2011 Academy Awards: Highlights from the show

Here were some of the best -- and weirdest -- moments from last night's Oscar ceremony

Topics: Oscars, Movie Awards Season,

2011 Academy Awards: Highlights from the show

This year’s Academy Awards have come and gone. Last night’s 3.5-hour broadcast managed to provide plenty of water-cooler fodder — whether it be in the form of heartwarming victories, cringe-inducing gaffes or that head-scratching “Auto-tune the Oscars” thing. We’ve collected some of the more memorable videos from the ceremony below:

Highlight reel

Some of the top moments according to Oscar.com.

Opening montage

Most hosts take the first few minutes of the show to run through the memorable films and performances from the past year, dishing out a stream of one-liners as they go. Not James Franco and Anne Hathaway, though. Instead, they became memorable moments.

 

Kirk Douglas presents best supporting actress

The 94-year-old Hollywood legend gave an endearing performance as he presented the Oscar to Melissa Leo, hamming it up and dragging out the reveal.

 

Inside Job” director slams Wall Street

When Charles Ferguson went up to accept an Oscar for his searing portrayal of corporate malfeasance, he also made the most overtly political statement of the night, lamenting the fact that none of the bankers responsible for the financial crash have been sent to jail.

 

“Auto-tuning the Oscars”

This was weird. 

In memoriam

Celine Dion sang the song “Smile” during the montage of film notables who passed away this past year. Among those featured were Tony Curtis, Gloria Stuart, Leslie Nielsen and Dennis Hopper. Afterward, Halle Berry led an extended tribute to actress, singer and civil rights activist Lena Horne.

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Best picture montage

Immediately before Steven Spielberg presented the night’s big prize, viewers were presented an extended montage showing bits and pieces from all 10 nominated movies. The kicker? The climactic address from Oscar-winner “The King’s Speech” was played underneath the visuals throughout. 

Best picture and finale

So, in the end, “The King’s Speech,” long held as the favorite to walk away with the gold, became the first film primarily about the British royal family ever to win best picture. And then the fifth-graders from P.S. 122 in Staten Island closed the show with their rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

 

Peter Finocchiaro is the deputy editor of Salon. Follow him on Twitter @PLFino.

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