The 85th Academy Awards, or as I like to refer to it as the “love-child” telecast of the Tony’s meets the MTV Video Music Awards, was painful to sit through to say the least. Seth MacFarlane failed to deliver on Hollywood’s biggest night stripping the show of it’s notable prestige and traditional decorum. The show was a disaster doomed from the start.
The opening started off with Captain Kirk (William Shatner) dialing in from the future in a segment that lasted way too long and lacked the ability to enliven the audience in what is usually the most comedic part of the evening. MacFarlane then went into a musical number with a song dedicated to the breasts of Hollywood’s most elite starlets called “We Saw Your Boobs”. Besides being tasteless, the song was dull and almost offensive. If the Academy was looking to demoralize the show they could have at least hired a real stand-up comedian or perhaps gone down the street to the Laugh Factory to pick up some up-and-comers from amatuer night.
MacFarlane’s jokes – especially the Rihanna and Chris Brown dig – was about as outdated as Joan River’s face. Besides the brutally boring material the broadcast seemed far too broadway with it’s chintzy dance routines and karaoke like singing.
The first award of the night was given to the well deserving Anne Hathaway for her Supporting Actress role in Les Miserables. This was Anne’s first Oscar and her genuine heartfelt speech was one of the most memorable of the night. Les Miserables also scored a win for Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling. The Oscar for Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role went to Christoph Waltz (no surprise there) for his role in Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino took the golden statue for Best Original Screenplay for Django– this was his first Oscar win in almost a decade since 1994’s winning screenplay for the classic Pulp Fiction.
Best Adapted Screenplay went to Chris Terrio for Argo who had some fierce competition including Tony Kushner’s Lincoln and David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook.
2013 was definitely a writer’s year! Although O. Russell striked out in the screenplay department he sure knows how to score Oscars for his cast. Jennifer Lawrence won for Best Actress in a Leading role for her character in Silver Linings Playbook. This was Jennifer’s second nomination and first win; at 22 years old she is one of the youngest actress’s in Oscar history to achieve this. I wasn’t surprised about her win as she also took home the Spirit Award for Best Actress the previous night. However, her fellow contenders weren’t the most compelling competitors when you compare the group to the Lead Actor category. With little competition and the statistics in her favor she might have taken one too many shots before her name was called as she got caught up in her dress while being caught up in the moment. Afterwards she laughed off her fall to the stage in the press room; she admitted to killing her nerves with a little liquor. Lawrence’s co-star Bradly Cooper wasn’t as lucky as he lost out on his chance at what would’ve been his first ever Oscar to Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln. Let’s be serious did he really ever stand a chance? Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington did give Lewis a run for his money but there’s no denying his performance
in Lincoln was anything short of brilliant.
Steven Spielberg helped secure Daniel’s Oscar win with his profound visionary skills, however he didn’t get to add another statue to his three at home when he lost Achievement in Directing to Life of Pi Director Ang Lee. Life of Pi also took home the award for Achievement in Cinematography and Best Original Score. Cinematographer Claudio Miranda was previously nominated for his work in 2009’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Best Original Song went to Adele for Skyfall which tied for Achievement in Sound Editing with Paul N.J. for Zero Dark Thirty.
All I have to say is thank God for Ben Affleck who saved the ending of the ceremony from following in the footsteps of it’s opening onset of catastrophic events. The First Lady announced the Best Picture award to Argo from a satelite broadcast Live from the White House. Although I love Michelle Obama the moment felt devoid of its significance with her not being there to hand out the award in person. Affleck (both director and producer on the film) gave the acceptance speech of the night that ended in tears of gratitude and appreciation for the distinct award. This is Affleck’s second Oscar after winning for Good Will Hunting fifteen years ago proving that in Hollywood dreams are timeless.
As for Seth MacFarlane on the other hand, lets hope his hosting dreams are finite. He ended the night with an ode to the ‘losers’, the nominees who did not win, alongside Broadway star and TV/Film actress Kristen Chenoweth. Something tells me know one will be sad if he doesn’t return to host next year!