Tuesday, February 28, 2012

84th Annual Academy Awards: ‘Saving Face’ Wins First Oscar for Pakistan

The 84th Annual Academy Awards were presented in Los Angeles on February 26. They were hosted by comedian Billy Crystal.
“The Artist” bagged five Oscars, including best picture, becoming the first silent movie to win Hollywood's highest honors since the original Oscar ceremony 83 years ago. It is the first silent winner since the First World War saga “Wings,” which was named outstanding picture at the first Oscars in 1929.
In the black-and-white comic melodrama category, the best actor award went to Jean Dujardin and the best director to Michel Hazanavicius.
In a night of few surprises, the other top Oscars went to Meryl Streep for best actress for the movie “The Iron Lady,” Octavia Spencer as supporting actress for “The Help.” In a night where first timers and veterans were recognized, Streep became the fifth actor to win three awards, the previous winners being Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman and Walter Brennan. She is now only a step away to match Katharine Hepburn’s four Oscar record.
Christopher Plummer as supporting actor for “Beginners.” The 82-year-old Plummer became the oldest acting winner ever for his role as an elderly widower who comes out as gay in “Beginners.”
The other wins for “The Artist” were for musical score and art direction. Martin Scorsese's Paris adventure “Hugo” also won five Oscars, all in technical categories. Streep's win was her first Oscar in 29 years, since she won best actress for “Sophie's Choice.” She had lost 12 times in a row since then. Streep also has a supporting-actress Oscar for 1979's “Kramer vs. Kramer.”
Woody Allen won the original Screenplay Oscar for “Midnight In Paris”, about a novelist adrift in a romantic reimagining of 1920s Paris. Seventy-six-year-old Allen has been nominated for an Oscar 25 times and this was his fourth win, who won for directing and screenplay on his 1977 best-picture winner “Annie Hall” and for screenplay on 1986's “Hannah and Her Sisters.”
Allen also is the record-holder for 15 writing nominations, and his three writing Oscars ties the record shared by Charles Brackett, Paddy Chayefsky, Francis Ford Coppola and Billy Wilder.
“The Artist”, nominated in 10 categories, also won Oscars for best original score and best costume design.
“Hugo”, with 11 nominations, won five trophies in the technical categories including the Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Cinematography and Art Direction but the movie failed to win in the key categories.
First Oscar for Pakistan
A Pakistani short movie on the tribulation and courage of victims of acid attacks won a historic trophy at the 2012 Academy Awards, making its codirector Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy the first from the country to win an Oscar. The movie ‘Saving Face’ by Daniel Junge and Chinoy, the first ever Pakistani movie to be nominated for the prestigious award won the Documentary (Short Subject) Academy.
The movie follows British plastic surgeon Dr Mohammad Jawad, who returns to his homeland to help victims of acid burns and performs reconstructive surgeries on survivors. It also follows the story of a woman as she fights to see that the perpetrators of the crime are imprisoned for life.
The documentary, which is filmed across Islamabad, Rawalpindi and the small towns of Punjab, released in the United States in November. It is due to release in the United Kingdom in March, following which it will be released in Pakistan. Chinoy has also received the Emmy award for her documentary Pakistan: Children of the Taliban in 2010.
Other Winners
"A Separation", directed by Asghar Farhadi, became the first Iranian movie to win the best foreign Oscar trophy. Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, the domestic drama focuses on a couple going through a divorce and touches on traditions, justice, and male-female relationships in modern Iran. "A Separation" was regarded as the front-runner for the foreign language Oscar after sweeping the awards circuit in Europe and the United States. It also garnered an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay but failed to win in that category. It was the second Iranian film to be nominated for an Oscar, and the first to win.
Johnny Depp voiced "Rango" defeated "A Cat in Paris", "Chico & Rita", "Kung Fu Panda 2", "Puss in Boots" to win Gore Verbinski an Oscar in the best animated category.
Movie editing honours went to Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". "Undefeated", by TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Rich Middlemas, won the Oscar in the documentary feature category.
"Saving Face", by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, brought Pakistan its first Oscar in the documentary short category. "Iron Lady" won Mark Coulier and J Roy Helland Oscar trophies in the make-up category. "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" won Bret McKenzie a trophy in the original song category.
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore" by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg won in the short movie animated category where as "The Shore" by Terry George and Oorlagh George took home the trophy in the short movie live action category.

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