Key moments make 2010 Academy Awards memorable

By Kate MacDonald

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(MCT)

With every new year comes the same line-up of award shows honoring the best talent in Hollywood. The same categories are filled and someone is declared Best Supporting Actress, Best Director and so on. It gets sort of monotonous; it’s been the same since 1929.

This year, however, there were changes to the way the Academy Awards have been held every year. The 82nd Academy Awards will be remembered for its structural changes, funny speeches, great talent of the nominated actors and crew members and even some mild controversies.

To the delight of many viewers, controversies seemed to take center stage this past Sunday night at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater. Perhaps the most notable problem with the awards show is the fact that Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur were emitted from the “In Memoriam” segment of the show. Controversially, Michael Jackson, primarily a musician, however, was included. Both were known best for television roles, but both also starred in movies, with Fawcett even receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in 1986’s “Extremities.” Stars including Nicky Hilton, Roger Ebert and Star Jones all took to Twitter to announce the travesty.

According to contactmusic.com, Sasha Baron Cohen (“Borat”) was uninvited to the Oscars, because producers thought a skit between him and Ben Stiller would insult “Avatar” director James Cameron. They decided against it, though Cameron said he would be fine with the jabs. Stiller ended up performing it himself. Another Cameron controversy was played up in the media – both he and ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow were in the running for Best Director. The media overplayed the competition.

Funny moments, however, mostly overcame whatever obstacles the Academy Awards faced. For the first time ever, the Oscars featured two hosts, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, recent costars in “It’s Complicated.” They had great banter onstage and were mostly spot on with their jokes. They teased another “It’s Complicated” costar Meryl Streep, stressing the fake feud between her and fellow Best Actress nominee Sandra Bullock, as well as young stars including Taylor Lautner. Stiller’s jabs to “Avatar” also prompted many laughs, as he dressed up as blue avatar Na’vi, and looked absolutely ridiculous doing so.

An equally laughable moment occurred when “Twilight” sequel “New Moon” appeared in a montage of classic horror movies. “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Shining,” yes, but “New Moon?” Not unless you’re afraid of the leering and longing looks of Kristen Stewart.

These Oscars also showcased their ability to evolve with the times. Since 2009 was considered such a great year for movies, the Academy decided to expand the Best Movie nominees from five films to 10. This also resulted in cutting the performances of each movie’s theme song by the artist who performed it or the film. A first-time performance piece set to many movie theme songs performed extremely well by America’s Best Dance Crew seemed to be the replacement.

Obviously, the awards will be remembered for the raw talent that graced the stage and picked up their own golden men statues. Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for her work in “The Blind Side,” honoring her late mother in a very heartfelt speech. “The Hurt Locker,” a film about soldiers in the War or Terror, swept many categories, including Best Movie and Best Director. Jeff Bridges won for “Crazy Heart,” over favorites Morgan Freeman and Jeremy Renner. Another standout moment occurred when Mo’Nique, of “Precious,” accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress. She cited “Gone with the Wind” supporting actress Hattie McDaniel for paving her way, defended her right to be onstage despite her vicious character and defended her own unconventional, open marriage.

Honestly, these 82nd Academy Awards and its events will be mostly forgotten by the nest time Oscar season rolls around. For the next few weeks, however, Hollywood will be abuzz with the goings on of Sunday night. After all, as Gabourey Sidibe put it, “It’s like prom night for Hollywood.”

Kate MacDonald can be reached at [email protected]