in Wonderland”, Robert Stromberg, Karen O’Hara
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
“The Lost Thing”, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
“God of Love”, Luke Matheny
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
“Strangers No More”, Karen Goodman