Billy Crystal


Did The Artist shock the competition into silence at the 2012 Academy Awards? Did The Help take a huge helping of Oscar goodness? Did Billy Crystal top total dictator Sacha Baron Cohen and his oversized ashtray?

So let's get to the best, the worst and the rest of the Oscars:

Best Remake: Sure, we'll get to the kvetching in a moment, but it was nice to see all the return of Billy Crystal and all the sweat he puts into making the show a good time, including the film spoofs with Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber and more.

Worst Remake: Oh right, plenty of Crystal's shtick didn't work, from opening with a joke about his family watching the show Incredibly Loud and Unbelievably Close to his cringe-inducing Help bit, an inexplicable Sammy Davis Jr. impression, bar mitzvah gags and a not-so-funny riff on older actors like Max Von Sydow and Christopher Plummer.

Best Kiss: Clooney and Crystal recreating a scene from The Descendants, which proves one thing: Given the chance, pretty much anyone, man or woman, will try to kiss that handsome Clooney mug.

Biggest Surprises: Hugo wins the first two awards...which is only surprising in that the first award usually goes to Best Supporting Actress and the second...well, something else.

Best Seat Fillers? Well, as much as Tom Hanks talking about a faux legendary seat filler was clever, Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz deciding to wiggle their backsides was inexplicable and excellent.

The Only Way in Which We Are Like Brad Pitt: During a montage of famous people talking about the movies that inspired them, Pitt talked about the legendarily not very good but unforgettable (to us) War of the Gargantuas, a Japanese monster movie that inspired us, not to become handsome and linked to Angelina Jolie, but glued to a screen making silly comments. Movies do bring us all together.

Best Non-Surprise: Well, we don't know anyone who didn't think Octavia Spencer would win, but her speech still sounded sweet and unaffected.

Most Moving: The Iranian director of A Separation read a statement that aimed to connect the people of the world through art. And on a night of frivolous awards, it was a welcome bit that addressed reality in the rest of the world and the hope that art can still bring people together. 

Most Oscar-Worthy: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo editing team decided that they'd run out of things to say, so they cut the rest of their speech. Which was kind of awesome.

Most Thankful: The speech given by Hugo's Sound Editing team included this mixed-up piece of unsound logic: "I'd just like to thank everybody who is here tonight, and everybody who isn't and everybody who's ever been born, or may be born or be born again or reborn. If I've forgotten anybody then you probably know who you are."

Most Cutting: We like Cirque du Soleil as much as the next person, but live dance numbers have no place at the Oscars. If it ain't in the movies, or from the movies, then cut it. (Though, to be fair, watching Clooney's bemused reaction to the swinging trapeze-y action made it more fun.)

Best Acting: Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow made their silly bit about an RDJ reality show into something interesting, mainly because they are both talented enough to pull off live antics.

Old Glory: Christopher Plummer deserved all the applause for being the oldest winner at 82 years old, but also being great in the should-have-been-nominated film Beginners, as well as charming, funny and totally delightful in his speech.

Best Catch: T.J. Martin, one of The Undefeated guys who won the documentary feature prize (as well as the Mad Men costume contest), dropped an exuberant F-bomb, but on TV, unlike in life, the show producers caught it before it went live.

High Score: The Artist's composer made sure to go and personally congratulate the other nominees before going up to collect the award. That was a small gracious thing that we'd love to see more of.

Big Gam Hunter: The showstopping, leg-baring posing of presenter Angelina Jolie was as weird as it was welcome.

Gam Over: You also had to love Jim Rash, newly minted Oscar winner and Community star, for aping Jolie's move when accepting the adapted screenwriting award. That was funny and totally unexpected.

Joyce to the World: The animated shorts winner William Joyce referred to himself and his partner as Louisiana swamp rats, though that neglects the fact he's written a zillion amazing children's books and contributed to lots of animated films. He's not just a swamp rat—he's an awesome swamp rat.

MORE: Doc Makers Who Dropped the F-Bomb: "No Offense!"

Rock Star: Chris Rock did a great, short bit on how easy it is to do animation (if you're happy to play a zebra, that is), and it got us thinking that…probably everyone is funnier if they only have a couple minutes to fill.

Also Funny: Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Emma Stone, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis were all good in their short bits.

Remembering In Memoriam: Esperanza Spaulding's version of "What a Wonderful World" was lovely, though the decision to focus mainly on still photos seemed odd during a celebration of moving pictures.

Best Opening Line: "I love your country," said The Artist's Jean Dujardin, who completely disarmed anyone who might have been annoyed that this guy who doesn't say but two words on film beat out Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Demián Bichir.

Worst Closing Line: Our French is pretty bad, but people were saying that Dujardin dropped a joyous F-bomb while finishing up his speech. We aren't offended , but we'd rather talk about his great performance and speech than about whether Le FCC is going to get involved.

Most Confessional: During one of those montages about movies, Adam Sandler said that with each film he lets a little piece of himself out of the world. Note to Adam: the world would like you to take back the part of you that is Jack and Jill.

Best Confessional: "I was always thinking, I just want to make something I myself want to watch, and I just happen to want to watch some really sick stuff," said Sacha Baron Cohen. And we believe him.

The Great Muppet Capper: So glad that Bret McKenzie won for his song, "Man or Muppet," not just because his hilarious duo Flight Of The Conchords is so sublime but also because Jason Segal's revamping of the Muppets is everything we like about movies: It's got elements that are new and old and sweet and funny and musical and feature lots of moments with talking animal puppet-like creatures.

Best Actor: Colin Firth delivered a silver-tongued tribute to the actress nominees and we could hear the swoons from the auditorium all the way here.

Biggest Surprise? That had to be the big win for Meryl Streep. Just cause we figured, you know, she's always nominated. But then her funny, touching speech made it totally worth it.

Best Audience: Sandra Bullock always looks moved to tears. Love her for that.

Least Subtle Message: We didn't need to be reminded that movies are meant to be seen on the big screen with an audience, as it was repeated throughout the night, especially since we were watching the show alone on our phone. (Call us Academy, let's see a movie together!)

What did you think of the Oscars? Sound off in the comments!

MORE: 2012 Oscars: Party Pics

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