AWARDS SEASON

The Artist, Christopher Plummer, Streep Win At 84th Academy Awards

Without any major showdowns or controversies, this year’s Academy Awards didn’t have as much sizzle as years past. (And as much as we love Billy Crystal, he’s not exactly edgy and fresh.)

But there were lots of lovely individual moments:

* Zachary Quinto and his Margin Call director J.C. Chandor were caught on the red carpet together (right). Are we looking at Hollywood’s next power couple? (Kidding, Chandor’s married.)

* As expected, Christopher Plummer nabbed Best Supporting Actor for his role as an elderly widower who comes out late in life. Plummer, who joked he’d been rehearsing his acceptance speech “since I emerged from my mother’s womb,” thanked Beginners director Michael Mills and co-star Ewan MacGregor, of whom Plummer said, “I’d happily share this award with if I had any decency, which I don’t.”

* Another expected win was The Help‘s Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress—but her gobsmacked reaction was surprisingly precious.

* Angelina Jolie‘s high-slit black bustle and Sandra Bullock‘s frumpy Grecian gown. We didn’t are for them, but what would a good Oscars party be without a few outfits to tear apart with your girlfriends?

* We were sad to see openly bisexual actor Farley Granger (Rope, Strangers on a Train) among those recalled in the Academy’s annual In Memorium. (Jane Russell and Whitney, too.)

* Is it us, or could all the Oscars The Artist won seriously improve relations between France and the U.S.? (Answer: Eh, maybe.) And is every guy from France hot? (Answer: Yes.)

Photos: Academy of Motion-Picture Arts & Sciences