Not as controversial as one may had expect, but surprising to me.
Many people thought that the 77th Annual Academy Awards were going to be controversial because of Chris Rock taking over as host this time around. We all know of Chris Rock's attitute and comic lines, but he was not as funny as I would have hoped.
To begin with, I was disappointed that neither Passion of the Christ or Phantom of the Opera got Best Picture nominations, instead the Academy nominated The Aviator, Ray, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways and Finding Neverland. The Aviator and Million Dollar Baby went head to head for the Oscar for Best Picture with Million Dollar Baby eventually taking the top prize.
Clint Eastwood won his second Best Director award for Million Dollar Baby, previously winning in 1993 for Unforgiven. Martin Scorcese probably may have been a better choice for directing The Aviator.
In this major breakthrough year for African Americans actors, as expected, comedian Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for his realistic role of real life blues singer Ray Charles in Ray. Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood were also favored to win in the race as well.
As for Best Actress, Hilary Swank took home her second award in that category for Million Dollar Baby. Annette Bening, whom had also previously been nominated with Swank in 1999, was nominated for Being Julia.
For Best Supporting Actor, I personally thought Thomas Haden Church would win for Sideways or Alan Alda for The Aviator. Morgan Freeman took home that award for Million Dollar Baby, a long overdue and also deserved award.
Cate Blacnhett won for her portrayal of screen legend Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. I thought that maybe Natalie Portman would have won for Closer.
Director Sidney Lumet was honored with the Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.
One of my favorite segments was somewhat disappointing, the In Memoriam tribute segment remembering the artists that died the year before was done with a musical solo by Yo Yo Ma, I think his cellist performance was not as good as using the Academy orchestra like in previous years, but the Academy did remember quite a few of Hollywood's dearly departed: Ronald Reagan, Peter Ustinov, Carrie Snodgress, Dan Petrie, Dave Raksin, Fay Wray, Carol Eastman, Elmer Bernstein, Frank Thomas, Russ Meyer, Jerry Orbach, Ralph E. Winters, Robert Thompson, Howard Keel, Janet Leigh, Christopher Reeve, Ossie Davis, Mercedes McCambridge, William Sackheim, Ed DiGullio, Paul Winfield, Philippe de Broca, Jerry Goldsmith, Rodney Dangerfield, Virginia Mayo, Tony Randall and Marlon Brando.
As special tribute was also given to Johnny Carson, who hosted the Oscars in the past.
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