The three nerdiest moments at the 2012 Oscars

Unlike last year’s extremely uncomfortable Oscar® telecast, with its poorly-matched, inexperienced hosts, this year was as comfy as a cup of warm borscht, as Billy Crystal busted out venerable schtik and timing. Other than that, it was all a parade of white dresses, sequins, and very, very predictable wins. But a few moments stood out for Our Kind:

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#1– HUGO CABRET represents that mysterious grey area between comics and not-comics. It definitely isn’t a comic, but author Brian Selznick was definitely influenced by comics in telling a story with pictures as well as text. So let’s go with comics hybrid and state that with its five wins (all in the craft areas) Martin Scorsese’s HUGO is the most Oscars-winning film based on a semi-comic ever. HUGO won for Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Art Direction, and Cinematography.

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#2 — Figwit won an Oscar! Bret McKenzie, best known as part of Flight of the Conchords and now Oscar-winning songwriter for THE MUPPET MOVIE, was once known as a background Elf in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
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Was he a background Sylvan Elf, or a background Noldor? Unknown.

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#3 — Saruman also won!

#3.a — Somewhere during the Oscar telecast, as shots of Bumblebee transforming were shown, the voice of Michael Bay was heard explaining how you had to do things right to make art. I wish I were making that up.

And here is what you really were waiting for:

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Immediately after the telecast, Angelina Jolie ate a sandwich, and an anxious nation heaved a sigh of relief.

And SEPARATED AT BIRTH?

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Finally, as we CORRECTLY predicted, the Best Animated Short category was won by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg for THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE, and they were DEFINITELY the happiest winners of the night.

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Comments

  1. Bindi says:

    My nerdiest moment was when RDJ and Gwyneth Paltrow showed up and did full-on Tony Stark and Pepper Potts while presenting an award.

  2. I think it’s sort of telling that the only mention of books as an inspiration/source material, was from the winners of Adapted Screenplay. Everyone else — even those guys that won for the Animated Short ABOUT BOOKS THEMSELVES! — treated the original books like they were from the lowest levels of the creative ghetto…

  3. aquatragic says:

    It was comfy? Billy Crystal also busted out blackface, and in my book, that’s way more uncomfortable than anything James Franco did.

  4. What? No “that broke back pose is impossible” commentary? Heidi, you’re slipping!

  5. Mikael says:

    “Angelina Jolie ate a sandwich”. Once again the Beat’s hypocrisy on gender issues rears itself. If a man wrote that, Hudsonian fire would erupt from the skies towards all of comicdom. Tacky.

  6. Surely Cliff Robertson invoking “With great power comes great responsibility” as Uncle Ben during the death montage should be on this list?

  7. Kate Willaert says:

    “Once again the Beat’s hypocrisy on gender issues rears itself. If a man wrote that, Hudsonian fire would erupt from the skies towards all of comicdom.”

    You are aware that Heidi MacDonald and Laura Hudson are not, in fact, the same person, right?

  8. Torsten Adair says:

    Another children’s book illustrator/author wins an animated short Oscar! (Shaun Tan, Theodore Geisel, Norton Juster being three other notable examples.)

    Hey, if Whoopi Goldberg can do white face hosting the Oscars, Billy Crystal can do black face in an opening montage. (I won’t comment on Ben Stiller’s blue face.)

    The Muppets finally win an Oscar! “Man or Muppet” isn’t my favorite song from that movie (it’s #3), but at least it makes up for “The Rainbow Connection” losing to “It Goes Like It Goes”.

    General Chang wins an Oscar!
    “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.”

    Octavia Spencer had a bit part in the first Spider-Man movie.

    Saruman? Robert Richardson didn’t even work on the LotR movies…

    Oh, and Natalie Portman is definitely a geek. An Intel semifinalist, and she has an Erdős–Bacon number of 6. (Plus lots of geeky movies!) Colin Firth’s E-B number is 7.

  9. Not comics but definitely geek-win: Brad Pitt talking up “War of the Gargantuas” as a movie that got him into movies (even though he didn’t know the full name of the movie).

  10. Chris Hero says:

    Huh? I’m pretty sure joking that Angelina is scary thin is ok. To me, it seems like things are all wrong when one of the prettiest actresses in the world feels like she needs to starve herself. Women should feel like whatever weight they are is perfect as long as their doctor gives them a clean bill of health.

    Anyway, I thought Crystal stunk. It just felt like he was going through the motions. But, my recent favorites have been Rock, Stewart, and Ellen. (All three had awkward moments, but overall were funny.)

    I didn’t really have a geek out moment. I badly wanted Oldman to win. I thought Tinker Tailor was excellent and he knocked out a very, very difficult character to play. He did the rare trick of playing the character exactly as he reads in the book.

    I’m glad the Artist won a lot. It’s a wonderful movie.

  11. Torsten Adair says:

    Oh, and Ms. Jolie is quite healthy…

    Ms. Paltrow, on the other hand…

  12. Hal Shipman says:

    “Hey, if Whoopi Goldberg can do white face hosting the Oscars, Billy Crystal can do black face in an opening montage. (I won’t comment on Ben Stiller’s blue face.)”

    No.

    For one thing, there is not a decades-long history of “white-face” as a tool in anything like minstrel shows, denigrating and humiliating a race.

    And as tasteless and unfunny as it was, Goldberg’s “white-face” wasn’t a free pass on some racial insult scorecard entitling a white comedian to do one instance of blackface in return.

    If you don’t get how offensive blackface is, take a look at Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled.”

  13. Snikt Snakt says:

    People still watch the Oscar’s?!?

    The biggest self-wanking award’s show of them all??

  14. Torsten Adair says:

    Billy Crystal has impersonated Sammy Davis Jr. before, way back in 1984 on Saturday Night Live, once even with Jesse Jackson. Was there much outcry then? What was Eddie Murphy’s reaction?

    This wasn’t a blackface performance with racial slurs, it was an impersonation of a celebrity (and a benign one at that… there was no criticism of Mr. Davis). No minstrelsy was involved. Sammy Davis, Jr., a Jew, was used to make a joke about “Midnight In Paris” and killing Hitler.

    Mr. Davis was also half-Latino, so while the perception of his ethnicity is that of an African-American, the reality is more complex.

    But perception equals reality, especially in Hollywood.

    If you want to see an expert use of “white-face” comedy, Eddie Murphy made a hilarious and biting SNL film titled “White Like Me”.

  15. I’m w/Nate: Brad Pitt citing War Of The Gargantuas was the highlight of the evening!

  16. Torsten Adair says:

    BTW, Ms. Jolie’s leg has now become an internet meme:

    http://gawker.com/5888658/angelina-jolies-right-leg-poised-to-supplant-all-creative-arts-forever

    Apparently, it’s become a signature pose for her… many of her gowns have the slit.

    It has a name: Angelegging.

  17. That wasn’t blackface. It was full-headed makeup. A simple google image search of the word “blackface” can show anyone the difference. Saying Crystal was doing blackface is beyond stretching it.

  18. OtisTFirefly says:

    >>>It was comfy? Billy Crystal also busted out blackface, and in my book, that’s way more uncomfortable than anything James Franco did.

    …and once again, the victim-mentality brigade rears ITS ugly head. Billy Crystal was doing an impression. It’s not like he was shucking and jiving or making fun of another race.

    Christ. No wonder this country is FUBAR.

  19. 3. That was not Saurman who won the Oscar.

    As Peter David said, that was Warlord Travis Morgan who won.

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