HOLLYWOOD—The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood was lined with red carpets in every direction and the Oscar-nominated actors and actresses were in high fashion. There were spectacular gowns and jewels and many not so spectacular. History was made at the awards ceremony, and not just because reclusive Barbara Streisand attended and presented the Best Director award, but the winner, Kathryn Bigelow, became the first woman in the 82-year history of Oscar to receive the coveted Best Director award. Her ex-husband James Cameron, who directed and created the biggest box-office film since “Gone With The Wind” in 1939 and “Titanic” in 1998, was the obvious winner if you listened to critics and fans-alike.
The evening’s hosts were Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, who had great chemistry and seemed to get along, which is a bit rare for both men to work well with others said the critics before the telecast. The theme for the evening was that the military, dramatic film “Hurt Locker” was the one that edged out most of its competition and would outshine everyone else’s film for the evening. The Best Picture award was really a shocker, with “Avatar” getting the odds for the prize and yet Bigelow’s film “Hurt Locker” seemed to capture the Academy voter’s attention even more than the epic and spectacular vision James Cameron showcased in the film that created the planet Pandora.
Veteran actor Jeff Bridges, who is considered Hollywood royalty, was the obvious front-runner and he came through just fine in receiving Best Actor award. His speech was sincere and the man’s performance in “Crazy Heart” proved that he is still a bankable star in a town where over 40 or 50 seems to be the death of most careers. Sandra Bullock shined bright on the red carpet and on-stage when she went up to receive the Best Actress Academy award. Bullock has always been popular with the fans in her often quirky comedic roles, but she brilliantly portrayed the real life story of a family who adopted an African American teenager into their affluent white-family’s home in order to give a homeless orphan a chance at greatness. Bullock’s performance was perhaps so authentic because of the person she is, but whatever it was, Bullock is now considered Hollywood’s “It” actress. Her speech was very amusing as well as poignant when she spoke of her mother making sacrifices to raise her and she never got the credit for it, as most mothers do not.
Actor Chritoph Waltz took home the Best Supporting Actor award for “Inglourious Basterds.” The show stopped, however, when actress Mo’Nique’s name was called for Best Supporting Actress. The star who was never considered a serious actress in her entire career won over her critics and Academy voters with her chilling performance in “Precious.” This was a role that many actresses would never have wanted to play; however, it seems golden now for Mo’Nique, who thanked Tyler Perry profusely.
“Up” won for Best Animated Feature Film and “The Cove” for Best Documentary Feature. “The Secret in Their Eyes” (El Secreto de Sus Ojos), from Argentina won for Best Foreign Film. “Avatar” took the Oscar for Visual Effects, “Precious” won for Best Adapted Screenplay and “Hurt Locker” for Original Screenplay.
The show, however, did come under fire on Monday from fans and family of the late Farrah Fawcett, who did not make the final list of actors, directors and other show business greats who were lost in 2009. The Academy chose to honor Michael Jackson and others who many feel were very worthy, but less so in the movie world than Fawcett who starred in several films. They also left out legendary actress Bea Arthur. On a good note, the Oscar telecast this year saw a ratings increase of 14 percent. Nielsen Ratings reported the nation’s 56 largest markets gave the ABC event a 26.5 rating.
For a complete list of all the winners go to Oscar.com – Home.