The biggest night in Hollywood could only mean three things: A-list celebrities, the best dressed and unexpected victories.
Opening the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, actor Neil Patrick Harris surprised the crowd by pulling off a dance number filled with glittery dresses, feathers, and suits.
After belting out the final note, he introduced the hosts of the evening, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.
The evening was one filled with both humor and humility. Martin and Baldwin played the quintessential pair and bounced off each other’s jokes the entire night with ease.
Fashion also made a statement on the red carpet as the ladies bared arms and shoulders in the finest evening gowns, courtesy of Oscar de la Renta and Badgley Mischka. Viewers were floored from the beauty of Sandra Bullock and Cameron Diaz, while others were not so impressed with Mariah Carey and Maggie Gyllenhal’s outfits of choice.
The most memorable outfit undoubtedly went to Ben Stiller, who presented an award in full Na’vi gear, one of the many references to James Cameron’s film Avatar throughout the night.
Remembrance was a central theme of the night, starting with a tribute to the late director, John Hughes. Matthew Broderick admitted that the question he’s been asked the most is, “Hey Ferris, is this your day off?” The Brat Pack, which includes Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Jon Cryer, and Ally Sheedy, along with a rare appearance by Macaulay Culkin, celebrated their time spent and movies made with the director.†
An “In Memoriam” tribute to those who have made significant contributions to film was shown through a montage of pictures as James Taylor performed the Beatles’ “In My Life” on stage.
Harry Shum (Glee) choreographed a number for Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, who performed while all of the nominees for Best Original Score were announced.
Although the majority of the night went smoothly, there was one odd moment during the acceptance speech for Director Roger Ross Williams, whose film Music By Prudence won Best Documentary Short.
After beginning his speech, Elinor Burkett, a producer of the film, interrupted (or as some say, “pulled a Kanye”) and said, “The man never lets the woman talk.”
The two had been at opposing ends about the direction of the film, which eventually led to a lawsuit and an out-of-court settlement. However, they obviously did not agree on who would go up to receive the award.
In an effort to appease young Hollywood, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner were some of the presenters at this year’s awards.
Some of the great wins of the night included Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds for Best Supporting Actor, Mo’Nique in Precious for Best Supporting Actress, Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart for Best Actor, and Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side for Best Actress. All these wins were a first for the actors.
The biggest victory of the night went to Kathryn Bigelow and her film, The Hurt Locker, which won Best Picture. Bigelow became the first woman in history to win Best Directing. The taste of success was made all the more sweeter as she beat out her ex-husband, James Cameron, and his monster box office hit Avatar.
Despite Cablevision’s blackout of ABC for the beginning of the awards, the Oscars had its most watched telecast in five years with 41.3 million viewers on Sunday, March 7.