2012 Oscar Winners: 'The Artist' is Named Oscar's Best Picture

2012 Oscar Winners
Billy Crystal hosts the 2012 Academy Awards
Photo: AMPAS
2012 OSCARS: Photos from the Show (111 images so far) | Live Blog | Oscar History

The season has finally come to an end. The 2012 Oscars have come to a close and things went pretty much as expected with a few hitches in the technical awards and what some may look at as a surprise win for Meryl Streep for Best Actress over Viola Davis, but even if you had Davis there (as I did) you most likely had Streep as your number two so you weren't exactly blown away.

Getting the expected out of the way, The Artist took home a total of five Oscars including Best Picture, Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Actor (Jean Dujardin), Original Score (Ludovic Bource) and Costumes (Mark Bridges), the latter of which is really the only "surprise" win. I had The Artist winning five Oscars but instead of Costumes, I expected that fifth Oscar to come for Film Editing, which went to last year's winners in Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Tied with The Artist with five Oscars was Martin Scorsese's Hugo, which had a field day in the technical categories and started the night off with two wins in a row for Cinemtography and Art Direction. It also won for both Sound Editing and Mixing and also edged out Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 for Visual Effects.

Going into the night, the only other film I expected to go home with multiple Oscar wins was The Help and while Octavia Spencer won for Best Supporting Actress it just wasn't meant to be for Viola Davis. For Best Actress Meryl Streep heard her name called for her work in The Iron Lady, which became the only other film to win more than one Oscar, winning for Best Makeup earlier in the evening.

Looking back at my predictions, I ended up 19 for 24 as I was saved by my predictions in the shorts categories, pulling off the unlikely task of predicting all three correctly. Outside of Streep's win for Best Actress my misses came early beginning with Cinematography where I thought The Tree of Life would take it, I had Hugo for Costumes, The Artist for Editing and Rise of the Apes for Effects. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

As for the show itself, it got off to a rocky start as the opening montage of movie clips mashed up with Billy Crystal inserted for "comedic" effect didn't really play too well and neither did his opening song and dance number. However, presenters such as Chris Rock, Emma Stone, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis won me over late in the game and in the end the night sailed by rather smoothly. Crystal even had a few solid one-liners, appearing to take a page out of Golden Globes presenter Ricky Gervais' book.

Octavia Spencer at the 2012 OscarsLooking at the speeches I'd have to say Octavia Spencer gave what I perceived to be the most heartfelt and Jean Dujardin is just so damned charismatic it's hard not to like that guy even if you are among the group of The Artist haters. As I said during the live blog, if you haven't done so yet, go watch Dujardin and Hazanavicius' OSS 117 films. They are streaming on Netflix Instant, you have no excuses... well, unless you don't have Netflix.

I would also like to add that during the In Memoriam section of the night, a segment I normally tune out, I thought Esperanza Spalding did a wonderful rendition of "What A Wonderful World" and I really liked the presentation as it was largely dominated by elegant black-and-white images of those we lost over the year, leading up to the final look at Elizabeth Taylor. For once I really thought they nailed that portion of the show.

So overall, not a bad night. Of course, we can complain about the winners until we're blue in the face, but it is what it is. People are celebrating movies and I guess, in the end, that's what it's all about. Just below are all the winners highlighted in bold and red along with the final Oscar tally.

If you missed my live blog of the event with Laremy Legel you can click here for our second-by-second rundown of the show. And with that said, look for my list of next year's contenders very, very soon. That's right, no rest for the weary!

2012 OSCARS: Photos from the Show (53 and more coming) | Live Blog | Oscar History
Oscar Tally
  1. The Artist won 5 Oscars
  2. Hugo won 5 Oscars
  3. The Iron Lady won 2 Oscars
  4. A Separation won 1 Oscar
  5. Beginners won 1 Oscar
  6. The Descendants won 1 Oscar
  7. The Muppets won 1 Oscar
  8. The Help won 1 Oscar
  9. Midnight in Paris won 1 Oscar
  10. Rango won 1 Oscar
  11. Undefeated won 1 Oscar
  12. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won 1 Oscar
Best Picture
  1. The Artist
  2. The Descendants
  3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  4. The Help
  5. Hugo
  6. Midnight in Paris
  7. Moneyball
  8. The Tree of Life
  9. War Horse
Best Actor
  1. Jean Dujardin
    (The Artist)
  2. Demián Bichir
    (A Better Life)
  3. George Clooney
    (The Descendants)
  4. Brad Pitt
  5. Gary Oldman
    (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Best Actress
  1. Glenn Close
    (Albert Nobbs)
  2. Rooney Mara
    (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
  3. Viola Davis
    (The Help)
  4. Meryl Streep
    (The Iron Lady)
  5. Michelle Williams
    (My Week with Marilyn)
Best Supporting Actor
  1. Christopher Plummer
  2. Max von Sydow
    (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
  3. Jonah Hill
  4. Kenneth Branagh
    (My Week with Marilyn)
  5. Nick Nolte
Best Supporting Actress
  1. Janet McTeer
    (Albert Nobbs)
  2. Berenice Bejo
    (The Artist)
  3. Melissa McCarthy
  4. Jessica Chastain
    (The Help)
  5. Octavia Spencer
    (The Help)
Best Director
  1. Michel Hazanavicius
    (The Artist)
  2. Alexander Payne
    (The Descendants)
  3. Martin Scorsese
  4. Woody Allen
    (Midnight in Paris)
  5. Terrence Malick
    (The Tree of Life)
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
  1. The Descendants
  2. Hugo
  3. The Ides of March
  4. Moneyball
  5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Writing (Original Screenplay)
  1. The Artist
  2. Bridesmaids
  3. Margin Call
  4. Midnight in Paris
  5. A Separation
Animated Feature Film
  1. A Cat in Paris
  2. Chico & Rita
  3. Kung Fu Panda 2
  4. Puss in Boots
  5. Rango
Documentary (feature)
  1. Hell and Back Again
  2. If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  3. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  4. Pina
  5. Undefeated
Foreign Language Film
  1. Bullhead
  2. Footnote
  3. In Darkness
  4. Monsieur Lazhar
  5. A Separation
  1. The Artist
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  3. Hugo
  4. The Tree of Life
  5. War Horse
Film Editing
  1. The Artist
  2. The Descendants
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  4. Hugo
  5. Moneyball
Music (Original Score)
  1. The Adventures of Tintin
  2. The Artist
  3. Hugo
  4. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  5. War Horse
Music (Original Song)
  1. "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets
  2. "Real in Rio" from Rio
Sound Mixing
  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  2. Hugo
  3. Moneyball
  4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  5. War Horse
Sound Editing
  1. Drive
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  3. Hugo
  4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  5. War Horse
Art Direction
  1. The Artist
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  3. Hugo
  4. Midnight in Paris
  5. War Horse
Visual Effects
  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  2. Hugo
  3. Real Steel
  4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  1. Anonymous
  2. The Artist
  3. Hugo
  4. Jane Eyre
  5. W.E.
  1. Albert Nobbs
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  3. The Iron Lady
Live-Action Short
  1. Pentecost
  2. Raju
  3. The Shore
  4. Time Freak
  5. Tuba Atlantic
Animated Short
  1. Dimanche/Sunday
  2. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  3. La Luna
  4. A Morning Stroll
  5. Wild Life
Documentary Short
  1. The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
  2. God Is the Bigger Elvis
  3. Incident in New Baghdad
  4. Saving Face
  5. The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
2012 OSCARS: Photos from the Show (53 and more coming) | Live Blog | Oscar History

  • Marcell

    Really happy with the results. Especially Woody's Screenplay win and Meryl's. She deserves to be up there with Hepburn and Bergman with more than 2 wins. Saw The Iron Lady over the weekend for the first time and while the movie was ok, she was brilliant. For me The Artist deserved Best Picture. Thanks from Saouth Africa, for the coverage on the whole awards season, Brad.

  • Rachel

    My favorite win of the night is Woody Allen's win for Best Original Screenplay!

  • Winchester

    It seems mostly the the Academy was looking back in on itself with the winners this year. I doubt it's a coincidence that two films with a heavy sense and perception of cinemas own past and history were the two big winners of the night.

  • Alex Roggio

    Very sad that Moneyball left without an award. Still, really happy to see Dragon Tattoo leave with some gold. Such a great movie and underrated by the Academy.

    I have a question... Why is it that Woody Allen boycotted the Oscars? Can someone shed light on that particular situation.

    • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

      He has only been to the Oscars once: in 2002, to encourage filmmakers to continue shooting films in New York following 9/11. Woody has never been much for awards recognition.

      • Winchester

        Which is kind of ironic considering he himself soon after skipped New York as a filming location and hasn't been back since before Match Point.

  • darnoc

    16 right for me n still shocked at the omission for best fx for Apes

  • tommy

    it was one of the worst .Viola Davis should be winner .what happen? black woman shouldn't win main award.(Halle berry was only actress).and bullhead surely was better than winner.political ruled there.

    • Jeff

      Yep, you disagreed with who won so clearly it must have been rigged or modivated by politics and racisim.

    • Evengan

      Just stop it. I HATE when people think Viola didn't win because she was black. MAYBE, just MAYBE, Meryl Streep did a masterful performance as Margaret Thatcher. Considered that possibility?

  • Bogdan

    really happy for Meryl, but no cinematography for tree of life.......?

  • http://pixel-drama.com Leandro Dubost

    No Visual Effects for "Rise of the Apes" was probably the biggest snub of this year. I liked "Hugo" very much, but come on!

    And I'm glad Meryl Streep won. I don't think her performance was the best (I prefer either Michelle Williams or Tilda Swinton this year), but at least she finally won and now the media can stop with the bullshit "but Streep hasn't won an Oscar in 15 years!"
    Oh, okay, now she's won, she has three Oscars and the Academy can stop nominating her for every good performance in every bad movie she does just because she's Meryl Streep.

    • Winchester

      That probably won't happen. The category is Best Actress. Best Picture is a whole separate category and the two don't have to go hand in hand.

  • Dean

    Streep's "impersonation" of Margaret Thatcher will go down in Oscar history as one of the biggest travesties ever to win. Not since Grace Kelly beat Judy Garland has there been a worse choice. I guess that good ole Harvey has quite a long reach and the ENDLESS, ENDLESS campaigning by the annointed one ((Miss Streep)(who supposedly is so blase about awards)) paid off.

    At least The Artist got 5 deserved awards--it should have gotten more, Clooney lost (thank God) and so did the excreable Tree of Life. And did you notice that arrogant, bald headed writer from the Descendants mocking Jolie--right there in front of her? Typical.

    The Artist may be THE most honored film in award history.

    • Alex Roggio

      There has never been a worse choice? Did you completely forget the fact that Sandra Bullock won an award two years ago? SANDRA BULLOCK. Let that sink in and then compare what was the real travesty.

    • Evengan

      Meryl Streep was perfect and you will deal ;) Viola Davis was great but not Oscar worthy.

    • Bren

      That bald guy would be Jim Rash, former Groundling and current Community star. I think he was just going for a cheap laugh and if anyone is upset about that then they should just get a life.

      Biggest travesty? Really? How about Close actually getting nominated this year as a bigger one for starters. The butthurt is amazing.

    • Meme

      Did you see the movie? Meryl was masterful as Thatcher; she became this woman. So get over it because she was indeed deserving.

  • http://davidcamponfilm.co.uk David

    Just a very poor year really. I had The Artist to take at least five awards, including the key three categories, then to be forgotten about forever by about July as we ruminate on the memorable films excluded from the ceremony (cough Drive etc). Was pretty solid with my guesses. I expected Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse to be blocked from all categories despite being my favourite three films in the running. Disinterest with a side of bitterness follows today.

    Boring year. Insipid selection. A film as overrated as The Artist winning these big awards just highlights how strong 2010 was:

    The King's Speech
    Toy Story 3
    The Social Network
    True Grit
    The Fighter
    Black Swan
    127 Hours
    Winter's Bone
    The Kid's are all Right

    Seriously, last years list pisses all over this recent crop. So, so poor. Hopefully next year gets its act together.

  • Risa

    Well, they hadn't even nominated some of the films which desereved more anyway i.e. Melancholia, Warrior, Margin Call, Dragon Tattoo, Shame, We Need to Talk About Kevin. 2011 was worse than this year if not as bad, the most underwhelming of them all being King's Speech, as most of the nominations were basically a showdown between big studios with mediocre films barring probably True Grit and Winter's Bone.

    Now, seeing that 4 of my top 5 films didn't even get nominated, I'm actually happy with this year's results, could've done without Octavia Spencer's win but overall it's been a fair outcome. Happy for The Artist, Woody Allen, A Separation and Rango in particular!

  • Risa

    Forgot to mention DRIVE, another film that deserved a nomination more than half of the rubbish that got nominated.

  • Alex Roggio

    I just hope the Academy realized how having more than 5 Best Picture candidates changes nothing. No matter if there are 5 nominees, 10 nominees or 20 nominees, the race is always between 2 or 3 films. Having 6 to 7 filler choices is mad and I strongly feel the number should kept at 5. We didn't need "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" on that ballot, nor did we need "The Tree of Life", "War Horse" or "Moneyball". As much as I loved Moneyball, once I saw it didn't have a Director nomination, it was obvious it didn't have a chance in hell of nabbing best picture.

    I also hope the Academy follows a new format next year. One hour before the show, they will give out the three shorts, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects. No one cares about these awards enough to want to see them being given out on screen.

    Of course, we here care for every award, but most of the public just want to see the Acting awards and to a lesser extent the Best Picture, Best Animated Film and Best Director awards. They should award lesser awards in another ceremony, in commercials or before the show.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I don't think the decision was ever an effort to change the winner, but more to just add nominees, giving a chance for a wider range of films to be nominated and add to the viewership.

      • Alex Roggio

        But how much more range does Extremely Loud, Moneyball and Tree of Life grant the Academy?

        I understand this is a response to the backlash of 2009 when they snubbed The Dark Knight, but it's doubtful there would have been backlash in 2010 had The Blind Side not been nominated, or in 2011 had Toy Story 3 not been either.

        2010 had three box office hits guaranteed nominations anyway in Avatar, Basterds and Up in the Air while 2011 had 4 box office hits guaranteed nominations in Black Swan, The Fighter, The Social Network and True Grit. The eventual winners, The Hurt Locker and The King's Speech also had decent followings.

        To me, the 2008 backlash of The Dark Knight was a one-time occurrence and it's doubtful to be repeated, not even with The Dark Knight Rises.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Look at the entire field of nominees, this year was clearly an outlier. Toy Story 3 and Inception last year didn't hurt. They don't just add films to add them, it is based on their nominations still, it just affords an opportunity for more films. And the backlash for The Dark Knight will be repeated if The Dark Knight Rises doesn't get in next year and it has a much better chance if there are potentially ten nominees... if it's any good.

  • Jack

    I still can't believe The Tree of Life didn't get cinematography.

  • dean

    Jack, it was hard to SIT THROUGH the Tree of Life!!

    Another point: the morning chat shows post Oscar are all but ignoring Dujardin's major coup--probably since they were all in the "gushing over Clooney" camp.

    • Chris138

      You could watch just the first 5 minutes of The Tree of Life and realize how stunningly well shot it is. It just would have been nice to see Lubezki win, since he should have won for Children of Men. But hey, as Brad said, it is what it is. I haven't seen Hugo yet, but from what I've seen it looks to be well shot (Richardson never disappoints there).

    • http://davidcamponfilm.co.uk David

      Dean, what are you talking about? The Tree of Life was a near-masterpiece. It's not without its flaws, but Malick's operating on a level totally above the abilities of most of his fellow nominees. That film had more drive, ambition and beauty in its first five minutes than most films manage in a 90 minute runtime. It's fascinating.

  • http://davidcamponfilm.co.uk David

    Also, my main memory of this year will always be that bizarre Best Picture nom for 'Extremely Loud.'

    What next? Ghost Rider II for Best Pic in 2013? So strange...

  • Winchester

    I wouldn't be against a return to 5 nominees. The current system just creates a two tier display where you clearly have your serious contenders and your 'there to make up numbers but ain't gonna win selection' that pad it out.

    Does it even genuinely add any viewers?

    And yes, to echo someone above the Sandra Bullock win was the biggest joke played in the last few years. Way bigger than Meryl vs Viola. Way bigger.

  • dean

    Streep reminds me of what another pro tennis player once said about Andre Agassi, "Even his sincerity is phony".

    And I can't believe that people actually liked Tree of Life--incomprenhensible drivel--but at least it wasn't a Lifetime made for TV movie like The Iron Lady was.

    And PS: I'd have given it two years ago to Bullock over yet another Rich Little impersonation of Julia Child by Streep.

    • Kevin

      Over the course of the past several weeks, your feelings about Meryl Streep have surpassed cynical, I think "clinical" might be a better diagnosis. She addressed you in her acceptance speech last night, and I concur: WHATEVER~~~ Ms. Streep is slowly moving from Best Actress of her generation, to Best Actress of all time. Watching and reading naysayers disagree and squirm is almost as enjoyable as watching her accept Oscar #3 last night, almost, but not quite!

      • Meme

        I second that notion.

  • Liathach

    Well, I'm glad The Artist won because...it's French. That's never going to happen again.

  • mitzi

    Why was Tower Heist left out of all the possible nominations, A great, well acted movie, which we went to
    see a few times. All outstanding actors. How come
    Oscar avoid Tower Heist?

    • Bren

      Are you serious? Oscar avoided it because it wasn't a very good movie at all.

  • Gabriel

    I think Streep won out in the end because a lot of the people in the academy viewed it as a supporting role and not the lead role

  • Ian

    I really enjoyed the show overall. I loved how they put the focus on appreciation of the movies and really making it about celebrating a bit of the history of movies. I thought Crystal did a great job and they should just have him do it most years from now on. I get that some people want an edgy show, and it would have been nice to see what Eddie Murphy would have done, but the Academy is never interested in anything edgy. Yeah it'd still be nice to see Gervais host and I wouldn't mind seeing Jon Stewart back again, and there are at least a few others who would probably do a good job, but I feel like they should come back to Crystal at least every few years, just because he always does so well at delivering a classy show.

    I went 17 / 24 on my predictions and won my virtual pool. The only downer for me I guess was Meryl Streep beating Viola Davis as I really think Davis deserved that award. But it's almost impossible to dislike Meryl because she's just so gracious and seems so down to earth for an actress of her stature. But for anyone who thinks the Meryl fanatics will be quieted, forget it. In two years it will be "When will she tie Katherine Hepburn?" Then if that ever happens, it will be "When will she break the tie with Katherine Hepburn?" That's just the way it is, and I'm sure I'll be attacked by someone for not unequivocally praising her. But, as she said last night...whatever.

    I wasn't blown away by the beauty of any of the women last night, but my most beautiful vote goes to Michelle Williams, with Rooney Mara again a close second (and it was nice to see her smile for once when Colin Firth was complimenting her).

    And with that, bring on 2012! Hopefully it will be better than 2011, though unless something changes I'm sure a safe, feel-good, indie period drama picked up by the Weinsteins will win again next year. And just for the hell of it, my expectations on the Best Picture nomination chances of the two biggest fanboy films / would be Oscar contenders: The Hobbit in, The Dark Knight Rises out.

  • dean

    Hey Kevin:

    So anybody who doesn't worship at Streep's altar is a lunatic? Has this absurd worship of this Rich Little nothing come down to that? I still say she got an undeserved award for a lousy movie. The cult around Streep is starting to unwravel a bit. Not EVERY movie fan is falling for her BS.

    I like what Bill Maher said on his HBO show recently under the title "Lamer vs. Lamer"--"I want Glenn Close to play Meryl Streep in her next movie, then I can skip both of them."

    • Risa

      Haha, spot on, mate!

  • Andrés

    When are the oscars going to give Emmanuel Lubezki what he deserves? His work on Children Of Men, The New World and The Tree Of Life is simply amazing.