Top Five Moments from the 2012 Oscars

Cirque du Soleil performs at the 2012 Oscars
Photo: AMPAS

Considering my lack of enthusiasm heading into the 2012 Oscars, I'm actually surprised I can come up with a list of five favorite moments. In fact had the Academy officially released clips from their show on YouTube it would have not only made this process easier, but I probably would have been able to deliver a top ten. As it is, I had to rummage around the Internet just to find the clips I found.

Now, before I get into the top five I wanted to point out the video to the right. I didn't include any speeches from last night in the top five, but felt I couldn't leave out the one that was the most heartfelt and genuine. Octavia Spencer's reaction and speech was, without a doubt the best of the night. A runner up would probably be Jean Dujardin, but I wasn't so moved I felt I needed to include it here.

So let's move on to the more entertaining bits. I would have included Billy Crystal's "What are they thinking?" piece, which was one of his better moments of the night, but I couldn't find it online, and I almost included Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, but it didn't quite make the cut (you can watch that here if you like).

What did make the cut, let's have a look, and I'm sorry for my international readers if a couple of these aren't able to be viewed outside the United States, don't blame me... I tried.

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis banging cymbals in Brad Pitt's face, close enough to make his hair blow back and the fact Pitt laughs through it with Angelina Jolie is the main reason this one makes it.

Emma Stone and Ben Stiller

I thought Emma Stone was great last night. The bit went on a little too long but it was one of the few moments that actually made me laugh.

Cirque du Soleil

This was one of the few moments I was able to get up during the show and walk around. I didn't have to do a live blog post or make sure I added a winner to the database so I missed the Cirque du Soleil performance until just this morning and on top of how amazing these performers are, even better is the fact they kept it to a tight and short performance. So often something like this can overstay its welcome, but they really delivered.

  • Lilly

    British Humor, ha ha

  • Rob

    I also loved the Kirk Baxter / Angus Wall acceptance sppech for Editing... Now that was some genuine surprise!

    • Brad Brevet

      Yeah, and instead of fumbling for too long they were just like, "Let's get out of here." Good stuff.

  • AmyLaurie

    You got all of the good ones, Brad. I thought Jonah Hill's reaction was perfect and hilarious.

  • MWHollywood85

    It's not in the clip here but I thought Ferrell and Galifianakis fumbling with the symbols trying to open the envelope was really funny.
    Goes to show that good slapstick is still really funny.

  • Leandro Dubost

    Loved Emma Stone bit.

    I also liked the moment when Angelina Jolie went to present Best Screenplay and did that stunning/unecessary pose showing her leg, then one the winners from "The Descendants" did the same pose.

    • Viral

      Spot on - the angelina jolie bit was so funny - Jim Rash was brilliant and funnily enough alexander payne reminded me of steven levitan and the threesome brought on stage a bit of "modern family" acceptance speech kind of feeling which i loved! that was the highlight for me.

  • Garrett

    In addition to what you highlighted, Christopher Plummer's speech really stood out to me. Very gracious overall, and classy in the way he addressed his fellow nominees.

  • Josh Batchelder

    You forgot Meryl Streep's speech! She seemed genuinely moved and shocked that she had gotten her first Oscar win since the 80s. She is so phenomenal.

    • Brad Brevet

      I didn't forget it.

  • Aakash

    Chris rock rant about animation acting was funny as hell! Great entertainment!
    Also jeun's speech, whr he seemed in total composure throughout and then just burst out in excitement! Awesome guy

  • Ooze33

    For me it was the SCORSESE! callback from the SAG's. I felt bad for those who didn't get the joke.

    • Brad Brevet

      Oh, yes, thanks for reminding me. That was good.

  • Rocky

    I agree with the list, but I'd also like to mention Jonah Hill's reaction when Emma Stone asked him to dance. So spot on :P

    Chris Rock was undeniably the funniest of the presenters (as one could expect). I love his humor!

  • Steven Hayhurst

    In the Ryan Seacrest clip, checkout the guy at 1 min 40 he just walks up nonchalanty and takes the lid from the urn, blows it clean and puts it in his pocket. Class

  • Heather

    Sorry, but I'd have to say the Dictator incident was plus plain tastless and offensive. No wonder people hate America...

    • Brad Brevet

      I'm not quite sure I understand your comment. No wonder people hate America because of my enjoyment of the incident or because of what the London-born comedian did to Ryan Seacrest?

      • Ryan

        Nice. Best reply ever.

        • Scott

          I believe what Heather is trying to say is some people are beginning to hate America because we are becoming a nation of people who are forgetting how to treat each other with respect and dignity. I wonder how many people would think it is funny if they were stuck wearing a soiled tuxedo for the rest of the evening and have to return it soiled.

          I thought Billy Crystal calling the Kodak Theater the Chapter 11 theater was funny which is unfortunate for Billy since I obviously do not have a sense of humor.

          • Travis

            It wasn't soiled. It had some dust on it. It could easily be brushed off. And even if it couldn't, Ryan Seacrest has even admitted that he had been told to have a backup jacket on hand, and he owns the tux, it isn't rented

          • Scott

            This is actually a reply to Travis who said:

            It wasn't soiled. It had some dust on it. It could easily be brushed off. And even if it couldn't, Ryan Seacrest has even admitted that he had been told to have a backup jacket on hand, and he owns the tux, it isn't rented

            My reply: OK, let me get this straight. Getting dust that couldn't be easily brushed off is OK since Ryan owns more than one tuxedo and may have had a backup jacket on had. My problem must be that I don't think it is right to intentionally get a person's tuxedo dusty PERIOD! I guess my parents didn't raise me right.

    • jbob

      Sacha is British. So it is British humour, not American. It is typical of British humour.

  • Darth Agnan

    Would Jim Rash have made the list if he had lifted his trouser and actually shown his leg during that best adapted screenplay list?

    And do you think Octavia Spencer deserved a standing ovation? I feel bad for Dujardin. He's the only one of the acting categories who did not receive a standing ovation.

    • Brad Brevet

      Rash was another part I did forget about. He actually would have made the list if I remembered. With the comments I'm thinking we almost have a top ten.

  • Travis

    I didn't like cirque de solei, but that's just me. I did like 85% of both the montage and song, but again, just me

  • Kevin

    I thought the Dictator and Seacrest bit was hilarious, even funnier afterward when I found out Ryan Seacrest wasn't in on the gag!!

  • Viral

    I get it why jim carrey went all creepy on emma stone - she is beautiful , smart and funny as hell!

    my top 5
    5. cirque du soliel
    4. chris rock
    3. octavia spencer - she was great in the movie and was genuinely stunned to take home the award.
    2. jim rash immitating angelina jolie ( she was visibly shaken after that and could barely read/smile through the next award) thats how you bring jolie down!
    1. Meryl ( cause i shouted out loud all the birds in the vicinity took off) plus she was genuinely moved that on the same night her friend for 37 years also took home the oscar for make up. she is class!

    i didnt put ryan/dictator up here becuase i caught the ABC telecast but i am sure it was funny as hell.. i like SBC in the "what makes a good movie " bit he is funny as hell.

  • BradleyBadder

    Streep's acceptance speech was nice. Sandra Bullock was funny too, as were Chris Rock and Emma Stone. The Cirque de Solei performance was great but squemish to watch.

    Though I think Baron-Cohen is cleverly trying to manipulate an audience into "The Dictator" - it was the funniest moment by a long shot, Seacrest's reaction was beautiful.