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That's a Wrap!

Well, another awards season comes to a close. In case you missed the news, you can check out the full list of Spirit Awards winners here and Oscar winners here. As expected, "The Artist" took Best Picture and there's already been a lot of grumbling about America giving it's top movie prize to a film made by foreigners. (Never mind that it was set and shot right here in Los Angeles.) You can read my opinion of the show overall--mainly my criticism of Billy Crystal--here.  But a few final thoughts.

All season long, I've been bemoaning the snub of the brilliant Michael Shannon in "Take Shelter," and finally just started referring to the Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin as NotMichaelShannon. Which is just me being silly--Dujardin was wonderful in "The Artist" and he bested some of the stiffest competition I've ever seen--namely two American film icons (George Clooney and Brad Pitt), a man widely regarded as the best actor working today (Gary Oldman), and an up-and-coming underdog (Demian Bichir.) He obviously did a magnificent job and I couldn't be happier for him.

Also, who couldn't be happy for Christopher Plummer winning Best Supporting Actor? The guy is brilliant, pure class, and as my friends all decided last night, still damn sexy.

A little disappointed Viola Davis didn't win Best Actress, but it's hard to argue with Meryl Streep winning the award. I do wonder if criticism surrounding "The Help" made it easier for people to vote for Streep, but that's probably not fair to Meryl, who truly was wonderful in "The Iron Lady."

And such criticism didn't hurt Best Supporting Actress winner Octavia Spencer, who also received the night's first standing ovation from the crowd. As you may know, I can't pretend to be unbiased about Spencer, who has been a friend since 2005. We called her win over a year ago--when she was still shooting the movie. See further evidence in our pride in a few of the pieces we've done on her:  the first interview she ever did in 2005, last year's cover story, a dialogue with her and Allison Janney for our 50th Anniversary issue, and did we mention she used to be a columnist for us?  It has been a joy watching her steal the spotlight this year--no one is more deserving or has handled it better.

And Spencer is really what Oscar night is all about--a year ago, most people didn't know her name. She earned a sought-after role with her talent and won over audiences with a charm and charisma that is unique only to her. It's all a dream come true, and so is she.

--Jenelle Riley



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