Monday, February 27, 2012

OSCAR GOLD: THE 84TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS


In a night that was a tribute to classic Hollywood glamour, the big winners at the Oscars this year were films like The Artist and Hugo, which were an ode to vintage Hollywood cinema. TV TALK takes a close look at the glitzy affair that was magical and resplendent in every way…

For a complete list of winners, CLICK HERE

Photo Courtesy: AMPAS
To bring back to the magic of Hollywood and the Oscars, the biggest event on television, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences played up the classic and vintage value of the motion pictures, even with Billy Crystal as host, his ninth time on the job. The night wasn’t full of surprises, even though the most deserving nominees did take home Oscar gold, and there weren’t any major snubs. 


Moreover, I thought that the host did a fine job, even though he received criticism from many. And in addition to that, most presenters were effective and entertaining, especially Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz, Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller and Emma Stone, and the cast of Bridesmaids.

FAVORITE RED CARPET LOOKS

Penélope Cruz in Armani Privé

Cameron Diaz in Gucci
Sandra Bullock in Marchesa
Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford
THE SHOW
A still from the Cirque Du Soleil performance
The show seemed shorter than other years, with the introductions to the categories not as elaborate as always, and even the presentation of nominees in the technical categories also toned down. Additionally, the tradition of all the Best Original Song nominated being performed has been phased out since 2010, and this year, with just two songs nominated, there weren’t any song performances. The only major performances were the opening sequence with host Billy Crystal, and the breathtakingly amazing exclusive performance by the Cirque Du Soleil, with their largest ensemble ever, to the music of renowned Hollywood composer Danny Elfman.

Taking the theme forward were videos of several actors like Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Adam Sandler and others speaking about being a part of Hollywood, the motion pictures, expression and telling stories that go down as pieces of cinematic history. That was an interesting addition to the show, while montages of scenes from successful movies of the past seemed to be an attempt to add elements that would appeal to the audiences of more popular movies. Even the ‘In Memoriam’ section, paying tribute to those personalities who passed away in the last year, was innovatively presented with music and portraits.



THE WINNERS
Hollywood history was created again in several ways again, with some of the results in particular. Christopher Plummer (Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Beginners), 82, became the oldest individual to have ever won an Oscar. Meryl Streep, the actress with the maximum number of acting nominations (17) ever, won her third [very well deserved] Oscar (Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for The Iron Lady) almost thirty years after winning her last one. The Artist became the first silent film since 1929 to be nominated for Best Picture, and it won! 



Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer, Meryl Streep and Jean Dujardin


Among other noteworthy wins were Octavia Spencer’s (Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for The Help) and Jean Dujardin’s (Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for The Artist), who both got really emotional on stage. Dujardin’s speech, ending with, “Merci formidable! Merci Beaucoup!”was the stuff that classic Oscar acceptance clips are made of. Plummer’s speech, which began with him saying to the statuette, “You’re only two years older than me; where’ve you been all my life?” made one of the best lines of the evening. And with all these wins being announced by last year’s winners in the categories (Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale), they became even more special.

The Artist wins Best Picture

With a well-paced-out announcement of categories and winners, the evening drew to a close steadily, with the Lead Actress announcement being pushed to after Lead Actor. And after Meryl Streep’s heartfealt, humble and beautiful acceptance speech, Tom Cruise came on stage to present the big one of the evening—Best Picture. The Artist, which also won Michel Hazanavicius an Oscar for Direction, turned out to be the very deserving winner this year, with the simple story that The Artist was having been told with such brilliance and honesty. The endearing sight of Uggie the dog up on stage, along with the cast and winners, accepting the award added so much charm to a largely perfect show. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

THE TV TALK BEST OF 2011, NOMINEES

I look back at the year of TV that 2011 was, recognizing the best in popular television


From starting new shows, to catching up on the old ones, to bidding adieu to others, 2011 was an interesting year in television for me. I started watching BONES, and it became my favorite crime show. BROTHERS & SISTERS ended after its five-year run. It was announced that one of my all-time favorite shows DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES would be ending after its eighth season. Hit comedies like HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and THE BIG BANG THEORY got renewed for multiple seasons. Actors like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ashton Kutcher and Rachel Bilson returned to television with RINGER, TWO AND A HALF MEN and HART OF DIXIE, respectively. DEXTER took a deadly turn with its sixth season finale… And so much more! 2011 was an exciting year to say the least. And here’s a small way to acknowledge my favorites from the year gone by. Presenting the nominees for the TV TALK Best of 2011…

Series – Drama
Bones
Damages
Desperate Housewives
Dexter
Grey’s Anatomy
House MD

Series – Musical or Comedy
The Big Bang Theory
Glee
How I Met Your Mother
Modern Family
Two Broke Girls

Performance by an Actress in A Leading Role – Drama
Emily Deschanel, Bones
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives
Glenn Close, Damages
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters

Performance by an Actor in A Leading Role – Drama
David Boreanaz, Bones
Hugh Laurie, House MD
Michael C Hall, Dexter
Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy
Peter Krause, Parenthood
Tom Seleck, Blue Bloods

Performance by an Actress in A Leading Role – Musical or Comedy
Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kat Dennings, Two Broke Girls
Lea Michele, Glee

Performance by an Actor in A Leading Role – Musical or Comedy
Breckin Meyer, Franklin & Bash
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Josh Radnor, How I Met Your Mother
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Drama
Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter
Kadee Strickland, Private Practice
Lisa Edelstein, House MD
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Sara Ramirez, Grey’s Anatomy
Vanessa Williams, Desperate Housewives

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama
Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl
John Goodman, Damages
Justin Chambers, Grey’s Anatomy
Kevin McKidd, Grey’s Anatomy
Matthew Rhys, Brothers & Sisters
Paul Adelstein, Private Practice

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical or Comedy
Alyson Hannigan, How I Met Your Mother
Cobie Smulders, How I Met Your Mother
Jane Lynch, Glee
Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical or Comedy
Chris Colfer, Glee
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Fergusson, Modern Family
Kunal Nayyar, The Big Bang Theory
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother

Writing – Storylines & Dialogues
Bones
Damages
Desperate Housewives
Dexter
Grey’s Anatomy
How I Met Your Mother

Character Development
Damages
Desperate Housewives
Dexter
Grey’s Anatomy
House MD
Private Practice

Art Direction
Desperate Housewives
Gossip Girl
Modern Family
Pan Am
Revenge
Ringer

Costume Design
Desperate Housewives
Glee
Gossip Girl
Pan Am
Ringer

Make-up
Damages
Dexter
Glee
Grey’s Anatomy
House MD

Music – Background Score
Body of Proof
Desperate Housewives
Dexter
Grey’s Anatomy
Pan Am
Revenge

Music – Compilation
Glee
Gossip Girl
Grey’s Anatomy
Private Practice
Ringer

Titles – Opening & Closing Credits
Damages
Dexter
House MD
Modern Family
Parenthood
Ringer

Like last year (Click for results of TV TALK Best of 2010), there will be a Readers’ Choice also for the series and acting categories. For that, you may vote in the polls that are in the right-hand panel of this page.

The TV TALK BEST OF 2011 will be declared soon…(watch this space)

**Please note: The nominated series are only from the list of shows that I watch. The list of those is also further down in the right-hand panel.